News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd April 2014


Britain: One Million Years Of The Human Story is the result of more than 10 years research by a 50 strong team of archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists to unlock the secrets of our ancient past. From hippos that swam in the Thames and the earliest Neanderthals in Europe, to ancient evidence of cannibalism, this exhibition brings together rare fossil specimens and artefacts to give the most complete picture of our past so far. Highlights include: specially commissioned Neanderthal and Homo sapiens models that are the most life-like and scientifically accurate ever made; human head casts representing the four human species in the story of evolution; stone tools from Happisburgh in Norfolk that reveal ancient humans arrived in Britain around 900,000 years ago - 400,000 years earlier than previously thought; skeletons from Gough's Cave in Somerset that show clear evidence of cannibalism 14,700 years ago, with skulls carefully shaped into ritual drinking cups; a hippo tooth recovered from Trafalgar Square; the bones of a man buried in a Welsh cave around 33,000 years ago, decorated with periwinkle shells, red dye and jewellery made from mammoth ivory; fossil bones of a Lion found in Crayford in Kent; a woolly rhinoceros skull from Peterborough; and a 400,000 year old partial skull of what was most likely an early Neanderthal woman, found in Swanscombe in Kent; plus contemporary reflections on personal ancestries from Bill Bailey, Clive Anderson, Sian Williams, Professor Alice Roberts, Dr Kevin Fong and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Natural History Museum until 28th September.

Moore Rodin brings together works by two giants of modern sculpture for the first time. The exhibition features sculpture by Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin, both in the Capability Brown landscaped parkland and indoor galleries. Amongst the works on display are Rodin's bronze 'Monument to the Burghers of Calais', 'Jean d'Aire, Monumental Nude', 'Walking Man, on a Column', 'Cybele' and 'Eve'; and Moore's monumental 'Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae', 'The Arch', 'Upright Motive No.9', 'Locking Piece' and 'Reclining Figure: Bunched'. The exhibition draws parallels between the artists treatment of the figure, which is revealed through models the artists made for larger works. These include maquettes for two of Rodin's most famous works 'The Gates of Hell', and a final study for the sculpture of Balzac commissioned by Emile Zola; and models by Moore including the iconic 'Mother and Child' works, a subject to which he returned to again and again throughout his lifetime, alongside studies for abstract and reclining figures. These works are drawn together to explore the themes of interlocking forms, the torso, finished / unfinished and the figure in landscape. As well as the sculptures, the inside exhibition displays an extensive range of drawings by both artists and a set of photographs taken by Moore of his cast of Rodin's 'Walking Man'. Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until 31st December.

Sutton Hoo And Europe AD 300 - 1100 is a new display of the museum's Early Medieval collection. The refurbished gallery gives an overview of the whole period, ranging across Europe and beyond, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea and from North Africa to Scandinavia. The display tells the story of a formative period in Europe's history, which witnessed the end of the Western Roman Empire, the evolution of the Byzantine Empire, migrations of people across the Continent and the emergence of Christianity and Islam as major religions. By the end of the period covered in the gallery, the precursors of many modern states had developed, and Europe as we know it today was beginning to take shape. Marking 75 years since their discovery, the gallery's centrepiece is the finds from the Sutton Hoo ship burial in Suffolk, one of the most spectacular and important discoveries in British archaeology. Excavated in 1939, this grave inside a 27m long ship may have commemorated an Anglo-Saxon king who died in the early AD 600s. It remains the richest intact burial to survive from Europe. Many of its treasures, like the helmet, gold buckle and whetstone have become icons of the Early Medieval as a whole. Outstanding treasures on display include the Lycurgus Cup, the Projecta Casket, the Kells Crozier, Domagnano Treasure, Cuerdale Hoard and Fuller Brooch. The new display also features material never before shown, such as Late Roman mosaics, a copper alloy necklace from the Baltic Sea region, and a gilded mount discovered by X-ray in a lump of organic material from a Viking woman's grave. British Museum continuing.


Veronese: Magnificence In Renaissance Venice is devoted to one of the most renowned and sought-after artists working in Venice in the 16th century. Paolo Caliari, known as Veronese, was a virtuoso and a craftsman, creating works ranging from complex frescoes to altarpieces, devotional paintings, mythological, allegorical and historical pictures, and portraits. His works adorned churches, patrician palaces, villas and public buildings throughout the Veneto region, and are inseparable from the idea of the opulence and grandeur of the Republic of Venice at that time. This exhibition of around 50 of his works brings together portraits, altarpieces, and paintings representing the very peak of Veronese's output at every stage of his career. Highlights include 'The Martyrdom of Saint George', 'The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine', 'Family of Darius before Alexander', 'Portrait of a Gentleman', and 'Portrait of a Woman, known as the Bella Nani'. Works are reunited in the exhibition for the first time in hundreds of years, including 'Mars and Venus United by Love' and 'Four Allegories of Love'; two companion altarpieces painted for the church of San Benedetto Po near Mantua: 'The Virgin and Child with Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul the Hermit' and 'Consecration of Saint Nicholas', displayed together for only the second time since the 18th century; and two versions of 'Adoration of the Kings' painted for different churches in the same year that have never been seen together since they were in Veronese's studio. Veronese's mastery of colour, space and light, and his feeling for beauty, for opulence and grace, captured the imagination of countless artists and art lovers, and the work of Van Dyck, Rubens, Watteau, Tiepolo and Delacroix depend upon his example. National Gallery until 15th June.

Scottish Gold offers a unique opportunity to learn about the precious metal as part of the natural history of Scotland and examine the close relationship with it over millennia. The exhibition explores the use of gold in Scotland from prehistoric times to the present, offering an informative look at the history and cultural significance of the often valuable and highly sought-after precious metal. Focussing on the occurrence of gold in Scotland and Scottish gold mining, the show also covers the natural history of gold, the first use of gold coinage in Scotland and the infamous Darien disaster of the late 1600s. Amongst the treasures on display are the 'cloth of gold' from the tomb of Robert the Bruce; a multitude of Scottish gold coins including a bonnet piece of James V; Bronze and Iron Age gold torcs, including the hoard from Law Farm, Morayshire; a gold ampulla used at the Scottish Coronation of Charles I; the King's Gold Cup from the Leith races of 1751; Queen Victoria's gold chain and badge of the Order of the Thistle; and ten of the largest gold nuggets found in Scottish rivers. Contemporary items include an 18 carat solid gold quaich made by Scottish goldsmith Graham Stewart; and a Millennium gold medal produced by Malcolm Appleby for the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, until 15th June.

Bond In Motion is the biggest exhibition of Bond vehicles ever assembled. Cars used in films starring Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig all feature in the exhibition, including the record breaking Aston Martin DBS stunt car from 'Casino Royale'. The 50 vehicles in the display range from the real to merely fanciful, including the legendary Aston Martin DB5 seen in a number of films, with its many gadgets and ejector seat, alongside bikes, trikes, sleds and boats. Highlights include the Jaguar XKR with grille-mounted machine guns, a rear-mounted Gatling gun and boot-mounted mortars from 'Die Another Day'; the Lotus Esprit S1 that dived underwater in 'The Spy Who Loved Me'; the Fairey Huntress Speedboat from 'From Russia With Love'; Goldfinger's 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III; the AMC Hornet from 'The Man With the Golden Gun'; the Little Nellie autogyro from 'You Only Live Twice'; the Ford Mustang Mach I from 'Diamonds Are Forever'; the Citroen 2CV from 'For Your Eyes Only'; the folding Bede BD5 Acrostar Jet from 'Octopussy'; the SFX Cello Case Ski from 'The Living Daylights'; the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II from 'The World Is Not Enough'; the Aston Martin DBS from 'Quantum Of Solace'; and the 1/3 scale model of Agusta Westland's AW101 helicopter from 'Skyfall'. London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden WC2, until January.

Renaissance Impressions: Chiaroscuro Woodcuts examines the artistic development of the revolutionary, yet short lived, printing technique in the 16th century. Often based on designs by celebrated Renaissance masters such as Parmigianino, Raphael and Titian, depicting well-known biblical scenes and legends, chiaroscuro woodcuts were the first colour prints that made dramatic use of light and shadow - chiaroscuro - to suggest form, volume and depth. The exhibition presents over 100 rare prints by artists from Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. In the early 1500s, several printmakers in Germany competed to claim authorship of the chiaroscuro woodcut, which involved supplementing the black line block with one or several tone blocks to create gradations of colour from light to dark for aesthetic effect. The result produced greater depth, plasticity of form, atmosphere and pictorial quality than the earlier, plainer woodcuts. Later innovations in Italy, such as unevenly cut colour fields led to works that have a more painterly character, as if they had been modelled in colour and light. Highlights of the exhibition include Hans Burgkmair the Elder's depiction of 'Emperor Maximilian on Horseback' (widely thought to be the first known example of a chiaroscuro woodcut) and 'St George and the Dragon'; Ugo da Carpi's 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes', and 'Archimedes'; Andrea Andreani's 'Rape of a Sabine Woman' printed in several versions; Giovanni Gallo's 'Perseus with the Head of Medusa'; and Hendrick Goltzius's series of landscapes and deities, including 'Landscape with Trees and a Shepherd Couple' and 'Bacchus'. Royal Academy until 8th June.

Cezanne And The Modern features works by some of the most important artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements. The works on show are part of a collection formed by Henry and Rose Pearlman, which is one of the most important in North America, and this is the first time it has ever been shown in Europe. The exhibition comprises a group of paintings and watercolours by Paul Cezanne, as well as paintings and sculptures by artists including Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, Jacques Lipchitz, Edgar Degas and Amedeo Modigliani. The display includes 24 works by Cezanne: 6 oils, 2 drawings and 16 watercolours, which constitute one of the finest and best preserved groups of his watercolours in the world. The majority of these are Provencal landscapes, while others depict his characteristic motifs such as a skull, female bathers and Mont Sainte-Victoire. Other highlights are a colourful and unusual composition by Vincent Van Gogh, 'Tarascon Stage Coach'; Amedeo Modigliani's portrait of Jean Cocteau; 3 bronzes by Jacques Lipchitz and 1 by Wilhelm Lehmbruck; and an extraordinary painted relief, 'Te Fare Amu' by Paul Gauguin, from his open-air dining room in Tahiti. In addition, there are works by artists who are little known in England, notably Cham Soutine. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 22nd June.

Volcanoes And Earthquakes is a new gallery devoted to the most awe-inspiring, intense, powerful and dangerous phenomena in nature. The breathtaking impact of volcanoes and earthquakes has caused worldwide fascination, making them Hollywood film spectaculars as well as the cause of the biggest global tragedies. This gallery takes visitors on a journey through the causes of the world's most devastating natural disasters and explores how science is attempting to minimise their impact around the world. Through immersive experiences, real-life case studies and up to date information from around the world, this display provides a fresh and intriguing account of the almighty force of our natural world. It reveals what it's like to be a survivor of one of the world's most dangerous earthquakes, such as the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and most recently, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; and examines the scientific foundations of a volcano such as Mount Vesuvius in Italy, which famously destroyed the roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which caused of one of the most powerful eruptions in history. Exhibits include original objects from world famous events, including a calendar with a waterline and broken clock from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan; a 3.8bn year old rock; golden strands of magma, spun into volcanic glass by high winds, known as Pele's Hair; interactives and videos showing activity from around the world, including a live earthquake data feed; an earthquake simulator; a CGI film on what scientists are doing to understand tectonics; and discoveries from recent scientific field trips. Natural History Museum, continuing.


Turner And The Sea examines a lifelong fascination with the sea by Britain's greatest 19th century painter. Dramatic, contemplative, violent, beautiful, dangerous and sublime - the sea was the perfect subject to showcase JMW Turner's singular talents, and the 120 pieces on display include some of the most celebrated paintings of his long career. The quality of the works gathered together in this exhibition confirms Turner's status as the pre-eminent painter of water, and demonstrates his unique ability to represent the elemental power of the sea. Encompassing oils, watercolours, prints and sketches, the exhibition follows Turner's progression from newly-elected Royal Academician to one of the country's most celebrated artists. While his style changed considerably, his virtuoso showmanship remained a dazzling constant. Among the highlights are 'The Fighting 'Temeraire', 'Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth', 'Staffa, Fingal's Cave', 'Now for the Painter', 'Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight', 'Whalers', 'Calais Pier', 'Fishermen upon a Lee-Shore, in Squally weather', 'The Battle of Trafalgar', 'Fishermen at Sea', 'The Wreck of a Transport Ship', 'The Shipwreck' and 'The Wreck Buoy'. Having begun by responding to the artists of the 17th century at the start of his career, the works from the end of Turner's life seem almost as if they could come from the 20th century. As he left behind the rules and conventions of maritime art, dividing critics and public alike, Turner created a unique vision of the overwhelming power of nature - the final stage in a lifelong engagement with the sea. Turner's paintings are shown alongside works by other British and European artists, including Willem van de Velde, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Thomas Gainsborough, Nicholas Pocock, John Constable and Richard Parkes Bonington. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until 21st April.

British Drawings: 1600 To The Present Day examines how artists in Britain have used drawing in a wide range of ways: to think on paper and to build up storehouses of ideas, as well as to make finished exhibition pieces. The display ranges from indigenous Brits, such as Frederic Leighton, and almost natives like Lucian Freud, to those who spent their professional life in Britain, such as Henry Fuseli, Peter Lely and Antony van Dyck. Covering 400 years of drawing practice and including works by Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, William Blake, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Stanley Spencer and David Hockney, this display traces the central role played by drawing in portraiture and 'landskip', and in movements from Romanticism to Minimalism. Through their sketches the display sheds light on the central role of drawing in portraiture, landscape, romanticism and minimalism. Innovative contemporary works demonstrate drawing's continuing importance for artists. The staging of the display seems to have tried to emphasise the closed personal world of drawing by attempting to transport the viewer into something similar: two small rooms for meditation and private appreciation on the products of some of the world's greatest draughtsmen. A cabinet of sketchbooks, never created with a viewer in mind, further adds to this feeling. The anecdotal descriptions of the drawings match this urge for insight into the mind of the artist, for instance telling us of Jonathan Richardson the Elder's urge to draw a daily self-portrait as a kind of therapy. Victoria & Albert Museum until 13th April.

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined is a series of site-specific installations exploring the essential elements of architecture. Instead of representations of buildings in the form of models, plans or photographs, as in a traditional architectural exhibition, this immerses visitors in a multi-sensory experience. Seven architectural practices from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds consider architecture from the angle of the human encounter: how vision, touch, sound and memory play a role in our perceptions of space, proportion, materials and light. Collaborating across the globe on this project are: Grafton Architects (Ireland); Diebedo Francis Kere (Germany/Burkina Faso); Kengo Kuma (Japan); Li Xiaodong (China); Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Chile); Eduardo Souto de Moura and Alvaro Siza (Portugal). They all create work that is particularly responsive to people and place, and they share an understanding of the sensorial capacity of architecture and its materiality. . A monumental structure by Pezo von Ellrichshausen challenges our sense of perspective; inspired by a Ko-Do, the Japanese smell ceremony, Kuma highlights the importance of scent; Kere's tunnel invites visitors to physically interact with the structure's fabric; a labyrinth by Li Xiaodong creates a sense of containment and compression in contrast to Grafton's exploration of light; and Siza and Souto de Moura's installations encourage visitors to consider the architectural history of the building. A specially made film offers an opportunity to 'meet' the architects, presenting a range of their previous building projects, from a house on the rugged Chilean coast to a school in Burkina Faso in Africa, while interviews provide further insights about their work and inspirations. Royal Academy of Arts until 6th April.