A photographic exhibition with a strong link to Lancashire’s Arts & Crafts Furniture industry last visited the area in 2009. However, if you’re prepared to travel down to London, the exhibition can be viewed until February 19th.
“Saving a Century” is a travelling exhibition celebrating 50 years of the Victorian Society, a charity which campaigns to save iconic Victorian and Edwardian buildings and monuments. Their successes include St Pancras Station, Liverpool’s Albert Dock and the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. However, their goals are not restricted to large, prestigious buildings – or just architecture . Via lectures, events and ongoing projects, the society aims to awaken and educate an interest in everything connected to 19th century arts, crafts and design, from domestic houses to Arts & Crafts Furniture.
Lancashire is currently the focus of two Victorian Society campaigns – St John’s Church in Crawshawbooth, which has been closed following theft of lead from the roof; and the Victoria Hotel in Lytham St Annes, which is earmarked for demolition. Sadly, many of the open bookcases and fireplaces seen in salvage yards come from Victorian buildings demolished in the name of “progress”, but such destruction is nothing new. The society was formed as a direct result of the wholesale demolition of historic buildings taking place in the mid-20th century, but these themselves often replaced earlier structures, demolished or altered in the name of progress.
The exhibition includes fascinating glimpses into Victorian life, such as domestic architecture of the sort associated with Arts & Crafts Furniture, and grand country house interiors where Gillows antique cabinets would once have stood. If these inspire you, visit an antique dealer in Preston to see similar furnishings.
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