8 May 2012

Dennis Severs' House, Spitalfields, London

Dennis Severs' (pronounced 'Seevers'') house at 18 Folgate Street – built about 1724 – may not look particularly unusual from the outside, but inside this is a museum, or rather a movie set-cum-visual novel that the eponymous owner worked on between 1979 and his death in 1999, creating its rooms in styles from the Georgian era through to the late Victorian based on an imaginary family of silk weavers.

Severs, an Anglophile of American birth, invented the Jervis family of Huguenot descent who lived here from 1725 to 1919. He refurnished the ten rooms in the styles of different periods lived through, giving the appearance that the occupier(s) of them have just left them, and leaving bread unfinished, chopped onions, rumpled bedclothes, etc.

The house is only open at limited times and I was unable to make a visit, but I shall be back later in the year.

Below is a link to a six-minute video clip taken, I imagine, in the 1990s, and in which Severs makes an appearance.

Dennis Severs' House

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