Ruskin's plans for the St George's Museum developed over time, evolving in response to a succession of problems and opportunities.Enlargement of Walkley Premises
Ruskin initially envisaged an enlargement of the Walkley property, with a separate residence for the curator built on adjoining land.
The need for larger premises was such that many objects had to be kept in store. In Ruskin's words, these treasures were left 'lying in lavender' (Works
, 29, p. 397). Among them, he lamented, were 'casts from St. Mark's, of sculptures never cast before [...] invisible and useless till I can build walls for them'.Plans for a Museum at Endcliffe
In 1880, Ruskin used a letter in Fors Clavigera
to ask the public to help him realize plans for a new building. He had in mind 'a working man's Bodleian Library', asking the architect E. R. Robson to produce preliminary designs.
It was initially proposed that 'the building should be of red brick, faced with the marbles of Derbyshire' (Works
, 30, p. 315). Robson objected that 'neither Derbyshire nor any other marbles would stand in our climate', and argued for granite instead. Robson quoted an estimated cost of £5000.