The first in a series of short blog posts where a member of the National Railway Museum briefly outlines their week.
I’m Ellen Tait and I work as an Interpretation Developer, putting together exhibitions for our new Art Gallery space.
Last Tuesday 40 members of the Art Fund came to visit our current exhibition. My colleague and I gave them a talk on our art collection, why we built an art gallery and some of the background to the current exhibition. They were surprised to learn how many artworks are in the collections and headed off excited afterwards to look at The Art of Advertising, an exhibition of posters by Royal Academy artists from the 1920s.
In the afternoon I got together for a lively debate with colleagues about the next exhibition for the art gallery. Fear and Fascination: Art from the Dawn of the Railways will explore artist’s reactions to the advent of railways in Britain and opens in February next year.
Surrounded by images of rare art works from the collection created between 1830 and 1870, we talked about how to create the feeling of seeing the massive earthworks it took to build the railways when you had never experienced anything on that scale before. We are sure visitors to the museum in February will get a real sense of the awe and anxiety the railway inspired in people through the artists’ viewpoints.