Private View held by Richard Andrews
London Open House is the annual scheme that allows public access to architecturally interesting but usually private buildings across the capital. Over 700 buildings of all kinds, both historic and new, include Almeida, Hackney Empire and National theatres; King's Place, Royal Festival and Wigmore concert halls; Admiralty Buildings Whitehall, Horse Guards and Marlborough House; Brockwell Lido, Greenwich Yacht Club and London Regatta Centre; Foster and Partners and Hopkins Architects' offices; Bank of England, Apothecaries and Painters Livery Halls; Alexander Palace TV studio, BBC Television Centre and Sands Film Studios; Gray's Inn, Middle Temple Hall and the Royal Courts of Justice; Dorchester, Grosvenor House and Andaz (Great Eastern) hotels; Brompton, Kensal Green and Nunhead cemeteries; City Hall and Guildhall; Dulwich College and RADA; Banqueting House and Reform Club; Beefeater Distillery, King George V Pumping Station and Markfiel Beam Engine House; Roof Gardens Kensington and the 2012 Olympic Park construction site. There are also talks, conducted walks and other accompanying special events taking place at various locations over the course of the weekend. Entrance is free, but because of limited access, a few of the buildings require prebooking. Further details and how to obtain a directory of participating buildings can be found on the London Open House web site via the link from Festivals in the Others section of ExhibitionsNet. Across London on 18th and 19th September.
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 Fear The Glampire, a glamorous, gothic creation designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen; Dino Doom, a fantasy-inspired dinosaur attack in a spectacular large tableau, flooded with lighting effects and projections; Haunted Blackpool, genuine Blackpool ghost stories depicted in a spooky feature using projections and dramatic sounds and lights; and Fountainsey Island, with Gynn Island converted into a bright and colourful water paradise, awash with a mix of electronic fountains, water-based features and lights. 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 7th November.
Doll Face: Photographs Of Dolls By Craig Deane features large-scale images of dolls from the museum's extensive collection. Portrait and still life photographer Craig Deane has created 35 of close-cropped, 3ft tall portraits that confront the audience with the essence of each doll. Returning the viewer's gaze like a police mug shot, their huge scale shows a great amount of detail that allows time to really study their faces. Deane is interested in both the representation of the human form and the objects people surround themselves with. Mankind's desire to make images and objects in their own likeness stretches back to the dawn of civilisation, and while dolls have traditionally been toys for children, they are also coveted by adults for their beauty, nostalgic value, and historical and financial importance. Deane is particularly interested in exploring the evolving representations we have made of ourselves - and given to our children to play with - as illustrated by the broad spectrum of dolls held in the 8,000 strong collection at the museum. The dolls photographed include a beatnik CND doll from the 1960s, a pedlar doll with a leather face from the 1830s, a Japanese doll from the early 1900s, a French adult male doll from the 1860s, a bisque doll with teeth from the 1930s, and a vinyl three faced doll from Hong Kong from the late 1960s. The oldest doll in the collection comes from ancient Egypt and is over 3,000 years old. The museum has dolls which speak, walk, blow kisses or play musical instruments, made from many different materials: rubber, prunes and mutton bones as well as the more usual cloth, wood, ceramic, plastic and wax. Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London E2, until 2nd January.
Raphael: Cartoons And Tapestries For The Sistine Chapel brings together for the first time the full size designs and the actual tapestries made for the Vatican City almost 500 years ago. This is a display of 4 of the 10 original tapestries designed by Raphael for the walls of the Sistine Chapel, never before seen in Britain, alongside the designs (or cartoons) acquired by Charles I in 1623. The tapestries of the Acts of St Peter and St Paul, 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes', 'Christ's Charge to Peter', 'The Healing of the Lame Man' and 'The Sacrifice at Lystra', were commissioned from Raphael by Pope Leo X. The tapestries were made in Brussels, Europe's leading centre for tapestry weaving, and then sent to Rome for display. As the cartoons remained in Brussels, Raphael himself never saw the cartoons beside the tapestries woven from them. This display sees the 4 tapestries hung next to the 7 cartoons. The design of each cartoon corresponds in every point to the tapestry it was made for - but in reverse. The weavers cut Raphael's cartoons into strips and copied them closely, weaving each tapestry from the back, so the front image was the reverse of its cartoon. The painted strips of cartoon were joined together again later, and became prized as artworks in their own right. They were acquired by Charles I in order to have copies of the tapestries made for himself. In addition to the tapestries and cartoons, the display also includes some of Raphael's preparatory drawings, the 17th century British tapestry copy of 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes', and other items relating to Pope Leo X and the Sistine Chapel. Victoria & Albert Museum until 17th October.
Ruins, Rotas And Romance marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the remains of Britain's largest Roman palace. In true British style, the palace was discovered by accident during the digging of a water main trench in 1960. The discovery led to 9 seasons of excavations that showed the site had developed from a military base at the time of the Roman invasion in AD43 to a sumptuous palace by the end of the 1st century. It was the one of the biggest systematic Romano-British excavations of its time, undertaken by hundreds of volunteers from all over the world, with around 70 working together at any one time. Between 1995 and 2002, new excavations revealed exciting new insights into the development of the site. The palace and gardens contain a hypocaust (the Roman under floor heating system) and the largest collection of near perfect in-situ mosaic floors in Britain, some 20 in all, including the famous 'Cupid on a Dolphin' mosaic. Over the years the garden has been replanted true to the original plan revealed by the archaeology. The story of the excavations and the people whose labours revealed these treasures is told through an audio-visual programme, rare records, handwritten notes, diaries, photographs, plans, reconstruction drawings and models, together with artefacts that were discovered. Fishbourne Roman Palace, near Chichester, West Sussex, until 15th December.
Eadweard Muybridge is a retrospective of the work of the pioneering Anglo-American photographer. Bringing together over 150 works, this exhibition demonstrates how Eadweard Muybridge broke new ground in the emerging art form of photography, exploring how he created and honed remarkable images that continue to resonate powerfully. Although best known for his extensive photographic portrayal of animal and human subjects in motion, Muybridge was also a highly successful landscape and survey photographer, documentary artist, war correspondent and inventor. His revolutionary techniques produced timeless images that have profoundly influenced succeeding generations of photographers, filmmakers and artists. This exhibition focuses on the period of rapid technological and cultural change from the late 1860s to 1904, and includes the celebrated experimental series of motion-capture photographs such as 'The Attitudes of Animals in Motion' and the sequence 'Animal Locomotion'. The display also reveals how Muybridge constructed, manipulated and presented these photographs, and features his original zoopraxiscope, which projected his images of suspended motion to create the illusion of movement. The carefully managed studio photographs contrast with his panoramic landscapes of America, recording both the natural beauty of this vast continent, and the rapid colonial modernisation of its towns and cities. Images from this period include views of Yosemite Valley, Alaska, Guatemala, urban panoramas of San Francisco, and a survey of the construction of the eastward bound railroad through California, Nevada and Utah. These photographs form a unique social document of this period of history, as well as representing a profound achievement of technological innovation and artistic originality. Tate Britain until 16th January.
London's Water: 400 Years Of The New River looks at this waterway's role in London's water supply, with the use of images and interpretive texts. The New River was constructed at the beginning of the 17th century to bring fresh water from springs in Hertfordshire to the New River Head reservoirs in Islington. It was built by the New River Company, which was to become the largest private water company in London. Among the paintings are 'Prospect of the City from the North' from around 1730, showing the newly created reservoir alongside Sadler's Wells, which was then one of a number of health resorts in Islington, with the recently constructed St Paul's Cathedral in the background; and Samuel Scott's 'Entrance to the Fleet River' an almost Ventian view of the New River, which now only survives underground as a sewer.
The Story Of Smithfield Market tells the story of London's largest meat market and the historic Smithfield area. Once a site of execution, where heretics were burnt during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, Smithfield was also the venue for the lively and sometimes raucous Bartholomew Fair, shown in contemporary engravings. A livestock market was officially established at Smithfield in 1638 but as the City and the market itself expanded, problems including stampeding cattle and animal overcrowding arose. Finally in 1855 the sale of livestock was transferred to Islington, reflected in William Henry Davis's 'The Metropolitan Cattle Market', and Smithfield became a meat market, shown in 20th century works by Jacqueline Stanley and Hubert Andrew Freeth.
Guildhall Art Gallery, London, until March.
Edward Weston: Life Work is a retrospective of the work of the American who was regarded as one of the masters of 20th century photography. Edward Weston's legacy of carefully composed and superbly printed photographs has influenced photographers around the world. This exhibition is the largest ever to be shown in Britain. It contains 115 vintage prints from every phase of Weston's career, with previously unpublished masterpieces interspersed with signature images. Weston began his career as a relatively unremarkable commercial portrait photographer. A stay in Mexico heralded a new trimmed-down approach, which led on to his memorable still life photographs of the late 1920s. They in turn fed naturally into a remarkable set of sculptural nudes in the 1930s. Subsequently, Weston's style loosened as he turned to the open landscape. The exhibition is arranged in thematic sections: Early Work, Mexico, Portraits, Nudes, Still Life, Early Landscape and Late Landscape. Images include an important suite of six dune studies made near Oceano, California in 1934 and 1936; 'Excusado', the iconic photograph of a lavatory pan, and the bedpan on its side that looks like a bird; two nested nautilus shells; the nude-like 'Pepper No 30' and 'Anita (Pear-Shaped Nude)'; the 'Armco Steel, Middletown, Ohio' factory chimneys and 'Three Radishes'; and his final photograph, nicknamed 'The Dody Rocks'. A 30 minute video, Remembering Edward Weston, featuring interviews with family members accompanies the show. City Art Centre, Edinburgh, until 24th October.
Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory And War traces the complex intertwining of the documented, the remembered, and the imagined in published and unpublished writings of the First World War poet. The display looks at how the horrors of the war changed Siegfried Sassoon from being a patriot of his country, to being a stern critic of government and political leaders. The tension between life as he was living it and recollections of his former self lay behind much of Sassoon's writing, and memory - sensuously evoked but stringently selected - was central to his literary achievement. The material on view includes the pocket notebooks in which Sassoon kept a journal of his time on the Western Front, including diary entries for the first day on the Somme, and the moment when he was shot by a sniper at the Battle of Arras; autograph poems and letters home written while on active service in France; a verse letter from his friend the novelist and poet Robert Graves that Sassoon carried tucked inside his diary in his tunic pocket in battle; heavily-worked drafts of post-war poems and autobiographies; personal photographs and sketches; notebooks and diaries recording his sporting exploits, including fox hunting, riding and cricket; rare and annotated printed editions; the notebook in which he originally wrote his Soldier's Declaration, the iconic 1917 protest against the continuation of the First World War, still stained with the mud of the trenches, the telegram summoning him to Army HQ to explain himself when it became public, and his own printed copy. Cambridge University Library until 23rd December.
Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880 - 1900 is the first major exhibition devoted to this influential group of artists in a generation. The Glasgow Boys were a loosely bound group of around 20 artists, influenced by the Realism of French painter Le Bastien-Lepage and the artistic theories of their hero James McNeill Whistler. Not all of the artists in the group attended Glasgow School of Art, or were even Scottish, but they did all have studios in the city. The Glasgow Boys painted outdoors at various places in Scotland during the summer and returned to Glasgow in the winter. There was great friendship, and a regular exchange of ideas, between most of the members of the group. This is the definitive Glasgow Boys exhibition, comprising around 100 oil paintings and 50 works on paper, both celebrating the achievements of the group and reviewing their legacy. All the important artists in the group are represented, including James Guthrie, E A Hornel, George Henry, John Lavery, Joseph Crawhall, Arthur Melville, James Paterson, William Kennedy, E A Walton, Alexander Mann, Thomas Millie Dow and Bessie McNicol, the only female artist closely associated with them. Highlights include Guthrie's 'To Pastures New' and 'Funeral Service In The Highlands', Henry's 'Playmates' and 'The Druids Bringing in the Mistletoe', Lavery's 'Woman On A Safety Tricycle' and 'The Tennis Party', William Kennedy's 'Stirling Station', and Hornel and Henry's paintings from their Japanese expedition. Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, until 27th September.
Sargent And The Sea focuses on the formative years in the artistic career of the painter once called 'the Van Dyck of his time', covering the period from 1874 to around 1879. The exhibition of 80 paintings, drawings and watercolours by John Singer Sargent ranges from seaside idylls, through tumultuous Romantic seascapes, to studies of dock life intimating his mature, sober side. It opens with works made during summer expeditions by Sargent to the Normandy and Brittany coasts in 1874 and 1875, and continues with a series of innovative seascapes, including three newly discovered works that were inspired by his experience of the Atlantic, when he visited America for the first time. A group of drawings and a little known scrapbook from that period reveal Sargent's precocious talent as a draughtsman, and his detailed knowledge of ships' rigging and tackle. Among the highlights are: 'En Route pour la peche', and 'Fishing for Oysters at Cancale',showing fisherfolk in the little Breton port of Cancale; 'Neapolitan Children Bathing', an evocation of the brilliant light and blue sea of Capri; 'Mid Ocean, Mid Winter', where icy green and black waves swell ominously; a group of Mediterranean port scenes in oil and watercolour; and boating watercolours painted in Venice in the early 20th century. Positioned between the traditional and the modern, Sargent tested the boundaries of marine art with unconventional viewpoints, the realism with which he rendered light and tone, and the bravura brushwork that would be a distinguishing feature of his later career. Royal Academy of Arts until 26th September.
Skin considers the changing importance of the largest and probably most overlooked human organ, from anatomical thought in the 16th century through to contemporary artistic exploration. The exhibition focuses on the historical transformation of both the scientific understanding and cultural significance of human skin, plotting it as beliefs, facts and popular mindsets have all evolved. Covering four themes: Objects, Marks, Impressions and Afterlives, it begins by looking at the skin as a frontier between the inside and the outside of the body, which early anatomists saw as having little value, and sought to flay to reveal the workings of the body beneath. It then moves to look at the skin as a living document, with tattoos, scars, wrinkles or various pathologies. Finally, the skin is considered as a sensory organ of touch and as a delicate threshold between life and death. The display incorporates early medical drawings, 19th century paintings, anatomical models and cultural artefacts juxtaposed with sculpture, photography and film works, by artists including Damien Hirst, Helen Chadwick and Wim Delvoye. It is complemented by the 'Skin Lab', which features artistic responses to developments in plastic surgery, scar treatments and synthetic skin technologies, including newly commissioned works by the artists Rhian Solomon and Gemma Anderson. Wellcome Collection, London until 26th September.