A new exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery will tell the story of how the Victorians changed the shape of the town centre.
It provides an interesting comparison to the changing face of Wolverhampton city centre today.
The 1877 Wolverhampton Improvement Act resulted in major changes to the townscape with new roads laid out and existing buildings demolished.
This exhibition uses Wolverhampton Art Gallery's own collections to tell the story of the late 19th century transformation.
The redevelopment resulted in the creation of what we see in Lichfield Street now, as well as the disappearance of slum housing in the notorious ‘Caribee Island’ area of town.
Artist, John Fullwood, recorded a number of Wolverhampton buildings for posterity before they were lost, and included in the exhibition are three drawings by Fullwood that have never been displayed before.
The exhibition opens on Saturday, November 10 and runs until March 24, 2019. It can be seen during the gallery opening hours of Monday to Saturday (10.30am - 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am – 4pm).
Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said:
“Wolverhampton is an ever-changing city and this exhibition has come at a pivotal time as we are currently developing areas of the city again, such as the Interchange, Westside, Molineux and Canalside Quarters and Bilston Urban Village.
“Anyone interested in the city and surrounding area’s heritage and who are admirers of Victorian art will be able to delve into the past with this exhibition.”
To accompany the exhibition the history of John Fullwood’s role has been researched in detail by his surviving relatives Paul and David Fullwood, both proud Wulfrunians and co-authors of a biography entitled ‘These are my designs’, which identifies where Fullwood was born, raised and educated, and how he became an internationally recognised landscape artist of the Victorian and post WWI era.
David and Paul said:
“With the proposed changes to the city, visitors to the gallery will be able to compare views of late 19th century Wolverhampton with present day photographs of the same location.
“We hope visitors will enjoy the exhibition for an insight into the historic development of our ancient city.”
Visitors will be able to purchase the biography at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
For further information about talks and tours in the New Year relating to ‘Changing Wolverhampton - Drawings of John Fullwood’ visit www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk.
Issued by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Corporate Communications Team. For more information, please call 01902 555439.
Image caption: Fullwood, John. (1854 - 1901) Old House Lichfield Street from Remnants of Old Wolverhampton volume I,1880