A new exhibition coming to Wolverhampton Art Gallery uses the story of the Mayor of Wolverhampton’s personal family history to reflect on the wider history of the City of Wolverhampton and its people.

Wolverhampton and Me will run from Saturday 11 January until Sunday 5 April, 2020, the exhibition will enable visitors to explore their own roots using an interactive world map and family history resources available through the City Archives. 

At the heart of the exhibition a specially designed family tree – a tale of people and places – is used as a vehicle for exploring social and political changes and the ways these impact on individuals’ lives. This will be presented with items relating to the Mayor’s family members, as well as artworks on the theme of family from Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s collection. 

Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Claire Darke, said: “Ancestry is a popular topic at the moment and we have really enjoyed looking into my family history. Visitors will be inspired through the items in this exhibition to go and explore their own family links and their lineages.”

Wolverhampton and Me has been cocurated by the Mayor of Wolverhampton and her Consort, Dr Paul Darke. The display will feature numerous items on loan from Wolverhampton’s ‘first citizen’, including an Emmy Award belonging to a relative. 

The exhibition is free to see during gallery opening hours, Monday to Saturday (10.30am to 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am to 4pm). 

Visitors to the Gallery will also be able to see the display Meera Syal: COMING HOME, which presents a portrait of Wolverhampton born author, actor and comedian, Meera Syal, by photographer Jason Bell. It is on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a number of events where visitors will be able to learn more about researching their family histories, discuss the ideas behind the exhibition and meet the Mayor of Wolverhampton and Consort to hear their family histories. 

Events include:

Friday 31 January at 2pm - Stories from my Family: a presentation by Dr Paul Darke and Councillor Claire Darke, Mayor of Wolverhampton at the Civic Centre. Tickets are free but please register via Eventbrite.

Saturday 29 February, 11am to 12pm - Q&A with Dr Paul Darke and Councillor Claire Darke, Mayor of Wolverhampton, at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Friday 21 March, 10am to 4pm - Family Tree Day at Civic Centre. £12 plus booking fee (all ticket proceeds go towards the Mayor’s charities) – tickets available via Eventbrite.