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Jacques-Laurent Agasse (1767-1849) The Nubian Giraffe, 1827 The Royal Collection © 2011, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

Architecture for Animals: Menageries and Aviaries in Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century England


The inaugural Spring Show NYC Lecture Series features lively discussions by noted museum curators, scholars and prominent interior designers, Thursday April 28 - Saturday, April 30 in the Tiffany Room. Lectures are included with Show admission and seating is on a first-come basis. On April 28, 3pm, hear about how exotic birds and animals had long been prized as pets and curiosities in Britain, but the eighteenth century saw the establishment of menageries and aviaries as a fashionable adjunct to a country house garden or park, with distinguished architects vying to build the structures, including Sir William Chambers, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, and Humphry Repton. They often took the form of lavishly decorated banqueting houses with adjacent pens and cages for fierce or unusual animals, or brilliantly plumaged birds, but renowned architect Sir John Soane's experience of animal accommodation was a cow house and a chicken coop for the Duke of Leeds! This illustrated survey of menagerie architecture will conclude with the whimsical animal houses of Victorian zoological gardens. Tim Knox is Director of London's Sir John Soane's Museum; former Assistant Curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects Drawings Collection, and former Architectural Historian of the National Trust. Appointed Head Curator of the National Trust in 2002, Knox was much involved with the restoration of historically significant landscape gardens and the acquisition of architectural landmarks throughout Great Britain. In 2005, Knox was appointed Director of the Soane. Co-sponsored by Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation in America Spring Show NYC Cultural Partner. Image: Jacques-Laurent Agasse (1767-1849), The Nubian Giraffe, 1827, The Royal Collection © 2011, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

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