Historic artwork brought back to life in South Shields

Tutor Malcolm Grady, left, with members of the Workers' Educational Association at the exhibition.
Tutor Malcolm Grady, left, with members of the Workers' Educational Association at the exhibition.

Historic artwork which was hidden away in storage is being brought back to life in South Tyneside.

The late 19th and early 20th century local artwork will be on display at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, on Ocean Road, from today.

The paintings had been in storage.

The paintings had been in storage.

Many of the paintings have been hidden in museum and gallery lock-ups.

Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) tutor Malcolm Grady, who is based in South Shields, decided to bring the artwork out of storage so his students could uncover the stories behind them.

The association is a national charity which provides adult education courses in the community.

Mr Grady said: “It was exciting to view artwork that hadn’t been on display for so long.

The paintings had been in storage.

The paintings had been in storage.

“It was such a rewarding experience to work with students to identify key aspects of paintings reflecting the local landscape, riverscapes and seascapes, as well as portraits of local personalities of the time.”

The students’ discoveries are now on free display at the museum thanks to support from Tyne and Wear archives.

The paintings were selected by WEA students, who chose a mixture of portraits, domestic family scenes and street scenes.

Among those chosen was The Wayward Daughter, painted by Howard Helmick in 1878, and Comical Corner, painted by George Edward Horton in 1935.

The exhibition will be open for two months.

The exhibition will be open for two months.

The exhibition, called ‘Brushstrokes in Time: Local History revealed in Art’, will be open to the public at the museum for two months.

It was launched at a private event yesterday, during which a ribbon cutting ceremony took place.

Students chose their favourite painting to be displayed in the exhibition, and are now asking the public to decide which is their favourite.

The paintings had been in storage.

The paintings had been in storage.

The paintings had been in storage.

The paintings had been in storage.