Just a short message to thank all of those people who have supported our first season of events at No. 31 Fournier Street, and to let you know what is coming up there over the next few months. Our Inaugural Exhibition of architectural drawings and paintings by Trevor Newton, held in mid-May, saw the sale of over 150 works by the artist. Equally gratifying was Edward Firth’s show of portraits in the following month, with 65 prints and drawings sold and a series of articles and interviews in national publications.
Our third event was by way of complete contrast; a exhibition of fifty original hand painted French silk designs dating from the mid-1850s. All were sold, with a number being acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum and other specialist textile collections.
Events also moved outside into the charming, palm-fronded garden of No. 31 when it was visited by 450 people in a single day during the National Open Gardens scheme in early July. A busy contrast to its usual calm and seclusion!
In our exhibitions we aim to use the distinctive 18th-century interiors of No. 31 to the full, displaying works - with surprisingly effective results - against the striking original Georgian panelling which runs throughout the entire house. Where possible, we try to keep the impedimenta of mounts and frames - quite literally - out of the picture, displaying pieces very directly so that potential purchasers can experience their textural quality at very close quarters. This also has the advantage of enabling us to sell items at very reasonable prices while giving buyers a completely free choice of mount and frame when they have acquired a picture.
This approach will be especially interesting in our next exhibition of the sketches of Whitechapel Group painter Clare Winsten, which starts in the first week of February.
Then later in the year, we will be staging a highly individual event, one which attempts to fuse biography, interior design and literary history. Provisionally entitled ‘Number 31 - At Home with Rodney Archer’, the invitation-only presentation will consist of readings from the actor/writer’s Spitalfields Journals - a rich and fascinating account of the comings and goings of East End Bohemia over the past thirty years - together with extracts from the works of Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas (to be performed in front of Wilde’s very own Tite Street chimneypiece, now incorporated centre-stage in the grand silver-leaf-panelled first-floor drawing room on No. 31. Exhibits from Rodney’s superb collection of Art Nouveau ceramics and 20th-century male portraiture will enhance the mood, and appropriate drinks (hock and seltzer?) and canapés will ease the flow of conversation as guests mix, mingle and meet in what must surely be one of London’s most enticingly eccentric domestic interiors…
As of November 1st, No. 31 is now available to hire for your next event! The distinctive staircase and beautifully silver-panelled first-floor rooms of the house (and in summer, the garden), are available at extremely competitive prices. Situated on the edge of the City and adjacent to fashionable Spitalfields Market and bustling Brick Lane, the house makes a perfect, highly convenient and intriguing venue for evening drinks parties, book launches, wine tastings, exhibitions, recitals etc. For further information, please contact Edward Firth at email@example.com
Photo by Paul Godfrey.