Exhibition visitors will see major items from the museum’s magnificent Elton Collection, regarded as the county’s foremost collection of industrial art it has been in the museum’s care since 1978. Sir Arthur Elton (1906-73), a collector and documentary film maker, was fascinated by developments of the Industrial Revolution era and how they were shown in various forms of artwork.
Depictions of early industry in the exhibition vary from satirical cartoons, engravings, everyday objects and even a coffee percolator in the shape of a locomotive. Amongst the displays are vivid cartoons which were produced in the 1830s by the early canal companies, who were protesting against the competition from the railways. The satirical images show the dangers of travelling by locomotives which were said to be unsafe and prone to explosion.The exhibition also includes paintings and engravings ranging from the 1780s to the 1860s showing various industrial landscapes and the herculean labours of the workers that made them a reality. Mining, tunnelling, bridge building, railways, canals and ironworks are all represented, along with the 1851 Great Exhibition and an 1865 design for St Pancras station, which even then showed what a wonderful space it would be, 157 years before Eurostar took over.
Admission to Blood, Sweat and Imagination is free and the exhibition is open most weekdays 9am to 5pm. It is advised to call 01952 884391 in advance to check opening hours.
The Coalbrookdale Gallery is next door to Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums. A Passport to all ten museums valid for twelve months and multiple return visits, costs £14.95 per adult, £12.95 for the 60 plus, £9.95 for students and children and £48 for a family of two adults and three children aged up to 18 years in full time education; under 5s free. Individual museum entry tickets are also available.
1. 5. 2008 – 30. 9. 2008
Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
TF8 7DQ Telford
+44 (0) 1952 – 884391