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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery awarded 65,000 to create the Matthew Boulton Gallery at Soho House

Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery awarded 65,000 to create the Matthew Boulton Gallery at Soho House

24th January 2012

Matthew Boulton Gallery to be developed at Soho House in Birmingham with the support of the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.

Soho House was the home of Birmingham industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton (1728-1809).

The original house was designed by the architects James and Samuel Wyatt in the 1790s and turned into the fashionable neo-classical villa that can be seen today.

It was a favourite meeting place of the famous Lunar Society of Birmingham, whose members included James Watt, Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and Boulton himself.

Soho House opened as a museum in 1995. It contains outstanding examples of late 18th century furnishings together with products of Boulton's famous Soho Manufactory and Mint. The house is Grade II* listed.

The Soho House project will see:

  • The remodelling of the ground floor of the Visitor Centre to provide improved community, visitor and income generating facilities, primarily through the creation of a large multi-purpose space. This will function as a gallery, café and activity space and also as a wedding venue which will help contribute to the financial sustainability of the site
  • The return of the ‘Soho sphinxes’. These were originally located in Boulton’s gardens at Soho, and were acquired by Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery in 2001. The sphinxes will be housed in the ground floor gallery against a new glass wall which will provide a visual link with the garden and house behind.
  • The refurbishment of the first floor of the Soho House Visitor Centre to house a new permanent exhibition exploring the life and times of Matthew Boulton, featuring superb examples of the silver and ormolu wares made at his Soho Manufactory.
  • The refurbishment of two period rooms in Soho House.

The total cost of the project is £162,000 and is being funded by the Soho House Appeal (£70k), DCMS/Wolfson Museums & Galleries Fund (£65k) and Renaissance in the Regions (£27k).

Find out more about the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.


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