News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th January 2000


Sir Thomas More was imprisoned in the Bell Tower of the Tower Of London in 1534, for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as Head of the Church in England, in place of the Pope. He was executed on Tower Hill a year later. (They don't make tourist attractions like they used to.) From this week More's cell is open to the public for the first time. It is presented as bare stone, without the wall hangings and furniture which More, as Lord Chancellor and therefore a high status prisoner, would have been allowed to install. There is an accompanying exhibition, which includes a now tattered transcript of More's conversation with Solicitor General Richard Rich, the main evidence for his conviction. It forms part of a Thomas More trail, linking the Tower with other sites along the Thames associated with his life, such as Lambeth Palace.

1900: Art at the Crossroads is a recreation of the exhibitions staged in the different national pavilions at Paris Exposition of 1900, effectively a survey of the art of the day, during the birth of modernism. It is a fascinating juxtaposition of now forgotten artists who were the toast of their time, and the usual suspects including Picasso, Monet, Munch, Klimt, Mondrian, Cezanne, Matisse and Kandinsky. The exhibition brings together hundreds of paintings and sculptures from all over the world, and is shown in all 12 galleries of Burlington House, with the works arranged in themes. Royal Academy 16th January until 3rd April.

Treasures Of The North is a public exhibition of private masterpieces, in aid of charitable causes. It features a wide variety of works, from Rosetti to Damien Hurst, including over l00 paintings and drawings, English and French furniture, historic jewels, rare silver and porcelain, drawn from historic collections in the North of England. Many of these have never been seen in public before. The exhibition moves on to the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester from 25th February to 9th April. Christie's, London until 13th February


Rene Magritte was the foremost exponent of the surrealist movement, and this exhibition contains 70 of his works, some of which are among the most memorable images of the 20th century. Clouds and bowler hats aplenty then - and the fact that he was Belgian somehow makes it even more surreal. The Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 26th March.

Sixty Years Of Batman turns Bethnal Green into Gotham City (a big improvement however you look at it). Comprised of early artwork, models, costumes and memorabilia, it celebrates the entire history of the Caped Crusader and his cohorts Boy Wonder and Batgirl, not forgetting their collection of dastardly foes. Creator Bob Kane was apparently inspired by a Leonardo da Vinci drawing of a flying machine with bat wings. (Is there nothing Leonardo didn't think of first?) There is an accompanying programme of Saturday workshops for children. National Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green London until 27th February. 0181 980 2415.

The Story Of Time is combination of art and science, reflecting the ways in which people and cultures throughout history have expressed their understanding of time. Artefacts loaned by the world's museums, libraries and art galleries include works by Titian, Poussin and Dali, displayed alongside a Navajo sand painting, Chinese ancestor portraits, the earliest known dated watch, a 14th century Book of Hours, manuscripts from as early as the 10th century and a 20th century photograph taken by the Hubble telescope. Now Greenwich may enter the 21st century as the home of Greenwich Electronic Time, a new world standard time on the internet.

The Queen's House, Greenwich (part of the Royal Observatory) until 24th September.

The British Airways London Eye missed its VIP launch on New Year's Eve, but as soon as it is fixed we can all "enjoy" a 30 minute slow-moving "flight" over the heart of the capital in the 135-metre high attraction, which will remain on the river for five years. Booking on 0870 5000 600. Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, London

The Apocalypse and the shape of things to come is an exhibition of images inspired by the end of the world as described in the Book of Revelation. Illuminated manuscripts, books, single sheet prints and drawings from the 11th century up to the end of the Second World War, focus on particular episodes or apocalyptic phases which have often occurred at the end of centuries, and have always been rooted in historical and political circumstances. It is accompanied by an Apocalyptical event programme of concerts, lectures and a symposium. British Museum until 24th April.

Mark Power: Dome The Official Millenium Dome photographer Mark Power brings his visual document of the project up to date, with a new show of previously unseen photos taken in the last year, at the Zelda Cheatie Gallery. Zelda Cheatie Gallery, London until 29th January.


Shake, Rattle and Roll the Dice! examines a thousand years of skill, chance and cheating at board games. Visitors can discover how to cheat with a set of medieval loaded dice, see a one thousand-year-old strategy war game carved in stone which was played by Vikings, try to beat the computer at CD Rom Monopoly and play a game of time travel around the world, from Africa to Asia, from medieval times to today. Croydon Clocktower, London until 30th January.

Gary Hume has been tagged as the "Painter of Now" for his hard, bright images, painted in gloss paint on aluminium panels. He is popular with both a young public, and the old Establishment codgers who chose him to represent Britain at this year's Venice Biennale. This exhibition is a surprise, consisting of a series of angels - but not of the Renaissance variety. These are more extraterrestrial, with kite like wings and mask like faces, and are ten feet tall, created by taking outlines from photographic images, blowing up certain details, and filling in the templates with bright commercial gloss. This is really what Changing Rooms should be about. Whitechapel Art Gallery, London until 23rd January.

Renaissance Florence: The Art of the 1470s focuses on the work of a period of phenomenal creativity, and includes works by all the greatest artists working in the city at the time: Andrea del Verrocchio's "Ruskin Madonna" from Edinburgh, Sandro Botticelli's "Discovery of the Dead Holofernes" from the Uffizi and Filippino Lippi's recently discovered "Dead Christ Mourned" from the Musée Thomas Henry, Cherbourg. These accompany masterpieces from the Gallery's own collection: Verrocchio's "Tobias and the Angel", Antonio and Piero del Pollaiuolo's "Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian" and Botticelli's "Venus and Mars". National Gallery until 16th January.