There is an exhibition on from the 12th July to 2nd November 2019 at the Library of Birmingham in The Gallery on Level 3 about James Watt (1736-1819). He died 200 years ago so it is the bicentenary of his death. Organised by The Lunar Society. It is 10 years since a Matthew Boulton exhibition in the Gas Hall (he died in 1809).

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Watt in the World: The Life and Legacy of James Watt, 1736-1819





There is an exhibition on from the 12th July to 2nd November 2019 at the Library of Birmingham in The Gallery on Level 3 about James Watt (1736-1819). He died 200 years ago so it is the bicentenary of his death. Organised by The Lunar Society. It is 10 years since a Matthew Boulton exhibition in the Gas Hall (he died in 1809).


Watt in the World

Head up to Level 3 in the Library of Birmingham for Watt in the World: The Life and Legacy of James Watt, 1736-1819.

James Watt (1736-1819) Life and Legacy. The portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), 1812. Was commissioned by James Watt junior.

A quote by William Wordsworth on Watt: 'Considering both the magnitude and the universality of his genius .... perhaps the most extraordinary man this country has ever produced ...'

Marble bust of James Watt you would see as you walk into The Gallery. Perhaps the same one that is at Soho House? Behind the 1812 portrait of James Watt by Sir Thomas Lawrence

Model of the Soho Lap Engine by David Hulse. The Soho Lap Engine was built in 1788 to provide power to make coins at Matthew Boulton's Soho Manufactory.

The Soho Lap Engine - it was projected on the wall.

The Boulton & Watt Steam Engine. Here was some drawings of Boulton & Watts steam engine.

James Watt's Legacy. One of these pictures was a Japanese print. Also shows the statue of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch (which is still in storage until it eventually gets placed in the new look Centenary Square - when I don't know).

James Watt and Popular Culture. Various objects in the tables under the glass. Also History West Midlands: The Power to Change the World.

Portrait of Matthew Boulton by Sir William Beechey, 1810. Watt commissioned this version of Sir William Beechley's 1798 portrait of Boulton shortly after the death of his friend in 1809. It was originally displayed at Heathfield Hall, but after Watt's death James Watt junior moved it to Aston Hall where it was hung opposite Beechley's portrait of his father.

Portrait of James Watt by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), 1812. James Watt junior commissioned Sir Thomas Lawrence to paint this portrait of his father. Watt junior had never liked Sir William Beechley's early 1801 portrait, but in order not to offend Beechley he asked his friend George Lee to say that the new portrait was for him.

10 years ago was another exhibition but on Matthew Boulton at the Gas Hall. The exhibition was called: Matthew Boulton: Selling what all the world desires. It was in the Gas Hall at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery from the 30th May to 27th September 2009. Matthew Boulton was born in 1728 and died in 1809, so 2009 was the bicentenary of his death (like 2019 is the bicentenary of Watt's death). I took this photo outside in August 2009 near Edmund Street (and under the BM & AG link bridge) from Chamberlain Square.

I took a couple of photos of this exhibition in the Gas Hall before I was told off. Was photo restrictions back then. I went in July 2009. Bust of Matthew Boulton, probably like in the window at Soho House. Even when I went to Soho House in July 2010 I had to sign a photo disclaimer (I think they no longer do this since the Birmingham Museums Trust took over in 2012 from Birmingham City Council).

A model of a Boulton & Watt steam engine. I was told off by a guard when I took this photo and took no more photos in this exhibition.

This is a Treadle Lathe dating to 1762. With 18th to 19th century blacksmith's anvil, bellows and weights, top and bottom swage, and hand tools. Took this photo before the steam engine model, so before the guard said "no photos allowed".

Since 2012 the museums photo policy has been relaxed since Birmingham Museums took over. And I've had no problems in the Gas Hall at other exhibitions in the years since.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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