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Lubaina Himid at Tate Modern from 25 November 2021 to 3 July 2022

Between the Two my Heart is Balanced, 1991
Tate
© Lubaina Himid

Over four decades, Lubaina Himid’s work has made her an increasingly influential figure in contemporary art from her role in the British Black arts movement of the 1980s to winning the Turner Prize in 2017. Tate Modern presents Himid’s largest solo exhibition to date, incorporating new paintings and significant highlights from across her career. Taking inspiration from the artist’s interest in opera and her training in theatre design, the show unfolds across a sequence of scenes which put the visitor centre-stage.

Lubaina Himid
A Fashionable Marriage, 1986
installation view, 2017 © Nottingham Contemporary
Photo: Andy Keate
Courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens

The exhibition presents over 50 works that bring together painting, everyday objects, poetic texts and sound. Early installations including the well-known A Fashionable Marriage 1984 will enter into a dialogue with recent works such as her series of large format paintings Le Rodeur 2016-18, while new paintings created during lockdown will go on public display for the first time.

An early fascination with pattern, influenced by her mother’s career as a textile designer, has always been central to Himid’s work. A series of suspended cloth flags inspired by East African kanga textiles will welcome visitors to the exhibition at Tate Modern.

Lubaina Himid
There Could Be an Endless Ocean 2018
Courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens

Throughout her career, Himid has explored and expanded the possibilities of storytelling, encouraging the viewer to become an active participant in her work. A fictional architecture competition inspires the installation Jelly Mould Pavilions for Liverpool 2010, in which a series of hand-painted ceramic models celebrate the contributions of the African diaspora and invite viewers to reflect on the role of monuments in public space. Displayed at Tate Modern alongside a range of works including Metal Handkerchiefs 2019 in a room addressing architecture and the built environment, Himid poses the question: ‘We live in clothes, we live in buildings. Do they fit us?’

© Lubaina Himid

A major highlight of the exhibition will be the presence of sound installations, including Blue Grid Test 2020, created by Himid in collaboration with artist Magda Stawarska-Beavan. Displayed in the UK for the first time, this 25-metre-long painting features 64 patterns from all over the world, each painted a different shade of blue on top of a variety of objects pinned to the gallery walls. Coupled with a sound installation layering instrumental music with Himid’s voice, the work creates a visual and sonic embrace.

The show will culminate in a group of recent paintings and painted objects, which centre on extraordinary moments of everyday life which are rarely portrayed. The series Men in Drawers 2017-19 features tender portraits of imaginary figures inside vintage wooden furniture, while works like Cover the Surface 2019 depict intimate interactions and moments of indecision between men. Himid also continues to explore women’s creativity in her recent paintings, including The Operating Table 2019.

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

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Exhibition Review: Dürer’s Journeys – Travels of a Renaissance Artist at the National Gallery from 20 November 2021 to 27 February 2022

The National Gallery presents a major exhibition entitled Dürer’s Journeys – Travels of a Renaissance Artist devoted to German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. This is the first significant UK exhibition of the artist’s works in such a wide range of media for nearly twenty years and explores Dürer’s career as a painter, draughtsman and printmaker. Most of the exhibited works are displayed in Britain for the first time.

The exhibition is based on the artists journal of his travels to the Alps and Italy in the mid-1490s; to Venice in 1505–7; and to the Low Countries in 1520–1. These journeys bought him into contact with a number of artists and important people and increased his fame and influence.

In the first room of the exhibition visitors can follow Dürer’s career progress in the years following his return to Nuremberg after travelling to the Alps and Italy in the mid-1490s. His Saint Jerome, about 1496, with its detailed landscape shows the influence of the Italian visit. Also included is the unusual Madonna and Child; Lot and his Daughters about 1496-9.

The second room includes some of Dürer’s early studies from his visit to Venice from 1505 to 1507, highlights of the room are three portraits by Dürer and the painting Christ among the Doctors, 1506,

In room three, includes many of the artist’s best-known engravings, we see Dürer return to Nuremberg, where he was employed by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, before embarking on a journey north to Aachen where the coronation of the new Emperor Charles V was to take place. He also visited the Low Countries in 1520–1.

The fourth room of the exhibition include Portraits, in chalk, charcoal and silverpoint. Dürer’s observations as he sketched people, animals and townscapes are explored in the fifth, which includes sheets from his silverpoint sketchbook.

The artists Dürer met on his travels are well represented such as Giovanni Bellini with his The Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr
about 1505-7.

The final room is devoted to the period in Antwerp, where Dürer became friendly with the Portuguese merchants’ agent Rodrigo de Almada. Dürer painted a striking and innovative image of Saint Jerome, 1521 for Almada.

This fascinating exhibition offers the rare opportunity to explore a wide range of Dürer work and consider how Renaissance artists from Northern Europe differed from their Southern counterparts. Although influenced by the work of Mantegna, Leonardo and Giovanni Bellini, Dürer bought his own unique vision to the human condition and religion. He was more concerned with universal issues and the meaning and conduct of earthly life, rather than the treasures and rewards in heaven. If Leonardo da Vinci is the poster boy of the Southern Renaissance artists, Dürer is considered the archetypal Renaissance artist of Northern Europe with unique skills of observation, technique, painting, printing and drawing.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, 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.
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Exhibition Review – Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 20 November 2021 to 8 May 2022

The V&A present a major new exhibition entitled Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution which is the first exhibition devoted to the international prominence of the legendary Russian goldsmith, Carl Fabergé, and the importance of his little-known London branch. The highlight of the exhibition is largest collection of the legendary Imperial Easter Eggs in a generation are on display together, several of which are being shown in the UK for the first time.

The exhibition features over 200 objects across three main sections, the exhibition tells the story of Carl Fabergé, whose internationally recognised firm symbolised Russian craftsmanship and elegance.

The first section of the exhibition highlights the important patronage of the Romanov family. A miniature of the Imperial Regalia, lent by the Hermitage Museum, made for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle illustrates the exquisite craftmanship of Fabergé and how the firm became the official goldsmith to the Imperial family.

Part of this role was to provide a service to many in the Imperial family who gave each other intimate Fabergé gifts, this exhibition features many of these gifts including flowers made from rock crystal, gold and rose-cut diamonds and family portrait miniatures. This section also considers Carl Fabergé’s youth, his travels throughout Europe, and entry into the family firm.

The only known example of solid gold tea service crafted by Fabergé is also on display, one of the most magnificent items to emerge from the firm’s Moscow branch.

The second section of the exhibition tells the story of Fabergé’s time in London, after his success at the 1900 Paris Exposition, Fabergé was keen to expand outside of Russia. Fabergé’s choice of London for its new store was influenced by the fact that Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were already Fabergé collectors and the strong links between the British and Russian Royal Families.

Fabergé developed some of his works to his British clientele. He created hardstone portraits of the farm animals King Edward and Queen Alexandra bred at Sandringham, their favourite country estate, and objects enamelled in The King’s horse racing colours.

Snuffboxes decorated with topographical views, buildings and monuments were also popular. A nephrite cigar box, set with a sepia enamelled view of the Houses of Parliament, was bought by Grand Duke Michael of Russia on 5 November 1908, the day of Guy Fawkes, and given to King Edward VII.

Despite the success, there was a dark cloud on the horizon and the Great War and Russian Revolution provided a sudden and dramatic end to the Fabergé enterprise. In 1917, the Revolution reached Fabergé’s workshops in Russia and its outpost in London ceased to operate.

The final section of the exhibition celebrates the legacy of Fabergé through the iconic Imperial Easter Eggs with a display of 15 of these famous treasures. This is the largest collection on public display for over 25 years. The collection on display includes several that have never before been shown in the UK including the largest Imperial Egg – the Moscow Kremlin Egg.

The Alexander Palace Egg, featuring watercolour portraits of the children of Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra – and containing a surprise model of the palace inside. The Tercentenary Egg, created to celebrate 300 years of the Romanov dynasty, only a few years before the dynasty crumbled. Other eggs that feature include the recently rediscovered Third Imperial Egg of 1887, found by a scrap dealer in 2011.

The Peacock Egg of 1907-8, shown on public display for the first time in over a decade, containing a surprise of an enamelled gold peacock automaton

and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s Basket of Flowers Egg, lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection is also on display.

This interesting and attractive exhibition provides some insights into the history and legacy of Fabergé. The firm’s popularity amongst the Russian Imperial family and Edwardian high society clientele led to a wide and eclectic range of objects being produced which are still highly prized by collectors especially in Europe and the United States. It is of considerable irony that recently Russians have become significant collectors of Fabergé’s work. The exhibition also illustrates how far removed were some royal families and cosmopolitan elites from the political and social realities of their day. The Russian Imperial family are a classic example of pursuing luxury and excess whilst their country was plunging into despair.

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.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review- Peru: a journey in time at the British Museum from 11 November 2021 to 20 February 2022

The British Museum presents a major new exhibition entitled Peru: a journey in time that features the rare loan of ancient objects from Peru to the British Museum.

The loan includes over 40 remarkable objects, some dating from over 3,000 years ago from nine museums across Peru. Most of them have never travelled to the UK before. These objects are on display with around 80 other pieces from the British Museum’s collection. This is the first major exhibition the British Museum has ever staged on Peru. It coincides with the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The exhibition ranges from the early culture of Chavin in 1200 BC, up to the fall of the Incas in AD 1532, and explores the rise and fall of six remarkable but little known societies. Peru includes some of most challenging and geographically diverse regions in the world, with landscapes ranging from arid deserts, high mountains across the Andes and tropical forests in the east.

The exhibition is chronological passing through six sections and exploring the past and considering the present. The first section called Living Landscapes, explores the way Andean people have adapted to the difficult environment in the region. To adapt, Andean people have developed belief systems where the natural and supernatural worlds are intimately connected. This is illustrated clearly in the section on Early cultures and the Chavin (1200–500 BC),

The following section looking at life and death in the desert and how the Paracas and Nasca peoples lived and prospered along the south coast of Peru.

The next step on the journey focus on the Moche (AD 100–800) and the Chimu, (AD 1000–1400) who dominated along the coast and inland valleys of northern Peru.

This is followed by a section looking at the two great empires of the highlands of the Central Andes, the Wari (AD 600–900) and Inca (AD 1400–1532).

The exhibition’s journey ends with a look at the Andean legacy, and how the Modern Peru of today combines the cultures, religions and transformations from the past 3,000 years.

Highlights among the objects coming from Peru include a stunning 2,500-year-old gold headdress and pair of ear plates which were part of an elite burial found at the site of Kuntur Wasi, Cajamarca.

Also there is a striking ceremonial drum from around 100 BC – AD 650 featuring a depiction of the capture of defeated enemies in ritual combat, one of the principal scenes of the Nasca people’s worldview.

The oldest object on loan is a ceremonial vessel from the Cupisnique culture, which flourished along what is now Peru’s northern Pacific coast, and is thought to date from up to 1200 BC. It is in the shape of a contorted human body.

This intriguing exhibition reminds visitors that many societies around the world have prospered in less than ideal environments and this isolation often leads to unique societies with interesting belief systems. This exhibition provides considerable insights into Peruvian societies that were closely related to their environment yet believed in the supernatural world of gods and spirits. It also illustrates that these societies were innovative and sophisticated using a series of techniques in engineering, agriculture and textiles to make full use of the limited resources available.

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.
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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Animal Therapy: the Cats of Louis Wain at Bethlem Museum of the Mind from 4 December 2021 to April 2022

A new exhibition will explore the life and work of an artist who found fame by drawing cats and whose body of work is an illustration of the links between animals and human wellbeing. Animal Therapy: the Cats of Louis Wain will run from 4 December 2021 to April 2022 at Bethlem Museum of the Mind. Admission to the exhibition and Museum is free.

The museum at Bethlem Royal Hospital, the world’s oldest psychiatric hospital, Bethlem Museum of the Mind celebrates the lives and achievements of those living with mental ill-health. The Museum, in Beckenham, southeast London, occupies the hospital’s original 1930s administration building.

100 years ago, Louis Wain (1860-1939) was a household name. His cats were instantly recognisable and appeared constantly in books, magazines, on postcards and in his very popular annuals. Long considered eccentric by many, as Wain aged his mental health deteriorated and he was admitted to Springfield Hospital. Once people became aware of his circumstances, a public campaign saw Wain moving to the more salubrious surroundings of Bethlem Royal Hospital. While there, Louis Wain remained accomplished and prolific, producing many of the gleeful, contented, often outlandish and fantastical cats which will feature in the exhibition.

Pictures from the Museum’s collection will combine with private collections to present a comprehensive new exploration of the style of Louis Wain. Among the exhibition highlights are works that show the ways in which Wain portrayed animals – the intricate A Cricket Catastrophe (with cats in a scene of great commotion); Patent Cork Screws (an experimental, abstract sketch of cats as corkscrews); Dog’s Head (showing his skill at drawing animals with accuracy); and Three White Cats and Tub, which differs in style so much from Wain’s other cats that there have been suggestions that it could be a fake. Also notable is The Village, a pencil sketch from the 1880s, which may not be instantly recognisable as a Louis Wain work, but which reflects the peace that he found in the countryside.

The exhibition will also include Cats’ Christmas, Carol Singing Cats and Cats with Plum Pudding – which Wain painted directly on to mirrors, as part of Christmas festivities at Bethlem. These extraordinary works remained within the Hospital when Wain left it in 1930 and have long been a prized part of the Museum’s collections.

The work Wain produced while in hospital can be viewed as a powerful example of the therapeutic and restorative effect that closeness with animals can have on human mental health. An 1860 Illustrated London News article about Bethlem Royal Hospital stated, ‘In the centre of the gallery wall there is a complete aviary full of joyously-carolling birds; and these little songsters seem to possess much power in raising the sometimes drooping spirits and soothing the troubled minds of the unhappy persons who dwell here.’ And ‘there is the same fondness manifested for pet birds and animals, cats, canaries, squirrels, greyhounds. [Some patients] pace the long gallery incessantly, pouring out their woes to those who will listen to them, or, if there are none to listen, to the dogs and cats.’

The exhibition opens around a month ahead of the UK cinema release of Will Sharpe’s forthcoming film The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, which follows Louis Wain (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) from the late 1800s through to the 1930s, as he seeks to unlock the ‘electrical’ mysteries of the world. In so doing, Wain hopes to better understand his own life and the profound love he shared with his wife Emily Richardson (Claire Foy). The film’s impressive ensemble supporting cast includes Andrea Riseborough, Toby Jones, Sharon Rooney, Aimee Lou Wood, Hayley Squires, Stacy Martin, Phoebe Nicholls, Adeel Akhtar, Asim Chaudhry, Richard Ayoade, Julian Barratt, Sophia di Martino, Taika Waititi, Nick Cave, and Olivia Colman.

Exhibition and Museum Information

Animal Therapy: the Cats of Louis Wain
Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3BX
Dates: 4 December 2021 – April 2022. Admission is free. Opening hours: 10am to 5pm,

Nearest Train Stations: Eden Park (30 mins from London Bridge), followed by a 15 min walk or 356 bus
(towards Shirley – The Bethlem Royal Hospital stop).
East Croydon (15 mins from London Victoria), followed by 119 bus (towards Bromley – Shirley Baptist
Church stop) or 198 (towards Shrublands – Monks Orchard Road stop).

If you are interested in attending the Museum and exhibition, find more information here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the 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.
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Exhibition Review: Hogarth and Europe at Tate Britain from 3 November 2021 to 20 March 2022

Tate Britain presents a major exhibition entitled Hogarth and Europe which explores the satirical depictions of 18th century England by William Hogarth (1697-1764). The exhibition places Hogarth in his historical context by comparisons with continental contemporaries.

The exhibition features many of Hogarth’s best-known paintings and prints, such as Marriage A-la-Mode 1743, The Gate of Calais 1748 and Gin Lane 1751, alongside works by famous European artists, including Jean-Siméon Chardin in Paris, Pietro Longhi in Venice, and Cornelis Troost in Amsterdam.

The exhibition features over 60 of Hogarth’s works, brought together from private and public collections around Europe and North America. Hogarth more than anyone caught the spirit of the age with his depictions of the enormous contrast of luxury and poverty.

Hogarth was influenced by 17th century Italian and Dutch paintings, however unlike many of his influences, he began to show the seedy and immoral side of urban life. In the 1730s he began his ‘modern moral series’: narratives charting the rise and fall of everyday characters corrupted by immorality and vice. Hogarth and Europe showcases these celebrated series, including A Rake’s Progress 1734.

The exhibition illustrates that cities became the background to enormous change all across Europe, showing the bustling London streets of Hogarth’s Southwark Fair 1733 and The March of the Guards to Finchley 1749-50 together with depictions of Étienne Jeaurat’s Paris and Longhi’s Venice.

Artists began to ply there trade in different countries, the exhibition features two pictures of London life by Canaletto.

The 18th century was a time of considerable turmoil in Europe, the old order was beginning to break down and opportunity and innovation attracted many into the cities. Hogarth casts his net wide and criticises the rich and the poor. The new heights of luxury emerged with extreme poverty in cities laid bare the great inequalities. European countries were not only exploiting their own populations but exploited colonies overseas.

Against the backdrop of this changing world, artists like Hogarth pioneered a new painting of modern life, revealing the pleasures and dangers of this brave new world. Hogarth was not only a moralist but also an entrepreneur making a fortune from his paintings and prints.

The 18th century also saw greater informality in portraiture, the exhibition ends in a room focusing on such pictures, including David Garrick with his Wife c.1757-64, Miss Mary Edwards 1742, a painting not seen in the UK for over a century. Other highlights include paintings of his sisters Mary and Anne Hogarth, as well as Heads of Six of Hogarth’s Servants c.1750-55.

This fascinating exhibition places Hogarth in an international context and explores the artist’s often contradictory career. It has always been difficult to pigeon hole Hogarth, his interest in morals was obvious, yet he seemed to enjoy his celebrity status as a bawdy satirist. He was not a reformer because he was often quite conservative in his views. In many ways, Hogarth reflected the age he lived in which looked to the past but enjoyed the many benefits and pleasures of the chaotic new world.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Britain 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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Exhibition Review: Late Constable at the Royal Academy from 30 October 2021 to 13 February 2022

The Royal Academy presents the first survey of the late work of John Constable (1776-1837). The exhibition entitled Late Constable explores the last twelve years of the artist’s career, from 1825 until his death in 1837. The exhibition brings together over 50 works including paintings and oil sketches as well as watercolours, drawings and prints, taking an in-depth look at the development of the artist’s late style.

Constable had many close ties with the Royal Academy, he became a student at the Royal Academy Schools in 1800, aged 24 and was elected a Royal Academician in 1829, at the age of 53. His relationship with the institution was mixed, from many years he was rejected as a full member but when he was elected he contributed in the exhibitions and teaching.

The exhibition is arranged in three sections. The first section, 1825-1829, starts with the last of Constable’s celebrated six-foot Suffolk ‘canal’ scenes, The Leaping Horse, 1825, one of the highlights of the Royal Academy’s collection.

This section also includes all of Constable’s major exhibition pictures from the period, including The Cornfield, 1825 and Dedham Vale, 1828,

as well as the artist’s Diploma Work, A Boat Passing a Lock, 1826, presented to the Royal Academy in 1829 upon his election as Royal Academician.

The second section, Works on Paper, features watercolours, drawings and prints. In his late career, Constable turned his attention to watercolour, highlights include his two exhibition watercolours, Old Sarum, 1834 and, most famously, Stonehenge, 1835.

The third section, 1830-37, explores Constable’s work in the 1830s leading up to his last two exhibition pictures: Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1833-36 and Arundel Mill and Castle, 1837.

This intriguing exhibition explores the last twelve years of Constable’s career and life, it was a time of tragedy and success for the artist. In 1828, Constable’s wife died and he was left with seven children under the age of 12 to bring up. In 1829, Constable was at last elected as a full Academician, the artist had achieved considerable success in his career but acknowledgement from the fellow artists was a long process.

Constable always seems to have suffered due to his comparison to Turner, Constable is always seen as the uninspired traditionalist, whilst Turner was seen as more modern and experimental. Any one who visits this exhibition may ask the question Is this a fair comparison?

Constable’s later work especially is full of movement and detail, his ability to capture the various weather patterns provide the landscapes with arresting pictures of light and shade. The artist’s Stonehenge, 1835 is a wonderful example of bring a static subject alive by providing a vibrant background.

This exhibition provides plenty of evidence that the old Constable v Turner debate often obscures the reality that Constable was not just a great technician but had great affinity to nature and the landscape.

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

Exhibition Review – London: Port City at the Museum of London Docklands from 22 October 2021 – 8 May 2022

The Museum of London Docklands presents a major exhibition entitled London: Port City which explores how the Port of London has changed and shaped the city, its people, places and language, over centuries. The exhibition covers more than 200 years of experiences and activity on a river.

The Museum of London Docklands is located in an old warehouse complex which was part of West India Docks, London’s first enclosed dock system and packed with valuable cargoes from around the world from 1802 until its closure in 1980.

The exhibition based upon the extensive archives of the Port of London Authority (PLA) gives some insight into the complex operations that have enabled the Port to connect London to the rest of the world, from the final days of the 18th century to the creation of the huge London Gateway ‘mega port’ in the Thames Estuary.

The beginning of the exhibition illustrates the timeline of over 200 years in which over 222 objects from the PLAs vast and eclectic archive tells some of the remarkable stories from the port.

An impressive audio visual display allows visitors to watch life into the PLA control room, using large-scale projections to create a day in the life of the Port of London, with spectacular views of the river and activity happening 24 hours a day.

Many visitors to the docks in its heyday would remark on the various smells and aroma, visitors to the exhibition can experience a range of distinct scents, carefully blended to capture the original pungency of the port.

The exhibition also reveals the stories behind 80 words and expressions associated with the docks that have entered the English language including ‘crack on’, ‘aloof’ and ‘Mudchute’.

Over the 200 years, countless different types of cargo entered the port and the exhibition includes examples like a pot of dehydrated meat from the 1940s and a pot of ambergris, which was highly prized and used in perfumes.

The PLA was responsible for making sure the docks were fully functional, the exhibition features a 1950s diver’s helmet and air pump used by someone clearing riverbeds.

A wide range of maps and plans are shown and documents like the one commemorating the original unveiling of the statue of merchant and slave owner Robert Milligan, which was removed from outside the museum in 2020.

The PLA has collected a wide range of art connected with the port and a selection is shown together with films showing how the port has been used in films, tv programmes and video games.

This fascinating free exhibition uses exhibits and multimedia to provide some insights into the remarkable story of the Port of London, which has developed from the ‘warehouse to the world’ to a ‘Megaport’ in the Thames Estuary. The PLA’s archive introduces visitors to some of stories, incidents, characters, advances, major moments and little-known facts.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the Museum of London Docklands 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: Poussin and the Dance at the National Gallery from 9 October 2021 to 2 January 2022

The National Gallery presents a new exhibition entitled Poussin and the Dance which explores the way the artist captured movement and the expressive use of the body.

For the first time in its 121-year history, the Wallace Collection has lent Nicolas Poussin’s painting Dance to the Music of Time (about 1634–6). This celebrated dance picture is the focus of the exhibition which features works by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) and Classical antiquities which inspired him.

The exhibition includes over twenty paintings and drawings from public and private collections in Europe and the USA, including the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (The Empire of Flora, 1630-31); The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (The Triumph of Bacchus, 1635-36); Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (Bacchus and Ariadne, 1625-1626); the National Galleries of Scotland (Study for A Dance to the Music of Time, ca.1634) and a series of drawings lent by Her Majesty the Queen.

The exhibition focuses on Poussin’s early career in Rome, from his arrival in the city in 1624 until about 1640 when he was called back to France to serve as First Painter to the King under Louis XIII. As a young man, Poussin was desperate to get to Rome, when he finally arrived he immersed himself into the Classical world he saw around him. He was particularly inspired by the dance sequences on antique sculptures. The exhibition includes the remarkable The Borghese Vase, first century CE and marble relief The Borghese Dancers, second century CE.

His early canvases in Rome reflected his admiration of the works of Titian. He gradually acquired the patronage of antiquarian Cassiano dal Pozzo and the art collector, Cardinal de Richelieu.

The exhibition explores how Poussin took on the challenge of capturing dance on paper and paint. When choreographing his compositions, he created wax figurines which he arranged in a kind of theatrical dance. The exhibition includes a reconstruction of some of these wax figurines.

The first room entitled Invitation to the Dance: Poussin’s Early Years in Rome includes Poussin’s The Realm of Flora 1630-1, Bacchus and Ariadne about 1625 – 1626, The Gaeta Vase first century BCE and a number of drawings.

The second room called Animating the Frieze includes Poussin’s A Bacchanalian Revel before a Term 1632-3, The Adoration of the Golden Calf 1633-4 and Relief with Five Dancers before a Portico (‘The Borghese Dancers’).

The third room celebrates the artist’s relationship with Cardinal de Richelieu with Poussin’s The Triumph of Silenus about 1636, The Triumph of Pan 1636, The Triumph of Bacchus 1635-6 and the Krater with a Procession of Dionysus (‘The Borghese Vase’) first century, CE.

The final room is dominated by Poussin’s masterpiece, Dance to the Music of Time (about 1634–6), the painting represents the perpetual cycle of the human condition: Poverty, Labour, Wealth and Pleasure, The dancers are accompanied on the lyre by the winged figure of Time. In this painting, Poussin finally achieves his goal of bringing the joy and movement of dance onto the canvas in a way that has inspired many people in subsequent generations. Poussin’s painting inspired Anthony Powell’s universally acclaimed 12-novel sequence of the same name, published between 1951 and 1975.

This fascinating exhibition explains some of the enigma about Poussin’s work, Nicolas Poussin is considered something of an artist’s artist. However his paintings are often overlooked by the public who often compare him unfavorably with Titian and others. Yet in his studies of Dance, Poussin could find his own voice and provide a visual representation of one of human beings most basic expressions of joy and goodwill.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the National Gallery website here

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Noguchi at the Barbican Art Gallery from 30 September 2021 to 9 January 2022

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) is considered one of the most experimental artists of the 20th century. Barbican Art Gallery presents the first European touring retrospective of his work in 20 years.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

The exhibition traces the evolution of Noguchi’s career over six decades across sculpture, architecture, dance and design.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Drawing from The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in New York, as well as private and public collections, the exhibition brings together over 150 works, including an extraordinary range of sculptures – created in stone, bronze, ceramics, wood, aluminium and galvanised steel – as well as theatre set designs, architectural and playground models, lighting and furniture design.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Mostly known as an icon of mid-century design for his celebrated coffee table and Akari lights, Noguchi pushed the boundaries of sculpture and this major survey celebrates Noguchi travelling across the world to China, Mexico and India, amongst other countries. Rarely exhibited archive materials and photographs also offer illuminating insights into the life of Noguchi.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

The exhibition explores all aspects of Noguchi’s prolific artistic career, from his early apprenticeship with modern master Constantin Brâncuși in Paris and celebrated Chinese brush painter Qi Baishi in Beijing, to his public and political art projects of the 1930s, and radical dance collaborations with pioneering modern choreographers Ruth Page and Martha Graham.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

The exhibition examines his celebrated interlocking sculptures produced during the 1940s. They comprise multiple parts to be assembled and dissembled, displaying Noguchi’s outstanding creativity in the face of adversity during the Second World War.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

The exhibition highlights Noguchi’s close and enduring friendship with inventor and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller. Their creative dialogue on the cosmic scale of the universe inspired Noguchi’s world consciousness and continued use of new technology from his artistic beginnings until his late career.

The selfilluminating Lunar sculptures were created after his devastating experience of voluntary internment at a camp for Japanese Americans in Poston, Arizona in 1942. These experiments went on to influence some of his best-known works, the Akari light sculptures. Using washi paper and electric bulbs, Akari combine traditional and modern technology, while bringing sculpture to everyday households.

The exhibition also includes an outstanding selection of his ceramics made in post-war Japan demonstrating Noguchi’s innovative approach to traditional craft techniques – he was one of the first sculptors to incorporate these within contemporary practice. His environmental designsproduced in response to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima address themes of violence and peace.

Photographs from his travels through Europe and Asia between 1949-50 reveal Noguchi’s exploration of artistic sculptural media into large-scale architectural environments, including his fascination with the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatories in India, reiterating his combined interest in modernism and past civilisations.

The exhibition culminates with iconic large-scale works from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, when he practiced between studios in the USA, Italy and Japan, and finally realised his public designs for monuments, gardens and playgrounds.

For more information and tickets , visit the Barbican 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