Dudley Museum and Art Gallery

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Dudley Museum and Art Gallery
Dudley Barometer at museum.JPG
Established 1883
Dissolved 2016
Location Dudley, West Midlands
Type Natural history and local interest
Website http://www.dudley.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums--galleries/dudley-museum--art-gallery

Dudley Museum and Art Gallery was a public museum and art gallery located in the town centre of Dudley in the West Midlands, England. It was opened in 1883, situated within buildings on St James's Road, and remained at that site until closure in 2016.[1]

History[edit]

The building was originally planned as a Free Library and School of Art by Dudley Borough Council. The foundation stone was laid on 3 July 1883 by Earl Beauchamp, the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire.[2] Although an art gallery was included in the design, this did not open for more than five years. The gallery was opened to the public on 1 August 1888 by Benjamin Hingley, the then Mayor of Dudley.[3]

The Brooke Robinson collection, bequeathed to the town by the former MP and coroner for Dudley, Brooke Robinson, and originally kept in a purpose built room in the nearby civic buildings, was moved to the museum in 1979.[4]

Permanent exhibitions[edit]

Geology[edit]

The geology exhibits were the 'most important collection' at the museum and were drawn from a collection of approximately 15,000 fossils from the local area including nearby Wren's Nest hill and Wren's Nest. The two geology exhibits are 'Dudley Unearthed' and 'Fantastic Fossils'.[5]

The 'Dudley Unearthed' area contained a set of interpretative displays that related the geology of the area to the history of the industrial revolution, with regularly changing features on the geology of both the local area and the rest of the world, including information on Dudley Volcano.[6] Fossils formed by the eruption of the volcano around 315 million years ago are also on display.[7]

'Fantastic Fossils' showcased Silurian and Carboniferous fossils, with examples of fossilised corals and shellfish, Crinoids, Gastropods, Trilobites, Cephalopods, worm tubes and fossilised specimens from the forest canopy and ground covering and primitive plants.[8]

Return of the Dinosaurs[edit]

'Return of the Dinosaurs' opened in 2007 and was distinguished by several large models of various species of dinosaurs, including Baryonyx and one of the earliest dinosaurs, Thecodontosaurus.[9]

The Brooke Robinson Museum[edit]

In 1911, local MP Brooke Robinson bequeathed his collection of paintings, furniture, ceramics, enamels and medals to Dudley. The objects were on display in a dedicated room in the museum which contained a miscellaneous collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century British and European paintings, furniture and ceramics, together with oriental ceramics, Japanese netsuke and inro, Bilston enamels, commemorative medals, Greek, Roman and Egyptian pottery and personal memorabilia relating to Brooke Robinson and his two wives.[10]

Duncan Edwards and local heroes[edit]

The room featured a great deal of memorabilia connected to local football legend and Busby Babe Duncan Edwards, who was born in the town in 1936, and won two Football League title medals with Manchester United and was capped 18 times by the England national football team until he died from injuries sustained in the Munich air disaster in February 1958, when still only 21. There were plans to introduce other local sporting heroes.[11]

Fine art collection[edit]

The museum also held a large collection of fine art, including oil paintings, watercolours, engravings and prints, which were rotated in and out of display. Among these were works by local artist Percy Shakespeare.[12]

Closure and movement of collection[edit]

The Museum and Art Gallery was closed by its owner Dudley Council on 22 December 2016 in order to save money.[1] Some of the museum's collection has been moved to a new home at the Dudley Archives building on Tipton Road, Dudley, where they are displayed under the title: "Dudley Museum at the Archives".[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dudley Museum shuts as council cuts bite « Express & Star". www.expressandstar.com. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  2. ^ "Dudley Free Library and School of Art". Worcester Journal. 7 July 1883. Retrieved 3 September 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ Glews, Peter (2013). Dudley Through Time. Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445627915.
  4. ^ "Dudley MBC — Geological Collections". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  5. ^ "Dudley MBC — Dudley Unearthed". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  6. ^ "Dudley MBC — Barrow Hill Nature Reserve". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Dudley MBC — Fantastic Fossils". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Dudley MBC — Return of the Dinosaurs". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  9. ^ "Dudley MBC — Brooke Robinson Collection". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 24 November 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  10. ^ "Dudley MBC — Duncan Edwards and Local Sporting Heroes". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 29 May 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  11. ^ "Dudley MBC — Fine Art Collections". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  12. ^ "New home for Dudley Museum opens". Express & Star. Express & Star. 30 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°30′42″N 2°05′10″W / 52.511716°N 2.086126°W / 52.511716; -2.086126