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.
You can follow news from this museum through the RSS 2.0 feed.