Fear and Fascination
11 February – 13 May 2012
Free to all
Fear and Fascination explores the enthusiasm and trepidation which surrounded the dawn of Britain's railways, captured in the first known child's drawing of a train.
Among the art works on display in the exhibition are images commissioned by the London and Birmingham Railway and the Great Western Railway depicting the establishment of their railway lines across Britain. While some of the artwork sought to reassure members of the public and landowners with images of complete, safe and efficient lines in harmony with the surrounding landscape, others emphasised the huge mechanical and engineering feats that came with railway building.The new exhibition draws from the Museum's previously unseen collection of prints, cartoons, drawings and paintings to demonstrate the polarised public attitudes to the railways in the 1800s.