Preston’s famous grade-listed building of culture and art celebrates an impressive milestone birthday.Advertisement
The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library reaches its 125th anniversary today (Friday 26 October).
Opening in the late 19th century, its Victorian founder, Edmund Harris, had a vision to create a free place that focused on culture, arts and learning in the heart of Preston.
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Inscribed on the outside of the building, the founder stated his vision: “The mental riches you may here acquire abide with you always.”
Since then, the Harris has become a focal point of culture, art and history in the city, providing a range of exhibitions and events, fine art such as paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints, costume, and contemporary art including ceramics and glass, digital media and textiles.
The history of Preston and beyond can be found inside, along with magnificent archaeology.
To mark the special occasion, the Harris had some special ‘125’ balloons gathered inside the main entrance of the iconic landmark to signify the 125-year milestone.
Historical photographs were also displayed on The Harris’ social media pages.
Hip Hip Hooray, we're 125 years old today! 🎉🏛️ Here is a photo showing the staff team in 1959. The gentleman in the middle is Sydney Pavière, the Curator responsible for some of the most notable pieces in our collection. #TheHarris #Preston pic.twitter.com/x3YAkPlfBI
— The Harris (@HarrisPreston) October 26, 2018
Councillor for the Riversway ward and Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure at Preston City Council, Cllr Peter Kelly, said: “She’s the grand old lady of Preston.
“Providing exposure to literature and granting access to knowledge, she’s an iconic building that stands in the heart of Preston.
“It’s massively important that Prestonians continue to visit the Harris. With the Reimaginng Project, we are adapting to the changes of today. The Harris is full of of digital technology, history, war memorials and more. It’s really important in getting people inspired.”
Cllr Peter Kelly stated the importance of children having exposure to art and culture.
He said: “Children especially, who regularly use iPads and tablets, get exposed to the culture and art inside. We had 500 kids visit with their parents the other day for clay-making, and instead of going home they went upstairs and looked around The Harris. When they visited, you could see their faces light up, and for some it may be their first time being introduced to art.
“The Harris provides an opportunity for local artists to have their work displayed in an art gallery.
“We need to celebrate the fact that she has been there through two World Wars and has remained solid throughout. Her inscription on the side has always remained the premise of The Harris.”
Have you visited The Harris recently? What do you think about its milestone birthday? Let us know in the comments below