Private View held by Richard Andrews
Crowns And Crests: Heraldry In The Round is a unique exhibition of 45 carved and painted wooden heraldic crests and crowns originally made for Knights and Ladies of the Garter, and displayed during his or her lifetime above their stall in the Chapel of St George in Windsor Castle. Founded by Edward III in 1348, the Order of the Garter is England's oldest order of chivalry. Each knight displays his arms, banner and crest (or, if a sovereign ruler, crown) in St George's, and after his death, the banner is taken down, and the crest or crown returns to the custody of Garter King of Arms. This exhibition is a melee of golden crowns, lions, eagles, fabulous beasts and other elements of heraldic design, most of it not seen in public for many years. Famous Knights of the Garter represented include: Sir Winston Churchill; Field-Marshal Viscount Alanbrooke; Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein; the Duke of Windsor; Haile Selassie, the last Emperor of Ethiopia; Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone; the Earl of Longford; Lord Shackleton and Lord Wilson of Rievaulx. Further information and a selection of the crests can be found on the College Of Arms web site via the link from the Heritage section of ExhibitionsNet. Earl Marshal's Court, College Of Arms until 27th September.
The Falkirk Wheel, which opened recently, is the world's first rotating boat lift. The £17m Wheel is part of the £78m Millennium Link project to link Scotland's Forth and Clyde Union canals. The 115 foot high steel structure replaces a series of 19th century lock gates long since demolished. It re-establishes coast to coast navigation of the canals for the first time in over 35 years. In addition to the actual Wheel, the project required the of building an aqueduct and a tunnel - the first canal tunnel to be built in Britain for over 100 years - to protect woodland and the scheduled monument of the Roman Antonine Wall, as well as the main Glasgow to Edinburgh railway line 50 feet above. At each end of the Wheel are caissons able to lift 300 tonnes of boat and water - about eight craft at a time. The journey from the mooring basin below to the aqueduct above takes 15 minutes. Visitors can "ride" the Wheel in a boat, or watch it in action from the adjoining visitor centre. Further information about the Wheel, its design and construction, and 2 live webcams can be found on The Falkirk Wheel web site via the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. The Falkirk Wheel continuing.
E J Bellocq: Storeyville Portraits reveals the secret lives of both a man and the city of New Orleans around 1912. By day E J Bellocq earned his living as a commercial photographer working for shipping companies, and by night he took photographs of working women in the red-light district of Storyville. The area took its name from Alderman Sidney Story, who in 1898 legalised prostitution there in an effort to control and confine the profession, and its associated gambling, crime and drinking. The resulting proliferation of bars became the birthplace of jazz. Bellocq's images, which capture this heady mixture, are one of the few visual records of the period to remain. These photographs are not coyly posed period erotica, but a straightforward documentary record of the women off duty, shown in an uninhibited way in their homes or work places. Some lie in their undergarments, others are nude, some are dressed up, and some have concealed their identity by wearing masks. The youthful exuberance and confidence of the sitters conveys a sense of ease both with their profession and their bodies being seen as objects of desire. Bellocq never published these pictures, and no original prints have been found. The 35 images on show here were printed from his glass negatives (with all the degradation rendered by time) some years after his death in 1949. They have only been seen in public once before in New York. Photographer's Gallery until 3rd August.
The Wernher Collection is one of the finest and most unusual 19th century mixed art collections in the world. Sir Julius Wernher was a millionaire diamond importer with a passion for collecting, and this is reflected in the eclectic mix on display. Over 650 exhibits range across jewellery, bronze, ivory, tapestry, furniture, porcelain and paintings. Among the highlights is what is believed to be the largest collection of Renaissance jewellery in the country, which includes a gold and opal encrusted pendant in the shape of a lizard adorned with rubies for its collar and tongue. The paintings include old masters by Francesco Francia, Filippino Lippi, Hans Memling and Gabriel Metsu, and English portraits by Reynolds, Romney and Hoppner. There are also carved medieval, Byzantine and Renaissance ivories, Limoges enamels and Sevres porcelain. The most unusual items are enamelled skulls, and a miniature coffin complete with 3D skeleton. Ranger's House, Greenwich until 23rd December.
The Power Of The Poster gives an account of the evolution of the poster from its early beginnings in the 1870s to the present. It covers political, social, commercial and artistic subjects, and shows how posters have been used as a powerful communication tool in the 20th century. The 250 items on show include all the usual suspects such as 'Daddy What Did You Do In The Great War?' and 'Lord Kitchener Wants You'; anti Vietnam War slogans, early campaigning examples supporting the Russian revolution, and later ones calling for the overthrow of Communism; Pears Soap, Guinness and the delights of the Underground; '60s psychedelia and op art; and works by Toulouse Lautrec, Alphone Mucha and Aubery Beardlsey. It also features some surprises and the cream of the current crop. Millennium Galleries, Sheffield until 15th September.
Pasta: Italian Culture On A Plate does exactly what it says on the tin, charting the world conquering history of the staple Italian food. Using original posters, packaging, menus, and rare documents and artefacts from the Barilla archive in Parma, the origins, history, myth and magic of pasta is explored. Marco Polo brought noodles back from China to Venice, Britons returning home from the Grand Tour in the 18th century were known as 'macaronis' for their enthusiasm for all things Italian, and Elizabeth David held it as the epitome of the Mediterranean way of life after the Second World War. This exhibition explains the shapes, decodes the messages, and also looks to the future with a new shape created by a leading designer. A range of toppings include well known Italian restaurants displaying their most popular dishes. Being part cultural history, part design, and part gastronomy, who better could there be to curate the exhibition than current cultural design guru Stephen Bayley? Estorick Collection until 15th September,
The Newsroom is an archive and visitor centre created by two of Britain's most respected newspapers, The Guardian, and The Observer - the world's oldest Sunday newspaper. It comprises storage vaults, education facility, public study centre, lecture theatre, exhibition space and cafe. Former staff members have donated documents and written memoirs for the archive that contains photographs, correspondence, diaries, notebooks and sketches. The opening exhibition, relating to the histories of the newspapers, includes Epstein's 1926 bust of CP Scott; correspondence from George Orwell, Emmeline Pankhurst and Samuel Beckett; Vita Sackville-West's notebook, containing drafts of her gardening articles for the Observer in the 1950s; photographs by Jane Bown, Eamonn McCabe and Denis Thorpe; and artwork by Steve Bell and Andrzej Krauze. An education programme enables young people to experience the way the media works today, showing how editorial decisions are reached and the news is made, and then allows them to create their own newspapers, using the latest technology. Further information and access to the archive can be found on The Newsroom web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. The Newsroom continuing.
Remix is an exploration of the connections between visual art, music, film and video, which samples them all and 'remixes' the results into a chaotic but entertaining multimedia event. The collective euphoria of crowds, clubbers and pop audiences is examined in works by Doug Aitken, Andreas Gursky, Mark Leckey and Rineke Dijkstra. The excitement of performance is explored in Andrea Bowers video installation featuring players on a complex karaoke dance routine machine, and Gillian Wearing's video of air guitarists. Fandom and the fascination with pop celebrities is the subject of paintings by Dexter Dalwood, Gary Hume, Dawn Mellor, Chris Ofili and Elizabeth Peyton. Music videos are a major part of the exhibition, with influential works from the 1990s by directors such as Chris Cunningham, Hammer and Tongs and Jonas Akerlund, for performers such as Fatboy Slim, Bjork, Radiohead and The Chemical Brothers. Tate Liverpool until 26th August.
Roman Amphitheatre is a reminder of the days of good old fashioned entertainment, which has re-opened in the city of London, after a period of darkness lasting 1,700 years. About 1/7 the size of the Colliseum in Rome, the 7,000 capacity venue is one of the most important British archaeological finds of the last century. It was rediscovered underneath the London Guildhall's medieval foundations in 1988. Originally constructed in timber around 70AD, it was replaced by the existing stone structure early in the 2nd century, and finally fell into disuse in 4th century. An oval about 60 yards by 100 yards, it was the setting for a variety of battles, featuring gladiators, wild animals and condemned criminals, as well as chariot races and re-enactments of sea battles. The preservation of the remains and installation of a visual recreation of the arena has cost £1.3m. In the ultimate backstage tour, visitors can follow the route from the cells where victims awaited their fate, down a 20 yard passage into the arena itself. Further information can be found on the Guildhall Art Gallery web site via the link opposite. Entrance to the amphitheatre is included with admission to the gallery. Guildhall Art Gallery continuing.
Return Of The Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries provides the first opportunity in this country to see the finest possible examples of a whole artistic tradition formerly invisible to western audiences. In 1996 workmen clearing land in the town of Qingzhou in Shandong Province in eastern China unearthed a hoard of more than 400 Buddhist sculptures. The discovery of these figures, buried for over 900 years, is one of the most significant archaeological finds of recent times. It offers a remarkable insight into the nature and tradition of Chinese Buddhist art, and is immensely important for the history of Buddhism. The high quality and vast number of the sculptures has left archaeologists speculating as to why so many Buddhist figures, dating primarily from a 50 year period in the sixth century, were buried in a carefully constructed pit within the precincts of a monastery. Many of the statues are in remarkably fine condition, still bearing the original blue, red, green and ochre paint, and a number also retain the gold applied to the face and body of the Buddha to indicate his sun-like radiance. The Royal Academy of Arts until 14th July.
Tiaras is an exhibition which celebrates the tiara as an art form, providing an insight into the history of the jewels themselves, their owners and their makers. It comprises are over 200 items, containing more than 100,000 gemstones, created during the period from the mid 18th century to the present day. The majestic tiaras from British and European Royal families are on display alongside those worn by today's poor substitutes such as Elton John, Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Wonder Woman. Highlights by traditional jewellers such as Cartier, Faberge and Lalique include: four tiaras designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria - one of which, the Oriental Circlet, has regularly been worn by the current Queen Mother; the tiara chosen by The Queen for her wedding in 1947; Queen Mary's Russian tiara, which can be converted into a necklace; and a tiara containing 1041 diamonds and 40 emeralds made for the daughter of Louis XVI, from the French Crown Jewels. These upmarket titfers made with precious stones, are displayed alongside others of less conventional materials, including feathers, horn, plastic, steel and rubber, by contemporary designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Dai Rees, Philip Treacy and Versace. Victoria & Albert Museum until 14th July.
Earth and Fire: Italian Terracotta Sculpture From Donatello To Canova demonstrates how Italian sculptors have explored the versatility of terracotta - literally baked earth - to create some of the most expressive sculptures in the history of art. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to assess the wide variety of roles played by terracotta sculpture between 1400 and 1800, showing the importance of models in the development of Italian sculpture as a form. Clay is a very responsive material, recording every touch of the artist's hand or tool, and was employed in sculpture and relief panels, both plain and coloured. For the first time, this exhibition brings together a unique collection of pieces from around the world, including drawings, terracotta models and finished works, illustrating the changes between a sculptor's initial concept and the final result. There are works by some of the greatest sculptors ever, including Ghiberti, Donatello, Bologna, Bernini, Algardi and Canova. Victoria & Albert Museum until 7th July.