Secrets of a Lancashire landmark

Scottish artist Jenny Steele presents a solo exhibition at The Midland Hotel, in Morecambe, celebrating the art deco landmark.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th September 2017, 2:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 10:37 am
Architectural drawing of Morecambe's Midland Hotel by Oliver Hill
Architectural drawing of Morecambe's Midland Hotel by Oliver Hill

This Building for Hope is a new exhibition of artwork and ‘interventions’ within the hotel interior and exterior and on Morecambe promenade.

Seaside Moderne architecture is a style of modernist architecture which emerged during the 1930s-mid war leisure boom.

Palaces of fun, such as the Blackpool Casino, The Rothesay Pavilion in the Isle of Bute and The Midland were built to offer glamorous and stylish places to relax beside the sea for the everyday workers in the UK who were given annual holidays for the first time.

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Artist Jenny Steele has been researching the history of The Midland Hotel, in Morecambe

Steele’s work for the exhibition This Building for Hope focus in on the decorative motifs and historical narratives, highlighting the optimistic intention of the designs of these buildings.

This Building for Hope will include new prints on paper and textiles, sculptures, architectural interventions, and site specific printed textile work on the promenade; which also reflect on Steele’s recent transatlantic research in Miami, into 1930s coastal architecture.

Miami South Beach has the largest concentrated area of preserved mid war modernist seafront architecture in the world.

Manchester-based Steele’s long-running research project, Looking Back Moving Forward into Seaside Moderne architecture began in north west England and Scotland, with numerous site visits and meetings with experts, including historians, academics, and artists.

Artist Jenny Steele has been researching the history of The Midland Hotel, in Morecambe

A major part of her research has focused on the Grade II* listed Midland.

Steele has spent time studying documents at the Royal Institute of British Architects which revealed letters between the architect Oliver Hill and the financial controller at the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, which commissioned the hotel.

The artist’s research also involved visits to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum Archive and the renowned Textile and Wallpaper Collections at the Whitworth, in Manchester, where she investigated original drawings and designs for the hotel by some of the most renowned artists of the period, including Eric Ravilious, Marion Dorn and Eric Gill.

An afternoon symposium of presentations and discussion exploring 1930s Seaside Moderne architecture preceded by a walking tour of The Midland Hotel and followed by afternoon tea in the Sun Terrace takes place on October 8.

The event starts at 12pm and runs to 3pm with tickets £21. For information visit: