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


Friends of the Fitzwilliam Autumn 2016 Events

Tickets for all Friends events are now only available through Cambridge Live, online, by phone or in person.

ONLINE and PHONE bookings open 10.00am on Friday 26 August

COUNTER-SALES open at 12 noon on Friday 26 August


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.


The Warwick Vase

Tuesday 20 September | 14.00 - 15.30

The huge bronze vase which stands in the middle of the lawn outside the University’s Senate House is a fascinating object with a curious history. Adorned with grapes and symbols of wild revelry, it is a replica of a Roman vase found, shattered, in Lake Pantanello.

Nancy Gregory, Cambridge Guide, and author of Cambridge Inscriptions Explained, has made a study of the vase’s history, and will tell us the story. It starts in Hadrian’s villa and involves 18th century treasure seekers, Lord and Lady Hamilton. Warwick Castle, bronze and silver replicas, and even an association with the Australian Open tennis cup.

There will be an illustrated talk in the Friends’ Room at the Museum, before a visit to the Archive room to see a magnificent 18th-century engraving of the vase restored, followed by a short walk to the Senate House to look at the vase itself.

Places: 30 - Guests welcome
Cost: £18.50
Meet in the Friends Room at 14.00

Organiser: Gillian Harrison

Exclusive Friends’ Evening with wine reception - 
COLOUR: The art and science of illuminated manuscripts

Thursday 22 September | 18.00 – 20.00


To celebrate the second major exhibition of the Museum’s bicentenary year, we are delighted that the Museum has arranged a private evening for Friends. COLOUR hosts a stunning display of 150 illuminated manuscripts from the Museum’s rich collections. They range from the prayerbooks of European royalty and merchants to local treasures like the Macclesfield Psalter. Manuscripts were at the heart of Viscount Fitzwilliam’s collection with which the Museum was established in 1816 and many of them are displayed here for the first time. Dr Stella Panayotova, Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books, will give a presentation on this fascinating exhibition, after which she will be on hand to answer any questions as Friends enjoy exclusive access to the galleries. Do join us for what will be a very special occasion.

Places: 120 - Guests welcome
Cost: £15 to include wine reception
Doors open at 6pm - Presentation at 6.20pm
Please enter through the Courtyard Entrance

Director’s Talk: Admiral Russell’s Frame

30 September, repeated on 3 November | 16.00 – 16.30

Tim KnoxCelebrated travel writer Celia Fiennes (1662-1741) visited Chippenham Park in 1698 and commented on the elaborate carved wooden frame in the Dining Room:

“The dining room had … looking glasses, which were with fine carved heads and frames some of the natural wood, others gilt, but they were the largest looking glasses I ever saw.”

Join Tim Knox, Director of the Museum, as he explores the Friends’ gift, Admiral Russell’s Frame, in greater depth and explains this important acquisition in the context of the Museum’s 200th Anniversary.

Places: 60 at each talk
Cost: Free 
Talks in the seminar room



Friends’ Study Morning Collectomania: Lord Fitzwilliam’s prints and the desire for Brueghel

Tuesday 11 October | 10:15 – 12.30

Our autumn study morning offers the opportunity to go behind the scenes with experts from the Paintings, Drawings and Prints Department to take a closer look at Lord Fitzwilliam’s extensive print collection and hear more about recent additions to the Flemish gallery. Lord Fitzwilliam was an enthusiastic collector of prints, amassing around 40,000 loose impressions, and devoting significant time and energy arranging them into albums of varying sizes to keep on the shelves of his library. The majority of these albums survive intact, offering a rare and fascinating insight into the mind of a late eighteenth-century collector. A small number of the albums will be on show in the Charrington Print Room this autumn, but the study morning will give us the opportunity to see a much wider selection. Elenor Ling, Research Assistant (Prints), will speak about the importance of the collection and what it reveals about Lord Fitzwilliam as an amateur collector. Henrietta Ward, Assistant Keeper, will then take us into the Flemish gallery where she will discuss the work of the Brueghel family of painters, including Pieter the Elder and Pieter the Younger. As part of the bicentenary celebrations, two important paintings by Brueghel the Younger, Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap and The Triumph of Death, have come on long-term loan and complement the Museum’s wider collection, including a large album of Brueghel prints from Lord Fitzwilliam’s collection.

Places: 30 - Guests welcome
Cost: £20 to include morning coffee and cake
Meet in the Friends' Room at 10.15

Organiser: Sarah Burles

Glorious Gilding: Masterclass at Ossowski

Tuesday 25 October | 18.00 – 20.00

Ossowski was founded in 1960 when Albin Ossowski opened his premises in Pimlico Road, London. Unique in mainly specialising in English 18th-century antique looking glasses, this family business is still thriving today. Ossowski is now run by brothers Mathew, John and Mark whose collective knowledge in this field is second to none. Mark Ossowski who runs the gallery and who is hosting the evening is witness to twenty years of experience. Mark sees his role as introducing and enthusing people to the wonders of looking-glasses from this period.

The evening will begin with an opportunity to see the various stages of gilding on wood in the workshop, showing the materials and tools used. We will then move into the main gallery, where the development of gilt-wood looking-glass frames in Britain from the 18th-century will be explored, using examples that are on display.

Places: 18 - Friends only
Cost: £25 to include a glass of Champagne
Venue: Ossowski, 83 Pimlico Road, London (nearest tube station is Sloane Square) Please be aware that the building is old, with small rooms, and there is a short flight of narrow but uneven steps running down to the workshop and showroom. 

Organiser: Sarah Bradfield

History of Art Graduate Student Talk

Wednesday 2nd November | 12.00 – 13.00

Maria HarveyCome and hear graduate student Maria Harvey, from the History of Art Department, talk about her research and interests.

‘Female patronage in Renaissance Naples: the court of Queen Isabella di Chiaromonte (1424-65) through the lens of an illuminated manuscript’

Places: 20 - Friends Only
Cost: Free, but booking essential
Meet in the Friends' Room at 11.30 for coffee and cake

Organiser: Gwen Borysiewicz




Kettle’s Yard at Wolfson College

Thursday 10 November | 14.30 – 16.30

This is a unique opportunity, during the temporary closure of Kettle’s Yard, to view the Kettle’s Yard 50th Anniversary exhibition, City Life, together with material from the Kettle’s Yard Archive, led by Archivist Frieda Midgley. There will also be an opportunity to view an exhibition by the emerging Russian artist, Alexei Lantsev, who works in a variety of media and continues the avant-garde tradition of his country. The visit will include a tour of Wolfson College and an introduction to its history.

Places: 30 - Guests Welcome
Cost: £25 to inlcude refreshments
Meet at the Porters’ Lodge, Barton Road entrance, Wolfson College

Organiser: Claire Daunton

History of Art Graduate Student Talk

Wednesday 16 November | 12.00 – 13.00

 Anya BurgonCome and hear graduate student Anya Burgon, from the History of Art Department, talk about her research and interests.

‘Metamorphoses of Eros, Cupid and Psyche from Ancient Greeks to Auguste Rodin’

Places: 20 - Friends Only
Cost: Free, but booking essential
Meet in the Friends' Room at 11.30 for coffee and cake

Organiser: Gwen Borysiewicz


‘Power and Protection’: Islamic Art and the Supernatural

Tuesday 22 November | Day Visit | Ashmolean Museum, Oxford | 8.15 – 18.00

Showcasing over 100 spectacular objects from Morocco to China, Power and Protection is the first major exhibition to explore the supernatural in the art of the Islamic world. After coffee and biscuits on arrival at the Ashmolean, we will have an illustrated lecture from the curator of the exhibition who will introduce us to the topic, followed by entry to the exhibition for independent viewing. In the afternoon we will be given a one hour guided tour, in small groups, of highlights of the Ashmolean. There will be time to buy lunch and tea in the Museum’s café or the roof-top restaurant, before we return to Cambridge.

Places: 50 - Guests welcome
Cost: £45 to include coach, coffee and biscuits, lecture and entrance to the exhibition, and a one-hour guided tour of highlights of the Museum’s collections
Depart from Trumpington Park and Ride at 8.15 returning at 18.00 approximately

Organiser: Jane Helliwell

Friends Christmas Party

Wednesday 14 December | 18.30 – 20.30

Join us for a festivity of wine, canapés and Christmas music with the Choir of Gonville and Caius College.

Places: 250 - Guests welcome
Cost: £27 to include wine, canapés and Christmas music
Venue: Gallery 3 at The Fitzwilliam Museum
Enter via the Founders' Entrance

Organiser: Caroline Walshe