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Monthly Archives: February 2022

Whistler’s Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan at the Royal Academy from 26 February to 22 May 2022

The Royal Academy’s Whistler’s Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan will be the first exhibition to examine the important role played by the Irish-born model Joanna Hiffernan in establishing the reputation of the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) as one of the most influential artists of the late 19th century.

The exhibition consists of over 70 works, and brings together nearly all of Whistler’s depictions of Hiffernan, and will include paintings, prints, drawings, and related art works and ephemera. Whistler’s Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan explores the pair’s professional and personal relationship over more than 20 years and examine how the artwork resulting from their collaboration has influenced and resonated with artists into the 20th century.

The exhibition will be arranged thematically in six sections. London in the 1860s will feature depictions of London including Whistler’s Wapping, 1860-64 and other paintings from the 1850s and 1860s by British artists that portray the theme of the woman in white in various guises, including Dante Gabrielle Rosetti’s Ecce Ancilla Domine! [The Annunciation], 1849-50.

The following section, Symphonies in White, will be devoted to the artistic collaboration between Whistler and Hiffernan in the 1860s. A key highlight will be Whistler’s three Symphony in White paintings that are rarely shown together: Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl, 1862, Symphony in White, No.II: The Little White Girl, 1864, and Symphony in White, No. III, 1865-67.

Whistler and Hiffernan: The Prints will demonstrate Whistler’s skills as a printmaker, especially in his images of Hiffernan. The following section will examine the influence of Japonisme on Whistler, in works such as his Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks, 1864, which shows Hiffernan wearing a kimono and surrounded with Asian objects from Whistler’s collection.

Whistler and Courbet presents the works of Gustave Courbet, who painted Hiffernan when she and Whistler joined Courbet in 1865 in Trouville, Normandy.

Whistler and Hiffernan’s legacy is revealed through the final section entitled Women in White, which will include paintings from the late 1860s until just after the turn of the century by a group of international artists, many of whom knew Whistler and were directly influenced by his treatment of the theme. Highlights will include John Everett Millais’ The Somnambulist, 1871, Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Hermine Gallia, 1904 and Andrée Karpelés’ Symphonie en blanc, 1908.

The exhibition is organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

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

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Surrealism Beyond Borders at Tate Modern from 24 February to 29 August 2022

This ground-breaking exhibition at Tate Modern explores the wide range of this radical Surrealism movement, which very quickly moved beyond the confines of a single time or place. Based on extensive research undertaken by Tate and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the exhibition spans 80 years and 50 countries to show how Surrealism inspired and united artists around the globe, from centres as diverse as Buenos Aires, Cairo, Lisbon, Mexico City, Prague, Seoul and Tokyo. Expanding our understanding of Surrealism, Tate Modern will show how this dynamic movement took root in many places at different times, offering artists the freedom to challenge authority and imagine a new world.

Rene Magritte – Time Transfixed 1938 The Art Institute of Chicago, Joseph Winterbotham Collection,

Surrealism had its origins in Paris in the 1920s, Surrealism prioritised the unconscious and dreams using humorous works like Salvador Dalí’s Lobster Telephone to René Magritte’s train rushing from a fireplace to challenge views of reality. It soon was used by artists around the world as a serious weapon in the struggle for political, social, and personal freedom.

Remedios Varo – To The Tower 1961. Private collection (c) DACS, 2021

The exhibition feates over 150 works ranging from painting and photography to sculpture and film, many of which have never been shown in the UK, this exhibition explores the collective interests shared by artists across regions and considers the conditions under which they worked and how this in turn impacted Surrealism. Among the rarely seen works are photographs by Cecilia Porras and Enrique Grau, as well as paintings by exiled Spanish artist Eugenio Granell.

Toshiko Okanoue – The Call 1953. Wilson Centre for Photography

Visitors will see iconic paintings such as Max Ernst’s Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale 1924 alongside lesser known but significant works including Antonio Berni’s Landru in the Hotel, Paris 1932, which appeared in the artist’s first exhibition of Surrealist works in Argentina, and Toshiko Okanoue’s Yobi-goe (The Call) 1954, addressing the daily experience of post-war Japan. Photographs by Hans Bellmer focusing on the female body are contrasted with Ithell Colquhoun’s Scylla 1938 a double image exploring female desire and works by both French Surrealist Claude Cahun and Sri-Lankan-based artist Lionel Wendt.

Kati Horna Untitled from Woman with Masks (Series) Mexico 1963 © Kati Horna Estate. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery

The exhibition also considers the locations around the world where artists have converged and exchanged ideas of Surrealism. From Paris at the Bureau of Surrealist Research; to Cairo, with the Art et Liberté group; across the Caribbean, where the movement was initiated by writers; in Mexico City, where it was shaped by the creative bonds of women artists; and Chicago, where Surrealism was used as a tool for radical politics. Special loans including the photographs of Limb Eung-Sik and Jung Haechang from Korea and a film by Len Lye from New Zealand, will offer further insight into the adaption of Surrealism across the globe. For the first time in the UK, Ted Joans’ 36-foot drawing, Long Distance 1976-2005 will go on display, featuring 132 contributors from around the world. Accompanying Joans on his travels, this cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse) drawing took nearly 30 years to complete and united artists located as far apart as Lagos and Toronto.

Surrealism Beyond Borders is organised by Tate Modern and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

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Exhibition Review: The world of Stonehenge at the British Museum from 17 February to 17 July 2022

The British Museum presents a major exhibition entitled The world of Stonehenge which sees over 430 objects brought together from across Europe in a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle on the history and mystery of the iconic ancient monument.

The world of Stonehenge is the UK’s first ever major exhibition on the story of Stonehenge. Stonehenge was built 4,500 years ago around the same time as the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

This exhibition attempts to place the iconic monument in its historical context which saw huge social and technological revolutions, alongside fundamental changes in people’s relationships with the cosmos, the land and other peoples.

At the heart of the exhibition is the 4,000-year-old Bronze Age timber circle, dubbed Seahenge. It is a hugely significant and extremely rare surviving example of a timber monument. It re-emerged on a remote Norfolk beach in 1998 due to the shifting sands, and it consists of a large upturned tree stump surrounded by 54 wooden posts. The oak posts, some up to 3m tall, were tightly packed in a 6.6m diameter circle with their bark-covered sides facing outwards. Inside the circle was a mighty oak, its roots upturned towards the heavens like branches. A narrow entranceway was aligned on the rising midsummer sun and it is thought this monument was used for ritual purposes.

Nearly two-thirds of the objects on display in The world of Stonehenge are loans, with objects coming from 35 lenders across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland.

Of these, the majority have never been seen in the UK before.

Alongside the international loans, visitors will see some of the most important objects unearthed in the Stonehenge landscape, many of them now in the collections of neighbouring museums.

The exhibition has been organised with the State Museum of Prehistory, Halle/Saale,Germany, who have loaned the Nebra Sky Disc, the oldest surviving representation of the cosmos anywhere in the world.

The exhibition illustrates the advances in technologies of the period with a wide array of gold objects.

Also in the exhibition is what is considered “the most important piece of prehistoric art to be found in Britain in the last 100 years.” The object is a 5,000-year-old chalk sculpture and was discovered on a country estate near the village of Burton Agnes in East Yorkshire. The sculpture is decorated with elaborate motifs that reaffirms a British and Irish artistic style that flourished at exactly the same time as Stonehenge was built. It was uncovered alongside the burial of three children.

The importance of this new discovery relates to its similarity to a group of objects in the British Museum’s collection. Three barrel-shaped cylinders made of solid chalk dubbed the Folkton drums due to their shape and the location where they were found in North Yorkshire have been in the collection of the British Museum since first being excavated in 1889.

This fascinating exhibition does not pretend to solve the mysteries of Stonehenge but does try put it into its historical context. Contrary to what you would expect, the evidence suggests that ideas and people travelled considerable distances and all over Europe there can be found similar objects. The sharing of similar beliefs perhaps explain how a major undertaking like Stonehenge could attract a large and coordinated workforce to move the monument’s bluestones hundreds of kilometres from West Wales to Salisbury Plain.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, 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.
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Freud and China Exhibition at the Freud Museum London from 12 February to 26 June 2022

© Freud Museum London – Photo by K. Urbaniak

For the first time, a new exhibition at Freud Museum examines the intriguing collection of items that Freud placed in the eyeline of his patients while he worked. Freud and China explores all of the Chinese objects that dominated Freud’s collecting in the last decade of his life, including the surprising item that Freud chose to be smuggled out of Vienna as the Nazis approached his home.

© Freud Museum London – Photo by Karolina Heller

The exhibition entitled Freud and China runs from 12 February to 26 June 2022 at the Freud Museum, the final home of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the founder of psychoanalysis, and his daughter Anna Freud (1895-1982), the pioneering child psychoanalyst. The Freud family came to England as refugees, having escaped Austria following the Nazi annexation in March 1938.

© Freud Museum London – Photo by Karolina Heller

At the heart of the house at Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, is Sigmund Freud’s study, which contains his famous psychoanalytic couch and is the room in which Freud died. Freud worked and saw patients in the study, surrounded by thousands of antiquities, including the Chinese figurines, statuettes and artistic objects at the centre of the new exhibition.

© Freud Museum London – Photo by Karolina Heller

While outnumbered by his Greek, Roman and Egyptian pieces, Freud’s Chinese objects held a fascination for him in his later years. Using new technology, visitors to Freud and China will see Freud’s whole collection of Chinese objects close up, and in all their beautiful detail, in ways that have not previously been possible. The exhibition reassembles the grouping of the pieces, which sat squarely in the eye line of the patients as they lay on the famous psychoanalytic couch in the last phase of Freud’s practice as an analyst.

© Freud Museum London – Photo by Karolina Heller

Displayed prominently by Freud on his desk in his study in both Vienna and London, the tiny 19th century pierced jade and wood screen was one of only two items chosen by Freud to be smuggled out of Vienna in 1938, when it looked like the Nazis might confiscate his entire collection. While not especially valuable, the item was precious to Freud; it sat directly in front of him, closer than any of his other antiquities Designed to be placed on a scholar’s desk, the screen features the Chinese character of ‘shou’, meaning ‘long life’.

Freud’s interest also extended to his pet dogs, who were ‘chows’, closely associated with China in the western imagination. His dog Jofi stayed at Freud’s side while he saw patients and, later, Freud’s final dog, Lun, was able to come to London when the family left Vienna.

© Freud Museum London – Photo by Karolina Heller

Freud and China also looks at the reception of Freud’s theories and ideas in China, the use of Freudian themes by Chinese writers and artists, the place of China in Freud’s own mind and psychology in China today. The exhibition is accompanied by a public programme of seminars, talks and events, including a multi-disciplinary conference on Buddhism and a number of interactive events in collaboration with the London Chinese community.

Exhibition and Museum Information

Freud and China
The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, London NW3 5SX.
Dates: 12 February – 26 June 2022.
Opening hours: 10.30am – 5pm, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

For more information and tickets, visit the Freud 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.
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Exhibition Review – Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 12 February 2022 to 8 January 2023

The Victoria and Albert Museum presents Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature which is the first exhibition to explore the complete life story of Beatrix Potter, one of the most popular authors of Children’s fiction in the 20th Century. The exhibition in partnership with the National Trust considers Potter’s achievements and her many talents from storyteller, businesswoman, natural scientist and conservationist.

The exhibition features over 240 personal objects including rarely seen letters, manuscripts, sketches, coded diaries, family photographs, examples of commercial merchandise and personal artefacts.

The exhibition consists of four sections, following Potter’s journey from London to the Lake District, where she eventually settled. The first section, Town and Country explores her childhood in South Kensington in London; Under the Microscope highlights Potter’s interest in natural science; A Natural Storyteller reveals her journey to becoming a best-selling author and finally, Living Nature illustrates how Potter left a lasting legacy to her beloved Lake District.

Town and Country explores Potter’s upbringing and family life in Bolton Gardens, South Kensington. This section includes objects from Potter’s early years, including an album of family photographs taken by her father as well as artwork and furniture from the family home. Highlights include Beatrix’s earliest drawings and sketchbooks dating back to age 8 and personal illustrated letters sent home during family holidays.

In Under the Microscope, the schoolroom shared by Beatrix and her brother Bertram at Bolton Gardens are re-imagined. On display are some of their earliest observational sketches, from the schoolroom menagerie to a cabinet used by Beatrix and Bertram to store their collection of butterflies, beetles, bird eggs, shells, rocks and fossils. Beatrix had more than 92 pets during her lifetime and took inspiration from some of them for her stories.

Also revealed in this section is Potter’s passion for scientific study, showcasing several of her drawings of fungi on loan from the Armitt Museum and Library, which can still be used in scientific identification.

In A Natural Storyteller section, visitors discover how Potter’s career as an author began almost accidentally, developing from the stories included in her picture letters to family friends.

The exhibition introduces favourite characters from Potter’s stories as well as the real-life inspirations behind the tales, from a dolls’ house built by her publisher Norman Warne, which inspired The Tale of Two Bad Mice, to early drawings inspired by Randolph Caldecott, which led to The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, and original sketches of gardens and landscapes inspiring The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.

Also on display in the exhibition is a intricately embroidered waistcoat and blue dress coat, sketched by Potter on one of her many visits to the South Kensington Museum (now V&A), which would later feature in her story The Tailor of Gloucester. These costumes are shown alongside a sketch of the waistcoat and finished artwork from the book.

Lastly, Living Nature celebrates the final chapter in Beatrix Potter’s story: her permanent move to the Lake District, to become an award-winning sheep farmer and respected member of the local community.

Visitors are transported to the Lake District with a specially commissioned immersive video depicting life in the craggy fells and Hill Top in Cumbria.

This section also explores Potter’s friendship with Canon Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley one of the National Trust’s founders. Beatrix Potter spent the last 30 years of her life buying and protecting land in the Lake District, eventually leaving a significant bequest of over 4,000 acres of land, farms and cottages to the National Trust.

This informative and interactive exhibition invites visitors of all ages to discover the real Beatrix Potter, a woman of many talents whose practical business skills funded her passion for sheep farming and conservation in the Lake District. Although best known for her books and stories, the exhibition presents a more rounded appraisal of the various facets of Beatrix Potter’s personality and her journey from the privileged world of South Kensington to the wildness of the fells of Cumbria.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A 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.
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A Short Guide to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s Gallery is a public art gallery connected to Buckingham Palace. It exhibits mostly works of art from the Royal Collection on a rotating basis.

The gallery forms part of the south wing of the Palace and was built on the site of a chapel bombed during the Second World War. The gallery opened in 1962 and was an instant success attracting up to 5 million visitors, until it was closed between 1999 to 2002 for extension. In 2002, the gallery was reopened by Elizabeth II with a new Doric entrance portico and new rooms, more than tripling the size of the old gallery.

The gallery was established to make the Royal Collection more accessible to the public and there are often three art exhibitions arranged annually at the gallery.

The Royal Collection has been formed mainly since the time of Charles II in the mid-17th century. It includes a high quality collection of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, and prints, as well as items of gold, silver, jewellery, furniture, and other decorative art. Many pieces in the collection are loaned to different national museums and art galleries.

Recent exhibitions have included Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs, Shadows of War: Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea, 1855, Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing and George IV: Art & Spectacle.

Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace bought together some of the most important paintings in the Royal Collection from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Usually on public view during the annual Summer Opening of the Palace, the paintings were shown in The Queen’s Gallery while works are carried out to protect the historic building for future generations.

The Picture Gallery was originally designed by the architect John Nash for George IV to display his collection of Dutch, Flemish and Italian Old Master paintings. Artists that were represented in the exhibition include Titian, Guercino, Guido Reni, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens, Jan Steen, Claude and Canaletto.

The Queen’s Gallery is one of the best smaller galleries in London and the quality of the artwork and decorative art is of the highest quality. The exhibitions are often quite eclectic with items that often have a fascinating history of their own.

For more information and tickets, visit the 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 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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