News Archive

23rd December 2009
The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam marks the 150th anniversary of Edward FitzGerald's publication of an interpretation of the poetical work attributed to an 11th century Persian mathematician, astronomer and philosopher. The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam is one of the best known poems in...
16th December 2009
Wild Thing: Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska, Gill examines how, over a period of 10 years from 1905 to 1915, the radical impact of the work of three young sculptors transformed British sculpture. This is the first time that works by Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Eric Gill...
9th December 2009
Frank Auerbach: London Building Sites 1952 - 1962 is the first exhibition to explore the extraordinary group of paintings of post war London building sites by one of Britain's greatest living artists. Fascinated by the rebuilding of London after the Second World War, Frank Auerbach...
2nd December 2009
Medieval And Renaissance Galleries have undergone a £30m redesign by architects MUMA, redisplaying more than 1,800 objects from the period AD300 to 1600. Ten galleries, occupying an entire wing of the building, will, for the first time, present the collections in continuous displays...
25th November 2009
Points Of View: Capturing The 19th Century In Photographs examines the development and influence of photography, from its invention in 1839 up to the growth of a popular amateur market in the early 20th century. The exhibition shows how photography has played a critical role ...
18th November 2009
The Staffordshire Hoard is an unparalleled treasure find, dating from Anglo-Saxon times, discovered in July this year by a metal detector in south Staffordshire, and subsequently excavated by Birmingham University Archaeology Unit. The Hoard comprises in excess 1,500 individual...
11th November 2009
Ed Ruscha: 50 Years Of Painting is the first major British retrospective to focus on the paintings of one of the most influential and pioneering American artists of the past half century. Spanning Ed Ruscha's entire career, the exhibition features 78 paintings, many on public...
4th November 2009
The Conversation Piece: Scenes Of Fashionable Life explores the tradition of Conversation Piece paintings - group portraits of high society sitters in strikingly informal situations or going about their daily lives. While a portrait primarily records the sitter's appearance, ...
28th October 2009
The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting And Sculpture 1600 - 1700 examines how the religious art of the Spanish Golden Age pursued a quest for realism with uncompromising zeal and genius, in which the arts of painting and sculpture were intricately linked and interdependent. During...
21st October 2009
Maharaja: The Splendour Of India's Royal Courts is the first exhibition to comprehensively explore the world of the maharajas or 'great kings' and their rich culture. It spans the period from the beginning of the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century, bringing together...
14th October 2009
The Ceramics Galleries have been given a 100th birthday refurbishment designed by Stanton Williams. These galleries tell the story of world ceramics, with 3,000 objects on display, from the earliest Chinese pottery to contemporary ceramic art. They now include an introductory...
7th October 2009
Pop Life: Art In A Material World takes Andy Warhol's notorious statement that "good business is the best art" as a starting point to examine the legacy of Pop Art. The exhibition looks at the various ways that artists since the 1980s have engaged with mass media and cultivated artistic...
30th September 2009
Turner And The Masters presents a selection of paintings by JMW Turner alongside related works by the old masters and contemporaries he strove to imitate, rival and surpass. The exhibition brings together over 100 pictures of historical significance, and provides an unprecedented...
23rd September 2009
Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler tells the story of Moctezuma II, the last elected ruler of the Aztecs. From 1502 until 1520 he presided over a large empire embracing much of what is today central Mexico. Moctezuma was regarded as a semi- divine figure by his subjects charged with the ...
16th September 2009
The Darwin Centre is a spectacular new £78m building, designed by C F Moller Architects of Denmark, the main feature of which is a 65 metre long 8 storey high Cocoon, whose surface is 3,500 square metres of hand finished polished plaster, contained within an atrium, plus 1,040...
9th September 2009
The Art Of Plant Evolution is where art meets science, in an exhibition of botanical paintings arranged in the latest evolutionary sequence, determined by recent DNA analysis. New genetic discoveries have changed the nomenclature and evolutionary sequence of many plants during...
2nd September 2009
Undercover - Life In Churchill's Bunker examines the living and working conditions in the Cabinet War Rooms during the Second World War. The exhibition draws on new personal accounts to build a picture of life under London streets, where events of the war were shaped, and world...
26th August 2009
Outbreak 1939 examines events surrounding Britain's declaration of war on Germany at 11.15am on 3rd September 1939, and looks at how the country mobilised. Seventy years after the announcement that signified the start of the Second World War and changed the lives of millions, ...
19th August 2009
Waste Not Want Not revisits earlier hard times, during the Second World War, when Britain had to economise on raw materials, save on energy and salvage scarce commodities, encouraged by a powerful propaganda machine. Sound familiar? Whether the message was to grow your own vegetables...
12th August 2009
The Sound And The Fury: The Power Of Public Speaking dips into the National Sound Archive, which is home to every conceivable variety of human speech, from spoken poetry, prose and drama, through transcribed and quoted speeches in the in the press, to the oral testimony of ordinary...
5th August 2009
Exquisite Bodies provides an insight into a strange and forgotten chapter in medical history, with a spectacular display of anatomical models, which were used not only to teach but also to titillate the public in Victorian Britain and Europe. During the 19th century, museums ...
29th July 2009
Keats House, where the poet John Keats was living when he composed some of his best known poems, including Ode to a Nightingale, has reopened after a £500,000 restoration project, designed to reflect its appearance during his lifetime. Among the works carried out were: the redecoration...
22nd July 2009
Corot To Monet charts the development of open air landscape painting in the century up to the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. The display features some 90 small scale paintings by the major artists of this genre, revealing the achievements of these early plein-air painters...
15th July 2009
Beyond Bloomsbury: Designs Of The Omega Workshops 1913 - 1919 explores a radical chapter in the history of 20th century British craft and design. Established in 1913 by the painter and influential art critic Roger Fry, the Omega Workshops were an experimental design collective...
8th July 2009
Medals Of Dishonour is the first ever exhibition to examine the intriguing but relatively unappreciated tradition of the medal as an indicator of dishonour. It features examples from the past 400 years that denounce their subjects, and reveals the long and rich tradition of this...
1st July 2009
J W Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite is the first major British retrospective exhibition of the Pre-Raphaelite artist in a generation, and features over 40 paintings. John William Waterhouse was born in the year that the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood delivered their manifesto...
24th June 2009
Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings Of Jodhpur is an opportunity to view a unique type of Indian royal court painting from the 17th to 19th centuries. The exhibition features 56 paintings from the royal collection at the Mehrangarh Museum in Jodhpur, none of which has ever...
17th June 2009
Futurism celebrates the centenary of the dramatic art movement, launched by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, with the publication of the Manifesto of Futurism on the front page of Paris newspaper Le Figaro. Drawing upon elements of Divisionism and Cubism, the Futurists...
10th June 2009
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around 1,200 works covering paintings...
3rd June 2009
Henry's Women brings together portraits of each of Henry VIII's wives for the first time, along with some of their personal objects, and paintings of Henry himself, and his daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I, as part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of his accession...
27th May 2009
The North-West Passage: An Arctic Obsession examines the myths and realities of the centuries long British endeavour to find the 'passage round the pole'. The fabled North-West Passage, the sea route linking the North Atlantic with the north Pacific Ocean, was sought by explorers...
20th May 2009
The Robot Zoo is a menagerie of moving creatures that gives an insight into animal anatomy, based on the book Robot Zoo: A Mechanical Guide To The Way Animals Work, by John Kelly, Philip Whitfield and Obin. It consists of larger than life sized robot animals: chameleon, giant...
13th May 2009
The Buddhist Sculpture Gallery, which has just opened, is the first gallery for Buddhist sculpture in Britain, with examples ranging in size from monumental Chinese temple sculptures, to tiny portable gilded Buddahs. Around 50 sculptures, created between AD 200 and 1850, explore...
6th May 2009
Henry VIII: Man And Monarch is an exhibition of Henry VIII's personal documents and books, held as part of celebration of the 500th anniversary of his accession to the throne. Among the highlights are Henry's Coronation oath, with several significant revisions made in his own...
29th April 2009
William Blake's 1809 Exhibition is a recreation of the ill fated exhibition held to launch the career of the engraver, visionary poet and painter William Blake. The show was held in the upstairs rooms of his brother's hosiery shop in Golden Square, Soho. Inside were 16 paintings...
22nd April 2009
Baroque 1620 - 1800: Style In The Age Of Magnificence features the splendour of one of the most opulent styles of the 17th and 18th centuries. The exhibition reflects the complexity and grandeur of the Baroque style, from the Rome of Borromini and Bernini, to the magnificence...
15th April 2009
Kuniyoshi is the first exhibition in Britain of work by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, one of the greatest Japanese print artists, in nearly 50 years. Featuring over 150 works, the exhibition presents Kuniyoshi as a master of imaginative design. It reveals the graphic power and beauty of...
8th April 2009
Henry VIII: Dressed To Kill is an exhibition of the personal arms and armour of Henry VIII, held as part of celebration of the 500th anniversary of his accession to the throne. It brings together the largest number of original weapons, armours and pieces of military equipment...
1st April 2009
Wallace & Gromit Present…A World Of Cracking Ideas is a new interactive experience telling the story of invention and innovation. Britain's best known inventor (and his equally resourceful companion) guide visitors through a world of innovation to discover how simple ideas can...
25th March 2009
George Scharf: From Regency Street To The Modern Metropolis is the first exhibition devoted solely to the work of George Scharf, the artist and illustrator who has been described as the pictorial equivalent of the literary chronicler of early Victorian London, Charles Dickens...
18th March 2009
Theatre And Performance Galleries are new spaces displaying some 250 highlights from the collection of the former Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, the largest collection of its type in the world. They show the history, development and practice of the performing arts in Britain...
11th March 2009
Constable Portraits: The Painter And His Circle is the first exhibition dedicated to John Constable's portraits, and the insights they bring to his art, life and relationships. Spanning 30 years, the exhibition of some 50 works includes oil portraits, watercolours and sketches...
4th March 2009
Van Dyck And Britain reveals the Flemish artist's unique impact on British cultural life, by bringing together some of the most magnificent paintings that van Dyck produced during his years in Britain. Anthony van Dyck became the outstanding painter at the court of art enthusiast...
25th February 2009
Picasso: Challenging The Past reveals how the greatest artist of the 20th century pitted himself against the European painting tradition. Seizing on the signature themes, techniques and artistic concerns of painters such as Velazquez, Rembrandt and Cezanne, Picasso transformed...
18th February 2009
Le Corbusier: The Art Of Architecture is the first major survey in London of the work of the man who is widely acclaimed as the most influential architect of the 20th century. Le Corbusier was also a celebrated thinker, writer and artist, and his architecture and radical ideas...
11th February 2009
Rodchenko And Popova: Defining Constructivism examines the works of Aleksandr Rodchenko and Liubov Popova, arguably two of the Russian avant-garde's most influential and important artists. Constructivism embraced the vision of the Russian Revolution, and sought to create new ...
4th February 2009
Treasures From Shanghai: Ancient Chinese Bronzes And Jades features objects awarded to nobles for exceptional service, together with others used for ritual and burial, from the collection of Shanghai Museum. The exhibition comprises some 60 ancient Chinese jades and bronzes, ...
28th January 2009
Andrea Palladio: His Life And Legacy is the first exhibition devoted to the legendary architect to be held in London in a generation, and celebrates the quincentenary of his birth. Andrea Palladio was not only one of the greatest Italian architects, he was also a practitioner...
21st January 2009
Ancient Egyptian Gallery is a new gallery, centered round the wall paintings of a spectacular tomb-chapel. The paintings are some of the most famous images of Egyptian art, and come from the now lost tomb-chapel of Nebamun, an accountant in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, who died...
14th January 2009
High Art: Reynolds And History Painting 1780 - 1815 examines the period when History painting was regarded as the pinnacle of High Art, and was strongly promoted by Sir Joshua Reynolds above other genres, such as portraiture, landscape and still life. This exhibition includes...
7th January 2009
G F Watts: Victorian Visionary - Highlights From The Watts Gallery Collection is a retrospective exhibition of one of Britain's greatest and most original artists, made possible by the closure of Watts Gallery in Surrey for a restoration and development project. The exhibition...