Dora House: Royal Society of Sculptors
Sculptor Cecil Thomas' (1885-1976) former studio-home which became the Royal Society of Sculptors.
- Open to the public
- Family activities
- Temporary exhibitions
Dora House was originally built by William Blake (1757-1827) in 1820 as a pair of early Georgian semi-detached villas. The ornate frontage dates from a remodelling in 1885-6 to provide a grand studio for Court photographers Elliot and Fry. The two principal ground floor rooms (the Entrance Hall and the Salon) were enlarged and decorated with plaster ceilings, fine stone fireplaces and strapwork panelling.
In 1919 the house was taken on by the sculptor Cecil Thomas (1885 – 1976) who worked here and lived in it as his family home with wife Dora and son Anthony. Thomas' best known work was in the field of memorial sculpture and coin and medal design. Cecil Thomas clearly loved the house and was responsible for the careful restoration of the front elevation. He set up the Dora Charitable Trust, named after his wife who died in 1967, to protect the long-term future of the house and to fulfill the family's generous intention to make the houseand studio available to the Royal Society of British Sculptors, as it was then called, as it had had no permanent headquarters since its foundation in 1905. The Society has called Dora House home ever since.