Cambridge University

Ax:son Johnson Centre for the Study of Classical Architecture

CONFERENCE: Sir William Chambers (1723-1796): A Tercentenary Celebration

Sir William Chambers, with Somerset House in the background (detail). Joshua Reynolds, c.1780. © Photo: Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Sir William Chambers (1723-1796): A Tercentenary Celebration

Monday 17 – Tuesday 18 April 2023

in Stockholm, Sweden and Engelsberg Ironworks


In summer 2023, King Charles III will be transported to his coronation through London in a state coach designed by the Anglo-Swedish architect, Sir William Chambers. Fortuitously, the year will also mark the tercentenary of the birth of Chambers in Gothenburg in 1723. Bokförlaget Stolpe will mark the anniversary with the publication of a new edition of Chambers’s landmark architectural treatise. This conference will bring together scholars for a series of papers that will ask new questions about the most powerful architect in mid-Georgian Britain.

Scholarship on Chambers was vibrant in the late twentieth century, but following the bicentenary of his death in 1996, marked by a book of essays and an exhibition at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and the Courtauld Gallery in London, there has been a notable decline. But the time is ripe for a reassessment of an architect whose international identity and global view of architecture speak particularly well to the present. This conference will for the first time cast a twenty-first-century perspective on Chambers.

(Cover image: Sir William Chambers, with Somerset House in the background (detail). Joshua Reynolds, c.1780. © Photo: Royal Academy of Arts, London.)
The Gold State Coach, from George III's Procession to the Houses of Parliament (detail). Attributed to John Wootton, 1762-4. Image courtesy Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023.
Alhambra and Pagoda, from View of the Wilderness at Kew Gardens (detail). William Marlow, 1763. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Practical details

Arrival in Stockholm

Conference delegates will be offered a private coach transfer from Stockholm, Sweden to Engelsberg Ironworks on the morning of Monday, 17 April. A private coach transfer will also be offered the following day returning to Stockholm. More details will be provided upon registration. 


Rooms will be available to conference delegates at the historic Engelsberg IronworksDinner and breakfast will also be provided.


Registration to attend will open on 1 March 2023. This conference is free to attend thanks to the generosity of the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit.

To register for this conference, or for more information, please contact Dr Max Bryant

Please note that numbers are limited.

UNESCO World Heritage site of Engelsberg Ironworks
Gardens at Engelsberg