Final piece added to Cardinal Newman display

By on 08/09/2010 in Culture, News

A stunning Victorian gothic-style crosier will be the last item installed in an exclusive display of rarely seen items from the life of Cardinal John Henry Newman at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  Admission free, Friday 10th September until 6th January 2011 (Gallery 25). 

The display includes the Cardinal's jewelled mitre with silk and gold thread inset with semi-precious stones as well as his robes, hat and shoes, his gold pectoral cross inset with gems, and a stunning Victorian gothic-style crosier.  Many of the items have been loaned by the Birmingham Oratory and have not been seen by general public since his death in 1890.  

Personal possessions on display include a shell engraved with a scene of the Immaculate Conception, a statuette bust of St Phillip Neri, founder of the Oratorian Order whom Newman studied, a reliquary mount in ornate metal from Newman's desk as well as his pot with used and sharpened quill pen. 

The display will also include a bust of Newman that was commissioned in 1841 to Richard Westmacott the younger, a sculptor and friend of the Cardinal. Also included is a painting by William Thomas Roden entitled, Portrait of His Eminence Cardinal Newman (1879).

Councillor Alan Rudge, Leader for the Papal visit, said:
 “This display of Cardinal Newman's personal items viewed against the backdrop of the City's renowned religious art collections is an extraordinary opportunity for people to visit and appreciate these rarely seen items.

“This unique display will draw visitors from far and wide to see the significant contribution that Cardinal Newman made to our city and the Catholic community around the world. The beatification by Pope Benedict XVI of Cardinal Newman is a huge honour for our city and will bring the world's attention to our doorstep and be remembered by people for many years to come.”

There will be a special late night opening at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Friday 10 September as an exclusive display of the life of Cardinal John Henry Newman is unveiled (admission free, until 9pm).

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