News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th May 2014


Mammoths: Ice Age Giants offers a journey through the world of some of the largest creatures ever to have walked the earth. The exhibition provides a glimpse into the Ice Age world of mammoths, mastodons and their relatives, through life-sized models, original skeletons, skull casts, fossil jaws, teeth and tusks. Its centrepiece is the most complete woolly mammoth ever found, the first time the one month old infant has been shown in Western Europe. The baby mammoth is 85cm tall and 130cm long, similar in size to a large dog. She was discovered in the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia in 2007, and is thought to have died 42,000 years ago. Her body was buried in wet clay and mud, which then froze, preserving it until she was found by reindeer herder. She is thought to have been healthy when she died, so scientists still research her to understand mammoth biology and behaviour. Although she has lost most of her woolly undercoat and hair, most of her body remains intact, and remnants of her mother's milk are still in her stomach. In addition to the actual baby mammoth there are models of a fully grown woolly mammoth, the spiral-tusked Columbian mammoth, their island-dwelling relative the dwarf mammoth, the mastodon, the sabre-tooth cat and the giant cave bear. The exhibition charts the key differences between mammoths and mastodons, revealing that mastodons were shorter and stockier than mammoths, with thicker bones and differently shaped tusks, as well as making comparisons with their present-day descendant, the elephant. It also explores the animals' social behaviour and ecology based on fossil evidence. In addition, the display examines how these creatures evolved, considers how they finally went extinct, and unearths the latest research into whether they can ever be resurrected. Natural History Museum until 7th September.

Treasures From The Royal Archives marks the centenary of the establishment of a permanent home for an unparalleled collection of documents relating to the history of the British Monarchy. From diaries and personal correspondence to account books and speeches, the Archives record and reflect some of the most significant moments in British history, and provide an insight into the lives of monarchs and their families. It was the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and her legacy of over 60 years of correspondence, that prompted the creation of an archive for documents relating to the Royal Family and the Royal Household. Documents pre-dating Queen Victoria's reign, were gradually added, including some belonging to James II, and the exiled Stuarts, and papers relating to the current Sovereign and the Royal Household continue to be added today. Among the highlights on display for the first time are the title deed for Buckingham Palace, dated 20 April 1763, bearing George III's wax seal, recording the purchase for the sum of £28,000, by the King to accommodate his growing family of 15 children; a household account book belonging to Princess Elizabeth, later Elizabeth I, recording the payments made to servants during her residency at Hatfield Palace in 1551, bearing her signature on each page; a letter written in 1728 to his father by the 7 year old Bonnie Prince Charlie, from Palazzo Muti, the Stuart residence in Rome, which appears to be the young boy's response to a reprimand; a love letter from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria during their engagement, including the lines "your image fills my whole soul. Even in my dreams I never imagined that I should find so much love on earth"; and a message of condolence sent to Queen Victoria by Abraham Lincoln, following the death of Prince Albert from typhoid in December 1861. Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle, until 25th January.

Wedding Dresses 1775 - 2014 traces the development of the fashionable white dress and its interpretation by leading couturiers and designers, offering a panorama of fashion over the last two centuries. Displayed chronologically, the exhibition features over 80 romantic, glamorous and extravagant wedding outfits, together with accessories including jewellery, shoes, garters, veils, wreaths, hats and corsetry, as well as fashion sketches and personal photographs. Garments worn by bridegrooms and attendants are also included in the display. The exhibition investigates the histories of the garments, revealing personal details about the lives of the wearers, giving an intimate insight into their occupations, circumstances and fashion choices. Among the highlights are a silk satin court dress from 1775; a 'polonaise' style brocade gown with straw bergere hat from 1780; a copy of a Paris model designed by Paquin Lalanne et Cie made by Stern Brothers of New York in 1890; the Norman Hartnell dress made for Margaret Whigham (later Duchess of Argyll) for her marriage to Charles Sweeny in 1933; the Charles James ivory silk satin dress worn by Barbara 'Baba' Beaton for her marriage to Alec Hambro in 1934; the embroidered silk coat design by Anna Valentine and for The Duchess of Cornwall at the blessing after her marriage to The Prince of Wales in 2005; and examples of innovative and unconventional wedding outfits designed by Gareth Pugh and Pam Hogg for the weddings of Katie Shillingford in 2011 and Mary Charteris in 2012. Victoria & Albert Museum until 15th March.


Kenneth Clark - Looking For Civilisation explores the impact of the art historian, public servant and broadcaster, widely seen as one of the most influential figures in British art of the 20th century. The exhibition examines Kenneth Clark's role as a patron and collector, art historian, director of the National Gallery and broadcaster, and celebrates his contribution to bringing art to a more popular audience. It focuses predominantly on Clark's activities in the 1930s and 1940s, when he was a leading supporter and promoter of contemporary British art and artists. Using his own wealth to help artists, Clark would not only buy works from those he admired, but also provide financial support to allow them to work freely, offered commissions, and worked to ensure artists' works entered prestigious collections. The artists he favoured included the Bloomsbury Group, the painters of the Euston Road School, and leading figures Henry Moore, Victor Pasmore, John Piper and Graham Sutherland. With the outbreak of war in 1939, Clark's private patronage became a state project when he instigated the War Artists Advisory Committee to employ artists to record the war. Through the commissioning of such iconic works as Moore's 'Shelter Drawings' and Sutherland's and Piper's images of the Blitz he ensured that the neo-Romantic spirit that those artists' work embodied became the dominant art of the period. From work by the British artists he championed to highlights from his own eclectic collection, the exhibition of around 230 objects includes works by Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, drawings by Aubrey Beardsley, prints by Hokusai, and paintings by Constable, Degas, Renoir, Turner, Seurat and Cezanne, plus textiles, china and medieval illuminations. Tate Britain until 10th August.

Otto Dix provides a rare opportunity to see a selection from the series of prints 'Der Krieg' (The War) by one of the artists who revealed the vision of the apocalypse that was the First World War. The 19 prints on show were made by Otto Dix 10 years after the beginning of the War, presumably because it was only then that he could return to the experiences that he went through in the trenches. The prints were ground-breaking, through the impact of the images that Dix conjured, and also in the unique combination of multiple print-making techniques that he employed. Dix dramatises the atmosphere of physical and moral decay: decomposing bodies, shelled soldiers, and surreally empty landscapes. When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they regarded Dix as a degenerate artist and had him sacked from his post as an art teacher at the Dresden Academy. Dix's paintings 'The Trench' and 'War Cripples' were exhibited in the state-sponsored Munich 1937 exhibition of degenerate art, Entartete Kunst, and were later burned. Prints in the exhibition include 'Stormtroops advancing under a gas attack', 'Mealtime in the Trenches ','Corpse of a horse', 'Collapsed trenches', 'Front-line Soldier in Brussels', 'Dead sentry in the trenches' and perhaps best known of all, 'Skull'. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, until 27th July.

The Years Of La Dolce Vita features a collection of images made by the original paparazzo, whose shots changed the face of photojournalism forever. The 1950s and 1960s represent a golden era in Italian film, when directors Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Federico Fellini produced some of their most famous movies. The term paparazzo was taken from Fellini's La Dolce Vita, the name of a character inspired by a number of real-life photojournalists then active in Rome, including Marcello Geppetti, from whose astonishing archive of over one million images most of the works on display are drawn. Many Hollywood stars and directors were lured to Rome in the 1960s, where epic productions such as Ben-Hur and Cleopatra were shot. In the evenings, the focus of Rome's movie culture, as well as the lenses of its paparazzi, shifted to the bars and restaurants lining the city's exclusive Via Veneto. The presence of celebrities like John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Charlton Heston, Elizabeth Taylor, Anita Ekberg, Kirk Douglas, Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, Marcello Mastroianni and Audrey Hepburn transformed Rome's streets into 'an open-air film set'. Geppetti has been described as 'the most undervalued photographer in history', and comparisons drawn between his work and that of Cartier-Bresson and Weegee. Juxtaposed with Geppetti's images of Rome's real-life dolce vita are a number of behind-the-scenes shots taken during the filming of La Dolce Vita by its cameraman, Arturo Zavattini, candid photographs that capture an atmosphere of relaxed creativity on the set of Fellini's landmark film. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39A Canonbury Square, London N1, until 29th June.

Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright is a celebration of the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth. The exhibition explores Shakespeare's works as inspiration for a multitude of theatrical interpretations through the centuries and across the globe, taking Shakespeare's First Folio as its centrepiece. This collected edition of 36 of Shakespeare's plays (excluding Pericles) was published in 1623 and contains the first known versions of many of the plays. Without it, 18 of the works would be unknown today, including Macbeth, The Tempest and Twelfth Night. Surrounding the Folio are new interviews, archive footage, photographs, props, costumes, set models, design sketches and printed ephemera, exploring how the plays have been interpreted and re-imagined by successive generations. Contemporary theatre practitioners discussing their relationships with Shakespeare's plays include Simon Russell Beale, Lucy Osborne, Edward Hall, Julie Taymor, Cush Jumbo and Sinead Cusack. Objects on display include a skull used by Sarah Bernhardt during her role as Hamlet; the embroidered handkerchief used by actress Ellen Terry whilst playing Desdemona; a headdress worn by the Vivien Leigh in A Midsummer Night's Dream; and a pair of red boots worn by actor-manager Henry Irving as Richard III. Designs include Roger Furse's costume for the character of Falstaff, showing a realistic 'fat-suit' for Ralph Richardson; and Sally Jacobs's set model for director Peter Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which the stage is transformed into a circus space. Victoria & Albert Museum until 21st September.

Cecil Beaton At Wilton pays tribute to the life and work of the photographer, writer and designer. The exhibition is staged at Wilton House in Wiltshire, where Cecil Beaton was entertained by his friends the Pembroke family at grand parties and pageants for over 50 years. Capturing the spirit of country house parties and costume balls, the exhibition showcases previously unseen images from the archive of one of Britain's most celebrated photographers, giving a fascinating glimpse into his life, and a vivid portrait of a charmed age. Beaton was at the forefront of the fashion for costume and pageantry that swept through British society in the 1920s. As fancy dress became a popular feature of country house parties, and costume balls a highlight of the social calendar, Beaton seamlessly integrated his high society personal life with his professional artistic quest to experiment with photography and fashion. Using the settings of Britain's grandest country houses as the perfect backdrop, Beaton persuaded his friends to sit for him in their exotic costumes, often designed by him, for these most unconventional of photographs. Over time Beaton photographed and chronicled the lives of three generations of the Pembroke family in the surroundings of the house, and on 14th January 1980, just three days before his death, Beaton celebrated his 76th birthday with a lunch party there. The images in the exhibition are fascinating both as social history and also for their technical brilliance, as Beaton excelled at capturing spontaneous shots of pure joy. Wilton House, Wilton, Salisbury, until 14th September.

Body & Void: Echoes Of Moore In Contemporary Art features works by some of the most recognised contemporary artists together with those of one of Britain's greatest 20th century artists. This is the first exhibition to look at how Henry Moore's sculptural vocabulary has been explored and reinterpreted by contemporary artists, placing their works alongside some of Moore's key works. Outdoor works include large-scale sculptures by Rachel Whiteread, Tony Cragg and Thomas Schutte, alongside Moore's 'Reclining Figure: External Form', together with new works by Richard Deacon and Richard Long produced specifically for the exhibition. In the galleries, pieces by Joseph Beuys, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas and Rachel Whiteread, are shown alongside Moore's 'Stringed Mother and Child', 'Reclining Figure', 'Working Model for Upright Internal/External Form' and 'Helmet Head No 4: Interior-Exterior'. Also on display are drawings, paintings and installations by artists including Paul Noble, Simon Starling and Paul McDevitt, and photographs of some of Richard Long's most famous pieces of Land Art, which echo Moore's preoccupation with found objects, as is most evident in his maquettes made of small pieces of bone, stone, and shells. The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Hertfordshire, until 26th October.


Veronese: Magnificence In Renaissance Venice is devoted to one of the most renowned and sought-after artists working in Venice in the 16th century. Paolo Caliari, known as Veronese, was a virtuoso and a craftsman, creating works ranging from complex frescoes to altarpieces, devotional paintings, mythological, allegorical and historical pictures, and portraits. His works adorned churches, patrician palaces, villas and public buildings throughout the Veneto region, and are inseparable from the idea of the opulence and grandeur of the Republic of Venice at that time. This exhibition of around 50 of his works brings together portraits, altarpieces, and paintings representing the very peak of Veronese's output at every stage of his career. Highlights include 'The Martyrdom of Saint George', 'The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine', 'Family of Darius before Alexander', 'Portrait of a Gentleman', and 'Portrait of a Woman, known as the Bella Nani'. Works are reunited in the exhibition for the first time in hundreds of years, including 'Mars and Venus United by Love' and 'Four Allegories of Love'; two companion altarpieces painted for the church of San Benedetto Po near Mantua: 'The Virgin and Child with Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul the Hermit' and 'Consecration of Saint Nicholas', displayed together for only the second time since the 18th century; and two versions of 'Adoration of the Kings' painted for different churches in the same year that have never been seen together since they were in Veronese's studio. Veronese's mastery of colour, space and light, and his feeling for beauty, for opulence and grace, captured the imagination of countless artists and art lovers, and the work of Van Dyck, Rubens, Watteau, Tiepolo and Delacroix depend upon his example. National Gallery until 15th June.

Spitting Image celebrates the 30th anniversary of the launch of the groundbreaking satirical television show. The exhibition looks at the partnership between artists Peter Fluck and Roger Law, whose talent for three-dimensional caricature formed the bedrock for the complex creation that would become Spitting Image. The display includes images of the satirical sculptures created by 'Luck and Flaw' in the 1970s and '80s for magazines such as National Lampoon, Men Only, Der Spiegel, The New York Times, The Sunday Times Magazine and many others. Featured are Spitting Image caricature drawings and photographs of, amongst others, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Kate Moss, Saddam Hussein, Billy Connolly, Rupert Murdoch, Jo Brand and John Paul II, plus the Royal Family, Margaret Thatcher's cabinet and her political opponents. The exhibition reunites some of the best-known puppets, including Margaret Thatcher, The Queen, Princess Diana and Mr Spock. Also on show are ceramic teapots of Margaret Thatcher, Royal eggcups, books and magazines, dog chews and other ephemera. Spitting Image ended in 1996 after 18 series, but the Spitting Image workshop created spin-off series in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Japan and Russia. The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1 until 8th June.

Renaissance Impressions: Chiaroscuro Woodcuts examines the artistic development of the revolutionary, yet short lived, printing technique in the 16th century. Often based on designs by celebrated Renaissance masters such as Parmigianino, Raphael and Titian, depicting well-known biblical scenes and legends, chiaroscuro woodcuts were the first colour prints that made dramatic use of light and shadow - chiaroscuro - to suggest form, volume and depth. The exhibition presents over 100 rare prints by artists from Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. In the early 1500s, several printmakers in Germany competed to claim authorship of the chiaroscuro woodcut, which involved supplementing the black line block with one or several tone blocks to create gradations of colour from light to dark for aesthetic effect. The result produced greater depth, plasticity of form, atmosphere and pictorial quality than the earlier, plainer woodcuts. Later innovations in Italy, such as unevenly cut colour fields led to works that have a more painterly character, as if they had been modelled in colour and light. Highlights of the exhibition include Hans Burgkmair the Elder's depiction of 'Emperor Maximilian on Horseback' (widely thought to be the first known example of a chiaroscuro woodcut) and 'St George and the Dragon'; Ugo da Carpi's 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes', and 'Archimedes'; Andrea Andreani's 'Rape of a Sabine Woman' printed in several versions; Giovanni Gallo's 'Perseus with the Head of Medusa'; and Hendrick Goltzius's series of landscapes and deities, including 'Landscape with Trees and a Shepherd Couple' and 'Bacchus'. Royal Academy until 8th June.