Image courtesy of Colin Davidson
The exhibition, which takes over the whole of the museum, shows how this part of the country has shaped our present and is inspiring our future.
Featuring 250 high-profile loans from over 100 leading museums, galleries and private collections, the exhibition includes astronaut Helen Sharman’s space suit, the last piano played by John Lennon, original models of Postman Pat, and John Hancock’s Struggle with the Quarry, which was part of the original Great Exhibition in 1851.
The show takes its inspiration from the Duchess of Newcastle’s 1666 novel The Blazing World, thought to be one of the earliest works of science fiction. Visitors will find a 1668 edition of the book at their starting point, as well as other items they might need for an adventure, including the 11th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver and a fan showing a map of the North from 1778.
The exhibition journeys through a number of themed interventions, including To the Moon and Back, Buried Treasures, Human Machine Motion and This Kingdom Called Home, an emporium dedicated to Northern achievements that have influenced the way we live.