See the light at Rugby Art Gallery

Pat Petrie.
Pat Petrie.

The Light of Knowledge once again radiates at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum following a successful conservation project.

The art deco panel was rescued from the original Rugby High School building in Clifton Road prior to its demolition nearly 25 year ago.

It depicts a female figure holding aloft a star and dates from 1927. It was made by sculptor and ceramicist Phoebe Stabler, and her silversmith husband Harold, who worked for Carter and Co, of Poole Pottery.

Nicknamed The Light of Knowledge, the panel was salvaged by the Rugby High School Old Girls’ Society, who set about raising more than £10,000 to have the panel removed from the building by experts and restored to its former glory.

The five year fundraising drive included car boot and cake sales, buffet suppers and a charity line-dancing event.

Once the target was reached and the panel was fully restored, the Old Girls’ Society donated The Light of Knowledge to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum in 2000 - where it took pride of place in the foyer.

But when cracks appeared in the panel in 2016 it was sent away for further conservation work, which has now been completed - meaning The Light of Knowledge has returned to the Art Gallery and Museum’s foyer.

Catherine Shanahan, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum’s collections officer, said she hoped a lot of people would enjoy the piece.

She said: “It’s rare to find a tiled art deco panel of this size and quality, which alone makes The Light of Knowledge a wonderful addition to the Museum.

“With the added significance of its historic links to one of Rugby’s leading schools, we’re delighted the panel has been successfully restored and returned to our foyer for visitors to admire.”

For more information about the art gallery, visit www.ragm.co.uk