Stephen Walter's Map of Mayfair and St James's
For this year’s Masterpiece art fair, Shapero Rare Books and Shapero Modern have commissioned the artist Stephen Walter to produce a pictorial, large-scale map of Mayfair and St James’s.
Entitled Mayfair & St James’s, 2016, the map of the two London districts celebrates many of its buildings, institutions, architectural features and green spaces. All the art galleries and museums are shown alongside its clubs, hotels, embassies, pubs and bars and other points of interest. It also includes many of the area other landmarks – its blue plaques, statues, restaurants, shops and arcades.
Additionally, some infamous historical events are noted, such as the Millennium Hotel on Grosvenor Square, where the poisoning of Alexander Litvenenko with radioactive polonium-210 took place in 2006. The map shows the routes of the new Crossrail tunnels and the Victoria and Jubilee Lines, as well as the route of King’s Scholars’ Pond Sewer that now ghosts the course of the old Tyburn River. This course is still marked out today by South Molton Lane, Avery Row and Lansdowne Row.
It is a place synonymous with wealth, luxury and grand houses, with properties now being turned back into residences following the post-war period that saw many of its buildings turned into offices and boardrooms. Foreign investors have helped this turnaround most notably from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with both countries having their embassies in the area.
Says Walter: ‘All the source imagery for this work came from my own photography. I walked every inch of both Mayfair and St James’s, marking off every road and alleyway in the area. The most striking architectural features that I noticed were the doors, windows and lamps that adorn many of the grand London Town houses. St James’s Palace, built in 1531 for Henry the Eighth on the site of an older women’s Leper hospital is a real gem and what is surprisingly still a reasonably hidden part of central London.’
The exhibition will run from Wednesday June 22nd to July 6th, 9:30 to 6:30pm daily, and 11 to 5pm on Saturdays.