Review : Keats House Museum in Hampstead

Keats House is a museum in a house once occupied by the Romantic poet John Keats, it is located in Keats Grove in Hampstead. Keats House was originally a pair of semi-detached houses known as “Wentworth Place”. It was within Wentworth House that John Keats lodged with his friend Charles Brown from 1818 to 1820.

Although only there for a relatively short period, Keats’s wrote many of his famous poems here including “Ode to a Nightingale”. It was whilst living at the house, that Keats fell in love with and became engaged to Fanny Brawne, who lived with her family in the adjacent part of the house.

The house is a Grade I listed building which was built between 1814 and 1816 and was first occupied by Charles Wentworth Dilke and his friend Charles Brown, other members of the Dilke family lived in the adjacent house.

Keats owned very few possessions, however the museum furnishes each room with furniture of the period and has a number of portraits of the poet throughout the building. Each room tells a particular story related to the poet and other occupants of the house. 

The basement was generally the domain of the household servants and was where the food was prepared and cooked. Moving up to the ground floor, The Brawne Room provides evidence of Keats passion for poetry despite his intention to pursue a medical career.

In Keats Parlour, the furniture is arranged to match the portrait on the wall completed soon after his death which features Keats sitting in the room which was where the poet wrote some of his most famous poems. Charles Brown’s parlour was a meeting place for like minded friends, although Keats was very popular with a wide group of friends, he was not part of the literary mainstream.

Upstairs in the house, Fanny Brawne’s Room tells the story of the ill fated romance of Keats and Fanny. Keats Bedroom looks at the poet’s dreams and the realisation that he had consumption which would eventually kill him.  On the landing, pictures tell the story of Keats final journey when he travelled to Rome for health reasons but would die there of consumption in 1821.

A number of objects are on display in the house including the engagement ring Keats offered to Fanny Brawne, Keats own copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost and a copy of Keats’ death mask.

Situated in a leafy Hampstead suburb, Keats House does not look out of place with the large houses surrounding it. However, the house is a remarkable survivor from the early 19th century which allows visitors to gain some valuable insights into the life and times of one of Britain’s greatest poets.

The house is situated near Hampstead Heath and is reached easily by public transport, Hampstead Heath station is a five minutes’ walk away.

Visitor Information

Keats House opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-5pm.

Admission: Adults £6.50; Seniors £5.50; Concessions £4.50; Children 17 and under free of charge.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Keats House website here

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Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Hayward Gallery to stage UK’s first major retrospective of Andreas Gursky from 25th January to 22nd April 2018

London’s Hayward Gallery will stage the first major retrospective in a UK institution of the work of acclaimed German photographer Andreas Gursky from 25th January 2018.

Widely regarded as one of the most important photographers of our time, Gursky is known for his large-scale, often spectacular pictures that portray sites and scenes of the global economy and contemporary life. The exhibition will feature approximately 60 of the artist’s ground-breaking photographs, from the 1980s through to his most recent work, which continues to push the boundaries of the medium. Gursky’s art is driven by an interest, and insight, into forms of collective existence and includes depictions of massive man-made structures and huge gatherings of people in nightclubs, factories, arenas, and vast landscapes.

Andreas Gursky marks the beginning of the Hayward Gallery’s 50th anniversary year and is the first exhibition to take place in the Gallery following its two-year refurbishment, along with two of Southbank Centre’s other venues, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. For the first time since the gallery’s original opening, the gallery’s pyramid roof lights will allow natural light into the spaces below.

The exhibition includes some of the artist’s most well known works including Paris, Montparnasse (1993), Rhine II (1999/2015), Kamiokande (2007) and May Day IV (2000/2014).

In recent years, Gursky’s experiments in manipulating images have led him to create examples of ‘fictional photography,’ extending his implicit questioning of our faith in the factual veracity of images. As he has remarked, today, ‘reality can only be shown by constructing it’.

Andreas Gursky, 25 January – 22 April 2018

Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre 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
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The London Salons at the Museum of London

The Museum of London is inviting visitors to discuss all kinds of issues and aspects of London life over a drink with some of the leading thinkers in the city today.

The London Salons at the museum are a modern take on the conversational gatherings which began in 16th century Italy and in 17th and 18th century France.  These exchange of ideas were the forerunners of the English coffeehouses which were often used for discussion of politics, current affairs .

Each event will look at a particular part of London life, under  the guidance of a relevant expert host.

Forthcoming subjects include life at the edges of London, the role of culture in the city and possible scenarios of London life in 2078.

The London Salons are part of City Now City Future, a year-long season of events at the Museum of London, which explores some of the challenges of urban life and the future of global cities.

The London Salons will be an informal, relaxed opportunity to explore some of the issues that are  subjects of concern and relevance to Londoners today.

Forthcoming Events

The London Salon: Aftershocks

Tuesday 12 December, 7-10pm

It’s 2049 and London has become a city of perpetual commotion, dedicated to those who like living life in the fast lane. Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, some Londoners have chosen to defend themselves against future shock and put the brakes on.

In an evening of live performance, multimedia, debate and play, Livingmaps presents two very different visions of life in London in 2049. Which one do you prefer – or do you have other ideas? What would you restore, hold on to, get rid of or create to make this future London your kind of town? After you’ve heard the arguments, you have the opportunity to contribute to three rooms in the Museum of 2049, each one featuring responses to a different scenario of urban shock:

The Incredible Shrinking City: After Brexit, the flight of City money sets off a housing market crash and sends the economy into freefall. The map of London now reflects an alternative economy – but what does it look like? A game in which you have the chance to reshape that map.

We Can Stand the Heat: Global warming has sent temperatures rocketing, raised the level of the Thames and made extreme weather a run-of-the-mill occurrence. The built environment has had to adjust to cope – how has it changed? Unleash your creative/destructive urges and help us redesign the city.

Revolution in the Streets: The decades between 2018 and 2049 were a time of social and political unrest and transformation. What were people demanding in the Great Protests of those years – and what did their demonstrations look like? Imagine being part of that glorious resistance and fill the room with placards, slogans and actions.

Participants include soundscape artist Stuart Bowditch, Phil Cohen, writer and urban ethnographer, Debbie Kent, writer and artist, and designer John Wallett. The salon is curated by Livingmaps, a network of artists, activists and academics committed to developing a critical and creative approach to social cartography.

 The London Salon: queer night scenes

13 February 2018

Explore the history, value and future of London’s queer spaces at a London Salon curated by UCL Urban Laboratory.

Join the museum for a queer ball to celebrate the ways that LGBTQ people create night-spaces in the city, and bring the stories and voices of queer Londoners into the Museum’s City Now City Future season. Over the course of the evening, helped by performances and provocations from special guests, we will think together about how those with non-conforming gender and sexual identities have contributed to urban change in London, as well as the specific challenges and opportunities LGBTQ+ communities face in queering the capital at night today. Featuring Fabulous Facades with queer readings of planning by Ben Campkin, Laura Marshall, Zia, Gabrielle Basso Ricci, Sebastian Buser and Tom Kendall; Chardine Taylor-Stone, re-inhabiting the Shim Sham Club; Travis Alabanza, Travelling the city by night and Planning Out/Friends of the Joiners, queering new urban developments. Hosted by Dr. Sharon Husbands (Naked Boys Reading) Dress code: anything goes.

We’ll be personifying our favourite queer spaces and any ball-goers who want to join us in DIY futuristic and urbanistic ball attire are more than welcome. Curated by Ben Campkin and Laura Marshall (UCL Urban Laboratory). Entry includes a French 75, popular in 1930s NYC and London.

 The London Salon: wearable resistance

13 March 2018

Fashion Space Gallery consider fashion in an age of surveillance in an informal evening at The London Salon.

What role will clothes play within future cityscapes? This salon, curated in collaboration with Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion UAL, will feature talks, performances and film screenings by designers and thinkers. We’ll talk fashion in an age of pervasive surveillance, strategies to protect future urban identities and sartorial responses that tread the fine line between safety and trust.

 The London Salon: counterculture

10 April 2018

The London Salon explores counterculture to mark the 50th anniversary of Time Out magazine.

Marking the 50th anniversary of Time Out magazine, this salon features talks and screenings from Time Out contributors and other writers and photographers who’ve documented youth tribes in London and beyond. How do subcultures form, and does counterculture have a future in the city of tomorrow?

Tickets for each event: £15 (£12/£11 concessions). Entry includes a drink.

If you would like further information or book tickets, 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

 

 

Exhibition Review – Charles II: Art and Power at the Queen’s Gallery from 8th December 2017 to 13th May 2018

The Queen’s Gallery presents Charles II: Art & Power, an exhibition which explores how the court of Charles II became the centre for the patronage of leading artists and built up a collection of great works of art. After the death of Charles I and the decade of austere Cromwellian rule, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of interest in art and the court of Charles II began to use art as a way of glorifying and justifying the position of Charles II as the head of the monarchy.

In the exhibition, John Michael Wright’s monumental portrait of Charles II in his coronation robes illustrates that the King is part of a royal line of distinction and various symbols indicate his wisdom and majesty.

The early part of the exhibition looks at the return of ceremony, the restoration of the monarchy led to an urgent need to replenish the silver plate used for a number of objects. Some of this new plate is on display including objects for the royal chapels and for the king’s coronation, the magnificent silver gilt maces and altar dishes were part of a dazzling display in Westminster Abbey.

Also in the exhibition is a salt tower which is the only surviving work of the Hamburg goldsmith Johann Hass. The salt was presented to Charles II for his coronation by the Parliamentarian stronghold of Exeter possibly to atone for their lack of support for the monarchy in the Civil War.

After the coronation, Charles II began to introduce spectacular furnishings at the palaces of Whitehall, St James’s and Windsor. The exhibition has a range of spectacular tapestries and silver-gilt furniture that began to adorn the court of Charles II.

Members of the court especially the ladies were the subject of prints that became increasingly popular during the reign of Charles II, the portraits of Peter Lely’s of the court which are in the exhibition were reproduced in print form in large  numbers.

Charles I had accumulated a vast collection of art which was either sold or stolen after he died. However laws were passed after the restoration that items from the collection should be returned and a surprising number did resurface and were added to Charles II’s now extensive collection. Like his father, Charles I  favoured the old masters like Titian and Veronese over Northern European painting, a notable exception in the exhibition is Bruegel’s Massacre of the Innocents. The exhibition also features a series of remarkable drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Han Holbein.

This fascinating exhibition examines the creation of a new royal court after the restoration of the monarchy. In many respects it was ‘business as usual’ with large amounts of money lavished on replenishing the trappings of power. However, the fate of his Charles I did mean that Charles II could not take the ‘people’ for granted and favourable portraits were produced for adorning the walls of the palaces and for the growing print trade. As the exhibition suggests, art was used on a number of levels to create a mystique about the monarchy and to portray the English court as the cultural equal of other European royal  courts.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or book tickets, 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

Exhibition Review: From Life at the Royal Academy – 11th December 2017 to 11th March 2018

The Royal Academy of Arts presents From Life, a special exhibition project that examines what making art from life has meant to artists throughout history and how the practice is evolving as technology opens up new ways of creating and visualising artwork.

The Royal Academy looks into its own past to illustrate that drawing from casts of Classical and Renaissance sculpture and life models was considered essential training for any aspiring artist. Some are the casts are shown in the exhibition.

The exhibition features paintings by Johan Zoffany that show gatherings of Royal Academicians in a life-drawing room. The formality of the occasion suggest that the ability to draw well was an accomplishment that was valued especially at the RA Schools, Britain’s longest established fine art school.

The RA is on the eve of its 250th anniversary and explores how contemporary artists are continuing the process of working from life. One of the major changes over time is the rejection of Classical and Renaissance sculpture has the main subject matter.

Artists like Jenny Saville, Ellen Altfest, Chantal Joffe and Gillian Wearing are more interested in a more realistic depiction of the human face and body.

Other artists such as Jonathan Yeo, Antony Gormley and Yinka Shonibare use the human body as a starting point before developing more abstract forms.

Jeremy Deller’s Iggy Pop Life Class which took place at the Brooklyn Museum in 2016 is a modern take on the old life class tradition. Using ageing rock star Iggy Pop as his model, Deller introduces a new dynamic into the equation. Most models tend to be are anonymous, so what happens when the model has a cultural identity already? The pictures produced by a number of skilled and novice artists indicate that capturing something other than the body in that format is very difficult.

The exhibition moves From Life to Virtual Life with new interactive work of artists Yinka Shonibare, Humphrey Ocean, and architect Farshid Moussavi which offer a glimpse of possible future applications of Virtual Reality technology for the art of tomorrow.

As part of the RA’s 250th anniversary celebrations, they are offering 250 people of all abilities the chance to follow in the footsteps of generations of great artists at free life-drawing classes in the historic RA Schools Life Room. The places will be allocated through an open ballot.

This fascinating exhibition charts one of the constants of the art world, although drawing from life has changed considerably it still is one of the fundamental skills for many artists. The Royal Academy is using its upcoming anniversary to consider how the life of the artist has changed over the last 250 years and explores some of the exciting new developments on the horizon.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information , 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

Exhibition Review – Keats and Milton: Paradise Lost at Keats House from 6th December 2017 to 14th October 2018

Two of Britain’s greatest poets are the subject of an exhibition at Keats House, the exhibition is entitled Keats and Milton: Paradise Lost and explores Romantic poet John Keats’s own words and thoughts about Milton’s poetry and reveals some of the impact it had on his own work.

At the heart of the exhibition is Keats’s own copy of Paradise Lost, one of his most important surviving books which provide a rich source of information on Keats’s thoughts, as it is packed with his handwritten notes and reactions. In the 19th century, this ‘marginalia’ was considered an important form of literary expression and a way to understand literary works and share views about them.

The exhibition provides evidence of the enormous cultural significance of Milton’s work and the considerable influence of Paradise Lost on a number of ‘Romantic’ poets including Keats, Shelley and Lord Byron. However, Keats notes in the margins of the book indicate that he was fascinated by the work but in some ways thought it was quite old-fashioned and too academic.

The exhibition also considers the social and cultural aspect of owning certain books, quite often poetry was a shared experience and became part of the social life of interested parties and books were often gifted to friends and family.

The leather-bound copy of Paradise Lost owned by Keats was published in 1807 in two volumes by booksellers W. and J. Deas. Keats would read the poem with his friend and neighbour Charles Wentworth Dilke. When he left London for Rome, Keats gave both volumes to Mrs Dilke and they remained with her family before being part of its eventual bequest to Keats House.

Keats House in Hampstead is a remarkable Georgian villa in which Keats lived and wrote some of his greatest and most celebrated work. It was originally known as Wentworth Place, was built-in 1815-16 for the Dilke family and Charles Brown. Keats lodged with Brown from December 1818. The following year, the Dilkes moved away and Fanny Brawne and her family moved into their side of the house, inspiring Keats’s greatest happiness and greatest work. The house was saved from demolition in 1920 and in 1925 became a museum dedicated to Keats. Now it is a museum and poetry centre, bringing to life the memory and legacy of Keats through displays and exhibitions.

The exhibition provides a fascinating insight into how the works of two of Britain’s greatest poets are linked, Keats was influenced by Milton but did not try to copy his style but worked to develop his own voice. Walking around the small rooms of Keats House, it is possible to picture Keats sitting in his room reading his copy of Paradise Lost and being inspired to create his great works before his tragic early death.

Visitor Information

Keats and Milton: Paradise Lost at Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, London NW3 2RR.

Exhibition dates: 6 December 2017 – 14 October 2018.

Keats House opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-5pm.

Admission: Adults £6.50; Seniors £5.50; Concessions £4.50; Children 17 and under free of charge.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Keats House 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

Book Review – Only in London by Duncan J. D. Smith (The Urban Explorer)

Only in London is one of a series of guidebooks written by Duncan J.D .Smith who is known as ‘The Urban Explorer’. The author is a travel writer, historian, and photographer who had worked for many years in the publishing industry dealing with travel writers‘  books.  In 2003, Duncan decided to start writing and publishing his own guides which have seen him writing books about Berlin, Budapest, Cologne, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Munich, Paris, Prague, Vienna, and Zurich.

This particular book finds the author exploring some of the hidden gems of London and searching for “Unique Locations, Hidden Corners and Unusual Objects”. The intention of the author “is to enable readers to acquaint themselves not only with the surviving treasures of old London but also to savour the delights of the new”.

Unusually, the author uses postcodes to create the different sections of the book with each section including a series of articles that range from The Ruins of Roman Londinium to Banksy’s Falling Shopper.

In the last decade or so, there have been a large number of guidebooks that have followed a similar format exploring Secret or Hidden London. However, this book is more concerned about telling the ‘stories’ behind the location or object. Therefore we have a series of imaginative titles such as Pickled Toads and Dodo Bones, Sustenance in Strange Places, The Horse Hospital and Other Galleries, Foundlings and the Messiah, Bolt-holes for Bookworms and Walking on Greta Garbo.

Some articles are themed, so the reader can look for Hawksmoor’s Rockets, go on a Historic Pub Crawl, find Medieval Church Survivors, explore Theatreland and enjoy Waters, Walks and Gardens Green. 

In many of these ‘stories’, the author considers the historical, cultural and social context to understand a building, object or location. It is this level of detail that takes this book to a different level in comparison with its competitors. The book includes maps and colour photographs to illustrate particular aspects of the narrative that provide the reader with a visual as well as a written reference point. The book also includes a useful list of opening times and a bibliography for those readers who would to take their London related reading further.

Only in London is a fascinating introduction for the first time visitor or the experienced London explorer, the author manages to be authoritative without being overly academic and takes the reader on an enjoyable wander through some of London’s lesser known sights and provides some interesting fresh perspectives on well-known sights. The author impressively weaves the past and present together to give a sense of change in the capital but also highlights the sense of continuity in London.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information , visit the Only in Guides 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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