Private View held by Richard Andrews
The Wernher Collection is one of the finest and most unusual 19th century mixed art collections in the world. Sir Julius Wernher was a millionaire diamond importer with a passion for collecting, and this is reflected in the eclectic mix on display. Over 650 exhibits range across jewellery, bronze, ivory, tapestry, furniture, porcelain and paintings. Among the highlights is what is believed to be the largest collection of Renaissance jewellery in the country, which includes a gold and opal encrusted pendant in the shape of a lizard adorned with rubies for its collar and tongue. The paintings include old masters by Francesco Francia, Filippino Lippi, Hans Memling and Gabriel Metsu, and English portraits by Reynolds, Romney and Hoppner. There are also carved medieval, Byzantine and Renaissance ivories, Limoges enamels and Sevres porcelain. The most unusual items are enamelled skulls, and a miniature coffin complete with 3D skeleton. Ranger's House, Greenwich until 23rd December.
The Power Of The Poster gives an account of the evolution of the poster from its early beginnings in the 1870s to the present. It covers political, social, commercial and artistic subjects, and shows how posters have been used as a powerful communication tool in the 20th century. The 250 items on show include all the usual suspects such as 'Daddy What Did You Do In The Great War?' and 'Lord Kitchener Wants You'; anti Vietnam War slogans, early campaigning examples supporting the Russian revolution, and later ones calling for the overthrow of Communism; Pears Soap, Guinness and the delights of the Underground; '60s psychedelia and op art; and works by Toulouse Lautrec, Alphone Mucha and Aubery Beardlsey. It also features some surprises and the cream of the current crop. Millennium Galleries, Sheffield until 15th September.
Pasta: Italian Culture On A Plate does exactly what it says on the tin, charting the world conquering history of the staple Italian food. Using original posters, packaging, menus, and rare documents and artefacts from the Barilla archive in Parma, the origins, history, myth and magic of pasta is explored. Marco Polo brought noodles back from China to Venice, Britons returning home from the Grand Tour in the 18th century were known as 'macaronis' for their enthusiasm for all things Italian, and Elizabeth David held it as the epitome of the Mediterranean way of life after the Second World War. This exhibition explains the shapes, decodes the messages, and also looks to the future with a new shape created by a leading designer. A range of toppings include well known Italian restaurants displaying their most popular dishes. Being part cultural history, part design, and part gastronomy, who better could there be to curate the exhibition than current cultural design guru Stephen Bayley? Estorick Collection until 15th September,
The Newsroom is an archive and visitor centre created by two of Britain's most respected newspapers, The Guardian, and The Observer - the world's oldest Sunday newspaper. It comprises storage vaults, education facility, public study centre, lecture theatre, exhibition space and cafe. Former staff members have donated documents and written memoirs for the archive that contains photographs, correspondence, diaries, notebooks and sketches. The opening exhibition, relating to the histories of the newspapers, includes Epstein's 1926 bust of CP Scott; correspondence from George Orwell, Emmeline Pankhurst and Samuel Beckett; Vita Sackville-West's notebook, containing drafts of her gardening articles for the Observer in the 1950s; photographs by Jane Bown, Eamonn McCabe and Denis Thorpe; and artwork by Steve Bell and Andrzej Krauze. An education programme enables young people to experience the way the media works today, showing how editorial decisions are reached and the news is made, and then allows them to create their own newspapers, using the latest technology. Further information and access to the archive can be found on The Newsroom web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. The Newsroom continuing.
Remix is an exploration of the connections between visual art, music, film and video, which samples them all and 'remixes' the results into a chaotic but entertaining multimedia event. The collective euphoria of crowds, clubbers and pop audiences is examined in works by Doug Aitken, Andreas Gursky, Mark Leckey and Rineke Dijkstra. The excitement of performance is explored in Andrea Bowers video installation featuring players on a complex karaoke dance routine machine, and Gillian Wearing's video of air guitarists. Fandom and the fascination with pop celebrities is the subject of paintings by Dexter Dalwood, Gary Hume, Dawn Mellor, Chris Ofili and Elizabeth Peyton. Music videos are a major part of the exhibition, with influential works from the 1990s by directors such as Chris Cunningham, Hammer and Tongs and Jonas Akerlund, for performers such as Fatboy Slim, Bjork, Radiohead and The Chemical Brothers. Tate Liverpool until 26th August.
Roman Amphitheatre is a reminder of the days of good old fashioned entertainment, which has re-opened in the city of London, after a period of darkness lasting 1,700 years. About 1/7 the size of the Colliseum in Rome, the 7,000 capacity venue is one of the most important British archaeological finds of the last century. It was rediscovered underneath the London Guildhall's medieval foundations in 1988. Originally constructed in timber around 70AD, it was replaced by the existing stone structure early in the 2nd century, and finally fell into disuse in 4th century. An oval about 60 yards by 100 yards, it was the setting for a variety of battles, featuring gladiators, wild animals and condemned criminals, as well as chariot races and re-enactments of sea battles. The preservation of the remains and installation of a visual recreation of the arena has cost £1.3m. In the ultimate backstage tour, visitors can follow the route from the cells where victims awaited their fate, down a 20 yard passage into the arena itself. Further information can be found on the Guildhall Art Gallery web site via the link opposite. Entrance to the amphitheatre is included with admission to the gallery. Guildhall Art Gallery continuing.
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around 1200 works covering paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from over 12,000 submissions. Since last year the courtyard has had a makeover, with fountains placed to represent the position of the stars at the birth of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Academy's first President, creating a new exhibition space, which features a giant snowman by Gary Hume. Following Peter Blake's changes last year, works are divided into categories of Royal Academicians, Honorary Academicians, Invited Artists and Submissions, and hung in different rooms, thus separating professionals from amateurs. This year's senior hanger, sculptor Bryan Kneale, has gone further, increasing the prominence of sculpture over painting, so it now encompasses four rooms, including works by Ivor Abrahams, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, and the exhibition 'signature' shop window mannequins by Allen Jones. Under the aegis of Will Alsop, even the architecture display has gone 3D, with more models and fewer drawings on show. Unfortunately this dash for 21st century, instead of enhancing the best qualities of the original, has the effect of turning it into a poor imitation of the Turner Prize. As our American cousins say "Baby/bathwater - you do the math".Royal Academy of Arts until 19th August.
Jubilee Odyssey is the latest of this year's new theme park attractions, being the world's longest suspended roller coaster, with six inversions and speeds of up to 100mph. At £28m it is the most expensive ride to be built in the UK, boasting a record-breaking 200ft vertical loop, and at 60%, the steepest drop in Europe. This is soon to be followed by G-Force, a cross between a 200ft tower ride and a pendulum. These white-knuckle attractions join the existing Volcanic Eruption, hurling the fearless 200ft out of a volcano crater as it erupts with a force of 4.5Gs; The Beast, subjecting its prey to 360º triple rolls suspended high above the ground; Dragon Mountain, Europe's longest water coaster with the fastest descent; and the Simex Imax Ridefilm Theatre, with six different motion simulation experiences. Further information can be found on the Fantasy Island web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. Fantasy Island, Skegness until 3rd November.
The Castle And The Crown: The Story Of The Tower Of London And The Coronation celebrates the role of the Tower in the coronation of England's monarchs, and the history of the storage and display of the crown jewels. For over 600 years, kings and queens of England have stored crowns, robes and other valuable items of ceremonial regalia here, and since 17th century this collection has been known as the crown jewels and been on show to visitors. This exhibition features paintings, artefacts, documents, and some of the oldest and most beautiful pieces of the regalia returned for the first time since they left many centuries ago. These include the 15th century crown of Margaret of York, one of only two Medieval crowns to survive the Civil War; Henry VIII's gold Clock Salt; Mary II's coronation ring, together with a letter written about it in her own hand; and a dagger used by Colonel Blood in an attempt to steal the crown jewels in 1671. The exhibition explains the role played by the Tower in the pageantry and ceremony of all coronations for over 400 years until establishment of the Commonwealth. It also examines the recreation of the regalia at the Restoration in 1661, after Cromwell had destroyed most of the original collection. Tower Of London until 29th September.
Earth and Fire: Italian Terracotta Sculpture From Donatello To Canova demonstrates how Italian sculptors have explored the versatility of terracotta - literally baked earth - to create some of the most expressive sculptures in the history of art. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to assess the wide variety of roles played by terracotta sculpture between 1400 and 1800, showing the importance of models in the development of Italian sculpture as a form. Clay is a very responsive material, recording every touch of the artist's hand or tool, and was employed in sculpture and relief panels, both plain and coloured. For the first time, this exhibition brings together a unique collection of pieces from around the world, including drawings, terracotta models and finished works, illustrating the changes between a sculptor's initial concept and the final result. There are works by some of the greatest sculptors ever, including Ghiberti, Donatello, Bologna, Bernini, Algardi and Canova. Victoria & Albert Museum until 7th July.
Hygiene: The Art Of Public Health is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Central St Martin's School Of Art And Design and the London School Of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine. It is a collection of works by 16 sculptors, film makers, photographers and installation artists on the theme of hygiene. These include Julian Walker's fragments found on the bed of the Thames, each labelled with a disease; Susan Bird's text based installation, drawing on accounts of sufferers of delirium caused by typhoid and typhus; Jordan Baseman's film Thriller, looking at the link between obsessive behaviour and hygiene, based on TV interviews with Michael Jackson; Naomi Dines body on a trolley, which explores perceptions and taboos surrounding bodily fluids; and Andrew Carnie's sequential set of 162 slides and a photographic print dealing with the disposal of the body, and the different ways in which it is prepared for burial. All human life etc.London School Of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street London WC1 020 7636 8636 until 6th July.
Cooks And Campaigners is the first exhibition at the new location of The Women's Library, which is now part of a museum and cultural centre that has been created in the former Whitechapel Public Baths and Wash House. The opening coincides with the 75th anniversary of the library's foundation. The exhibition is a selection of items from the library's collection made by 40 personalities, including Cherie Booth, Trevor Phillips, Mary Quant, Janet Street-Porter, Bill Morris, Bonnie Greer, Roy Strong and Kate Adie. It covers all aspects of women's lives, ranging from suffrage propaganda items such as tea cups and card games, through teen and home making magazines, to the changing face of fashion. The reading room houses the most extensive collection of women's history in the UK, comprising over 60,000 books and pamphlets, 2,400 periodical titles, 350 special collections of personal papers, and records of societies and associations, plus a wealth of posters, photographs, post cards and other visual material. It reflects the lives of women over the last 300 years, covering the campaign for the vote, the struggle for education, social, political and medical history, domestic affairs, equal opportunities, the law, cookery and fashion. The Women's Library until 4th July.