Augustus Pugin – Bicentenary trail and exhibition

By on 29/02/2012 in Culture, News

Augustus Pugin (1812 - 1852) and his connections with the city will be recognised with the launch of The Birmingham Pugin Trail on Thursday 1 March at St Chad’s Cathedral, one of the finest examples of his work in the country.  There will also be an exhibition at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Entwined: Pugin and Hardman from 17 March – 26 January 2013.

There are many examples of Pugin’s work in Birmingham, one of the most important of these is the magnificent St Chad's Cathedral.  He designed the Cathedral and introduced fine original medieval furnishings, acquired on his continental journeys, including the 15th century German Canons' stalls and the pulpit.  It was the first Catholic Cathedral to be built in the UK since the reformation.

Pugin is often regarded as the greatest British architect, designer and writer of the nineteenth century.  Although not native to Birmingham there are many of his works to be seen in the city.  The trail also includes St Mary's College Chapel, Oscott which was visited by Pope Benedict XVI and Bishops of England and Wales during his visit to Birmingham in 2010, as well as St Joseph's Church in Nechells and the stained glass windows of Erdington Cathedral (colloquially known as The Abbey).

One of the sites on the Trail is Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery which has objects designed by Pugin on display, including the spectacular Rood Screen from St John's Church in Staffordshire.

In addition to his own work, Pugin persuaded his friend John Hardman Junior (1811-1867) to move into the production of metalwork and stained glass.  Located in the Jewellery Quarter, John Hardman & Co mediaeval style of stained glass and metalwork was based on Pugin's research, drawings and publications.

One of Pugin and Hardman's most significant works was the interiors of the Houses of Parliament in London.  The design drawings for this will be one of the highlights of the Entwined: Pugin and Hardman exhibition at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter which celebrates their work. The show will also include example of their ecclesiastical metalwork in the high Gothic-revival style, domestic designs and beautiful silver Claret Jug.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture said: “There is a wealth of works by Augustus Pugin on display in Birmingham and this fascinating trail and exhibition will reveal just how significant the city was to him.  I have no doubt that admirers of Pugin both locally and from across the country will be delighted by the breadth of work that is on show.”

The Birmingham Pugin Trail has been created by The Pugin Society and Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery.  For further information about the Pugin bicentenary, please visit pugin-society.org.  For further details on the display at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, please visit www.bmag.org.uk

Media contact: Jason Lewis 0121 303 4266

jason.lewis@birmingham.gov.uk

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