Private View held by Richard Andrews
One of the world's greatest examples of railway enthusiasm is now on permanent display at the National Railway Museum - a model layout of the entire London and North Western Railway stock on a particular day in the 1920's. Working from photographs, drawings and a lifetime of trainspotting notebooks, Jim Richards created a unique historical snapshot, in working models of everything from glamorous expresses to humble narrow gauge coal trains. The collection of 610 items, which is housed in a special gallery in The Works, was left to the museum by Richards who died last year at the age of 96.
A Positive View 2 offers the opportunity not only to see some of the greatest photographs ever taken, but also to buy them. There are images from 123 photographers spanning the worlds of fashion, film, sport, and journalism over the last century, including Bert Stein's famous 1962 Monroe photograph: Marilyn With Roses. Both old masters Beaton, Brandt and Cartier-Bresson, and tyro talents Demarchelier, Testino and Rankin are represented in the collection. All the prints have been donated to be auctioned in support of Fairbridge to benefit inner city youth.
Exhibition at The Chimney, The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane London E1, 020 8372 5456 until 27th April. Charity auction at Christie's on 5th May.
Box Project presents the responses by over 2000 artists, curators, writers and collectors to an invitation from the Museum Of Installations to fill a customised A5 cardboard container with something interesting. Offerings range from the dull to the bizarre, but the accumulative effect is impressive, and Glenn Onwin, Maurieke Van Diemen, Richard Wentworth and Magdalena Jetlova provide genuinely interesting mini installations. Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, 01942 404558 until 23rd May.
Beanoland is a new attraction where the pages of Britains favourite comic come to life. You can join its best known comic characters, taking a spin on Billy's Whizzer, the world's first water waveswinger, bump into friends on Roger the Dodger's Dodgems, and watch Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Softy Walter and Minnie the Minx in three different stunt shows (involving human catapults and lots of water) running throughout the day. Chessington World Of Adventures until 29th October.
Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites is the exhibition which relaunches Tate Britain at Millbank, now that the daubs, dead animals and building materials have been shipped down river to Bankside. The centenary of Britain's most influential critic is marked by over 250 examples of both his own accomplished work, and that of the painters he championed. Turner (arguably the Shakespeare of the brush) justifiably predominates, with support from Millais, Rossetti, Hunt, Whistler and Burne-Jones. RePresenting Britain 1500 - 2000 is a radical re-presentation of the Tate's permanent collection (Nicholas Serota being the King of the rehang) as the main gallery displays have been organised by theme rather than by date, with each room looking at one aspect of a theme. Tate Britain: Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites until 29th May, and RePresenting Britain 1500 - 2000 until September.
The Art Of Star Wars explores the creative process that brought the film series to the screen. For the first time in the UK, over 250 original models, production paintings, concept drawings and costumes from the Lucasfilms archive at Skywalker Ranch show how the fantastic creatures and characters of the Star Wars universe were realised. Exhibits include concept drawings illustrating the development of the characters Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO, Queen Amidala's gowns, and a full size version of Anakin Skywalker's Podracer suspended as if in flight. An interactive area allows visitors to try on masks, hear how John Williams score and effects were created, and even operate a remote control animatronic creature. Barbican Centre Art Gallery 13th April until 30th July.
Peter Blake: About Collage offers an insight into Blake's practice as a collector and maker of collage. He has contributed significantly to the development of the technique since his student days, and his work includes the landmark Beatles Sgt Pepper album cover. Here Blake presents his personal selection of collage from the Tate Collection, including pieces by Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and Jean Dubuffet, together with work by famous and anonymous artists from his own collection. Collaged clothing, furniture and trinkets are included to reveal the broad use of the technique, and the exhibition also examines Blake's own use of collage. Tate Gallery Liverpool until 4th March 2001.
Art Nouveau 1890-1914 is the largest show of examples of the style since the movement's heyday. It includes work by all the major figures, including Beardsley prints, Tiffany lamps, Mackintosh chairs, Lalique jewellery, Galle vases and even an entrance to a Paris Metro station. The extraordinary fusion of nature, materials and the domestic environment is truly celebrated. What this exhibition also reveals is the oriental, Arabic and Celtic inspiration, by showing examples of antecedents alongside the art nouveau pieces. This movement was the last flowering of the hand crafted artefact, before machine made mass production became the norm. A unique opportunity to return to a time when style and quality outweighed accessibility and price. Victoria & Albert Museum until 3rd September.
The Dome has at last officially unveiled its sculptures, commissioned to enhance the outside of the structure, featuring work by Anthony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Richard Wilson and Tony Cragg. They are late arrivals at the Millennium Ball owing to overdue payments by NMEC, the dome management company. Gormley worked day and night to complete his piece Quantum Cloud - a 90ft high creation of 3,500 steel tubes - by New Year's Eve, but even now, consulting engineers Elliott Wood have still not received all the money they are owed. I suppose it was so much simpler when it was just an artist, a block of stone and a chisel. The Millennium Experience until 31st December.
Painted Illusions: The Art of Cornelius Gijsbrechts id dedicated to the art of deception, with work by one of the most important painters of illusionistic or trompe l'oeil pictures in European art, seen in London for the first time. One of the favourite themes of 17th century trompe-l'oeil painters was the letter rack, with papers and other objects tucked into, or hung from, ribbons stretched across a board. Gijsbrechts raised this to a new level of sophistication, with an extraordinary assortment of letters (often addressed to himself as "painter to the king of Denmark"), almanacs (which date the paintings), engravings, royal proclamations, miniature portraits, quill pens, tidies with pockets, and tools and equipment of every imaginable kind. National Gallery until 1st May.
Curtain Call is a 46ft video triptych by Nick Stewart featuring the activities of the Royal Festival Hall. Stewart filmed the comings and goings in the building by day and by night over a six month period, and the result is a mesmeric video diary of this venerable arts institution, which will reach its half century next year. Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London until 30th April.
Tempus: The Art Of Time is another millennial exhibition exploring time in art and science, from Ancient Egyptian sundials to thermoluminescence testing. Through calendars and diaries, paintings and the written word, it examines how cultures and civilisations down the ages have striven to record, measure or represent this elusive concept. Like the Royal Observatory, Cambridge can claim real credentials for staging such an exhibition, in their case thanks to Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking. There is an accompanying programme of school and adult projects and events. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge until 30th April.