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World’s earliest figural tattoos revealed by the British Museum

If you think tattoos are a modern phenomenon, you may be surprised by recent fascinating research from the British Museum.

The world’s earliest figural tattoos have been revealed on two natural mummies in the British Museum’s collection. Dating to between 3351 to 3017 BC, figural tattoos of a wild bull and a Barbary sheep were identified on the upper arm of a male mummy and linear and S-shaped motifs have been identified on the upper arm and shoulder of a female mummy; the oldest tattoos ever found on a female body. The findings are due to be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Daniel Antoine, one of the lead authors of the research paper and the British Museum’s Curator of Physical Anthropology said ‘The use of the latest scientific methods, including CT scanning, radiocarbon dating and infrared imaging, has transformed our understanding of the Gebelein mummies. Only now are we gaining new insights into the lives of these remarkably preserved individuals. Incredibly, at over five thousand years of age, they push back the evidence for tattooing in Africa by a millennium’.

The mummies individuals are from Egypt’s Predynastic period, the era preceding the country’s unification by the first pharaoh at around 3100 BCE.

The male mummy, known as Gebelein Man A has been on display almost continuously since his discovery around 100 years ago. Previous CT scans showed that Gebelein Man A was a young man when he died (18 – 21 years of age) from a stab wound to the back. Dark smudges on his arm, appearing as faint markings under natural light had remained unexamined. Infrared photography recently revealed that these smudges were in fact tattoos of two slightly overlapping horned animals. 

The horned animals have been tentatively identified as a wild bull (long tail, elaborate horns) and a Barbary sheep (curving horns, humped shoulder). Both animals are well known in Predynastic Egyptian art. The designs are not superficial and have been applied to the dermis layer of the skin, the pigment was carbon-based, possibly some kind of soot.

The female mummy, known as Gebelein woman, has several tattoos, a series of four small ‘S’ shaped motifs can be seen running vertically over her right shoulder.

Below them on the right arm is a linear motif which is similar to objects held by figures participating in ceremonial activities on the painted ceramics of the period. It may represent a crooked stave, a symbol of power and status, or a throw-stick or batons and/or clappers used in ritual dance. The S–motif also appears as an element of Predynastic pottery decoration, always in multiples.

Both sets of tattoos would have been highly visible and may have denoted status, bravery, cult/magical knowledge or protection.

Previously archaeologists had thought that tattooing was gender restricted and only applied to women. This was due to ‘tattoos’ being depicted only on female figurines of the period. But the discovery of tattoos on the male mummy now shows body modification concerned both sexes.Seven mummies from the same site were examined as part of the research, though tattoos were only found on two.

The application of tattoos to the human body has enjoyed a long and diverse history in many ancient cultures. The Gebelein tattoos can be considered amongst the earliest surviving tattoos in the world.

For more information , visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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The New Royal Academy of Arts will open on 19th May 2018

The Royal Academy of Arts will open its new campus to the public on Saturday 19 May 2018 as part of the celebrations of its 250th anniversary year. Following redevelopment, designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield CBE RA and supported by the National Lottery, the new Royal Academy will open up and reveal more of the elements that make the RA unique – sharing with the public historic treasures from its Collection, the work of its Royal Academicians and the Royal Academy Schools, alongside its world-class exhibitions programme.

One of the most significant outcomes of the redevelopment is the link between Burlington House and Burlington Gardens, uniting the two-acre campus. This will provide 70% more space than the RA’s original Burlington House footprint, enabling the RA to expand its exhibition programme and to create new and free displays of art and architecture across the campus for visitors year-round. From dedicated galleries to surprising interventions, a dynamic series of changing exhibits and installations will present the living heritage of the Royal Academy; exploring its foundation and history in training artists as well as showcasing contemporary works by Royal Academicians and students at the RA Schools. To bring life to  the displays, a new range of free tours, taster talks and object handling stations will be available to visitors.

Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE (19 May – 12 August 2018) will inaugurate the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries in Burlington Gardens. The exhibition is part of an unprecedented collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery in London. It will showcase the internationally-renowned visual artist and Royal Academician Tacita Dean.

The new Royal Academy Collection Gallery will present The Making of an Artist: The Great Tradition highlighting works from the RA Collection, including the ‘Taddei Tondo’ by Michelangelo and the RA’s almost full-size sixteenth century copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, along with paintings by Reynolds, Kauffman, Thornhill, Constable, Gainsborough and Turner.

The Architecture Studio within The Dorfman Senate Rooms will provide a creative space that invites audience engagement with innovative and critical ideas on architecture and its intersection with the arts. It will open with Invisible Landscapes (19 May 2018 – March 2019), explored in three ‘Acts’ of immersive interventions looking at the impact and future of technology in people’s environments. In contrast, recently conserved historical architectural casts on display in The Dorfman Architecture Court will convey the history of teaching architecture: the tradition of learning to draw from casts of buildings.

Located at the entrance to the Weston Bridge, which connects Burlington Gardens into Burlington House, The Ronald and Rita McAulay Gallery will stage site-specific installations by Royal Academicians. The first major work will be Tips for a Good Life by Bob and Roberta Smith RA (September 2018 – September 2019), on the subject of gender in the history of the RA.

Moving through to Burlington House, visitors will arrive at the Weston Studio. Located within the heart of the Royal Academy Schools, the Weston Studio will bring the ethos and thinking of the RA Schools’ postgraduate programme to a changing contemporary series of two displays a year and projects developed by students and graduates. It will open with a group exhibition of works by first year students, revealing their rich use of subjects, approaches, methods and materials.

Going back in time, The Vaults will exhibit The Making of an Artist: Learning to Draw a formidable selection of plaster casts from the early years of the RA Schools displayed together with works on paper from the RA’s teaching collection, illustrating the RA’s role in the teaching of art since the RA Schools’ foundation in 1769.

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.
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Royal Academy of Arts celebrate its 250th Anniversary with a programme of Exhibitions and Events

In 2018, museums, galleries and art institutions across the United Kingdom will take part in RA250 UK, a major nationwide programme of talks, exhibitions and events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts.

The wide ranging programme will run throughout 2018, celebrating the Royal Academicians, past and present, showing the impact they have had across the UK. An interactive online map outlining the events and exhibitions taking place is now live at royal academy.org.uk/ ra250uk.

The main focus of the celebrations is a series of 12 events with Royal Academicians in 12 different locations across 12 months. These will include Gilbert & George RA at The New Art Gallery, Walsall; Alison Wilding RA at Leeds Art Gallery; Eva Rothschild RA at the Pier Art Centre, Orkney; and Christopher Le Brun PRA at The Munnings Art Museum, Essex.

RA250 UK also includes:

In the North West, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester – Annie Swynnerton Painting Light and Hope (23 February 2018 – 6 January 2019), the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool – Sean Scully: 1970 (14 July – 14 October 2018) and Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal – History of the Royal Academy (2 March – 9 June 2018) and Women of the Royal Academy (11 May – 28 July 2018).

In the North East, the Great North Museum, Newcastle – The Great Exhibition of the North (22 June – 9 September 2018); Laing Art Gallery and Hatton Gallery, Newcastle – Sean Scully: 1970 (10 February – 28 May 2018) and the South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, Newcastle – Capturing a Star: Dame Flora Robson and other works by Dame Ethel Walker (22 September 2018 – 2 March 2019).

In the Midlands, Nottingham City Museums & Galleries, Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire – Harmonising Landscapes – Paul Sandby RA (16 June 2018 – 6 January 2019).

In the South West, Castle Drogo, National Trust, Exeter – Peter Randall-Page RA at Castle Drogo (Until 18 September 2018) and Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth – Making and Breaking the Rules: The Royal Academy 250 at the Russell-Cotes (4 May – 14 October 2018).

In the South East, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge – RA250 at the Fitzwilliam Museum (5 February – 31 December 2018); Pallant House Gallery, Chichester – Cathie Pilkington RA (6 October 2018 – TBC February 2019) and Leonard Rosoman: Painting Theatre (3 February – 24 April 2018); and Southampton Art Gallery – Christopher Le Brun: Composer (15 September 2018 – 13 January 2019).

In London, the Royal Academy is partnering in an unprecedented collaboration with the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery to present three exhibitions of Royal Academician Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE, PORTRAIT, STILL LIFE.

Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE, PORTRAIT, STILL LIFE

Tacita Dean: PORTRAIT, National Portrait Gallery, 15 March – 28 May 2018

Tacita Dean: STILL LIFE, National Gallery, 15 March – 28 May 2018

Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE, Royal Academy of Arts, 19 May – 12 August 2018

In Scotland, the Scottish Maritime Museum, Glasgow – William Lionel Wyllie RA: War and the Sea (31 May – 25 September 2018) and The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture, Edinburgh – Barbara Rae RA RSA – Any Ordinary Journey: Following in the footsteps of Dr John Rae (4 August – 9 September 2018).

In Wales, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth – Discourse: Reynolds to Rego, 250 Years of Royal Academicians in Print (11 June – 31 August 2018).

In addition, The Space has commissioned Objects of Obsession, a series of filmed in-conversations with Royal Academicians and the RA’s Artistic Director Tim Marlow, which will be live streamed to a global audience. The series will explore the relationship between the RAs and the work of other artists who are important to their practice and will be hosted by the gallery or museum which houses the piece the artists have chosen. It will feature Cornelia Parker RA at Bethlem Museum of the Mind, 16 February; followed by Sonia Boyce RA at Manchester Art Gallery, 8 March; and Bob and Roberta Smith RA at The New Art Gallery Walsall, March. The events will be streamed on each gallery’s website, YouTube and Facebook, establishing a network of shared content for online audiences.

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
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Hayward Gallery Touring presents a new exhibition of prints by Cornelia Parker – 10th November to 10th December 2017

Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery Touring presents One Day This Glass Will Break, an exhibition of twenty large-scale photogravures by Cornelia Parker from three experimental series: Fox Talbot’s Articles of Glass (2017); One Day This Glass Will Break (2015) and Thirty Pieces of Silver (exposed) (2015). Opening at londonprintstudio (10 November–10 December 2017) then touring throughout the UK, these three series, which are brought together for the first time in this exhibition, explore the artist’s fascination with the physical properties of objects, materials and their histories.

The exhibition includes eight works from the series One Day This Glass Will Break (2015) which arose from Parker’s investigations into the photogravure, a photomechanical process which produces an image through the exposure of a photographic positive onto a copper printing plate. Inspired by the 19th century photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot, Parker combined two of his early techniques, solar prints and the photogravure, creating a new hybrid form of print by exposing three-dimensional objects to ultraviolet light. In these works, she uses found objects such as a tower of crystal glasses, a shattered light bulb and melting ice cubes, with the resulting prints capturing their shadows in a spectral still life.

In Fox Talbot’s Articles of Glass (2017), a series of nine prints, Cornelia Parker explores this technique further using the last remaining items of glassware belonging to Fox Talbot, which he famously used in his early photograph, Articles of Glass (c. 1844), and are now housed in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. The artist arranged these historical objects in various informal compositions on the printing plate, with some with their museum labels still attached. The lead content of this early glassware produces darker shadows, resulting in prints that are richer and deeper in tone.

Two prints from another series, Thirty Pieces of Silver (exposed) (2015), are also included. Here, the artist uses found glass photographic negatives of antique silverware, originally produced for a 1960s Spink auction catalogue. Exposed to the photogravure plate in their original glassine bags, the negatives appear as physical, dimensional objects themselves. This series evokes a major early work by Cornelia Parker, Thirty Pieces of Silver, (1988-89), which consisted of over a thousand pieces of silver flattened by a steamroller and suspended on wires hovering above the gallery floor.

Tour details

10 November – 10 December 2017   londonprintstudio, London

16 December – 28 January 2018   Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

3 February – 11 March 2018       Brentwood Road Gallery, Romford

17 March – 3 June 2018           The Wilson,Cheltenham

7 July – 2 September 2018       mac, Birmingham

10 September – 13 October 2018   East Gallery, Norwich

12 January – 17 February 2018   Gerald Moore Gallery, Eltham

29 June – 4 August 2018       Oriel Wrecsam, Wrexham

For more information , 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 January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Royal Academy of Arts 2018 Exhibitions

The Royal Academy have announced their exhibition programme for 2018 which will feature a celebration of the 250th anniversary of its Summer Exhibition and Charles I: King and Collector, a landmark exhibition that will reunite one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections ever assembled.

From Life

The Sackler Wing of Galleries and Tennant Gallery

11 December 2017 – 11 March 2018

In December, the Royal Academy of Arts will present From Life, a special exhibition project that will examine 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.

Charles I: King and Collector

Main Galleries

27 January – 15 April 2018

In January 2018, the Royal Academy of Arts, in partnership with Royal Collection Trust, will present Charles I: King and Collector, a landmark exhibition that will reunite one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections ever assembled. Charles I: King and Collector will reunite around 150 of the most important works for the first time since the seventeenth century, providing an unprecedented opportunity to experience the collection that changed the appreciation of art in England.

Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE

The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries

Dates to be announced

In 2018, the internationally renowned visual artist and Royal Academician will explore ‘landscape’ in its broadest sense: intimate collections of natural found objects, a mountainous blackboard drawing and a series of cloudscapes in chalk on slate created especially for the Royal Academy’s spaces.

The London Original Print Fair 2018

Main Galleries

3 – 6 May 2018

As the world’s longest running specialist fair dedicated to prints, The London Original Print Fair 2018 will welcome exhibitors from around the world, covering all periods of printmaking from Old Masters through to contemporary artists.

Summer Exhibition 2018

Main Galleries and The Sackler Wing of Galleries

12 June – 19 August 2018

The Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition celebrates its 250th anniversary in 2018, and, to mark this auspicious occasion, the exhibition will be coordinated by Grayson Perry RA. As the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show, it provides a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience, comprising a range of media from painting to printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture and film.

The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition

The John Madejski Fine Rooms, Weston Rooms, Galleries I and II

12 June – 19 August 2018

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is the world’s longest running annual display of contemporary art. It has been held each year without interruption since 1769 at a succession of locations ranging from Pall Mall to Piccadilly. Staged to coincide with the 250th Summer Exhibition in 2018.

Renzo Piano*

The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries

15 September 2018 – 20 January 2019

In autumn 2018, the Royal Academy of Arts will present a solo exhibition of the internationally renowned architect Renzo Piano Hon RA (b. 1937). It will be the first annual architecture exhibition in the newly refurbished galleries in Burlington Gardens and Piano’s first survey in London for almost 30 years.

Oceania*

Main Galleries

29 September – 10 December 2018

In September 2018, the Royal Academy of Arts will present Oceania, the first major survey of Oceanic art to be held in the United Kingdom. This ambitious exhibition will celebrate the art of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, encompassing the vast South Pacific region from New Guinea to Easter Island, Hawaii to New Zealand.

Klimt / Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna

The Sackler Wing of Galleries

4 November 2018 – 3 February 2019

2018 marks the centenary of the deaths of two celebrated figures of twentieth century art: Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) and Egon Schiele (1890–1918). Klimt / Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna, will be the first exhibition in the United Kingdom to focus exclusively upon the fundamental importance of drawing in the relationship between Austria’s two most famous artists.

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

Victoria and Albert Museum Exhibition Highlights 2018

The V&A host a diverse programme of exhibitions in 2018 ranging from Frida Kahlo, the golden age of ocean liners and Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring A Classic

9 December 2017 – 8 April 2018

Room 38,

This exhibition will reveal the story behind the creative partnership of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard and the factors contributing to the phenomenal success and enduring popularity of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Ocean Liners: Speed & Style

3 February – 10 June 2018

Room 39 and the North Court

This exhibition will re-imagine the golden age of ocean travel from Brunel’s 1859 steamship, the Great Eastern, to the launch of the QE2 in 1969. The first ever exhibition to explore the international design and cultural impact of the ocean liner, it will reveal the hidden design stories behind some of the world’s most luxurious ships.

Fashioned From Nature

21 April 2018- 27 January 2019

Fashion, Room 40,

Fashioned from Nature explores the relationship between fashion and nature from 1600 to the present day. Fashion draws inspiration from the natural world, but also depends on it for raw materials and energy.

The Future Starts Here

12 May – 4 November 2018

The Sainsbury Gallery

This exhibition explores the power of design in shaping the world of tomorrow. From smart appliances to satellites, artificial intelligence to internet culture, more than 100 objects will be brought together as a landscape for the near future.

Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe (title TBC)

16 June – 4 November 2018

Room 38

Widely recognised as one of the most innovative and ground-breaking painters of the 20th century, Frida Kahlo is also renowned for the iconic persona that she crafted through her dress and self-fashioning. The V&A will present the first exhibition to be held outside Mexico of Kahlo’s clothing and personal possessions, including prosthetics, medicines, accessories, jewellery, photographs and letters.

Jameel Prize 5

30 June – 25 November 2018

The Porter Gallery

The Jameel Prize is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition.

Videogames

8 September 2018 – 24 February 2019

Room 39 and the North Court,

There is a renaissance happening in videogames. A new wave of designers, players and critics are pushing the boundaries of the medium in radical new ways. This V&A show is the first to fully consider the complexity of videogames as one of the most important design fields of our time, investigating ground-breaking contemporary design work, creative and rebellious player communities and the political conversations that define this movement.

V&A Photography Centre

Opening Autumn 2018

In Autumn 2018, the V&A will unveil the first phase of a new, state-of-the-art Photography Centre designed by David Kohn Architects.

V&A Cast Courts – West Court and Central Gallery

Opening Autumn 2018,

In Autumn 2018 the V&A will complete the second and final phase of its FuturePlan redevelopment project returning the Museum’s Cast Courts to their original magnificence.

For more information , 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.
To find out more visit the website here

 

(Un)common Currency at the Museum of London from 6 October 2017 to 21 January 2018

The Museum of London opens its latest display: (Un)common Currency which explores the use of alternative currencies in London since the 17th century.

Through these unconventional currencies, Londoners have built communities based on trust, furthered political causes and helped develop a thriving local economy. Some currencies radically dispense with a ‘face value’ and instead value people’s time by the hour.

Examples on display include:

  • 17th century trade tokens. These tiny copper tokens were developed when change became in short supply. Whilst the wealthy used credit, everybody else needed a way to do business so traders created their own tokens. Each token includes names, initials and symbols of people and their businesses.
  • One penny coin from 1910. This penny has been defaced with the demand ‘Votes for Women’ stamped on King Edward VII’s head. Suffragettes chose to deface low value coins so their political message would circulate widely.
  • Tally sticks. These sticks recorded debt, with each notch representing one, ten or a thousand pounds depending on its depth. Each stick was broken into two halves – for the lender, and the borrower. In 1826 Parliament abolished the tally system, but when they burnt the tally sticks the fire accidentally destroyed both Houses of Parliament.
  • Brixton Pound. These notes were designed to encourage local spending and its vibrant series of notes celebrates the area’s people and places. The B£5 note features professional basketball player Luol Deng who fled war-torn Sudan and went on to represent the UK in the London 2012 Olympics.

The display forms part of City Now City Future, the museum’s year-long programme exploring urban life in London and around the world. The City is Ours, the museum’s major, free exhibition, is also open and uncovers the joys and frustrations of city living.

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