Running throughout 2016, this exhibition will explore the Fitzwilliam’s past, present and future. A timeline of the first 200 years will introduce key themes and characters, while displays of objects will show how the collections have developed over two centuries.
This exhibition celebrates the Fitzwilliam’s 2016 bicentenary with a stunning display of 150 illuminated manuscripts from its rich collections. They range from the prayerbooks of European royalty and merchants to local treasures like the Macclesfield Psalter, from an alchemical scroll and a duchess’ wedding gift to the ABC of a five-year old princess.
This exhibition looks at what interested Lord Fitzwilliam most in acquiring and ordering his print collection and features examples of his albums, rarely seen in public but offering a fascinating insight into the mind of a late 18th century collector.
Works by artists who sought to make a new art responding to the modern world are brought together in this second display from Kettle’s Yard. The display re-unites for the first time, paintings and sculptures by pioneering modern artists who are represented in both collections. Find out more about Kettle’s Yard’s plans and their collection on their website.
For the next two years a monumental bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, titled Hill Arches, will be on loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum from the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire. Moore is best known for sculptures of the human figure sited in architectural or natural settings, but here he has created a landscape in its own right – perhaps, as the title suggests, an echo of the rolling hills of his native Yorkshire. This enormous, four-piece sculpture will be sited in front of the Museum, visible to all visitors and those walking down Trumpington Street.
Queen Elizabeth II is now the longest serving monarch in British history. Coins, medals and banknotes bear witness to the Queen’s remarkable reign, and to the lives and times of George III and Victoria, who both reigned for six decades. The story begins in the Middle Ages with Henry III and Edward III, the longest serving monarchs of medieval England.
Over the past fifty years, Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi have built up a remarkable collection of paintings, furniture, sculpture, glass and ceramics. This includes the renowned nude portrait of Patricia Preece by Stanley Spencer, William Burges’s painted ‘Flax and Wool’ cabinet, a Spanish 17th century polychrome wood sculpture of the Christ Child, Art Nouveau Tiffany glass, metalwork and ceramics designed by Christopher Dresser and an extremely rare Meissen porcelain vulture...
Emil Siemeister´s immersive installation The Placebo Macclesfield Psalter is inspired by the riotous imagery of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Macclesfield Psalter, a tiny prayer book made in 14th century East Anglia that continues to capture the public’s imagination with its charming glimpses of every-day life, uninhibited fantasy and ribald humour. Here visitors are invited to step inside the world – and the mind – of the Macclesfield Psalter’s artists in a unique, dream-like experience.
The Fitzwilliam Museum is delighted to display the spot painting prepared for the Beagle 2 space mission by artist Damien Hirst. This painting is the flight spare that was designed to be the earth partner to the instrument calibration target on-board the Mars spacecraft. Beagle 2 was originally thought to have been lost in 2003, but recent images from NASA reveal that it landed safely on Mars making Hirst’s spot painting the first work of art from Earth to land on another planet.