Ackermann's Room in the Strand

1809 (made)

Pugin, Augustus Charles

Height: 13.2 cm paper, Width: 22.2 cm

E.3027-1903 PDP

Etching of Ackermann's Room in the Strand

Object Type This anonymous print was made using a combination of two techniques: etching and aquatint, which involves using acid to create the lines and shading on the metal printing plate. After printing this sheet, another person probably coloured it by hand. Subject Depicted This print illustrates the interior of a well-known shop in London's Strand, Ackermann's Repository of Arts, in 1809. Customers are shown looking at paintings on the wall, choosing prints from a portfolio and purchasing art materials at the counter. The shop sold a wide variety of art materials, from watercolours and paper to pens and inks. Decorative papers could also be bought, which were used for 'fancy paper work'. This involved ornamenting small decorative objects, such as screens and boxes, with patterned papers. 'Fancy paper work' was a very fashionable activity for women around the beginning of the 19th century. Trading Rudolph Ackermann's business, The Repository of Arts, was an extremely diverse concern. As well as selling artists' materials and fancy goods, he exhibited and sold contemporary prints and watercolours. Ackermann (1764-1834), originally from Germany, also began a circulating library of prints and drawings, which subscribers could borrow to take home. The Repository was also a publishing business, producing high-quality illustrated books and periodicals. One of its most famous publications was the magazine The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions, and Politics.

Anonymous print, published in London, after a drawing by Augustus Charles Pugin (born in Paris, 1769, died in London, 1832); figures by Thomas Rowlandson (born in London, 1756 or 1757, died there in 1827)

Given by Miss E. Manson

Location: British Galleries, room 120, case 15, shelf DR4

View this object on the V&A website