A new flagship exhibition showcasing Coventry’s impressive heritage and architectural history has opened in the space above the new Metropolis restaurant in Earl Street. The exhibition has been curated by two CovSoc members, Sabine Coady Schäbitz (Associate Professor in Architecture at Coventry University) and Dr Mark Webb (Chair of Medieval Coventry).
The exhibition – Metropolis: Coventry’s medieval and modernist ambitions – is the result of a collaborative partnership including Coventry University, Historic Coventry Trust, Medieval Coventry and Coventry City of Culture Trust.
It explores the city’s distinct contribution to the history of the built environment in Britain; from major religious buildings containing some of the finest decorative art in the country, to structures born from the industrial revolution and post-war recovery. It also showcases Coventry as a City of Culture through its long history of pageantry, drama and artistry, stretching back hundreds of years.
The exhibition includes a vast range of archival and contemporary photography and illustration across five themes – movement, enterprise, culture, resilience and the future. It also features a replica St George and the Dragon statuette from the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, alongside a replica stained glass panel from the medieval cathedral.
The exhibition has been funded by Coventry University, Historic Coventry Trust and the Coventry City of Culture Trust through the Great Place scheme, which was supported by Arts Council England and National Heritage Lottery Fund.
The exhibition also features contributions from two Warwick University researchers. Professor Alan Chalmers and his students have recreated a walkthrough of the medieval Weaver’s House in Spon Street using 3-D virtual reality technology. PhD student Kat Pearson has been exploring the film archives to discover the story of the city’s architecture in film. The resulting film looks at Coventrians’ relationship with the built environment in the latter half of the 20th century.
The exhibition will also host the city’s Urban Room, which will produce events throughout the City of Culture year that will discuss the experience of urban living both now and in the future.
The Metropolis exhibition can be visited, free of charge, on the first floor of the new Metropolis Restaurant on the site of the former Drapers Bar / Browns on Earl Street between 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. daily.