Lowther Lodge | Royal Geographical Society
The new home of the Works on Paper Fair, entrance situated on Exhibition Road, has a long history behind it.
Lowther Lodge is located south of Hyde Park at 1 Kensington Gore. The house was designed by architect Norman Shaw (1831 - 1912) between 1872 - 1875, his first large commission in the Capital. Since 1912 it has been the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).
Commissioned by the Hon. William Lowther (1821 - 1912), Member of Parliament for Westmorland, and his wife Alice, Lowther Lodge is considered to be one of the most important examples of 19th century architecture in London, hailed at the time as 'an artistic landmark', Architectural Press. The house was built in the 'Queen Anne' style, launching the advancement of the fashion for red brick, rubbed and cut brick work, irregular but balanced compositions, all of which are important characteristics of the Victorian "Queen Anne' style.
Lowther Lodge is not unfamiliar to works of art being exhibited. The Royal Amateur Art Association, with whom Alice Lowther was a founding member, held annual exhibitions to raise money for charity, in what still is known today as the Hall. The Hall was ordinarily hung with watercolours by Alice and her daughters.
Following the death of William Lowther in 1912, the house was sold to the RGS on the instruction of Viscount Curzon, Society President. Since Lowther Lodge has become the home of the RGS, the building has seen many alterations, such as the extension which includes the Lecture Theatre wing, and in 2004, the new glass pavilion, forming the main entrance off Exhibition Road.