Exploring the rich and fascinating past of the historic counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. We uncover the history of the people, ideas and events that shaped the West Midlands and the world beyond.
HWM Shop

Explore the Wonderful World of Rowland Emett

Cropped Rowland Emett image‘Marvellous Machines: The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett’ open at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 10 May – 21 September 2014

Largest ever exhibition of work by the world-famed inventor, cartoonist and creator of contraptions featured in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’

This summer, curious minds of all ages are invited to step inside the whimsical and wonderful world of machines and cartoons by eccentric English inventor Rowland Emett, as Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery hosts the largest ever display of his extraordinary creations.

‘Marvellous Machines: The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett’ (open daily 10 May – 21 September 2014) will give visitors a unique opportunity to explore the legacy of this true British icon through his fantastical mechanical contraptions, alongside paintings and cartoons. The quirky moving machines, or automata as they are known, includes items from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, fantastical flying machines and a bicycle for cycling across the moon.

Andy Horn, Exhibitions Manager at Birmingham Museums Trust comments, “We are delighted to be hosting this amazing exhibition, and have no doubt visitors will be inspired and amazed by these incredible machines. We’re working closely with the Rowland Emett Society and are very proud to be displaying the work of this inspirational character, especially as he lived and worked in the city of Birmingham for some 30 years.”

Tim Griffiths, founder of the Rowland Emett Society said, “With this exhibition we aim to introduce Rowland Emett and his amazing machines to a new generation. He was a very familiar figure during the post-war decades but has been largely forgotten – until now. We will have twelve of the fifteen machines known to have survived in the UK on display alongside many of his distinctive original drawings.”

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery won’t be the only place in Birmingham to see the work of Rowland Emett. From May – September, Millennium Point will be the temporary home of Emett’s gigantic clock, usually on display at Victoria Shopping Centre, Nottingham

Alongside the exhibition of giant contraptions and artwork at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, there will be a programme of events and activities for visitors of all ages to explore. For further information visit www.bmag.org.uk.

‘Marvellous Machines: The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett’ is open daily from 10 May – 21 Sept 2014 (Monday – Thursday 10.00am – 5.00pm, Friday 10.30am – 5.00pm, Sat & Sunday 10.00am – 5pm)

Admission Prices
Adult £5.00
Child (age 3-15) £3.00
Concession £3.00
Family, 2 adults, 2 children £10.00
Unwaged £2.00

Credit: Rowland Emett © the artist’s estate / Town Centre Securities / Birmingham Museums Trust

Don't miss out on the latest news, events and films - sign up for our FREE newsletter »