Private View held by Richard Andrews
Mind The Map: Inspiring Art, Design And Cartography explores the themes of journeys, identity and publicity. The Underground, London Transport and Transport for London, have produced outstanding maps and posters for over 100 years. These have not only shaped the city, but have inspired the world. The exhibition charts the tube map's evolution alongside art inspired by tube maps, older decorative maps, and vintage advertisements, and presents some interesting examples of the interaction between technical design and art. It includes previously unseen historic material by artists such as Harold McCready, Frederick Charles Herrick, MacDonald Gill, Reginald Percy Gossop, Ernest Michael Dinkel and Lewitt-Him, together with new artworks by artists including Simon Patterson, Stephen Walter, Susan Stockwell, Jeremy Wood, Claire Brewster, and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre. The display explores geographical, diagrammatic, decorative and digital transport maps, as well as the enduring influence of Harry Beck's iconic 1931 London Tube map on cartography, posters, design, art and the public imagination. One of the most interesting pieces on display is a 1928 tube map by Richard Park, which overlays a section of the tube network on top of a 1745 map of London by John Rocque, tracing modern London over much older streets. Looking in particular at the relationship between identity and place, the exhibition examines the impact maps have had on our understanding of London, and how they influence the way we navigate and engage with our surroundings. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, until 28th October.
Blackpool Illuminations have extended the holiday season and entertained visitors to the seaside town since 1879, when 8 plain electric arc lamps bathed the Promenade in what was described as 'artificial sunshine'. While the basic idea remains the same, the style and scale of Blackpool's end of season electrical extravaganza have little in common with that first experiment in lighting. Traditional lamps are still used, but now alongside the newest technology such as lasers, fibre-optics, low-voltage neon and even real fire and water. The show now costs £2.4m to stage, and stretches for 6 miles of spectacular colour, light and movement. New features this year include Strobostorm, a kaleidoscope of stroboscopic lights created using over 1000 individual strobe lights; Nickelodeon, featuring 12 huge fibreglass characters from the television channel; Colourama Galaxy, with over 2000 multi-coloured lights in the sky, randomly twinkling in ever-changing patterns; and Snowflake In A Snowstorm, a series of 10 gigantic led snowflakes; plus old favourites Haunted House, Teddy Bears Picnic, Theatre D'Amour, Rangoli Peacock and Sanuk renewed and improved. Visitors can become part of the display, as they travel along the Promenade aboard a tram dressed up by lights as a wild west train, ocean liner or space rocket, from dusk to 11.30pm most nights. Blackpool Promenade, until 4th November.
Crowns And Ducats: Shakespeare's Money And Medals looks at the role of coins and medals in Shakespeare's works and his world. Shakespeare's plays have many references to money. He expected his audience to recognise the numerous different coins that he mentioned and pick up messages about value, wealth and character. As well as the coins themselves, Shakespeare also drew on the language of reckoning and accounting, and of weighing and measuring the quality of money, often using this metaphorically to talk about people's characters. In addition to looking at the plays, the display features real objects that bring to life the world as it was around 400 years ago. Coins, medals and prints show that Shakespeare lived in a time of mass produced images. From the 18th century onwards, Shakespeare's portrait and his plays have become widely familiar both nationally and internationally. The display also explores this phenomenon through its depiction on medals, coins, banknotes and credit cards. From ducats, dollars and doits to angels, crowns and groats, the display shows how and why Shakespeare used coins to make the wider world seem familiar and the past and remote accessible to an English audience at some of the first purpose made English theatres. British Museum until 25th November.
Animal Crackers: A Cartoon And Comic Bestiary examines how animals have inspired cartoon and comic artists, from the British Lion to Bunny Suicides, and Korky the Cat to Simon's Cat. With over 140 cartoons, caricatures, comics and graphic novels by over 60 artists, this cartoon bestiary features the iconic American Eagle, the Russian Bear and the financial Fat Cat, as well as favourite characters such as Mickey Mouse, Wallace and Gromit, Flook, Fred Basset, Gnasher, Pip, Squeak and Wilfred and Rupert Bear. Also included are individual joke cartoons from Punch, Private Eye, The Oldie, The Spectator and many national papers. Giants of the natural and unnatural world such as Moby‐Dick and the Lambton Worm also feature, as well as beings which only exist in the minds of cartoon and comic artists, such as dragons of yore and the Loch Ness monster. Many of the cartoons suggest how much animals are 'just like us'. From Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket and King Louie of The Jungle Book to Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit, these animals are human in every way that counts. Others, such as Simon's Cat and Thelwell's ponies, highlight our pets' irritating or endearing habits. Also represented are political animals, both individual and national. When political caricature developed in the 18th century it drew on the tradition of heraldic beasts - the English Lion, the Scottish Unicorn and the Hapsburg double‐headed Eagle. Certain creatures are purely figments of the cartoonist's imagination such as David Low's 'Coalition Ass' and 'TUC Carthorse'. The world of animal cartoons is often a surreal place, allowing creatures to stray into the realms of art, business, politics and personal relationships. It reminds us just how much we share with our fellow animals. Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1, until 21st October.
A Lowry Summer celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Salford artist's birth. The largest and most comprehensive exhibition of L S Lowry's work in many years brings together some 240 paintings and drawings, some of which have never been on public display before. The summer in the title reflects the fact that the majority of the works are of people at on holiday or at play, in the streets, at the seaside, the fair and in boats, and bathed in summer sunshine, rather than the usual subjects of workers shrouded in winter northern industrial smoke. Among the highlights are 'Punch and Judy', 'Street Musicians', 'Piccadilly Circus', 'Coming Out of School', 'The Pond', 'Lancashire Fair, Good Friday' and 'Daisy Nook'. The exhibition also includes rarely seen portraits. Alongside the comprehensive collection of Lowry's works, there are paintings by Shirley Baker and Humphrey Spende. These similarly documentary images, originating from Northern England, offer an unexpected depth to the exhibition. Also on display are Lowry's palette and brushes. In addition, various television documentaries on Lowry are being screened. The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, until 28th October.
The Plant Seekers brings to life tales of the Indiana Jones's of the horticultural world over the last 200 years. The exhibition of material from the Royal Horticultural Society's Lindley Library, tells the story of many of history's most important plant collectors, who travelled the globe and overcame life-threatening situations to transform our landscapes and grow our knowledge about plants and horticulture. Through original journals, botanical illustrations, notebooks, lantern slides, catalogues, photographs, tools and other scientific materials, most of which have never been seen before by the general public, the display reveals how plant seekers gained initial patronage, journeyed to their destinations, set up camp and explored the regions to which they had travelled. Some of the collectors' journals, often in exquisite copperplate hands, provide graphic accounts of triumphs and hardships in the field, including leeches, illness and kidnapping. Many plant seekers were accomplished artists and produced meticulous on the spot drawings of specimens. There is also a recreated lecture by Reginald Farrer, from his 1915 slides of the people, plants and landscape of China, and a short film in which contemporary plant seekers talk of the thrill - and perils - of the chase. This unique exhibition not only demonstrates how international plant hunting has influenced our modern British gardens, but also shows the wider impact of plant collecting on our world, from its influence in medicine and science, to the role it has played in biodiversity and other environmental issues. Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, until 21st October.
Happy Birthday, Mr Punch celebrates the 350th anniversary of the first recorded sighting in Britain of a Punch And Judy show, in Covent Garden, as mentioned by Samuel Pepys in his diary. It is an exhibition of two parts. Punch Professors In England is a collection of photographs by Tom Hunter of contemporary Punch practitioners, known since Victorian times as 'Professors', who for generations have brought the story of Punch and Judy to life with their wit and personality. These portraits depict each Professor with their booth, expressing their highly individual approaches to their appearance and performance in quintessentially English settings. From the oldest Punch and Judy man in the Britain (who is, in fact, a woman) to a father and daughter Punch and Judy team, these images reveal the unique characters who keep the tradition alive. Each Punch and Judy booth is uniquely decorated and adorned with a beautiful hand painted stage drop, making each one an artwork in its own right, with its own history and tradition. That's The Way To Do It! is a display that delves into Punch's theatrical origins as the charismatic 16th century Italian character Pulcinella, looking at his influence on popular culture and his development into the comedian of the seaside booth we know today. Objects include historic Punch and Judy puppets; Mr Gus Wood's booth, dating from 1912; prints and posters; and the first ever photograph of a Punch and Judy show being watched from 1860. Museum Of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London E2, until 9th December.
Treasures From The Queen's Palaces brings together some of the finest treasures from the Royal Collection to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The artefacts in the Royal Collection, reflect the tastes of monarchs and other members of the royal family who have shaped one of the world's great art collections. The selection of 100 outstanding works in this exhibition has been made across the entire breadth of the Royal Collection, from 8 royal residences across the country and over 5 centuries of collecting. It includes paintings, drawings, miniatures, watercolours, manuscripts, furniture, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery. Highlights include paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Hals, Hogarth, Landseer, Van Dyck, Canaletto and Nash; drawings by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Poussin, Raphael and Holbein; The Sobieski Book of Hours and The Mainz Psalter; furniture by Chippendale and Woodruff; exquisite jewellery from all over the world; and Imperial Easter Eggs by Faberge. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until 4th November.
A Family In Wartime offers a picture of what life was like on the Home Front during the Second World War through the eyes of one family. The exhibition explores the lives of William and Alice Allpress and their 10 children, and reveals what life in London was really like during the war. Tracing their journey from the outbreak of war, the exhibition aims to bring home the reality of events such as the Blitz and evacuation. First hand audio accounts from members of the family, together with family photographs and an intricate model of their family home at 69 Priory Grove, South London, present a personal and intriguing insight into ordinary family life during this time of great uncertainty. Typical tasks included assisting in the evacuation of children, organising clothing exchanges, running rest centres and offering practical and emotional support to those affected by air raids. There are everyday household items from the era, such as stirrup pumps which people were encouraged to keep in case of incendiary bombs, and cookery books which gave advice on how to cook with limited rations. Newspaper clippings, propaganda posters and film footage help piece together a picture of life from the outbreak of war, from the everyday struggles, to the end of the war and the VE day celebrations. Artworks offer creative interpretations of wartime living, including Henry Moore's ghostly drawing of women and children settling in for a night on a London tube platform, Wilfred Haines's striking image of a flying bomb raid, and in contrast, Leila Faithful's nostalgic oil painting of evacuees growing cabbages in an English country garden. Imperial War Museum, London, until 31st December.
Andy Warhol: The Portfolios features some of the American master of Pop Art's most iconic print portfolios, as well as lesser known sets. Andy Warhol was always a printmaker - the works that are generally called paintings were made using silkscreen techniques from commercial printing, but produced as one-offs on canvas, rather than multiple editions of images on paper. From 1967 onwards Warhol began to create the 'portfolios' - groups of 10 works produced in editions of 100 to 250. This exhibition is a selection from those series, alongside one-off trial prints made while searching for definitive colour variations. Many reprise famous images, such as the Campbells soup cans and Flowers, but in others Warhol experiments with age old artistic genres, such as still life and landscape. The exhibition comprises 80 works from 13 portfolios, made from the early 1960s through to the mid 1980s. Iconic portraits of Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe, self portraits, and heroic and mythical figures like Superman and Uncle Sam, hang amongst surprises like 1979's 'Space Fruit: Still Lifes', 1980's 'Jews of the 20th century' and 1981's 'Myths'. These dazzlingly decorative prints, hung densely packed like a Pop Rococo 'print room', create a psychedelic feast of colour and image. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich, London SE21, until 16th September.
Animal Inside Out reveals the intricate insides of a wide variety of creatures from a frog to an elephant, and shows their comparative anatomy and biology. Having astonished (not to say repulsed) the world with his Body World exhibition, Dr Gunther von Hagens - popularly known as 'Dr Death' - who invented Plastination, the process that stops the decay of dead bodies and prepares specimens for scientific and medical education, has turned his attention from humans to animals. This revolutionary method of preservation involves extracting all water and fatty tissues from the specimen and replacing them with polymers in a vacuum. The skin of each specimen is then eroded using enzymes, bacteria or acids to reveal the skeletons, muscles, sinew, blood vessels, nervous systems and organs underneath. In this exhibition around 100 specimens range from whole animals like the giraffes, the elephant and horse, to small intricate parts like a hare's brain, and includes a shark, giant squid, goat, pig, sheep, ostriches and a gorilla. The Plastination process takes weeks, if not months depending on the size and complexity of the dissection. The star attraction - the Asian elephant - required the use of special cranes and tanks, took 64,000 hours, and cost €3.5m. The preserved animals are displayed as though suspended in motion, such as a vast bull, muscles taut and poised to attack, and a pair of reindeer captured in full flight, so they seem as much a series of artworks as an anatomical display. Natural History Museum until 16th September.
The Noble Art Of The Sword: Fashion And Fencing In Renaissance Europe provides an opportunity to investigate the historical and social development of the ancient art of sword-fighting. The exhibition reveals the untold story of a little known area of Renaissance art, revealing the skilled artistry behind the rapier, at once a weapon, fashion item, and rich jewellery object. It represents the rise of a new and upwardly mobile middle class, 16th century concepts of masculinity and the emergence of the duel of honor. The very best 16th and early 17th century swords can be seen alongside costumes, fencing manuals, beautifully illustrated by artists such as Albrecht Durer, portraits, design books and documents, which help to place the Renaissance rapier in its social and artistic context, and reveal information about the men who owned and used them. During the Renaissance civilian swords were not just weapons, they were works of art. A bewildering variety of decorative techniques went into creating the finest rapiers, fire-gilding, damascening, enamelling, steel-carving and encrusting with precious metals and fine jewels. Among the highlights are the rapier of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, modelled with unbelievable skill in solid gold, the hilt, glittering with multi-coloured enamel in many bright colours, set onto a deadly Milanese blade of the very best quality; and the rapier of Elector Christian II of Saxony, displayed for the first time alongside its matching doublet and breeches, cut from the finest Italian silk. Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1, until 16th September.