Peacocks: The Pomp of Power

Saturday 17 Jun - Thu 3 May

A collection of artworks and objects from Nottingham City Museum and Art Galleries, covering lace, costume, textiles and natural history. Inspired by the peacocks of the Newstead grounds and ancestral home of Lord Byron.

A collection of artworks and objects from Nottingham City Museum and Art Galleries, covering lace, costume, textiles and natural history. Inspired by the peacocks of the Newstead grounds and ancestral home of Lord Byron.

Peacocks assume important roles and identities in countries and cultures, their vivid feathers featuring heavily on interior décor, garments, ceramics and accessories.

The Henry the Seventh’s lodging is also known as the Japanese Room. The upper walls fitted with panels depicting the beauty of the natural world date from seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Hand-painted on gold leaf depicting peacocks, cranes, ocean waves, pine trees and cherry blossom.

The peacock and its colours are synonymous with Indian identity and in 1963 declared ‘National Bird of India’. Removed from its homeland by traders, the bird eventually reached England, where it became a country house status symbol. A number of vibrant and detailed textile items, beautiful wooden plate with copper inlay and a ceremonial sword are on view.

In Russian folklore, peacocks symbolises spring and sun along with the attributes of warmth, light and power. In eleventh century, the bird featured on Russian embroidery and origins in Byzantium art in tandem with Christianity.

The exhibition is open alongside a display of Japanese Woodblock prints from the Nottingham City Museums and Galleries collections in the Charles II Room.