Enfilade

Newly Refurbished Paul Mellon Centre Opens to the Public

Posted in resources by Editor on November 1, 2015

From the Paul Mellon Centre (27 October 2015) . . .

library-1After our ten-month-long refurbishment and expansion project, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art has re-opened its doors.

One of the jewels in the Centre’s crown is the Public Study Room (PSR), which, newly decorated, is once again open to readers from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Users of our PSR will enjoy improved, highly-convenient open-shelf access to the books that provide the mainstay or our rich library collections, and that cover all periods of British art and architecture. However, some of our Research Collection material is not yet installed on the premises; this includes journals, auction catalogues, rare books, and all of our archive and photographic archive collections. We hope that all of this material will be fully integrated into our collections, and available for use by readers, over the next few months. Please call 020 7580 0311 or email collections@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk for further information.

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In addition to the renewed Public Study Room, the renovation project—completed by Wright and Wright—has doubled the size of the Centre’s listed Grade I premises with the acquisition of the lease of 15 Bedford Square, just next door. Bedford Square (built between 1775 and the 1780s) has been home to the Centre since 1996 (the Centre having previously been based at 20 Bloomsbury Square). The space that now serves as the Study Room had been heavily reworked in the 1920s; and as noted at the Mellon’s Centre’s website, based on “the evidence of the plaster ‘proscenium arch’ at the north end,” it “may well have been designed as a private cinema.” After nearly two decades, the unforgettable green room has been reborn, with this clever video showing the books going back onto the newly painted shelves. I can’t wait until my next visit. CH

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