At the Heart of Progress: Coal, Iron and Steam Since 1750

The Bowes Museum

17 September 2011 – 15 January 2012

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry charge is £9)

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This exhibition explores the outstanding collection of art depicting the Industrial Revolution belonging to John P Eckblad, a management consultant who has worked extensively for petrochemical complexes on Teesside and in Northern Europe.

Eckblad has said of his collection: 'Having had the privilege of working in heavy industry ... [it] helps me recall the rhythms, colors, sounds, and feel of these places and times. The memories have become a constant reference. For over 35 years, I've continued to search for similary captivating views in life and art.'The progress of industries such as coal mining and the manufacture of iron and steel on show in the exhibition is mirrored in the evolution of the very print techniques used to depict them.Similarly, this collection allows the viewer to see the gradual shift in the perception of the subject, with the early emphasis on the documentation of events giving way in time to a greater sense of the subject being an acceptable topic for high concept interpretation.

Venue information

Opening times

Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm

Closed 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan

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