News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th November 1999


The Natural History Museum's best kept secret, its internationally renowned research into the world's environmental problems, is to be opened up to the public in its £100m Darwin Centre project. For the first time, visitors will be able to see both the museum's unique specimens, such as a catfish caught by Charles Darwin, and the department's 300 scientists actually at work. The new Centre will have guided tours, during which scientists will explain the research in which they are engaged. Current areas of activity include the transmission of tropical diseases, and methods of testing the quality of fresh water. The museum has already raised £27 (without Lottery funding) for the first phase of the project, and building work has already begun, with the opening scheduled for 2002.

Moonraker, Strangelove and other celluloid dreams: the visionary art of Ken Adam is the snappy title of a groundbreaking exhibition of work by one of the great film production designers. Twice winner of an Oscar, Adam is probably best known for his "bunker" interiors, such as the war room in Dr Strangelove, and the Bond villain lairs. This show presents more than two hundred drawings and extracts from many of his films, including Dr Strangelove, Sleuth, Barry Lyndon, The Madness of King George and seven of the James Bond series. The Serpentine Gallery until 9th January.

Amazons Of The Avant-Garde looks at the unique contribution to the development of twentieth century art of six extraordinary woman artists, who had a crucial impact on political, ideological and social thought. It traces the evolution of the Russian Avant-Garde, from the turn of the century through to its suppression in the mid-1920s, one of the most vital and prolific chapters in the history of Russian art. Drawn from more than thirty public and private collections, many of these works are being shown for the first time in the West. Royal Academy of Arts until 6th February.


Magna Brava features the work of the only five women who have been members of the Magnum Photo Agency of documentary photography in its fifty year history. The world of serious photo-journalism and photo-documentary has mostly presented a boy's own adventure point of view of the world, but the work of Eve Arnold, Martine Franck, Susan Meisalas, Inge Morath and Marilyn Silverstone offers a different perspective. Subjects range from the great and the good in unguarded moments, to un-named victims of torture in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh until 30th January.

Hampton Court Lantern-lit Tours Guides in full period costume give you a taste of the atmosphere of this historic palace after dark. Find out about events which took place during a period of almost two hundred years, when this royal residence on the Thames was at the centre of court life, politics and national history. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5.00pm, 5.30pm and 6.00pm - booking essential. Hampton Court Palace until 22nd December

Natural Dependency shows the work of ten artists on the theme of the contemporary desire for excess and extremes, be it beauty, fantasy, wealth, or even death. It includes Anya Gallaccio's carpet of 2000,000 gold coins, Virgil Marti's ultra-violet lit silver flock wallpaper, and Jo Mitchel's "Girl On A Motorcycle 1999". Jerwood Gallery, London until 12th December.

Guildhall Art Gallery closed since 1941, was officially reopened on 2nd November, in a new £70m building designed by Richard Gilbert Scott. The collection ranges from scenes of the IRA bombing of Bishopsgate to the Great Fire of London, including events such as Bartholomew Fair (finally banned for being "raucous and disorderly") and The Calves Head Club (a group of Cromwell supporters, whose meetings were disrupted by mobs throwing rocks). The centrepiece is a huge 16ft by 27ft canvas by John Singleton Copley entitled The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 1782. Guildhall Art Gallery until 20th February.

C R W Nevinson: The Twentieth Century Best known as a war artist, C R W Nevinson was described as "a journalist in paint" for the quality of his work, in which he avoided cliché and predictability. He was also a leading light in the London version of Italian Futurism. This exhibition of Nevinson's paintings, drawings and prints is the most comprehensive ever mounted, covering his entire career, including the inter-war cityscapes of London, Paris and New York, and the apocalyptic foreboding of his last works. A series of talks accompanies the exhibition. Imperial War Museum until 30th January.

The Turner Prize has now become a major event in the arts calendar, attracting a betting frenzy rivalling the Booker. Odds seem to be on either Tracy Emin's unmade bed (possibly in the hope that she will disgrace herself at the Award presentation) or Jane and Louise Wilson's video installation. All will be revealed on 30th November, but you can make your own mind up by visiting now, as well as putting the nominated works into perspective, by visiting the other permanent 20th century galleries. Tate Gallery London SW1 until 6th February.


L S Lowry is best known for matchstick figures in grey Northern townscapes, but in later years his style developed into something far more extraordinary. Firstly there are mysterious seascapes which have an almost Turner like quality. Then there are his last drawings, where his characters have an almost Alice In Wonderland like extravagance. This is a rare chance to see some of those works. Salford Art Gallery until 5th December.

Van Dyck 1599 - 1649 revolutionised portraiture, a central art form in England, by introducing elegant and informal poses, very different from the starched and stilted style of earlier artists. To mark the four hundredth anniversary of his birth, the Royal Academy has joined with the city of Antwerp, Anthony Van Dyck's birthplace, to assemble over one hundred paintings, spanning his whole career, creating the biggest ever exhibition of his work. Royal Academy of Arts until 3rd December.

Steve Bell: Bell's Eye offers a twenty year retrospective of the work of Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, the man responsible for putting John Major in Y-fronts, and the first person to spot that the mad-eyed stare of "call me Tony" Blair, is eerily reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher. Barbican Centre Foyer Gallery until 21st November.