Soho House Opens 30 June 2012
18th June 2012
Reopening of the Home of Matthew Boulton and Meeting Place of the Lunar Society
On Saturday 30 June 2012, to celebrate its reopening following a major redevelopment, Birmingham families are invited to ‘Making a Mint’, a free community open day at Soho House. Visitors of all ages can come and enjoy the elegant Georgian home of Matthew Boulton where there will be many free family friendly activities. Plus, visitors can explore the new exhibition ‘Matthew Boulton: Selling what all the world desires’ and discover the fascinating spaces now restored to their former glory following the extensive improvements at the historic venue.
Oliver Buckley, Curator Manager of Soho House said: “We are very excited about welcoming visitors to see the improvements at Soho House, and this free open day is a wonderful way to celebrate our re-launch. There’s never been a better time to come and visit, whether you’re on a pilgrimage to find out where the industrial revolution began, or just looking for a peaceful haven in a bustling city.”
Oliver continues: “Several rooms have been restored in the elegant Georgian home of Matthew Boulton, Birmingham’s famous industrialist and entrepreneur. During the refurbishment, two previously hidden fireplaces have been revealed, and the Soho Sphinxes, originally part of Boulton’s ambitious garden designs, have been returned to Soho House for the first time in almost 200 years.”
Throughout the day, there will be free craft activities and storytelling for children, garland making and Rangoli in the new visitor centre, and the chance to find out more about the Handsworth community with information about community groups in the area. You can discover more about the Soho mint and Matthew Boulton, the man on the new £50 note!
Matthew Boulton was a founding member of the pioneering Lunar Society, and Soho House was a favourite meeting place of some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inventors including James Watt, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgewood and Joseph Priestly. Around Boulton's table, inventors, entrepreneurs and thinkers came together to exchange ideas. The Lunar Society network placed Soho - and Birmingham - at the forefront of European thinking, and the developments in industry, arts and commerce that contributed to making England the first industrial nation in the world.
The visitor centre at the venue houses the new permanent exhibition ‘Matthew Boulton: Selling what all the world desires’, exploring the life and wide-ranging business interests of this local pioneer through stunning objects and engaging hands-on exhibits. Visitors can see a newly commissioned scale model of Soho, showing Boulton’s Manufactory, Mint and 200-acre estate. Another display showcases some of the finest silverware, Sheffield Plate and Ormolu of the Georgian period, all made in Soho.
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