V&A launches exhibition on UK’s ‘first interior designer’

The Victoria & Albert Museum launches an exhibition this week showing the collections of the ‘UK’s first interior designer’, Thomas Hope, who established the Regency style in England.

The Victoria & Albert Museum launches an exhibition this week showing the collections of the ‘UK’s first interior designer’, Thomas Hope, who established the Regency style in England.

Taking place in the Temporary Exhibition Hall, Thomas Hope: Regency Designer is designed by the V&A’s in-house team, which includes senior exhibition designer Line Lund and graphic designer Nadine Fleischer.

Lund says, ‘Hope was as concerned with how objects were displayed as with the objects themselves. In keeping with this idea, the show uses a colour palette derived from the strongly coloured interiors of the Regency period.’

The show is arranged in four main parts. The first deals with Hope’s family history and his Grand Tour, the second recreates the atmosphere of three rooms from his London Duchess Street house.

Dealing with Hope’s Household Furniture and Decoration book, another part displays furniture (pictured) and metalwork designed by Hope. The area features blown up graphics from Hope’s publication, including vases, a chandelier, candlesticks and a tea urn.

The final section, examining Deepdene, Hope’s country residence in Surrey, includes a scale model of the building alongside the only surviving record of the manor – a set of watercolours and drawings from the 1820s – as well as pieces of original furniture.

Accompanying the show, a pamphlet, created by Fleischer, uses the Household Furniture and Decoration motifs.

The show runs from 21 March to 22 June. For more details, see www.vam.ac.uk.

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