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Detail from a ceiling design for 5 Adelphi Terrace, by Robert Adam, England, UK, about 1771. Museum no. W.43-1936

Detail from a ceiling design for 5 Adelphi Terrace, by Robert Adam, England, UK, about 1771. Museum no. W.43-1936

Robert Adam (1728–92) was one of the most important British architects working in the Neo-classical style. He was a main force in the development of a unified style that extended beyond architecture and interiors to include both the fixed and moveable objects in a room. He incorporated design ideas from ancient Greece and Rome into his forms and decoration. His famous London houses include Kenwood House, Osterley Park and Syon House.

Born in Kirkaldy, Scotland, Robert Adam was the son of the established architect William Adam, and followed him into the family practice. In 1754 he embarked on a ‘Grand Tour’, spending five years in France and Italy visiting classical sites and studying architecture. On his return Adam established his own practice in London with his brother James. Although classical architecture was already becoming popular, Adam developed his own style, known as the Adam style or Adamesque. This style was influenced by classical design but did not follow Roman architectural rules as strictly as Palladianism did.

The Adam interior

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Award-Winning British Design: 1957-1988

Award-Winning British Design: 1957-1988

In 1957 the UK Design Centre launched the first annual Designs of the Year Awards to identify and promote the very best of British design. For the nex…

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A gift in your will

You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.


Event - The Curious Neoclassical Vision of Ennemond-Alexandre Petitot

Sat 28 March 2015–Sun 06 December 2015

DISPLAY: This display showcases 24 prints and drawings by French-born architect and designer, Ennemond-Alexandre Petitot (1727-1801) who was responsible for some of the most captivating and eccentric neoclassical ornamental designs ever produced.

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