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James Murray and the Art School

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NeilsYard
Coventry
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1 of 6  Mon 4th Feb 2019 11:44pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2150

Big grin All - I've been following an interesting story over the past year or so which involves a friend of mine, Paul Michael Kennelly - some may recall Paul as he ran the Time Machine Model shops in Coventry many years ago. Paul and I are avid James Murray enthusiasts - Murray as many of you know was responsible for designing most of Victorian Coventry and had an amazing but short life working under EW Pugin. We've detailed his work on here before. Incredibly he died aged only 32 and is buried in LRC - we have many photos on the forum of his grave. Anyway a lot of Paul's interest stemmed from being a student at Murray's Art School in Ford Street shown here. As we all know it was sadly demolished, along with Trinity School, by George Hilditch. The lovely school building was also adorned with five lovely stone friezes - all the work of sculptor Richard Lockwood Boulton (a favourite of Pugin). During the demolition Hilditch offered the five sculptures to the Herbert for display and they chose to just store them. The result was that George Hilditch retained one (the artist). Lost for many years, thanks to Paul and Alan Denyer (the chap who ran the recent CET building exhibitions), it's been found sat in a Welsh garden! We're not entirely sure how it got there but Paul and Alan have been trying to work with the Herbert to recover the artwork and return it 'home'. With the then owner in agreement however, sadly the Herbert sat with it for over 6 months doing nothing and now the house and garden have been sold, with the 'new' owner wanting to now hold on to it Sad This could have been the last chance for it as apparently the stone is now starting to crack up. Here's Paul with it and wearing his actual old Art School scarf! Here's hoping for any further developments. I'll be trying to 'hassle' the Herbert into action but don't hold your breath - but it's a great discovery all the same. Oh, and Paul also found this. Thanks to the Coventry Society, the only known photo of James Murray! Big grin I'm off to LRC in a couple of weeks to salute him! Mod's note: The buildings themselves have their own thread here
Local History and Heritage - James Murray and the Art School
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 6  Tue 5th Feb 2019 7:58am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5337

Great finds, Neil Cheers - but sad indictment on the Herbert and its inactivity Sad Thanks for posting the story and the images Thumbs up
Local History and Heritage - James Murray and the Art School
argon
new milton
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3 of 6  Tue 5th Feb 2019 1:04pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:215

I wonder what the memorial to the architects of the present day Coventry will be.
Local History and Heritage - James Murray and the Art School
Robthu
Coventry
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4 of 6  Tue 5th Feb 2019 4:00pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2012  Total posts:102

A Crackerjack Cabbage (younger members, look it up). Derek.
Local History and Heritage - James Murray and the Art School
Garlands Joke Shop
Coventry
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5 of 6  Tue 5th Feb 2019 5:35pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:221

Great bit of detective work by you and your comrades Thumbs up It's a shame that it's unlikely to come back to Coventry, but at least you now know where it is. The sculpting style appears to be quite reminiscent of the niches on James Murray's grave monument - was Mr Pugin responsible for this?
Local History and Heritage - James Murray and the Art School
NeilsYard
Coventry
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Thread starter
6 of 6  Tue 5th Feb 2019 7:42pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2150

Yes, I had noticed that, Garlands, and suspect Pugin commissioned Boulton to work on that as well.
Local History and Heritage - James Murray and the Art School

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