Sunderland: Then and Now exhibition charts changing face of Sunderland

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Bede Tower, Sunderland.
Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Bede Tower, Sunderland.
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A fascinating artistic glimpse into the development of Sunderland has gone on show.

‘Sunderland: Then and Now’ is a display of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints from the city’s collection illustrating how the city has developed over the centuries.

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Bede Tower, Sunderland.

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Bede Tower, Sunderland.

The exhibition, which runs at the City Museum and Winter Gardens until Sunday, April 3, shows views across Sunderland from the 1700s to the present day.

Coun John Kelly, the city council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture said: “This is a fascinating exhibition and helps to show the tremendous amount of change the city has gone through over the last few hundred years.

“There was a thriving school of painters in the North East from the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s and Sunderland was an important centre of this artistic activity.

Artists recorded important civic events in the city, as well as everyday scenes of working and domestic life.

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Girdle Cake Cottage on the Wear.

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Girdle Cake Cottage on the Wear.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in local history, social history, art or photography to go along and appreciate the skill, artistry and historical significance of the exhibits on display.”

The town’s increased prosperity created a market for the work of local painters.

The theatres of Sunderland such as The Theatre Royal, Lyceum Theatre and The Avenue Theatre were another factor in attracting artists to the town as they were needed to paint stage scenery.

Sunderland University photography students worked with museum staff to identify the locations shown in the art works in order to photograph them as they are today.

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Girdle Cake Cottage on the Wear.

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Girdle Cake Cottage on the Wear.

Senior Lecturer in Photography Dr Carol McKay said: “It has been great to work with the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. With this exhibition we have brought together the historic paintings and prints with contemporary photographs. This combination is a great way of illustrating changes in the landscape, buildings and way of life of the people of Sunderland.”

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Girdle Cake Cottage on the Wear.

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Girdle Cake Cottage on the Wear.

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Sunderland North Dock

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Sunderland North Dock

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Sunderland North Dock

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Sunderland North Dock

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Aluminium Bridge

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Aluminium Bridge

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Aluminium Bridge

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Aluminium Bridge

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Tunstall Road

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Tunstall Road

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Tunstall Road

Sunderland Then and Now exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Tunstall Road