The Francis Henry Lenygon
JAMES GROTE \'AN DERPOOL
^N OCTOBER 28, 1955, President Kirk formally ac¬
cepted the Francis Henry Lenygon Memorial Room to
serve as a reserve srudy in Avery Library where schol¬
ars could work with rare books, original drawings, and manu¬
script materials from that library's collections. Subsequent to that
acceptance ceremony, the donor has generously transferred ro
University ownership \'irtually all of the furnishings. I am happy
to have this opportunity therefore to refer to them, to describe
briefly the room itself, and to tell you something of the man
whom the Room so suitably memorializes.
Francis Henry Lenygon (1877-1943) occupies a special niche
in the annals of the profession of interior architecture in this
country. If he had a choice in the matter, I believe he would have
elected to have been born at the end of the 17th century in his
native England and to have practiced his profession well into
the eighteenth century. Spiritually that was his milieu. Instead, he
added grace and lustre to the first third of the present century,
working with the skill and taste of his professional forebearers,
but never as an antiquario. Rather he worked as Inigo Jones
or the third Earl of Burlington would have worked if living in
the 20th century.
The history of art is replete with architects, painters and sculp¬
tors, whose genius failed of full expression for want of great
commissions. Happily that is not the case of Francis Lenygon.
His first client was Edward VII, King of England, who honored
him not only with commissions but with his friendship as well.
He was subsequently appointed as consultant for alterations at
both Buckingham Palace and A\'indsor Castle. Many of England's