Hosted by Worshipful Company of Painters & Stainers
Salon, the international working exhibition of Decorative Arts, was held in London over four days in March of 2000 under the patronage of the Worshipful Company of Painters & Stainers and was considered to be a great success.
Because of the amount of interest shown, especially from the international contingents, it was proven necessary to split the event over two locations, at Painters' Hall and in the Great Hall of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. The former has been the site of the home of the Worshipful Company since 1532, whilst the Great Hall at Bart's -an architectural and decorative delight in itself- was built by James Gibbs as "recently" as 1738, the Hospital has occupied the site since 1123.
The event was attended by a great number of visitors including many craftsmen, students and professionals in related disciplines such as Interior Design and Restoration.
Exhibitors and guests came from many countries including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Norway, Peru, Sweden, U.K., and the United States. Students from London Guildhall University and from The Building Crafts College were among the exhibitors and the event was also visited by groups of students from Technical Colleges throughout the country.
On the first day- Thursday- the exhibition was attended by the Lord Mayor of London, Lady Mayoress and party. In the Hall the Lord Mayor watched, with great enthusiasm and interest, demonstrations by craftsmen from American, Sweden, France and the U.K.
On Friday the Lord Chancellor of England, Lord Irvine of Lairg, accompanied by Lady Irvine, spent a considerable time viewing the exhibition in both locations and speaking to a number of the demonstrators. Lord Irvine formally opened the exhibition at lunch at Painters' Hall.
On Saturday the Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Dr. Alan Borg, was the principal speaker at the closing dinner. During the evening proceedings, the Salon was formally handed over to France -for Salon was to be held in Paris in 2001 and was going to be hosted by the IPEDEC- Institute Superieure de Peinture Decorative de Paris.
The exhibition continued for a fourth day. Following this were Post-Salon events in the form of visits to Mansion House, Victoria and Albert Museum, Brighton Pavilion, Eltham Palace, the Jeffrye Museum and the Senate House at London University.
Salon 2000 was only made possible by gifts from individuals and sponsorship both within and without the Worshipful Company of Painters & Stainers and by the total commitment of the members of the organizing Committee and various consultants from home and overseas who gave so much time, energy, and professionalism to this unique event. However, it was the participants who exhibited, demonstrated and observed who really made the occasion truly memorable.