Preserve ‘window’ into Sheffield’s industrial past

Curator  Hannah Brignell with a picture at Graves Gallery which has been revealed but in need of restoring which will cost  �3,000. It shows Bridgehouses, Sheffield
Curator Hannah Brignell with a picture at Graves Gallery which has been revealed but in need of restoring which will cost �3,000. It shows Bridgehouses, Sheffield
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A conservation appeal has been launched to return a striking painting of Sheffield in the industrial age back to its former glory.

Museums Sheffield hopes to raise £3,000 to restore Bridge and White Rails at Bridgehouses.

The painting was created around 1840 by an unknown artist and shows Sheffield residents going about their lives on the bridge across the River Don, with a background of redbrick buildings and billowing chimneys.

It is suffering from cracks and scratches in the paint and damage to the frame, while its true colours are hidden by yellowing varnish which has discoloured over many years.

Hannah Brignell, curator of visual art at Museums Sheffield, said at the appeal’s launch: “Conservation can breathe new life into a painting as well as protecting it for years to come.

“But the process is painstaking and expensive.

“Bridge and White Rails at Bridgehouses is such a wonderful window into Sheffield’s past we would love to see it receive the specialist care it deserves.”

If conserved, the painting would go on show at Weston Park at the end of the year as part of the museum’s Sheffield Life & Times displays.

Visitors will also first have the opportunity to see the picture, which has been selected for the conservation appeal by the Friends of Museums Sheffield group, in its untreated condition at the Graves Gallery until the end of August.