Wainwright exhibition gets BMC backing

Posted by Carey Davies on 17/02/2015
The view from Catbells, one of the 214 'Wainwrights'

The BMC is sponsoring a new exhibition celebrating the life and work of one of the Lakeland’s most recognised walking writers and personalities, Alfred Wainwright.

‘A Love Letter to the Lakeland Fells’ will run at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery and feature archives, original artefacts, film and interactive exhibits to recreate Wainwright’s early life, reveal his unique drawing and mapping methods, and above all convey his passion for the unique atmosphere and scenery of the Lakes.

The museum is working with Kendal Archive Centre, who have recently acquired a large archive of his material via a Heritage Lottery Funded project. The exhibition will feature original drawings, letters and manuscripts from this collection.

Alfred Wainwright is best known for the seven volumes of his ‘Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells’, handbooks for hill walkers which describe 214 Lake District hills in lovingly crafted, hand-drawn detail.

A labour of love, Wainwright worked on his Lakeland guides at a rate of one page an evening for 11 years between 1955 and 1966. Their popularity has since elevated them beyond being mere guidebooks into iconic symbols of the Lake District.

Chairman of the Wainwright Society, Eric Robson, worked with Wainwright on a series of television programmes and says of Keswick’s exhibition: “Wainwright’s work changed the lives of tens of thousands of people. I’m delighted to see his achievements celebrated and I’m pleased to be associated with this fine new exhibition at Keswick.”

Features of the exhibition include being able to 'fly' around all the 214 Wainwrights in a mini cinema, an interactive Wainwright map and original wainwright drawings and possessions.

Visitors will also be asked to contribute their ‘Wainwright moment’ to the exhibition by recounting when they first became aware of the beauty of the Lakeland Fells. See Eric Robson’s and Julia Bradbury’s moments on the ‘Wainwright in Keswick’ Facebook page.

The BMC is providing funding to back the exhibition along with the Wainwright Society and several other organisations, but everyone has the chance to back the project via a crowd funding campaign on 'Indiegogo'.

There will be hundreds of advanced tickets available for donors and some more exciting perks including paragliding or gyroplane trips, photography tuition, expert guided walks or runs, all centred on Wainwright’s Lake District fells. Click here to make a donation.

‘A Love Letter to the Lakeland Fells’ will run at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery from 23 May to 8 November 2015.



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