Sophie Dishman

Preview: Sunderland Then And Now display

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Picture: King George V and Queen Mary visit Pickersgill’s Works in Sunderland (NB: this pic is not part of the exhibition)/Picture by: PA/PA Archive/PA Images.

Picture: King George V and Queen Mary visit Pickersgill’s Works in Sunderland (NB: this pic is not part of the exhibition)/Picture by: PA/PA Archive/PA Images.

Sunderland: Then And Now display begins at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens on Saturday, December 19. 

The exhibition is a display of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints from the city’s collection illustrating how the city has developed over the centuries.

It shows views across Sunderland from the 1700s until the present day.

Displays include Sunderland notables from the 17th to 19th century, a collection of 20th century fashion and dance called Sunderland Style and prints by Dame Laura Knight of the Ballets Russes and photographs of Matt Stokes’ Northern Soul dancers.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “This is a fascinating exhibition and helps to show the tremendous amount of change the city has gone through over the last few hundred years.

“There was a thriving school of painters in the North East from the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s and Sunderland was an important centre of this artistic activity.

“Artists recorded important civic events in the city, as well as everyday scenes of working and domestic life.”

The town’s increased prosperity created a market for the work of local painters.

Students studying photography at the University of Sunderland worked with museum staff to identify the locations shown in the artwork during November this year.

They photographed the views as they appear today resulting in some unusual views of the city.

Coun Kelly said: “I encourage anyone with an interest in local history, social history, art or photography to go along and appreciate the skill, artistry and historical significance of the exhibits on display.”

There are three additional new displays to be visited in the Art Gallery. These too feature Sunderland’s interesting and varied collections.

The exhibition runs from this Saturday (December 19) until Sunday, April 3, 2016 at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

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