To coincide with the beatification Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is playing host to an exhibition of ”rarely seen items from the life of Cardinal John Henry Newman”. Amongst the exhibits are many not generally on public view. Most items are loaned from Birmingham Oratory’s own collection and were in Newman's rooms at the Oratory. Below are photographs of the exhibits.
Cardinal's robes, hat and shoes @ 1879. Newman reputedly complained that it was very expensive to be fitted out as a cardinal!
Pectoral cross and chain, silver gilt with garnets, 19th Century.
Crozier, 1860. Silver inset with semi precious stones and micro mosaic.
Jewelled mitre, 1879, presented to Newman when he became a cardinal. Silk and gold thread inset with semi precious stones. I can't even begin to tell you how incredible the workmanship is, but the photographs really don't do this justice!
Oil portrait on canvas of Newman by William Thomas Roden, 1879. This portrait was commissioned to celebrate his appointment as a Cardinal although Roden chose to depict him as an ordinary priest.
Shell engraved with the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 19th Century.
Metal pot with used and sharpened quill pens from Newman's study at the Birmingham Oratory. Also a letter from Newman to a printer dated 1840 concerning the production costs.
Statuette bust of St Phillip Neri, founder of the Congregation of the Oratory. Ivory turned on wooden base.
Portrait of 'The Virgin in Glory' @ 1860. Oil paint on ivory in silver mount.
Portrait bust of Newman by Richard Westmacott, 1841. The sculptor was at school with Newman in Ealing.
The number of items included in the exhibition was less than I was expecting but it does offer a unique opportunity to view some beautiful relics one is not normally able to see.
For those that would like to visit, the exhibition runs until 6th January 2011, entry is free of charge and you can find more information about the venue here.
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