The Penny Lectures Series: Samuel Morely's Legacy

  • National Justice Museum High Pavement Nottingham, England, NG1 United Kingdom
Image credit: Hannah-Rose Murray

Image credit: Hannah-Rose Murray

Please join Matthew Chesney, Director of BACKLIT Art Gallery, for an artist's talk on his 3D-sculpture of nineteenth century philanthropist Samuel Morley, at the National Museum of Justice.

Morley, an English woollen manufacturer, was a political radical, MP, abolitionist, and campaigner for worker’s rights. He introduced pensions and allowances for his workforce, and donated money to Nottingham Castle, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Morley College in London. He even refused a peerage from the Queen as he did not want to be ‘seen as above the people.’

A statue of Morley was produced after his death in 1888 by James Harvard Thomas and placed outside the Theatre Royal. Unfortunately, the memorial was deemed a traffic obstruction in 1927 and broken in transit on its way to the Arboretum.

Matthew will discuss his statue of the famous manufacturer, Morley's life, and his legacy in Nottingham.

As founder and director of BACKLIT Matthew is responsible for BACKLIT’s visual arts exhibition programming and the creative ethos which underpins the gallery. He founded Backlit immediately after graduating from Nottingham Trent University’s BA Fine Art course in 2008. His work as an artist is based around performance, video and sculpture with experimental configurations of people and technologies. He has worked internationally on projects and residencies in Japan, Germany and UK.

This event forms part of the 'Penny Lecture Series' in collaboration with the Univeristy of Nottingham, Backlit Art Gallery, and the National Justice Museum. Matthew Chesney (Director of BACKLIT) and Hannah-Rose Murray (PhD student, in the University of Nottingham) have curated a small exhibition to formerly enslaved African American Josiah Henson and his friend and benefactor, manufacturer and philanthropist Samuel Morley. Josiah Henson and Samuel Morley’s connected story represents the campaign for freedom, equality and human rights in Nottingham, and beyond. In the late nineteenth century, Samuel Morley organised a series of 'Penny Lectures' for the working classses. Designed to increase their education, men and women would pay just a penny to attend a variety of lectures on numerous subjects from science to politics.

Register here: morleyslegacy.eventbrite.co.uk