Queen Victoria and her relationship with Hull showcased at new exhibition

Queen Victoria’s own Jewel-Cabinet will visit the city as part of a new exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery.

The exhibition is part of an ongoing partnership with Royal Collection Trust, which was generously lent by the late her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Previously commissioned for 2020 before the pandemic, this revived exhibition will take pride of place throughout autumn and winter at Ferens.

The new exhibition will celebrate Queen Victoria’s relationship with Hull, including her spectacular visit in 1854. It will illustrate Victorian life and Victorian Hull, and the long-lasting relationship the throne has had with the city.

Visitors will get to see King Edward I’s Royal Charter and Queen Victoria’s Letters Patent, on loan from Hull History Centre archives. It will also showcase artworks from across the Ferens permanent collection, with Victorian costume, Queen Victoria’s throne and local artefacts from Hull Museum and Guildhall collections.

Queen Victoria is one of the most recognisable British monarchs and following Queen Victoria’s visit to the city, the monarch became one of Hull’s most recognisable figures. The Queen’s Gardens, Victoria Dock and Queen Victoria’s Square are all local landmarks that bear her name. There’s also the statue of her that stands in the centre of the square itself.

Ferens’ latest exhibition will give a new generation the opportunity to recognise Queen Victoria’s influence on the city and admire one of her most treasured gifts.

Ludwig Grüner’s Jewel-Cabinet marks the fourth of five exceptional works of art from the Royal Collection to go on display at Ferens Art Gallery as part of the Masterpieces in Focus from the Royal Collection series.

The Jewel-Cabinet was an award-winning exhibit at the Great Exhibition of 1851, a celebration of Victorian advancement and cultural sophistication. It was a cherished gift from Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert. Since that time, it has been cared for in the Royal Collection and remains a significant royal artefact.

Gilded on every surface, the exquisite Jewel-Cabinet is laden with portraits and medallions bearing the many faces of Queen Victoria’s family. It was this same family that later visited Hull in 1854.

Councillor Alison Collinson, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd, said: “It is fantastic that the gallery continues its ambitious exhibitions programme in partnership with Royal Collection Trust. Visitors will have the opportunity to see some of Hull’s favourite Victorian artworks alongside this masterpiece.”

Kathryn Jones, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, Royal Collection Trust, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Ferens Art Gallery with the loan of Queen Victoria’s Jewel-Cabinet. This is the fourth masterpiece from the Royal Collection to go on display in Hull since our collaboration began in 2017. The Jewel-Cabinet encapsulates the family life of Queen Victoria but was always intended to be widely seen at the Great Exhibition of 1851. We hope that as many people as possible will once again enjoy the opportunity to view this spectacular object up close.”

There are family activities throughout the school holidays and a programme of adult talks and workshops to complement the exhibition. To find out more about these events visit www.hcandl.co.uk/ferens or book tickets on Eventbrite at www.hullmuseums.eventbrite.com

This free exhibition will run from Monday 21 October 2022 to Sunday 19 February 2023.

The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 4.30pm, and Sunday, 11am – 4pm.

Twitter @HullFerens

Instagram @ferensartgallery

Facebook @FerensArtGallery