Home » 2019 » July

Monthly Archives: July 2019

Shake It Up! A Shakespeare Festival for Shoreditch on 23rd and 24th August 2019

To celebrate the forthcoming opening of the site of London’s first purpose-built theatre, the Theatre Courtyard Gallery will present Shake It Up! A Shakespeare Festival for Shoreditch, a weekend family festival of performances, events and activities.

In March 2020, a new permanent exhibition space will open on the site of The Theatre (1576-1598), one of the first Elizabethan playhouses to be built in London and an early home to Shakespeare and his acting company.

Reconstructed view of the entrance to The Theatre, Shoreditch (c) David Toon, Lee Sands and MOLA

The Theatre was Shakespeare’s original London playhouse. The purpose-built structure was built in 1576 when Shoreditch sat on the edge of the City of London. In the 1590s, Shakespeare became resident playwright at the Theatre and his company performed several of his greatest plays, including Romeo and Juliet, there. In 1598, having lost the rights to lease the land, Shakespeare’s company dismantled the Theatre and moved the timbers across the river to Bankside, to create the Globe, which opened the following year.

Archaeologists on site at The Theatre during the 2008 excavation (c) MOLA

Parts of The Theatre’s inner wall were discovered in 2008. These archaeological remains, along with artefacts subsequently unearthed on the site, will be at the heart of the new permanent exhibition space, the Theatre Courtyard Gallery.

The Theatre art wall in Shoreditch by Global Street Art (c) Global Street Art

Shake It Up! runs on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 August at sites throughout Shoreditch. Visitors can go back in time the with the festival’s free family events programme which includes Elizabethan games, dressing up, art workshops, and object handling by Museum of London Archaeology.

There will also be talks on Shakespearean theatre, comedy by The School of Night, music by David William Hughes, sword fighting demonstrations and an interactive Elizabethan dance workshop. Ticketed events include Elizabethan yoga and a new Elizabethan walking tour by Look Up London.

The festival begins with The Choicest Music of the Kingdom, a candlelit concert of words and music, performed by internationally-acclaimed choir The Sixteen in the atmospheric surroundings of Shoreditch Church. Led by Harry Christophers CBE, The Sixteen will present an exclusive programme of Elizabethan choral works complemented by the words of historic Londoners delivered by Shakespearean actors.

For more information or book tickets, visit the Event 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

Great London Sculptures: The Broadgate Venus by Fernando Botero


© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Broadgate Venus is a five tonnes sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero located in Exchange Square near to Liverpool Street Station. The ‘Venus’ was specially commissioned in 1989 and is a ‘favourite’ amongst the city workers and locals.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Venus is an example of “Boterismo”, a style developed by Colombian artist Fernando Botero which depicts people and figures in large exaggerated form for political or humorous effect.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Botero was born in Medellín was once enrolled in matador school before his artistic talent was recognised.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Botero’s work was first exhibited in 1948 in Colombia before he travelled to Barcelona and Madrid. where he studied at the Academia de San Fernando. In the 1950s, Botero moved to Paris and Florence to study before making Paris his permanent home although he makes regular trips to his native city of Medellin.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Botero is considered one of the leading artists in Latin America and his art is found in many major cities around the world. His art is collected by many major international museums, corporations, and private collectors.

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

Great London Sculptures: Kindertransport – The Arrival by Frank Meisler at Liverpool Street Station

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Kindertransport – The Arrival is a bronze memorial sculpture by Frank Meisler which is located in the entrance to Liverpool Street station in London. The sculpture commemorates the 10,000 Jewish children who escaped Nazi persecution and arrived at the station during 1938–1939. The memorial was installed in 2006 and was commissioned by World Jewish Relief and the Association of Jewish Refugees.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Kindertransport was a rescue effort that took place just before the outbreak of the Second World War. It was estimated that the United Kingdom took in around 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. The children were placed in a variety of foster homes, hostels and schools. This action saved the life of the children because they were often the only members of their families who survived the Holocaust.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Frank Meisler who created the sculpture had a personal experience of Kindertransport, Frank Meisler was born into a Jewish family in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland), he was evacuated by the Kindertransport in 1939, travelling with other Jewish children via Berlin to the Netherlands and then to Liverpool Street station in London. His parents were arrested after his departure and were later murdered at Auschwitz concentration camp.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Meisler was raised by a grandmother, who lived in London and did national service in the Royal Air Force before studying architecture at the University of Manchester.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

He moved to Israel in 1960 and has created a number of Kindertransport memorials all around Europe and sculptures in Israel and Russia.

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: Queen Victoria’s Palace at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace from 20 July to 29 September 2019

To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, a special exhibition entitled Queen Victoria’s Palace at Buckingham Palace tells the story of how the young monarch transformed a neglected royal residence into the centre of the social, cultural and official life of the country.

When Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837, she decided to move into Buckingham Palace, despite the building being incomplete and many of the rooms undecorated and unfurnished. The Palace had been left empty for seven years following the death of George IV, the King never occupied the Palace but had great plans to turn the palace into a grand building based on the designs of John Nash. George IV’s successor William IV lived at Clarence House during his short reign and the Queen’s ministers advised her to stay at Kensington Palace until Buckingham Palace was finally completed.

Despite being only 18, Victoria had the strength of character to ignore the advice and move into Buckingham Palace, in 1840 Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and began the development of the royal residence to be suitable for both official and family life.

As Victoria’s family grew, so did Buckingham Palace with money granted from Parliament in 1846. In 1847 the architect Edward Blore was commissioned to draw up plans for alterations to Buckingham Palace and between 1847 and 1849, the East Wing was added at the front, enclosing an open, courtyard and introducing the now famous central balcony.

The first part of the exhibition explores this process with paintings, drawings, costumes with a number of personal items from Victoria’s family. It also features some of the social events that began to be promoted at the Palace like The Stuart Ball of 1851.

A new Ballroom was added to the State Rooms to enable Victoria’s wish for a space to entertain the many visitors. The Palace’s new Ballroom and Ball Supper Room were completed in 1856, and measuring 33.5 metres long and 18 metres wide. the Ballroom was the largest room in the Palace. On 17 June of that year, a Ball was held to mark the end of the Crimean War and honour the returning soldiers.

The Ball of 1856, has been recreated for visitors using a Victorian illusion technique known as Pepper’s Ghost and a series of digital projections around the Ballroom. Four couples seem to appear performing a waltz, whilst the digital projections transform the walls and ceilings with decorations allowing visitors to imagine both spaces as Victoria and Albert would have known them.

Victoria also transformed the kitchens to enable the Palace’s 45 chefs to demonstrate their culinary skills. In the State Dining Room, the table is dressed with items from the ‘Victoria’ pattern dessert service, purchased by the Queen from the stand of Minton & Co. at the Great Exhibition in 1851, and the Alhambra table fountain, a silver-gilt and enamel centrepiece commissioned by Victoria and Albert from R & S Garrard in the same year.

On pieces of silver-gilt from the Grand Service, commissioned by Victoria’s uncle, George IV, sit replica desserts based on a design by Charles Elme Francatelli, Queen Victoria’s Chief Cook.

This fascinating exhibition illustrates the role of Victoria in making Buckingham Palace what it is today. A unloved building was transformed into the headquarters of the Monarchy, a focal point for national celebrations and a family home. Victoria also created a place to entertain hundreds and sometimes thousands of guests at one time creating traditions that still endure, such as appearances by the Royal Family on the balcony at the front of the Palace and the annual summer Garden Parties.

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: 325 years, 325 objects at the Bank of England Museum from 22 July 2019 to 15 May 2020

The Bank of England celebrates its 325th anniversary, with a new exhibition at the Bank of England Museum entitled 325 years, 325 objects which tells the fascinating story of the bank through items selected from the vast collections amassed since the Bank was founded in 1694.

The small exhibition spans art, design, archaeology, architecture, ceremony, politics, wartime, the monarchy, security, fraud and forgery, crises, riots and technology and features a number of objects that tell a remarkable story of how the Bank Of England became the United Kingdom’s central bank and how it survived and prospered in a ever changing world.

Some of the highlights of the exhibition include The first banknotes, including an early note, dated 26th June 1702, issued to Elizabeth Head, an early investor in the Bank.

Artwork sketches and test plates for banknote designs, including Jacobite design proofs from 1745 and a woodblock design for the first postal order from 1880.

A still-wax-sealed packet containing a duplicate key to the door of the Bullion Office from 1784

19th and 20th century forged banknotes and printing plates

Roman relics found during archaeological digs on the Threadneedle Street site.

Handmade terracotta bricks taken from Sir John Soane’s Rotunda in his original Bank building and early 20th-century hand-painted wall tiles from the Bank’s parlours, featuring Britannia, Minerva, Pythagoras and more

Manual dexterity tests given to Bank staff in the 1980s

Cold War Calculator. A radiation fallout calculator, 1959/60, used to estimate the effects of a nuclear attack.

Early views of the Bank building and its location in the City of London

Depictions of a dozen monarchs across successive gold coins

This is also a drawing of the ‘Bank nun’, Sarah Whitehead, who, from 1812 to 1837, visited the Bank of England each day, dressed in mourning clothes. She was the sister of a former Bank Clerk who had been sentenced to death for forging an acceptance to a bill. Each day she came to the Bank, awaiting her brother, under the delusion that he was still employed there.

Specially commissioned for the exhibition is a stunning botanical sculpture, created by artist Justine Smith. The sculpture is an arrangement of wild British flowers, all made from a combination of previously circulated £50 notes and uncirculated £50 test notes. The arrangement is presented in a silver water jug, dating from 1694, the year of the Bank’s foundation.

The exhibition takes place in the centre of The Bank of England Museum which has a full-size reconstruction of Sir John Soane’s 18th-century Stock Office, a large boat construction is full of interactive displays explaining how the Bank works, banknote design and security and how the Bank works within the financial system. There is also a large solid gold bar that you can pick up and touch.

The Bank of England is one of the best known institutions in the world but its inner workings are often shrouded in mystery. This fascinating free exhibition provides an opportunity to discover some of the bank’s secrets and its remarkable history. Each object tells a story from the past 325 years and offers plenty of insights into how banking transformed the world economies and helped to create the ‘modern world.’

325 years, 325 objects at the Bank of England Museum, Bartholomew Lane (off Threadneedle Street),
London EC2R 8AH. Dates: 22 July 2019 – 15 May 2020. Admission: Free.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-5pm (last entry 4:30pm). Closed Public and Bank Holidays and
weekends, except for special events taking place on those days.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like further information about the exhibition, visit the Bank of England 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: Helene Schjerfbeck at the Royal Academy from 20 July to 27 October 2019

The Royal Academy of Arts presents an exhibition which covers the long and productive career of Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck (1862 – 1946). The exhibition is the first solo exhibition of Schjerfbeck’s works to be held in the UK.  Schjerfbeck is considered one of the most famous and highly regarded artists in Finland and is known in Nordic countries and across mainland Europe, but is little known in the UK.

The exhibition features around 65 portraits, landscapes and still lifes and charts the artistic development of Schjerfbeck’s work from a more naturalistic style , to a more abstracted and modern approach from the turn of the twentieth century.

The exhibition is organised in five sections. Paris, Pont Aven and St Ives shows Schjerfbeck’s early works which demonstrate the influence of the naturalistic painting. The earliest work in the exhibition is Two Profiles, 1881, depicting Schjerfbeck’s lifelong friend and fellow painter Marianne Preindelsberger. There  are examples from her time spent in the artists’ colony of St Ives, Cornwall in the late 1880s. One of Schjerfbeck’s early successes was The Convalescent, 1888 exhibited at the Paris Salon.

The second section, Moments of Intimacy illustrates a change of emphasis with larger canvases capturing creating private moments like Maria, 1909. Schjerfbeck moved  back to Finland in 1896 and began teaching at the Finnish Art Society’s drawing school in Helsinki.  Schjerfbeck then moved with her mother to the rural town of Hyvinkää in 1902, where she used her mother as a model and her style began to evolve into a more modernist approach.

The central gallery features a series of Self-portraits from the age of 22 to 83, Schjerfbeck seemed to be fascinated by the process of aging and many of the self-portraits offer a opportunity to see the artist’s style changing from the more traditional naturalistic to  the more abstract ghostly and confrontational presence.

The section entitled the Modern Look features portraits of family, friends and models made between 1909 and 1944. Schjerfbeck was inspired by magazines and journals and many of the paintings are similar to magazine illustrations but based on real people. She often names the portrait as types rather than real people like The Skier (English Girl) 1909 which actually looks like a clown. As women’s roles began to change in society, Schjerfbeck seems fascinated with these changes and often referred to paintings from earlier centuries like Profile of Madonna after El Greco, 1943.

The exhibition concludes with Still Life, a group of pictures that perhaps senses the artist’s own mortality and uses nature to illustrate the process of life and decay, Three Pears on a Plate, 1945 is the final painting she ever made.

This fascinating exhibition introduces the work of Helene Schjerfbeck to a wider audience and offers the rare opportunity to view a large number of the artist’s work. Schjerfbeck is one of those artists that seem to operate in their own world and follow their intuitions rather than the fads and fashions of art. She was particularly interested in women and women’s role in society, her later paintings in particular seem to suggest that women were becoming asked to be various types rather than individuals. The paintings often blur the distinctive features of the portraits as if the person was losing their individuality.  Is this why her later self portraits seem so confrontational as if to say this is the ‘real me’ not a stereotype.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

London Sculptures: The Meeting Place by Paul Day at St Pancras Railway Station

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Meeting Place is a 9-metre-high (30 ft), 20-tonne bronze sculpture stands on the upper level of St Pancras railway station near the Eurostar terminal.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture was designed by the British artist Paul Day and unveiled in 2007 and was commissioned to be the centrepiece of the newly refurbished station.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture of a couple locked in a embrace is intended to illustrate the romance of travel. Around the bronze relief frieze around the plinth is several scenes depicting various passengers undertaking travel.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture received a poor reception from art critics but has been become popular with the public. It has led to the reputation of St Pancras station being a romantic meeting place.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture was commissioned by London & Continental Railways and offers an unusual experience by taking different views from different vantage points in the station.

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