Exhibit: “Changing Landscapes: The Industrial Revolution and the British Banknote”

From the Romantic Circles Blog : A fascinating exhibit at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham focuses on how the changing technologies of the Industrial Revolution altered societal values and created a new spirit of pride and nationalism in England. From their website:

The face of Britain changed beyond recognition in the nineteenth century following intense industrialization and urbanization, advances in agriculture and developments in international trade and finance. New private banks employed celebrated engravers to create intricate and beautiful banknote illustrations, portraying aspects of the changing Britain and illustrating a sense of national pride and civic identity.

This extraordinary exhibition of banknotes, tokens, medals, paintings, prints, silverware, pottery, and models of locomotives and ships, reflects those monumental changes and provides an invaluable insight into the economy and society of the time. A collaboration with the British Museum, it also features items lent by the Science Museum, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the Cadbury Collections of nineteenth-century Britain.

The exhibit offers a glimpse into a changing society that saw the effects of technological evolution more rapidly than ever before. Blake himself was invested in the technologies of his time, particularly given his belief that he invented a new printing method. The exhibit runs from March 7, 2008, until March 6, 2009.

Continue reading