A new exhibition at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum celebrates the city’s rich architectural heritage.
Picturesque Chester: The City in Art, which runs until February 22, celebrates Chester as England’s most picturesque city, a unique place of great antiquity and visual delight which attracts millions of visitors from across the world.
Chester’s most distinctive architectural feature is its world-famous Rows. This unique system of two-storey shopping streets originated in the Middle Ages and has delighted artists and visitors down the centuries.
Chester’s City Walls are among the most complete in England, with a handsome array of gateways and towers. The Roman and medieval walls form a two-mile circuit enclosing two thousand years of history.
The grandest buildings within the Walls are the majestic Gothic cathedral and the monumental Greek Revival castle. These are set within the context of an exceptional streetscape, with charming Tudor and Stuart half-timbered houses and the spectacular buildings of the Victorian and Edwardian black-and-white revival.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Economy, said: “Chester has inspired artists for centuries and the Grosvenor Museum has built a remarkably comprehensive collection through donations and purchases.
“Recently commissioned pictures have filled many gaps in the collection and show a refreshing diversity of contemporary artistic responses to the fabric of our city.”
Councillor Parker added: “Chester’s face is her fortune, and we are lucky to live in this most picturesque of cities. The exhibition charts Chester’s architectural development and celebrates her unique visual identity.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated book, ‘Picturesque Chester: The City in Art’, by Peter Boughton, the Museum’s Keeper of Art.
The programme of accompanying adult events includes:
• 3 December, Picturesque Chester: Exhibition Tour
• 7 January, ‘Picturesque Chester: The City in Art’ lecture
• 15 January & 5 February, Town Hall Tours
• 21 January, ‘Exploring Medieval Chester’ lecture
• 28 January, ‘Chester’s Role during the English Civil War’ lecture
• 4 February, ‘High and Broad Walls with many Towers and Bulwarks’ lecture
There is also a programme of family activities:
• 29 November, Making Snow Birds for the Winter Watch Parade
• 18 December, Lantern Making for the Saturnalia Parade
• 16 February, Hobby Horses
• 17 February, Ornate Clocks
• 18 February, Discover the Victorians
• 19 February, Black and White Bags
• 20 February, Pull Along Swans
The Grosvenor Museum is open Monday-Saturday 10.30am-5pm and Sunday 1-4pm, admission free.