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Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 12:00 - 17:00

Friends of the Fitzwilliam Spring 2018 Events



To book by phone call 01223 357851.

In person visit City Centre Box Office, 2 Wheeler Street, Cambridge CB2 3QB

Box Office Opening Hours
Phone Line Monday - Saturday 10.00-18.00
Counter Sales Monday - Friday 12.00-18.00
Saturday 10.00-18.00

Full details of all Friends events can be found in the latest newsletter.

Walking tour of Gonville and Caius College

Wednesday 24 January • 14.00-16.30

Gonville and Caius is one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of Cambridge. The College was first founded as Gonville Hall by Edmund Gonville, Rector of Terrington St Clement in Norfolk, in 1348, and refounded in 1557 by John Caius as Gonville and Caius College. The College combines the best of Cambridge tradition with 21st century teaching and research. 

Dr Michael Wood, one of the senior Fellows of Caius, has kindly offered to give Friends a tour of the college’s buildings and courtyards, including the historic chapel and Main Hall. The tour will be followed by tea, coffee and cake at the college.

Places: 30 • Friends only
Cost: £20 includes tea and cake
Venue: Meet at Gonville and Caius College Porter’s Lodge on Trinity Street
Please note that this walking tour requires attendees to climb a few flights of stairs and walk along uneven surfaces.


History of Art Graduate Student Talks

Graduate students from the History of Art Department are keen to hone their presentation skills before an interested audience. Come along to hear all about their research and interests.

Friday 26 January • 11.30 – 13.00 • Amandine Didouan

Champing at the Bit: Horse Mouthpieces as Tools of Self-Fashioning and Status in the16th Century

Places 20 • Friends only
Cost: Free, but booking essential
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, meet in the Friends Room at 11.30 for coffee and cake. Talk begins at 12.00.


Welcome Coffee, Cake and Tour for New Friends

Wednesday 21 February • 10.15 – 12.00

Image © Martin Bond

If you are new to the Friends, would like the opportunity to meet other Friends and wish to be better acquainted with the Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection of paintings, please do join us for refreshments and a guided tour through the paintings galleries, led by Sarah Burles.

Places 20 • Friends only
Cost: Free, but booking essential
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, arrive via the Courtyard Entrance and meet in the Friends Room from 10.15 for coffee and cake before the tour at 10.45.


The Sue Purdy Lecture with Dr James Fox: 

Stanley Spencer and the Fitzwilliam Museum

Thursday 8 March • 18.00 – 20.00

We are delighted to welcome well known art historian and TV broadcaster, Dr James Fox, as our speaker for this year’s Sue Purdy Lecture. Dr Fox’s lecture will focus on the career of one of Britain’s best-loved artists, including his education at the Slade, his turbulent personal life, his experiences of both World Wars, and the idiosyncratic paintings he made over fifty eventful years. Dr Fox will draw heavily on the Fitzwilliam’s superb collection, which contains some of Spencer’s finest work.

Places: 200 • Guests Welcome
Cost: £10 to include a glass of wine
Venue: Lecture Theatre and theatre foyer • Fitzwilliam College Parking available at Huntingdon Road and Storey’s Way entries to the college. Bus service to Huntingdon Road from the City Centre.


Friends Exclusive Evening

Things of Beauty Growing: British studio pottery

Friday 16 March • 18.00 – 20.00

Image: Clare Twomey, Made in China, 2010 © Clare Twomey

Things of Beauty Growing tells the story of studio pottery in Britain, from the 1920s to the present. Works in this exhibition have been selected from distinguished private collections as well as from great museums across the UK and includes ceramics by Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Edmund de Waal, Alison Britton, Grayson Perry, Clare Twomey and Julian Stair. Featuring a number of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s own objects, this exhibition was curated in conjunction with Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut and comes to us following its run there. Friends are invited to a special evening where Helen Ritchie, Applied Arts Research Assistant, will give a presentation on this seminal exhibition. Friends will then be invited to enjoy exclusive access to the exhibition before it opens to the public and runs from 20 March – 18 June 2018.

18.00 Doors open at the Courtyard Entrance

18.20 Curatorial talk

18.45 Exhibition opens

20.00 Event ends

Places: 130 • Guests welcome
Cost: £18 includes drinks reception
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, please arrive via the Courtyard Entrance


Friends Study Morning

Flux: Parian unpacked and Things of Beauty Growing: British studio pottery with the Applied Arts Department

Wednesday 18 April • 10.15 – 13.00

Image: After Gainsborough © Matt Smith

An impressive one room installation, Flux: Parian unpacked at The Fitzwilliam Museum (6 March – 1 July 2018) by ceramic artist and curator Matt Smith, will feature over 100 sculptural Parian busts depicting well-known figures from history, especially from the 19th Century. Parian is a fine, unglazed porcelain resembling marble. It is an unstable material, and the unpredictability of it provides a platform from which we can examine our changing views of history and our changing opinions of those individuals depicted – accepting that our understanding of the past is always in flux.

Dr Vicky Avery and Helen Ritchie, both of the Applied Arts Department, will provide Friends with insight into this exhibition before leading the group on a tour of both Flux and Things of Beauty Growing exhibitions.

Places: 40 • Guests welcome
Cost: £20 includes coffee, tea and cake
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, meet in the Seminar Room at 10.15


Day Trip to Peckover House and the Wisbech and Fenland Museum

Thursday 26th April • 9.30 – 16.45

For much of the 1700s and 1800s, Wisbech was a bustling inland port. Around 1720, labourers cleared the North Brink of the River Nene in preparation for the construction of what is now Peckover House. The house was purchased by Jonathan Peckover in 1794 and the family continued to live there for the next 150 years, making their own alterations and developments.

The Wisbech and Fenland Museum is one of the oldest purpose-built museums in the UK. Founded in 1835, it was re-located to the present purpose-built building in 1847, the year before the Fitzwilliam Museum opened to the public. The Museum houses a number of important collections relating to local history, natural science, antiquities and the anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson. Its star exhibit is the original manuscript of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, the bequest of Chauncy Hare Townshend.

We are delighted to offer Friends the opportunity to visit two venues in one day. Starting with a private tour Peckover House in the morning then lunch in the thatched 17th century Barn Tea Room, before we travel a short distance for an afternoon tour of the eclectic collection housed at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum.

9.30 Cambridge Trumpington P & R – coach collection

10.15 Arrival (approx) for refreshments prior to the Private Tour of Peckover House

12.45 Lunch in the thatched 17th century barn Tea Room

14.00 Depart Peckover House by coach for Private Tour of Wisbech & Fenland Museum

16.00 Departure – coach returns to Trumpington P & R

Places: 50 • Guests Welcome
Cost: £50 includes morning coffee and lunch
Venue: Peckover House and the Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire