Eliska is delighted to be a patron of the Lines of Beauty Exhibition at The Foundling Museum, running from 4th June to 6th September 2015.

The exhibition will explore the history of decorative plasterwork from the Rococo splendour of the Foundling Hospital Court Room to contemporary designs.

Lines of Beauty investigates the 400 year old tradition of decorative plasterwork through the history of the Foundling Museum’s exquisite interiors, the restoration of historic houses and the creation of stand-alone artworks by modern master craftsman, Geoffrey Preston.

The exhibition includes a range of object from small, beautifully modelled relief panels, to the Museum’s exuberant Rococo ceiling, which was designed over 250 years ago by Georgian craftsman and entrepreneur William Wilton. The ceiling was donated by Wilton to the Foundling Hospital in the 1740s, forming part of a larger collection of artworks and furniture built up predominantly through generous donations by artists. These beautiful objects and furnishings were salvaged when the Foundling Hospital building was demolished in the 1920s. The court Room ceiling was saved and remarkably recreated, piece by piece, and can be admired today in its entirety at the Foundling Museum.

Casting contemporary light on Wilton’s Georgian masterpiece, this exhibition also looks at the work of Geoffrey Preston, one of the UK’s leading architectural sculptors and a specialist in decorative plasterwork and the art of stucco. Preston was responsible for the pioneering restoration of the 18th century hand-modelled plasterwork at Uppark House in 1992-1993. Design drawings, models and photographs will be on display from some of his principal commissions, including Great Fulford in Devon and the National Trust’s Uppark House in West Sussex. Different processes and techniques are examined through photographs and drawings alongside a display of the artist’s own tools and materials.

Foundling Museum Director, Caro Howell, says:

“While the story of artists such as Hogarth, Handel and Gainsborough generously donating work to the Foundling Hospital is celebrated, less well known are the many master craftsmen who likewise gave freely of their skills. William Wilton’s magnificent Rococo Court Room ceiling never fails to take one’s breath away. Lines of Beauty provides an opportunity for us to focus onthis extraordinary work of art and to view it through the lens of contemporary practice, specifically the work of renowned master craftsman Geoffrey Preston”

The Foundling Museum
40 Brunswick Square
London WC1N 1AZ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7841 3600
Email: enquiries@foundlingmuseum.org.uk
Web: foundlingmuseum.org.uk

OPen: Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
Admission: £8.25 (including Gift Aid), concession £5.50 (including Gift Aid)
Tube & Train: Russell Square, King’s Cross St Pancras and Euston

The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery, and through a regular programme of events and exhibitions celebrates the ways in which artists of all disciplines have helped improve children’s lives for over 275 years.

The Foundling Hospital, which continues today as the children’s charity Coram, was established in 1739 by the philanthropist Captain Thomas Coram, as ‘a hospital for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children’. Instrumental in helping Coram realise his vision were the artist William
Hogarth, who encouraged all the leading artists of the day to donate work, and the composer George Frideric Handel, who gave annual benefit concerts of the Messiah. In doing so, they created London’s first public art gallery and set the template for the way that the arts could support philanthropy.

Coram has been creating better chances for children since 1739. They help children and young people today through their pioneering work in adoption, parenting support, housing support, alcohol and drug education, creative therapies and championing legal rights in the UK and overseas.

Geoffrey Preston trained as a stonemason and carver after studying sculpture at Hornsey College of Art in the early 1970s. He was a founding director of two of the country’s most respected conservation companies and at the helm of many significant projects such as Uppark House in 1992-3. In 2000, Geoffrey set up his workshop in Devon to concentrate on making new decorative plasterwork and sculpture. The workshop is thriving and employs a team of skilled sculptors who work with Geoffrey on larger projects.