Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition of artworks selected from its collection that date from the Golden Age leading up to the war.
Starting this Saturday, the event comes in a year which marks 100 years since the start of the First World War (1914-1918).
For over 40 years pre-1914 Europe had enjoyed prosperity, peace, discovery and invention that coined the phrase the Golden Age.
Although it was a time of great social change that saw the beginning of free education and an extension of the vote in England, there was also great poverty and huge disparity between the classes.
The Northampton exhibition entitled The Golden Age offers a glimpse into the mood of nation during that time.
Councillor Brandon Eldred, Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for community engagement, said: “The significance of WWI must be recognised. The war had a catastrophic and lasting effect on all the countries involved and it changed our world. Together the artworks provide a unique insight into the pre-war Golden Age. Viewing the artworks in hindsight with the knowledge of what followed makes the exhibition all the more poignant.”
Rarely seen artworks include The Bullring by Charles Conder (1868-1909), Great Expectations by Eric Forbes-Robertson (1865-1935), Kew Bridge by Walter Greaves (1846-1930), The Little Rogue by Edward Samuel Harper (1854-1941), The Pity of It by Harold Speed (1872-1957) and Sketch for a Meeting by Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956)
The Golden Age is one of a series of events organised by Northampton Borough Council to mark a year of remembrance and celebration for the town, as it commemorates the start of WWI which left an indelible imprint on the national consciousness and celebrates the 825th anniversary of the granting of its Charter.
The Golden Age is showing at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery from 11 January until 23 March. Opening times are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 2pm to 5pm. Admission is free.