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New exhibition at Enginuity celebrates the craftsmanship of the Victorian trade catalogue engraver (5th August 2013)

The Devil’s in the Detail, a new exhibition opening at the Enginuity design and technology centre near Ironbridge, Shropshire from 1st October, will celebrate the steady hand and eagle eye of the Victorian trade catalogue engraver. It will feature large scale prints and audio description to help make the exhibition accessible to visitors who are blind or partially sighted.

From the late medieval period right up until the 20th century, images were painstakingly engraved and then reproduced on the printing press. Even after the invention of photography the skill of the engraver remained very much in demand and yet engravers seldom gained public recognition for their skills. Particularly overlooked were those who engraved for trade catalogues which were rendered with the same respect and accuracy as any piece of fine art. This new exhibition aims to redress this and champions the great skill of the Victorian trade catalogue engravers.

Developed with the support of the RNIB, the exhibition will feature large scale reproductions of the engravings. These magnified reproductions will help make the exhibition accessible to visitors who may be partially-sighted and will clearly demonstrate the extent of the engravers’ skill. It is only when the prints are viewed at this size that you can truly see ‘the devil’s in the detail’. The big images will be displayed alongside original sized prints, produced on the Museum’s own Victorian printing press.

Tactile material, including reproduction printing blocks will be available for handling and visitors who are blind or partially sighted will be able to hear about the displays by means of ‘Pen Friends’. These devices, kindly donated by the RNIB, will use creative audio description to bring the engravings and objects to life.

This exhibition draws on the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s collection of rare nineteenth-century wood engravings from the catalogues of the Coalbrookdale Company and S Corbett and Sons, a firm of agricultural engineers based in Wellington, Shropshire.

The Devil’s in the Detail will run from 1st October 2013 until 30th April 2014; entry is included in the Enginuity admission price.

Open 10am to 5pm Enginuity is one of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing entry into all ten museums, valid for twelve months and unlimited return visits, costs £24 per adult, £19 for the 60 plus, £15.25 for students and children and £65 for a family of two adults and all their children aged up to 18 years in full time education (terms and conditions apply); under 5s free. Activities and workshops vary day-to-day and some carry an extra charge in addition to the museum admission fee. Individual museum entry tickets are also available.

For further information, contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre on Tel: 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk. The Gorge is easily reached via the M6 and M54 motorways exiting at Telford (M54 junction 4 or 6).