New “1000 Words” exhibition at Attingham Park brings hidden stories to life

It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words – and this summer, visitors to Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury, will be able to discover the hidden stories behind some of the paintings and photographs in the collection in a new exhibition exploring the storytelling power of images.

1,000 Words uses the power of images to reveal stories that shaped Attingham’s history, and has seen rooms in the Regency mansion transformed to reflect those stories and bring them to life. The team behind the exhibition took inspiration from modern culture where photos are taken and shared more than ever, selecting photos and paintings that, just like the instagrams and selfies of today, were taken to tell a story.

From the portrait that tells a love story that was nearly a tragedy, complete with dashing rescue and a happily ever after, to film of the 1937 coronation, some of Attingham’s most poignant stories are being brought back to life. A single powerful image was selected in or of a room that told a key story in the life of Attingham and the people who lived and worked here.
Each image is a stepping off point into a piece of history, and archive materials, costumes and more have been put on display to set the image in context and bring its story back to life. Highlights include the 8th Lord Berwick’s bedroom reconstructed in the Boudoir, the room where he wrote the letters and notes that left Attingham to the National Trust and ensured that it would be open for the public to enjoy for years to come.
The exhibition is already proving a big hit - many visitors have been admiring the displays and the team hope to see lots more in the coming weeks.

Helen Royall, Mansion Engagement & Conservation Manager, hopes that the exhibition will connect visitors to their own photographs. “In the age of social media, when photos are shared more regularly than ever, it sometimes feels like the powerful ability of a single image to convey so much can get taken for granted. This exhibition celebrates that amazing ability, and we hope it will inspire our visitors to go home and look at their photos and images and remember and revisit their history.”

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Pete White Pete White

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