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Beacon displays festive treasures

Early Christmas cards from the exhibition

[T]HE season for writing Christmas cards will soon be upon us, and The Beacon Museum has just the thing to inspire festive scribblings this Christmas.

The Little Works of Art: 100 Years of Greetings Cards exhibition arrives at the museum on November 11.

A charming exhibition exploring the history of greeting cards and postcards, it includes around 270 cards, dating from the 1850s to the 1950s. Christmas, New Year and Easter cards as well as birthday and Valentine cards are all featured.

The Beacon Museum’s Business Development Manager, Alan Irwin, said: “The cards in this exhibition are especially significant – they not only depict bygone periods, but also demonstrate a wide range of artistic styles and methods, some of which have stood the test of time and others that have been lost. There are also cards that present festivals very differently to the way they are nowadays.”

The first commercial Christmas card was produced in 1843 and depicted a cosy scene of a family sharing a festive drink. While much else about Christmas has changed, Christmas cards are still a mainstay of our seasonal traditions. Greetings cards are now a lucrative market in the UK, with nearly 1 billion festive cards sold in the UK in 2016.

From Saturday December 2, the exhibition will be accompanied by the ever-popular Search For Santa Claus trail, which concludes with Santa’s workshop. Children can craft their own Christmas treats and design their own cards. Find out more on the Beacon Museum website at

Little Works of Art: 100 Years of Greetings Cards will be on display from November 11 until January 7 2018. Copeland Pass holders can visit the exhibition for free. Until December 3, the Gladiators  exhibition is running, and is not included with Copeland Pass free entry.

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