Disease X exhibition online version from the Museum of London

Like many other London museums, the Museum of London has shifted focus to bring first-class online content to visitors at home while our physical doors are closed. A primary strand of this digital programming is publishing objects and stories from some of the museum’s most popular exhibitions from both past and present. The latest instalment of this programme launches with the temporary exhibition Disease X: London’s next epidemic?, originally open between November 2018 and March 2019, now available online.

London, like the rest of the world has been affected in unprecedented ways by the current Covid-19 crisis, but it’s not the first time a virus has hit the capital. London has been affected by many epidemics and pandemics over the centuries including plague, cholera, smallpox, influenza and HIV/AIDS. The opening of Disease X in 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the second and most deadly wave of the so-called ‘Spanish Flu’.

Using the Museum of London’s collections, new historical research and interviews with public health experts and epidemiologists the exhibition explored if the city might be at risk from an unknown ‘Disease X’ as the World Health Organisation called it.

The Disease X digital exhibition shares the stories, objects and words of the original display to demonstrate what the past can tell us about historical maladies, their impact on London and its people and the different methods used to fight back. Some of which include the mourning dress worn by Queen Victoria to mark the shock passing of her grandson Prince Albert Victor due to ‘Russian Flu’, a 17th century pomander used to waft away the foul smells thought to cause diseases like the plague and a poster advertising ‘Flu-Mal’, which dubiously claimed to combat both influenza and malaria.

This exhibition is an important reminder and puts into context that disease has been a constant part of the ‘London story’ and has led to a series of medical advances, the original exhibition asked the question, when would be the next epidemic ? Unfortunately we did not have to wait long with the arrival of the coronavirus.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

A Short Guide to Whitehall

Whitehall is a main road running between Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square. However, Whitehall is more widely known as the centre of the Government of the United Kingdom with its numerous departments and ministries.

There has been a route connecting Charing Cross to Westminster since the Middle Ages and was associated with Kings and Queens especially the Palace of Westminster and the Palace of Whitehall.

The Palace of Whitehall was so named in the reign of Henry VIII, it became the King’s main residence and he married Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour there, and died at the palace in 1547. Charles I used the Palace for art collection but it ceased to be a royal residence after 1689, when William III moved to Kensington Palace. The palace burned to the ground in 1698, only the Banqueting House survived and can still be seen by visitors. It was in front of Banqueting House where Charles I was taken to a scaffold and beheaded.

The area is now made up of numerous government buildings, including the old War Office building, Horse Guards, the Ministry of Defence and the Cabinet Office. In the middle of the road is the Cenotaph which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and erected in 1919. It is the main war memorial in Britain and an annual service is held here on Remembrance Sunday, led by members of the Royal Family and leading politicians with crowds of thousands. In 2005 a national Monument to the Women of World War II was erected near the Cenotaph.

Off the main road is a road leading to Downing Street which is home to the official residences and offices of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, there is also a shortcut to Horse Guards Parade which has been used for a variety of reviews, parades and other ceremonies for centuries.

In Whitehall, there are number of memorials and monuments including those to the Royal Tank Regiment, The Gurkha’s, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, Spencer Cavendish, Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, Field Marshal Montgomery, William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim.

A walk around Whitehall is reminder that power, both monarchs and state has resided here for centuries. Even today you can watch the Civil Servants and politicians going about there business mingling with the thousands of visitors walking down from Trafalgar Square to the House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

New Version of British Museum online collection covers over 4 million objects

The Lewis Chessmen. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum has overhauled its online collection database, allowing over 4 million objects to be seen by people anywhere in the world. This new version of the online database officially called the British Museum Collection Online has been unveiled earlier than planned so that people who are currently under lockdown measures due to Covid-19 can enjoy the treasures from one of the world’s great collections from the comfort of their own home.

This is the biggest update the Museum’s Collection Online has seen since being first created in 2007. It is now fully responsive, making it accessible on mobile and tablets alongside desktop browsers for the first time. The user experience has been completely overhauled, with more intuitive and powerful search technology that is easier to use and more accurate. The whole portal has also been given a major on-screen redesign.

Screenshots of Collection Online search results. © The Trustees of the British Museum

There are nearly 4.5 million objects available to be enjoyed, with 1.9 million images. The new database sees 280,000 new object photographs and 85,000 new object records published for the very first time, many of them acquisitions the Museum has made in recent years, including 73 portraits by Damian Hirst, a previously lost watercolour by Rossetti, and a stunning 3,000-year-old Bronze age pendant.

The Death of Breuze Sans Pitié by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The majority of the 1.9 million object images are available for anyone to use for free under a Creative Commons 4.0 license. Users no longer need to register to use these photographs, and can now download them directly to their devices, making it easier and quicker to access them for non-commercial activities such as sharing on social media.

A metope sculpture from the Parthenon frieze showing a mythical battle between a Centaur and a Lapith. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum’s collection is one of the biggest in the world: over half is now available to see online, making it one of the most expansive online museum collection databases from any global museum.

A relief plaque made of brass cast, part of the Benin Bronzes. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Collection Online includes the Museum’s most famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, the artefacts of Sutton Hoo, the Cyrus Cylinder, the Parthenon Sculptures, and the Benin Bronzes.

But it also provides access to other parts of the museum collection, such as the entire collection of objects the Museum holds from Ancient Egypt, every item from Australia, over 750,000 prints by artists such as Rembrandt, William Hogarth and Kara Walker, over 50,000 English coins from the medieval period to the Tudors, and important sculpture from Ancient Greece and Rome.

Screenshots of Collection Online search results. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Object records include physical descriptions, information on materials, display and acquisition history, dimensions, previous owners and curatorial comments. Work is continuing to ensure this information is included as fully as possible on every object in the collection and to add new photographs.

Screenshots of Collection Online search results. © The Trustees of the British Museum

A major new addition is the ability to see object images up close, using zoom technology from the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). This allows the fast, rich zoom and panning of images so viewers can see objects on a level of detail inaccessible to the naked eye. This will be available on a select number of key objects from today, including the Rapa Nui sculpture Hoa Hakananai’a and the Admonitions Scroll made in China over 1600 years ago. The number will then grow to thousands over the coming weeks.

The new online collection also sees an expansion of object records written in Chinese. All 1700 pieces in the Sir Percival David Collection of Chinese ceramics now have records in both English and Chinese. The Sir Percival David Collection has some of the finest Chinese ceramics in the world, and they are on long term loan to the British Museum from the Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art.

The relaunch of the online collection comes as the British Museum sees a massive surge in traffic to its website as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and people having to stay at home. In the 28 days since the closure of the Museum on Wednesday 18 March 2020, britishmuseum.org had 1,495,336 users, and 1,848,421 visits/sessions. This was 120% up and 99% up respectively on the same period in 2019.

For more information, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Royal Academy of Arts Revised Exhibition Programme 2020

Following the temporary closure of the Royal Academy of Arts due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the exhibition programme for the remainder of 2020 has changed. Whilst the reopening date is still to be confirmed, the Royal Academy intends to:

Continue Léon Spilliaert throughout the summer to mid-September

Open Gauguin and the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard Collection when the RA reopens, ending mid-October

Reschedule Summer Exhibition 2020 for the autumn, with a planned start in October 2020

Open Tracey Emin/Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul in early November 2020

Postpone the highly anticipated Marina Abramović exhibition until autumn 2021

Postpone Rita Angus: New Zealand Modernist until 2021

Due to the closure, the Royal Academy of Arts has had to cancel two exhibitions:

Angelica Kauffman

Cezanne: The Rock and Quarry Paintings

The Royal Academy’s reopening date will be dependent upon government advice.

Exhibition Programme 2020

Léon Spilliaert

This is the first major exhibition of Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert (1881–1946) to be held in the UK. Bringing together around 80 works drawn from public and private collections across Belgium, France, Great Britain and the USA, the exhibition offers a rare opportunity to discover this intriguing, singular artist who left an indelible mark on the twentieth century art of Belgium.

Gauguin and the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard Collection

Gauguin and the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard Collection will showcase 60 works drawn from one of the finest collections of Impressionist paintings in northern Europe, assembled in the first decades of the twentieth century by wealthy Danish couple Wilhelm and Henny Hansen.

Summer Exhibition 2020

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show and has been held every year without interruption since 1769, even throughout the war years.

Tracey Emin/Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul

The Royal Academy of Arts will present an exhibition of work by Tracey Emin RA, revealing her long-standing fascination with the artist Edvard Munch, of whom she states: ‘I’ve been in love with this man since I was eighteen’.

Exhibition Postponements

Marina Abramović
Postponed until autumn 2021 (exact dates to be announced)

In 2021 the Royal Academy of Arts will present a solo exhibition of the internationally acclaimed performance artist Marina Abramović Hon RA. The exhibition will be Abramović’s first major survey in the UK, bringing together over 50 works spanning her entire career.

Rita Angus: New Zealand Modernist
Postponed until 2021 (exact dates to be announced)

Rita Angus (1908 – 1970) is justly considered one of New Zealand’s most important early modern artists. She was a pioneer in celebrating the rich and powerful landscapes of the country in a bold new way.

Exhibition Cancellations

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic the following 2020 exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts have been cancelled: Angelica Kauffman and Cezanne: The Rock and Quarry Paintings.

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

BP Portrait Award 2020 Shorlist

Three artists have been shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award 2020, which will open as a virtual exhibition on Tuesday 5 May while the National Portrait Gallery, London is temporarily closed due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

The three portraits in the running for the £35,000 First Prize are Night Talk by Jiab Prachakul; Portrait of Denis: Actor, Juggler and Fashion Model by Sergey Svetlakov and Labour of Love by Michael Youds. The shortlisted portraits were selected from 1,981 entries from 69 countries. It is the first time any of the artists have been shortlisted for the Award or selected for exhibition.

The prize winners will be announced on Tuesday 5 May on the National Portrait Gallery’s social media channels. All 48 works selected for the BP Portrait Award 2020 exhibition will be shown in a virtual gallery space that replicates the rooms of the National Portrait Gallery, enabling online visitors to view the portraits collectively, read the labels and get insights from the artists, as well as exploring each individual work in more detail. The popular Visitor’s Choice feature, which offers the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite portrait will also run online.

The BP Portrait Award 2020 exhibition was originally due to open at the National Portrait Gallery on the 21 May 2020, but has been postponed following the Gallery’s temporary closure to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus and ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors and staff. It is not yet known if the exhibition will be able to be shown at the Gallery before building works begin on Inspiring People, the Gallery’s major redevelopment project, at the end of June.

Shortlisted artists:

Night Talk by Jiab Prachakul, 2019 © Jiab Prachakul

Jiab Prachakul for Night Talk (1000 × 1000mm, acrylic on canvas)

Jiab Prachakul was born in in 1979 in Nakhon Phanom, a small town on the Mekong River in northeast Thailand. She studied filmography at Thammasat University before working as a casting director at a Bangkok production company, finding talent for advertising campaigns. In 2006, Prachakul relocated to London where she had the ‘instant realisation’ that she wanted to be an artist after viewing a David Hockney retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery. Entirely self-taught, she moved to Berlin in 2008 and began selling her pictures at a local flea market and set up an online fashion brand, designing merchandise based on her artworks, which she continues to run from her current home in Lyon.

Portrait of Denis: Actor, Juggler and Fashion Model by Sergey Svetlakov, 2019 © Sergey Svetlakov

Sergey Svetlakov for Portrait of Denis: Actor, Juggler and Fashion Model (508 × 407mm, Oil on canvas)

Sergey Svetlakov was born in 1961 in Kazan, the capital city of what is now the Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation. He graduated from the Kazan Art School, one of the oldest in Russia, before studying set design at the Theatre Academy in St Petersburg where he continues to live and work. His early career was spent designing sets and costumes for operas and stage productions. In the early 1990s, he gave up working in theatre to devote all his energies to his portraiture, nude studies and still life, and he has since exhibited widely across Europe, the US and Japan.

Labour of Love by Michael Youds, 2019 © Michael Youds

Michael Youds for Labour of Love (1400 × 1000mm, Oil on canvas)

Born in 1982 in Blackburn, Lancashire, Michael Youds gained a first-class degree in Fine Art from Lancaster University before moving to Edinburgh in 2006. Youds works as a gallery attendant at the National Galleries of Scotland, he is also an award-winning artist in his own right and devotes most of his free time to painting portraits and still life at his studio in the city. His work has been selected for exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. In 2019, he won first prize in the Scottish Portrait Awards for a painting of him and his twin brother David, who is also an artist.

The Portrait Award is an annual event aimed at encouraging artists to focus on and develop the theme of portraiture in their work. The competition is open to everyone aged eighteen and over, in recognition of the outstanding and innovative work currently being produced by artists of all ages.

One of the most important platforms for portrait painters, the Award has a first prize of £35,000, making it one of the largest for any global arts competition. The winner also receives, at the Gallery’s discretion, a commission worth £7,000 (agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist). The second winner receives £12,000 and a third prize of £10,000 is also awarded. The BP Young Artist Award, with a prize of £9,000 goes to one selected artist aged between 18 and 30.

BP Travel Award 2019

The winner of the BP Travel Award 2019 was Manu Saluja for her proposal to create portraits of volunteers working in the vast communal kitchen at The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. The resulting work will be displayed online in the BP Portrait Award 2020 exhibition.

For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

The Nation’s Gallery, in the nation’s homes : National Gallery Online

Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, Combing the Hair (‘La Coiffure’), about 1896 © The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery is bringing its pictures into our homes in a major new digital programme.

Inspired by the legacy of the Myra Hess concerts, which took place at the Gallery during the Second World War, the programme produced entirely from home across its social media, website and emails celebrates the creative possibilities of staying in and the ways that art can help mental wellbeing during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Gallery serves a digital audience of over 10 million people every year, with a digital reach of hundreds of millions of people. After record increases in visits to some of its online content of over 2,000% on last year, following closure of its Trafalgar Square site, the Gallery’s new digital programme looks at the different ways people can look at, use and respond to art wherever they are. Through this digital initiative the Gallery will be open 24/7 with free art for everyone online.

In A curated look, staff give talks on the Gallery’s pictures from their living rooms; the first inspires people to look at the way artists have painted what is around them indoors. Dr Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, the Gallery’s Associate Curator of Paintings 1600-1800, talks about paintings from the Gallery’s collection that celebrate domestic activities such as playing music and card games. Among the works Dr Whitlum-Cooper discusses are Chardin’s The House of Cards, Manet’s Eva Gonzalès, Degas’s Combing the Hair (‘La Coiffure’) and Vermeer’s Young Woman Standing at a Virginal.

Johannes Vermeer, A Young Woman standing at a Virginal, about 1670-2 © The National Gallery, London

As many people under lockdown are finding comfort in nature around their homes and in their gardens, another upcoming episode in the series looks at three expansive rural landscapes in the collection that take us from morning to night. As well as Rubens’s A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning and Corot’s The Four Times of Day; Night this talk includes that most treasured evocation of the British countryside, Constable’s The Hay Wain.

A series of online tutorials on ‘slow looking’ develops the Gallery’s mindfulness programme by showing online visitors how to look at pictures in depth and explore hidden details. The first of these asks us to take a closer, slower look at Turner’s Rain Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway.

In Make and create, viewers are given suggestions and instructions for making and creating artworks at home, inspired by the collection. In the first episode, families are shown how to use their old newspapers and magazines to create a collage inspired by Rousseau’s painting of a tiger prowling in the undergrowth, Surprised! In an upcoming episode, one of the Gallery’s most popular paintings, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, is the starting point to explore four fun drawing techniques for people to try at home.

The Google virtual tour of the Gallery is up 642% on the period prior to the Government’s instructions to stay at home, an increase of 3,046% on the same time last year. The Gallery’s collection pages (where you can zoom into paintings in detail and read about them in depth) have received 58% more views than the previous period (1 March 2020 -18 March 2020) and 10% more than this time last year.

Jean-Siméon Chardin, The House of Cards (Portrait of Jean-Alexandre Le Noir), about 1740-1 © The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery has a strong digital presence across its website and social media channels. All of the Gallery’s collection is represented online with a dedicated webpage, zoomable image, key facts and description

Some of the collection is also on other platforms that bring together many other cultural institutions such as Art UK and Google Arts & Culture.

The Gallery produces a wealth of digital content; behind the scenes videos, serialised content, Facebook and You Tube Lives. Plus, there is a large back catalogue on our YouTube channel of lectures, talks and events.

Recent available content to help people explore art while self-isolating

Titian

Titian Facebook live:
Making the Titian frames for the exhibition: https://youtu.be/yBpqBIMyDSw

Symbols and themes series

Eight female artists from the collection
Love and punishment, the meaning of arrows in art
How to spot saints in paintings:
The meaning of birds in paintings

Behind the scenes series

Behind the scenes playlist
Latest video – retouching Charles I portrait

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Visit the Royal Collection Online

Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020.

In these trying times, it may not be possible to visit certain attractions and museums, but you can enjoy a virtual visit and get some background to understand more of the remarkable history of London and beyond.

The Royal Collection is one of the largest and most important art collections in the world, spread among some 15 royal residences and former residences across the UK. Virtual visitors can browse more than 250,000 works of art from the Royal Collection online, enjoy 360-degree tours of palaces and exhibitions, download fun family activities, watch behind-the scenes films and more on the Royal Collection Trust website.

Highlights below include a virtual tour of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, film footage giving a closer look than ever before at the tiny treasures of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, and curators’ picks of the most extraordinary clocks in the Royal Collection – just in time for the clocks changing in the UK this weekend.

Virtual tours

Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is recognised around the world as the official London residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Developed in collaboration with Google Expeditions, this virtual tour gives users the chance to explore the Palace’s magnificent State Rooms in virtual reality or 360-degree format, and learn more from an expert curator about the treasures from the Royal Collection that furnish each room.

George IV: Art & Spectacle at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
The most recent exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, George IV: Art & Spectacle explores the life and tastes of arguably the most magnificent of British monarchs. While the Gallery’s doors are temporarily closed, art-lovers can still experience George IV’s unrivalled collection of art through this virtual walkthrough.

Prince & Patron at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace
To mark the 70th birthday of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, visitors to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace in 2018 enjoyed a special display featuring a number of works of art personally selected by His Royal Highness. The exhibition can be enjoyed virtually on the Google Arts & Culture website.

Royal Collection behind-the-scenes films

Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020.

Condition checking Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House
Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, a 1:12 scale miniature royal palace designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, has been on display at Windsor Castle for nearly a century. This film goes behind the scenes as curators and conservators carry out a condition check of its structure and contents. One room at a time, each of the Dolls’ House’s 1,000 miniature objects is carefully removed for condition assessment, light cleaning and photography.

Conservation of Queen Victoria’s Throne
Queen Victoria’s State Throne Chair was made for the young queen upon her accession in 1837. In this film curators and conservators explain the throne’s symbolic decorative scheme and demonstrate the techniques used to clean its delicate gold leaf surface. The throne still stands in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, alongside that of Her Majesty The Queen, and can be seen by the public during the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace each year.

Japanese Samurai Armour
This film takes a close look at a rare and splendid Japanese samurai armour, sent to James I by Shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada in 1614. Decorated with gold lacquer dragons and lined with silk, it was the first of many lavish diplomatic gifts exchanged between the British and Japanese royal and imperial families. The armour will take centre stage in Royal Collection Trust’s forthcoming exhibition Japan: Courts and Culture at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, which will explore four centuries of diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchanges between Britain and Japan.

A Hidden Musical Surprise
As Royal Collection Trust conservators were restoring a 19th-century silver inkstand in the Royal Collection that had once belonged to Queen Mary, they discovered a tiny musical instrument hidden inside. In this short film, horological conservators restore the intricate miniature mechanism using miniscule tools, so that the inkstand’s enigmatic tune can be heard once again.

Digital catalogues

Queen Victoria’s Journals
The complete collection of Queen Victoria’s journals is available to the public for free in the UK. The 43,000 pages of journal entries give readers a unique insight into Victoria’s own thoughts about her remarkable life and reign – from her first diary entry at the age of 13 to her initial impressions upon meeting ‘beautiful’ Prince Albert three years later; her pride on her coronation day and her last entry just ten days before her death in 1901 aged 81.

Prince Albert: His Life and Legacy
As Consort of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert’s roles in national life included unofficial Private Secretary, a mentor to some of the greatest national projects of his day, and collector and patron of the arts. This website makes available some 23,500 items from the Royal Collection, Royal Archives and Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, shedding new light on Albert’s profound influence on Victorian society.

Georgian Papers Programme
History enthusiasts can explore more than 100,000 documents in the Royal Archives and Royal Library relating to the Georgian period, and can even get involved in this ongoing digitisation project by helping to transcribe handwritten official and personal papers relating to George III, George IV, William IV and more.

Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020.

Up close with paintings in the Royal Collection

Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman, ‘The Music Lesson’, by Johannes Vermeer
One of just 34 surviving paintings by Vermeer, ‘The Music Lesson’ is enormously popular with visitors to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace each year. In this Google Arts & Culture story, users can explore the painting in minute detail and discover more from expert curators about Vermeer’s remarkable techniques, which have earned him the title ‘Master of Light’.

Massacre of the Innocents, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Usually on display in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle, Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s masterpiece brings together multiple narrative scenes to form one larger composition. This Google Arts & Culture story examines each episode one by one and details the changes made to the painting throughout its history to cover up the more disturbing elements of the story.

Activities for children

Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020.

A variety of learning resources for children at nursery, primary and secondary level are freely available on the Royal Collection Trust website, helping parents and teachers to bring the curriculum to life.

Interactive Activities
In an interactive game, Bring on the Battle, children can learn about the siege tactics used to defend Windsor Castle from enemies in medieval times. They’ll also discover what it takes to become a knight and the best way to build and fortify a castle. History pupils can test their knowledge of Henry VIII by playing King of the Castle, revealing how heavy the King’s jousting armour was, and even the unusual things he ate for dinner.

Worksheets
A selection of downloadable worksheets can be printed at home, giving children the opportunity to get creative. Inspired by some of the beautiful objects in the Royal Collection, children can design their own Coat of Arms and paint their own portrait miniatures.

Leonardo da Vinci Schools Resource pack
An extensive resource pack was produced as part of Royal Collection Trust’s nationwide touring exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing in 2019. Developed in consultation with teachers, it contains activities, videos and worksheets that use Leonardo’s drawings as an entry point into a range of subjects, including Maths and Science. Each resource is helpfully matched to Key Stages at both primary and secondary level in the national curriculum for England, Wales and Scotland.

Downloadable publications

Maria Merian’s Butterflies
One of the most extraordinary female artists of her age, Maria Sibylla Merian was an intrepid German artist and scientist who brought the wonders of South America to Europe in the early 18th century. This charming free book brings together 200 of Merian’s dazzling illustrations of the natural world, produced during her travels through Suriname in South America in 1699.

High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson
The absurdities of fashion, the perils of love, political machinations and royal intrigue were the daily subject-matter of Thomas Rowlandson, one of the wittiest and most popular caricaturists of Georgian Britain. This free title, featuring almost 100 of Rowlandson’s finest comic works in the Royal Collection, offers a new perspective on an era best known through the novels of Jane Austen.

Curator’s Choice collections

Keeping Time: Clocks in the Royal Collection
The Royal Collection includes hundreds of historical clocks and watches that have been collected by monarchs through the centuries, many of which are among the finest ever made. From musical and organ clocks to complex astronomical clocks, this online collection brings together some of the most extraordinary timepieces in the Royal Collection.

Women Photographers in the Royal Collection
This online collection explores the historical and contemporary importance of women to the creation, study and dissemination of photographs. Users can browse highlights of the Royal Collection’s significant body of work by pioneering women photographers, including works by Frances Sally Day, Julia Margaret Cameron, Alice Hughes, Dorothy Wilding and Annie Leibovitz.

For more information, visit the Royal Collection website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

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