Private View held by Richard Andrews
Wellington Arch, one of London's most famous landmarks at Hyde Park Corner has been returned to its full glory after a £1.5m restoration by English Heritage. The arch, which was designed by Decimus Burton in 1825 as an entrance to Buckingham Palace, is now open to the public for the first time. The platforms beneath the sculpture Quadriga, The Angel Of Peace Descending On The Chariot Of War, offer not only a close up of the largest bronze in England, but also views across Hyde Park, Green Park and the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Inside there is a permanent display about the history of the arch. This includes the first designs, why it was moved from its original position, and how a statue of the Duke of Wellington came to be erected on top and then replaced. Another exhibition looks at London's statues and memorials, executed by some of Britain's greatest sculptors, which celebrate great figures of the past. Future 2 - Zoom In On London is a temporary display of photographs by ordinary Londoners and visitors, capturing life and events in the capital over the last 100 years. Wellington Arch continuing.
Dan Dare Got There First celebrates Britain's first and best known spaceman, whose exploits were regaled on the front page of the Eagle comic in the 1950s. It examines how remarkably accurate some of its predictions for the future were (and glosses over the absence of large green creatures with domed foreheads from contemporary life). Creator Frank Hampson's visions of satellite television, space shuttles, the channel tunnel and swing-wing aircraft are just some of the stuff of science fiction which have become science fact. The Ministry of Defence reputedly subscribed to the Eagle to see what he would come up with next. Displayed here are examples of original artwork, models of space ships used by Hampson as reference, and a recreation of the studio in which he worked. There is also collection of merchandise, with ray guns, walkie talkies, jigsaws, games and pop up books. Croydon Clocktower until 3rd June.
The Musical Years traces the history of popular musical entertainment from commedia dell'arte to the present day, through original designs, sketches and costume drawings. It highlights important landmarks such as the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, revue, and modern stage and screen musicals. Designers whose work is featured include Cecil Beaton, Erté, Tim Goodchild, Oliver Messel and Berkeley Sutcliffe.
My Fair Lady: Beyond The Stage offers an insight into the design and production process which brought the National's smash hit production to the stage. It focuses on the contribution made by the National's production workshops in the realisation of the show. Examples of costumes, accessories and props are displayed, together with some of the original designs created by Anthony Ward. Royal National Theatre, Lyttleton Circle Foyer: The Musical Years - Olivier Foyer: My Fair Lady until 30th June.
Hogarth's Election Entertainment: Artists At The Hustings illustrates that little has changed in politics in the last 250 years. The methods of bribing the electorate may be more sophisticated but the intentions (and results) are the same. This exhibition centres on the four paintings that comprise Hogarth's An Election, based on the notorious contest for the Oxfordshire seats in the General Election of 1754, which paint a darkly comic view of the greed and corruptibility of mankind. They are joined by the best works of his successors in satirical and political engravings, paintings and cartoons to the present day, gathered from collections all over Britain. These include Thomas Rowlandson's The Poll (1784); Robert Dighton's Westminster Election series (1784-96); Benjamin Haydon's monumental comic reworking of Chairing The Member (1828); George Cruikshank's A Radical Reformer (1818); George Caleb Bingham's The County Election (1854); Ronald Searle's The Candidate (1954), and Steve Bell's Pant Burning (1997). If there is any fun to be had from the General Election (whatever its date) then this is it. Sir John Soane Museum until 25th August.
Ben Tewson: The Good, The Good And The Ugly is the culmination of one man's 20 year obsession with the visual environment we create for ourselves. The architect Ben Tewson has spent most of his life studying and thinking about British architecture and design. In this show, employing photographs, design objects, press clippings and collected items, he celebrates the best (from Bakelite televisions to the Dome), condemns the worst (from urban graffiti to country fly-tipping), and champions the neglected. Tewson's mission is nothing less than to shake the British nation out of its apathy to architectural heritage and the environment. This exhibition presents a very strong case. Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax until 12th May.
Inventing New Britain: The Victorian Vision celebrates the extraordinary creativity of the Victorian age when Britain literally ruled the world. The results of the explosion of innovation in arts, design, science and technology thus spread to the ends of it. The Victorian imagination provided the foundations upon which the modern world was built. It is after all thanks to Charles Babbage's Difference Engine that you are reading this now. Marking the centenary of Queen Victoria's death, this exhibition endeavours to embody the creativity, spectacle and sense of adventure that powered her age. In addition to charting the known landmarks, such as underground trains, steam driven ships, bicycles and motor cars, it acknowledges the unknown, such as a Hiram Maxim's steam driven aeroplane of 1894 - which almost worked. It also balances technological advances including electric light, photography, the telephone and X-rays, with social advances such as public libraries, art galleries, free schooling and social housing. Victoria & Albert Museum until 29th July.
Horst Portraits: 60 Years Of Style is the first exhibition solely devoted to one of the great master photographers of the 20th century. It brings together 150 portraits taken largely during his career at Vogue where his name became synonymous with glamour. Captured over six decades Horst's evocative portraits of leading figures from the worlds of art, literature, fashion and celebrity left a lasting influence on a generation of photographers from Herb Ritts to Robert Mapplethorpe. Among those immortalised by his classic style were stars of the silver screen from Marlene Dietrich to Steve McQueen, artists and writers including Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau and fashion icons from Coco Chanel to Calvin Klein. The gallery is taking part in the Late Opening initiative and is open until 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays. National Portrait Gallery until 3rd June.
Centenary Exhibition features an eclectic selection of around 100 paintings, drawings and sculptures chosen from some of the 725 shows in the gallery's first hundred years. It is not a chronological overview, but a celebration of the diversity and unpredictability of its programming. The works have been selected by artists Anish Kapoor and Rosemarie Trockel, current director Catherine Lampert, and past directors Nicholas Serota and Bryan Robertson. They include pieces by some of the great names who had their first major British exhibition in the gallery, such as Emil Nolde, David Hockney, Bill Viola, Anthony Caro, Eva Hesse, Frida Kahlo and Philip Guston; major living and historic figures from Lucian Freud to Rembrandt, and George Stubbs to Andy Warhol; and key pieces from themed exhibitions such as Richard Hamilton's collaged poster for 'This Is Tomorrow'. There is also a Documentary Space with projections of landmark art works that no longer exist or are too fragile to show, installations, and live events. Whitechapel Gallery until 20th May.
Swallows And Amazons features a collection of boats associated with Arthur Ransome's classic children's novel. They include the sailing dinghies Mavis, which was Ransome's model for Amazon, and Coch-y-Bonddhu in which he learned to sail, and the twin screw steam yacht Esperance which inspired Captain Flint's houseboat. Outdoors the unique permanent collection of 15 craft, mostly still in working order, illustrates key stages in the development of steam launches. Dolly shows the primitive application of steam power and is unique, having been salvaged after 67 years on a lake bed, while Branksome exemplifies the development and ultimate refinement of steamboats. Indoors displays range from high speed craft to Beatrix Potter's rowing boat. There are working examples of authentic model steam boats and sailing yachts in various stages of construction, with weekend demonstrations. The launches Swallow, Osprey or Water Viper run trips on the lake every day throughout the season. Windermere Steamboat Centre until 28th October.
David Bailey: Birth Of The Cool concentrates on the work from the early years of the career of Britain's best known photographer, presenting both the familiar and previously unseen masterpieces from the years 1957 to 1969. Many of the now iconic images of the '60s were created by Bailey, here represented by portraits of Jean Shrinpton, John Lennon, Catherine Deneuve, Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, the Kray twins, Cecil Beaton, Sylvia Plath and other seminal figures. It is arguable whether he simply recorded the important people and events of the period, or in fact actually created them. In Bailey, the photographer himself became a pop icon, and it was he who was the inspiration for the central character Antonioni's film Blow Up. Bailey continues to work, and part of the exhibition juxtaposes the '60s images with his new Cool Britannia series from the '90s, which includes portraits of Naomi Campbell, Damien Hirst and Jarvis Cocker. Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 22nd April.
Futurist Photography celebrates the early 20th century avant-garde movement which embraced not just the arts but an entire way of life. Filippo Tomaso Marinetti gave it a manifesto in 1909, calling for a progressive movement to sweep away the old art in the museums and enter the new century with a bang. The speed of photography made it a key element, although paradoxically the images produced were always very carefully composed, and did not exploit its ability to capture the accidental moment. The aim was to create the impression of speed rather than actually to record it. Parascientific experiments, spiritualist photography, multi-portraits, montage effects and the chronophotographs of Etienne-Jules Marey provided the starting point from which Futurist photography grew. This exhibition comprises over 150 rare prints never before seen in the UK. The Estorick Collection specialises in Futurist art of all kinds. Estorick Collection until 22nd April.
Works Of Artifice charts the history of make up, revealing that most cultures have treated the human face and body as a canvas for self definition. The one thing that societies have never been is indifferent. Fashion has been extravagantly in favour - as in the eighteenth century - or disapprovingly against - as in the nineteenth. Make up can mask identity or underline it, in an act of conformity or defiance. Through paintings, photographs, sculptures, and audio-visual installations this exhibition illustrates the story from woad to punk, and from Goth to Geisha. It offers myriad examples of how the theatrical has entered the everyday. Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, The Birkenhead Packet, Birkenhead, 0151 652 4177, until 17th April.