News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th September 2013


Opened Up: 200 Years Of The Hunterian Museum celebrates renowned collections of human anatomy and pathology as well as natural history and works of art that have been created over the last two centuries. The exhibition reveals those who took care of the collections, where and how they were displayed, who visited them, what role they play in surgical education today, and how these diverse objects have informed the medical world and fascinated illustrious visitors from medics to monarchs. It includes hidden objects brought out of storage and cutting edge medical models crafted by those working behind the scenes both then and now, continuing 200 years of medical museum tradition. Objects include an early anesthetic inhaler; a wild boar skull suffering from 'lumpy jaw' bone infection; Joseph Lister's original carbolic acid spray engine; a Red Admiral butterfly with dissected wing; and a photograph of an Edwardian charwoman cleaning one from an entire room full of human skulls.

Extinct comprises specimens and images of extinct and endangered animals. This features the remains of prehistoric giants, such as the woolly mammoth and the immense Megalodon shark, alongside creatures lost only a few decades ago, including the Tasmanian tiger. The display raises questions about human interaction with the natural world and highlights the plight of critically endangered species.

Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, London, until 9th November.

Chagall: Modern Master reveals a radically different picture of the Russian painter from the one often presented in art history. The exhibition showcases Marc Chagall as a passionate visionary and pioneer of the avant-garde, who combined his own response to the art movements of the day with an open display of affection for his native Russia and Hasidic Jewish heritage. It provides a rare opportunity to see a substantial body of work that demonstrates the depth and diversity of Chagall's art as it matured during the pivotal years from 1911 to 1922. Over 70 paintings and drawings are presented in a broadly chronological order, with thematic groupings charting Chagall's encounters with avant-garde artistic movements, highlighting how he combined these new pictorial languages with his own imaginative and fantastical motifs to create his innovative and expressive works. The exhibition examines the 3 crucial years spent in Paris, where he explored his personal relationship to the emerging movements of Cubism and Orphism in paintings such as 'Half Past Three (The Poet)' and 'Paris Through the Window'. It brings to light how Chagall responded to the traumas of war and religious persecution following a return to Russia at the outbreak of the First World War, including 'Departure for War' and 'Jew in Red'. The 8 years Chagall was forced to spend in Russia were marked by the consolidation of his signature painterly style, as demonstrated by 'Anywhere out of the World' and 'Promenade'. The exhibition also explores Chagall's lifelong interest in the theatre, with a rare presentation of the 7 large scale murals designed for the State Yiddish Chamber Theatre in Moscow in 1920, including the epic 8m long 'The Wedding Feast' frieze. Tate Liverpool until 6th October.

The Universal Addressability Of Dumb Things explores the world of new technology, as well as tracing its connections to the beliefs of our distant past. It is a cabinet of curiosities, with historical and contemporary works of art, videos, machines, archaeological artefacts and iconic objects, like the giant inflatable cartoon figure of Felix the Cat (the first image ever transmitted on television) inhabiting an 'enchanted landscape', where objects seem to be communicating with each other and with visitors. The exhibition reflects on a world where technology can bring inanimate 'things' to life, where websites predict what we want, where we can ask our mobile phones for directions and smart fridges suggest recipes, count calories and even switch on the oven. By digitising objects, it can also make them "disappear" from the material world, re-emerging in any place or era. Loosely divided into four themes or scenes, the Vegetable World, Animal Kingdom, Mankind and the Technological Domain, works by artists such as William Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Martin Creed, Richard Hamilton, Nicola Hicks, Jim Shaw and Toyen are displayed alongside a medieval silver hand containing the bones of a saint, an electronic prosthetic hand that connects with Bluetooth, a bisected 3D model of Snoopy showing his internal organs, an early Doctor Who cyberman, and many other treasures that all share connections. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, until 20th October.


Green Fuse: The Work Of Dan Pearson examines the career of one of the most significant landscape and garden designers working today. The exhibition traces the roots of Dan Pearson's work as a plantsman and designer, looking at his education and influences and focusing on a number of key projects and their inspiration. Pearson is equally at ease designing a garden for private clients as designing a woodland landscape for a space-age house in the forest outside Moscow with Zaha Hadid, restoring a Lutyens/Jekyll estate as creating an ambitious new estate in Devon, or creating a city park in the heart of King's Cross as a mountainside ecological park at the northernmost tip of Japan. The exhibition is an immersive, multimedia experience where space, materials and craftmanship are as carefully considered as rhythm, colour, texture and seasonality in planting to create spaces which are emotionally uplifting and have a distinctive sense of place. It examines the fundamental importance of the idea of sense of place in Pearson's work, the intuitive quality of his informally trained design eye and the horticulturally rigorous, yet painterly quality of his plantings. Starting with the most formative early influences nurtured at his childhood home, the display builds a picture of how the accumulation of education, inspiration and experience led Pearson to create the iconic garden at Home Farm for Frances Mossman at the age of 22, restore the landscape at Althorp House, following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and work on the landscape for the Millennium Dome with Richard Rogers. In addition, Pearson has created a new planting design for the border in front of the museum, using elements of his work at the Tokachi Millennium Forest, employing a mix of woodland floor species, with dramatic accents and a sculptural element. Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, until 20th October.

Brains: The Mind As Matter looks at what humans have done to brains in the name of medical intervention, scientific enquiry, cultural meaning and technological change. Featuring more than 150 objects, including real brains, artworks, manuscripts, artefacts, videos and photography, the exhibition follows the long quest to manipulate and decipher the most unique and mysterious of human organs, whose secrets continue to confound and inspire. Famous and infamous brain specimens are on display, including those of Albert Einstein, Charles Babbage and William Burke, as are the thoughts on brains from famous thinkers, together with donors, surgeons, patients and collectors. The exhibition has four sections: Measuring/Classifying introduces efforts to define the relationship between the brain's function and form, from Bernard Hollander's cranial measuring system to the tools of phrenology, the skewed morality of these pseudo-sciences illustrates the measuring of brains as a measure of culture; Mapping/Modelling follows the attempts to represent the anatomy of the brain, from early visualisations by Reisch, Vesalius and Descartes in the 16th and 17th centuries to the kaleidoscopic Brainbow images of nerve cells, and the artistic drive to apprehend the complexities of the brain with the increasing philosophical and medical understanding of its centrality to our being; Cutting/Treating explores the history of surgical intervention on a form of human tissue that is uniquely swift to decay and difficult to dissect, from crude trephination kits to complex 3D imaging systems revealing the human stories behind the anatomy of brains; and Giving/Taking traces the stories of brain harvesting and the variety of its purpose, from Nazi experimentation to the hope offered by research into neurodegenerative disorders by brain banks. Museum Of Science & Industry, Manchester, until 4th January.

Mary, Queen of Scots explores the myth and reality that surround one of the most enigmatic and romanticised figures in Scottish history. The exhibition traces Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots's story through the dynastic alliances at the heart of Renaissance Europe, following her life from birth in Scotland, childhood in France, to ruling both France and Scotland as Queen, her imprisonment in England and eventual execution. Her life of is revealed through around 200 objects, including paintings, jewellery, textiles, furniture, documents, drawings and maps. Documentary evidence ranges from the earliest surviving letter written by Mary to the warrant for her execution signed by Elizabeth I, including examples of the 'Casket letters', which were used to incriminate her in the Darnley murder, and a letter with secret cipher, presented as proof of her association with the Babington plot to assassinate Elizabeth I, which led eventually to her execution. Among some of the finest pieces of jewellery associated with Mary on show are a gold necklace and pendant locket, known collectively as the Penicuik jewels, said to have been given to one of her supporters during her captivity, in an effort to bind them to the Crown. Renaissance maps and scientific instruments such as a 15th century French astrolabe and 16th century table clock show the context of Europe moving towards an era of rapid scientific advancement, exploration and discovery. However, the 1563 Witchcraft Act shows that this was not yet an age of reason, and John Knox's 'First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women', attacked the rise of female, Catholic rulers in Europe. Finally, the exhibition includes the Book of Hours which was said to be in Mary's possession at the time of her execution and one of the most iconic images of Mary, the 'Memorial Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots', which represents her in preparation for the executioner's block. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, until 17th November.

Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis Of Brilliance, 1908 - 1922 charts the evolution of the influential group who became some of the most well-known and distinctive British artists of the early 20th century. Students together at the Slade School of Art in London between 1908 and 1912, Paul Nash, C R W Nevinson, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington and David Bomberg formed part of what their drawing teacher Henry Tonks described as the school's last 'crisis of brilliance'. As their talents evolved they became Futurists, Vorticists and 'Bloomsberries', and befriended the leading writers and intellectuals of their day. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see over 70 of their works alongside each other, and explores their artistic development, culminating with a selection of their paintings made during and after the Great War of 1914 to 1918, generating some of the most provoking visual records of that event. Aside from their works of art, the members of the group were known for their rebellious, often controversial, behaviour, and through letters, drawings, photographs and ephemera, the exhibition also brings to life their complex dramas, including a fractious love triangle, a murder and multiple suicides. Among the highlights are Nash's 'Void' and 'The Sea Wall', Spencer's 'Unveiling Cookham War Memorial', Gertler's 'The Fruit Sorters', Carrington's portrait of Lytton Strachey and Bomberg's 'In The Hold'. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 22nd September.

Swan Upping celebrates the 900 year old tradition of the annual monitoring of the swan population on stretches of the Thames in the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The quintessentially English ceremony of Swan Upping was originally a way of marking ownership of swans, at a time when the birds were regarded as a dish at banquets and feasts. Today the primary purpose of the event is conservation. The Swan Uppers work with the Oxford University Zoology Department to monitor the welfare of the birds. Visually striking, with all involved dressed in traditional scarlet and white attire, the ceremony takes place every year during the 3rd week of July. The Queen's Swan Marker, the Royal Swan Uppers and the Swan Uppers of the Vintners Company and the Worshipful Company of Dyers use 6 traditional Thames rowing skiffs for their 5 day, 79 mile journey up-river. They cry "All up!" whenever a brood of cygnets is sighted and the birds are weighed, measured, checked and ringed. The exhibition provides an insight into this event through a comprehensive series of stories, revealed in Pathe news footage, historical photographs, and artefacts including oars, original uniforms, audio recordings and Swan Upping inspired art. River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, until 18th May.

William Scott is a retrospective marking the centenary of the birth of an artist who became one the leading British painters of his generation, with the first major showing of his work in over 20 years. Across a career spanning six decades, William Scott produced an extraordinary body of work. Exhibiting in America and Europe from the early 1950s, Scott is renowned for his powerful handling of paint in his exploration of still life, landscape and nude, and of the unstable boundaries between them. This exhibition comprises a series of thematic rooms, focusing on Scott's morphological shifts between genres and his preoccupation with 'significant forms'. Working across the genres of still life, landscape and the nude, Scott developed a unique language that pushed the boundaries of abstraction and figuration, leaving an influential legacy of work which mediates important developments in mid-20th century European and American painting. His work is often charged with a sensuality emanating from his dynamic compositions as well as the vitality of his paint surfaces. Highlights include 'Still Life with Garlic', 'Still Life with Orange Note', 'Still Life with Candlestick', 'Three Pears, Pan, Plate and Knife', 'Reclining Red Nude', 'Figure Expanded', 'White, Sand and Ochre' and 'The Harbour'. Hepworth Wakefield until 29th September.


Sensational Butterflies charts the life cycle of some of the world's most beautiful creatures in an explorer's trail through a tropical butterfly house, and reveals how butterflies around the world have adapted to their habitats. The trail takes visitors on a journey from egg to caterpillar, and chrysalis to butterfly. In the butterfly house there is a hatchery, where butterflies constantly emerge from their pupa, and join the hundreds of butterflies and moths in the 4 habitat zones of North America, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, fluttering freely among the exotic plants. Over 20 species with wildly different colourings and markings are on view, including the Blue Morpho, the underside of whose wings are dappled brown for camouflage, and the Asian Tree Nymph, which has the same 5 senses and human beings. Outside the butterfly house is a garden devoted to some of the 58 butterfly species that live in Britain, and offering useful tips for attracting these butterflies to visitors' own gardens. Meanwhile, inside the museum itself, there over 8 million preserved butterflies and moths, including representatives from about 90,000 species, with specimens dating back as far as 1680. Natural History Museum until 15th September.

Exultant Strangeness: Graham Sutherland Landscapes examines one of the great British landscape painters and, during the 1940s and 1950s, one of its most famous artists. Initially inspired by the visionary landscapes of 18th and 19th century artists such as William Blake and Samuel Palmer, Graham Sutherland transcended his influences to create a vocabulary that was uniquely his own. This exhibition reveals the power of Sutherland's imagination and demonstrates the diverse ways in which he transformed his experience of his environment. Central to Sutherland's conception of the landscape was the 'accidental encounter' - the small-scale natural forms, such as tree roots, stones or foliage, that he would stumble upon by chance and work up into new creations. At the same time, he might also take a wide, open landscape and make it feel enclosed and self-contained as if it were an object. The exhibition features striking, otherworldly landscapes from throughout Sutherland's career: early, meticulous etchings which owe a debt to masters such as Rembrandt, Whistler and Palmer, the fluid drawings and iconic paintings from the 1930s and 1940s with their haunting forms, sinuous lines and daring compositions, and the mysterious late landscapes, rich in colour and often monumental in scale. Among the highlights are 'Entrance to a Lane', 'Green Tree Form', 'Western Hills', 'Narrow Road between Hedges', 'Welsh Landscape with Roads', 'Bamboo Forest' and 'Rocky Landscape with Sullen Sky'. Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, until 15th September.

Visions Of The Universe charts the development of telescopy, photography and our understanding of our place in the cosmos. The exhibition brings together over 100 images of space, revealing the role that astronomers played in pushing forward the technology of cameras and telescopes, so that we can now see the weather on distant planets, and look past the Milky Way into galaxies beyond. It offers a visual trip through our solar system encountering images of the Moon, Sun, the planets and deep space, before coming back to Earth to a selection of images that reflect our fascination with the night sky. The photographs include the latest cutting edge images captured by NASA, the Russian space programme and some of the greatest telescopes in the world. With views of the aurora on the surface of Saturn, the spectacular clouds of colourful dust in which new stars are forming thousands of light years away, and the dizzying sight of Earth as seen from the International Space Station, the display celebrates the aesthetic beauty of space photography, as well as the scientific discoveries that advances in technology have allowed. In photographs taken from the far side of Saturn, using UV light, infrared and radar, combining cameras and telescopes, astronomers can see vistas that are impossible to discern from earth. The centrepiece is the 'Mars Window' - a 13m by 4m curved wall onto which the latest images beamed back by NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover are projected, creating the impression of looking through a giant window out onto the rocky Martian landscape. Highlights from the past include: the first astronomical image ever taken; Edwin Hubble's 1923 photograph that confirmed the existence of galaxies beyond our own; the 1969 image of the first human to walk on the moon; and the astronomical photograph that helped to prove the General Theory of Relativity. National Maritime Museum until 15th September.