Places in Time: The Art of Kenneth Steel at Weston Park Museum

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
Places in Time: The Art of Kenneth Steel
Kenneth Steel, Sheffield Castle, 1964. Image © The Co-op

Places in Time: The Art of Kenneth Steel at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield 17 December 2021 — 2 May 2022 Entrance is free

Sheffield’s Weston Park Museum is celebrating local artist Kenneth Steel, whose name is perhaps not known to many unlike his artistic output. The Places in Time: The Art of Kenneth Steel exhibition features over 100 drawings, paintings, prints, posters and more. Known for mid-century travel posters and depictions of architectural landmarks, Steel’s work has an instantly recognisable style, its realism mixed with the warmth of fondly-remembered places visited on a late summer holiday.

Despite being known for railway posters, these pieces are not futuristic imaginings of a machine and a metropolis, but rather little celebrations of the places close to Steel’s heart. The paintings are charming, flooded with light and reflecting the author’s attention to detail. Lending themselves to commercial use, Steel’s work was often utilised as posters, particularly for posters and carriage prints.

Born in 1906 in Sheffield, Kenneth’s art training began at the very young age of 12, at the Sheffield College of Art after which he became an engraver. He then continued to perfect his painting technique under the watchful eye of landscape artist Stanley Royle and became the youngest artist to be elected to Royal Society of British Artists in 1936. Although Steel had a successful career as an artist, his personal life was tainted with tragedy. He lost both his mother Anne, and his pregnant wife Olive during the War. The Sheffield Blitz bombing also destroyed a lot of his work, including etching plates.

Post-war, however, he specialised as a commercial artist and went on to write a number of books on artistic techniques. He produced travel posters for the British Railways and architectural drawings including the very first image of Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Described by the Sheffield Telegraph as the “the biggest artistic find” of the year 1932, Steel was a highly skilled printmaker yet his output was diverse in technique and approach, ranging from the clean lines appropriate for industrial subjects, to planes of bold colour in his later, experimental landscape works. Whether or not you are familiar with Steel’s work, Places in Time: The Art of Kenneth Steel is a fantastic opportunity to become closely acquainted with the diverse oeuvre of an accomplished, local artist.

Places in Time: The Art of Kenneth Steel at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield 17 December 2021 — 2 May 2022 Entrance is free

What's on at Weston Park Museum

Where to go near Places in Time: The Art of Kenneth Steel at Weston Park Museum

Bar stock image
Sheffield
Bar or Pub
Two Sheds

Have a pint with your puppy this evening! Two Sheds is a dog friendly micro-pub in Sheffield serving craft beers and real ales.

Drama Studio Sheffield
Sheffield
Theatre
Drama Studio Sheffield

Part of The University of Sheffield, the 19th century Baptist Church was converted into a theatre in 1970 and is a unique, inspiring and atmospheric space.

Sheffield
Cinema
Film Unit

Film Unit is a professional quality, independent cinema located deep within the University of Sheffield Students’ Union which has been entertaining the people of Sheffield for over 65 years.

Music Venues in Sheffield.
Sheffield
Music venue
The Harley

You’ll always find a warm welcome at The Harley, a venue that introduced audiences to soon-to-be-huge acts such as Arctic Monkeys and The xx. This 200-capacity venue shut down in…

University of Sheffield
Sheffield
University
Centre for Poetry and Poetics
at University of Sheffield

The Centre for Poetry and Poetics (CPP) brings together those fascinated by poetry both in and out of Sheffield, including academics, poets, publishers, students and readers. It comprises faculty from the University of Sheffield, alongside Sheffield-based poets, presses and other affiliates.

Food and drink in Sheffield
Kelham Island
Restaurant
Cutlery Works

With a range of 12 hand-selected food vendors, all under one roof, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s palate at the Cutlery Works, Sheffield.

What's on: Exhibitions

Culture Guides