Press Release:
Sir John Soane’s Museum commemorates the 250th anniversary of Hogarth’s death

October 26 marks 250 years since the death of William Hogarth, arguably one of the UK’s greatest painters and printmakers. As an admirer of Hogarth’s life and work, Sir John Soane bought two of the artist’s great Modern Morality series – A Rake’s Progress and An Election – which are still housed within his eponymous collection.

To commemorate the 250th anniversary of Hogarth’s death, Sir John Soane’s Museum has organised a number of events intended to explore and celebrate the subjects of Hogarth’s great works. On Friday 24 October, the Museum is hosting Modern Morality: The Street Scene and Social Commentary from William Hogarth to Laura Oldfield Ford. The talk, which will see the Museum’s Director Abraham Thomas joined by curator of British prints at the British Museum, Sheila O’Connell, and London based artist and writer Laura Oldfield Ford, intends to explore the key role that the setting of the street played and continues to play in art that comments on society.

141029_Culture_SirJohnSoanesMuseum_ARakesProgressA Rake’s Progress – Image courtesy of Derry Moore/Sir John Soane’s Museum

Alongside the talk the Museum is also running two dedicated Adult Art Workshops – Hogarth’s Characters in Oils on Friday 24 October and Hogarth 3D Character Studies on Friday 7 November, which will involve creating 3-dimensional figures based on the characters from A Rake’s Progress using a dry papier-mâché technique and a wire frame. Full details of the workshops can be found at


Public Programme

Public Talk – Modern Morality: The Street Scene and Social Commentary from William Hogarth to Laura Oldfield Ford with Museum Director Abraham Thomas, Sheila O’Connell and Laura Oldfield Ford, will explore the role that the setting of the street played and continues to play – a significant element of art that comments on society.
Date: – Friday 24 October, 7:45pm (Doors open 7:00pm)
Address: – Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP
Price: – £20
Book Tickets: –

Notes on the Speakers: Laura Oldfield Ford is a London based artist and writer. She completed a BA at the Slade in 2001 and an MA in Painting at the RCA in 2007. In her work, Laura is concerned with issues surrounding contested space, landscape, architecture and memory. Her work traverses drawing, painting, writing and photography and draws on her experiences as political activist and her involvement in subcultural scenes, particularly protest movements.

Recent exhibitions include Ruin Lust Tate Britain 2014, Recording Britain V&A 2012 (currently touring), Anarchy Unmasked British Library 2014 Soft Estate, Bluecoat Liverpool 2013 and Spacex 2013, Desire Lines, Caja Madrid, Barcelona 2012. She is currently Stanley Picker Fellow at Kingston University.

Sheila O’Connell is curator of British prints before 1900 at the British Museum; she is also Vice-Chairman of the William Hogarth Trust and curatorial adviser to Dr Johnson’s House. She and Tim Clayton are currently in the final stages of planning an exhibition entitled Bonaparte and the British: prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon to be held at the British Museum from February to August 2015. Two objects from Sir John Soane’s Museum are to be lent to the exhibition: the portrait of the young General Bonaparte by Francesco Cossia and the tiny ring with a lock of the Emperor’s hair that was given to Soane by Elizabeth Balcombe.

The Museum is also running a couple of Adult Art Workshops that link to Hogarth’s anniversary:

Hogarth’s Characters in Oils

Friday 24 October 10am-4pm | £55

It is 250 years since Hogarth died and yet his faces and characters live on. See Hogarth’s work in the Museum’s current exhibition and the permanent collection then spend the day in the studio working from Hogarth’s characters in oils.

Tutor: Lucy Brennan

Book tickets: 12524738831?aff=es2&rank=16

Hogarth 3D Character Studies

Fri 7 November 10am-4pm | £55

Using a dry papier mâché technique and building onto a wire frame, we will make 3-dimensional figures based on characters from A Rake’s Progress. These 3D studies will be based on close scrutiny of the paintings, the individuals within them, their movement and mood.

Tutor: Jessica Palmer

Book tickets:

PRESS OFFICE Contact details

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Sir John Soane’s Museum: The architect Sir John Soane’s house, museum and library at No.13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields has been a public museum since the early 19th century. On his appointment as Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in 1806 Soane (1753-1837) began to arrange his books, classical antiquities, casts and models so that students of architecture might benefit from access to them. In 1833 he negotiated an Act of Parliament to preserve the house and collection after his death for the benefit of ‘amateurs and students’ in architecture, painting and sculpture. Today Sir John Soane’s Museum is one of the country’s most unusual and significant museums with a continuing and developing commitment to education and creative inspiration. The museum is open free: Tuesday to Saturday inclusive, 10am-5pm. It is also open on the first Tuesday evening of each month from 6-9pm.

Sir John Soane’s Museum is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) whose prime sponsor is the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.