Osnabruek BRIDFAS visits Personal Union Exhibitions in Hanover
The bright red, white and blue Union Jack shirt- tie sported by our coach driver hit the right note for our trip on 27th May to Hanover to see the exhibitions commemorating the 300 Years Personal Union. We managed to set off ( almost) on time with a gratifying group of 35 people, all eager to experience “When the Royals came from Hanover”.
We started our first guided tour at the Landesmuseum and discovered that the red, blue theme had been taken up for the covering on the walls. The blue side was adorned with exhibits referring to German events during the 123 years of the personal Union and the red walls those events concerning developments in Britain at that time. The dynastic influence of the Guelphs was, of course, of paramount interest and the output of contemporary artists provided the generally authentic details of the people, places and events of that period. Excellent exhibits from Lower Saxony, Germany, from Britain ( especially Queen Elizabeth’s collections ), and from international museums were on loan for this very special occasion. There was even one from Osnabrück, a portrait of the renowned citizen and later burgomaster of Osnabrück, Johann Karl Bertram Stueve.
It is not only the characteristics and foibles of the Royal Family that draw the attention. The period was one of great transformations and colonial expansion. We are given a vivid impression of the many significant advances in the various fields of science, architecture, medicine, art, music, literature and fashion, and always in the background, the humorous, sometimes biting illustrations of the satirists, such as Hogarth, which provide a running commentary on the weaknesses of mankind.
Our second tour was of the exhibition in the newly opened wings in Herrenhaus Palace, where the role of George I’s father as Kurfürst of Hanover and the passion of his mother, Sophie, for the design and development of the gardens are highlighted. Other exhibits reveal the normality of everyday court life in Hanover and the skills and accomplishments of the artisans and skilled craftsmanship associated with it. The tour was rounded off with a visit to the outstanding art collection in the Wallmoden wing.
Due to the fascinating and thereby extended tour by the German guide and also the miserable weather, very few of us ventured into the Herrenhausen Gardens. That pleasure remains for another day as does a visit to the other exhibitions in Hanover, Celle and the Marienburg. I am quite sure that they, too, are undoubtedly worth a visit.