􏰀Clare Gough named first Director of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Trust

11 July 2016 -- A Director has been appointed to an important new London cultural venue set to open in 2018. Clare Gough, who has formerly led major innovative projects for the National Gallery and V&A Museum, will oversee the completion of a four-year, £11M project to restore Pitzhanger Manor, the country house of one of Britain’s greatest architects, Sir John Soane, and will lead the re- opening of the house to the public. The Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council-funded project will also see the re-launch of Pitzhanger Gallery, the adjacent contemporary art and architecture space.
Built by Soane in 1800 on the site of an older manor house in Ealing, West London, Pitzhanger Manor, along with its surrounding grounds, is one of the few surviving examples of pure Soanian architecture and landscaping in the UK. When it re-opens in 2018, Pitzhanger will have been restored to Soane’s original and innovative design, with his typically vibrant decorative and paint effects painstakingly recreated. The adjacent Pitzhanger Gallery will host contemporary exhibitions, building on Soane’s interests and his passion for both the antique and modern.
Clare Gough brings a wealth of essential senior management experience from both the arts and business worlds. She was Director of Communications at the National Gallery and then went on to set up her own arts consultancy business, leading diverse projects for a variety of museums and arts organisations. Clare pioneered the production of live cinema films from major art exhibitions: she produced for the V&A its award winning film of the David Bowie is exhibition. She was formerly New Media Director at National Gallery Company Ltd. and is a Trustee of the Geffrye Museum. Clare started her career in the commercial world as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co and a solicitor with international law firm Freshfields.

Clare Gough said, “I am delighted to be joining Pitzhanger at this exciting time, when restoration work has just begun and we can already see Soane’s striking architecture and interior design begin to re-emerge from behind later additions and extensions. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world to this extraordinary place. Sitting in its original park, Pitzhanger is still an oasis of calm, as Soane intended, and we’ll be using both the Regency house and upgraded Pitzhanger Gallery to pursue Soane’s passion for sharing his love of architecture and design with others. Soane believed in the power of history and antiquity to inspire bold new thinking, and so do we.”

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Chair of the Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Trust, said, “The whole Trust is absolutely delighted to have Clare Gough as our first Director. Her skills and wide experience, across the arts and heritage, management and business, will be a huge asset and are also a measure of this exciting project’s potential and ability to attract talent of the highest quality.”

Sir John Soane, the master architect of space and light, purchased Pitzhanger Manor at the height of his fame, in 1800, to be rebuilt as his ‘dream home’, a weekend retreat for entertaining his friends and clients. It contains some of Soane’s most impressive interiors: vaulted ceilings, interconnecting rooms, inset mirrors and stripped back classical detailing.

Soane was particularly fond of Pitzhanger, regularly inviting his circle of friends and contemporaries from the arts and sciences to visit him there. His invitations, to the likes of artist J.M.W. Turner, sculptor John Flaxman, opera singer John Braham and Bank of England Director Samuel Thornton, were to take part in cultural gatherings - opportunities to discuss and debate the issues of the day.
At Pitzhanger, Soane started to build his eclectic collection of artworks and antiquities and took pleasure in exhibiting it to his friends and clients. Renowned works as Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress were originally bought by Soane for Pitzhanger. FOR THE FULL MEDIA RELEASE PLEASE CLICK HERE

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