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eNews: June 2009

Welcome to The Fitzwilliam Museum's eNews: keeping you in touch with the very latest information about exhibitions, events, displays and more.

Admission to the Museum is FREE, and a wide-ranging programme of activities is on offer.

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Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts

Opens 16 June 2009

"A major achievement" - The New York Times

Science meets art in this ground-breaking exhibition, which explores the fascinating relationship between the revolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and late nineteenth-century art.

Exploring the vast range of artistic reponses to Darwin's ideas, Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts brings together nearly two hundred objects and works of art from around the world - many on public display in the UK for the first time.

Pairing works of art with scientific material, and uniting world-renowned masterpieces by artists such as Monet, Degas, Cézanne and Landseer with intriguing works by lesser-known artists, Endless Forms encourages a radical reappraisal of nineteenth-century art.


Endless Forms is accompanied by a special programme of events for all ages, including talks, courses, workshops, film, drop-ins and trails - for full details, visit



To complement Endless Forms, from Tuesday 2 June The Fitzwilliam Museum is releasing a series of audiovisual podcasts exploring Charles Darwin's life, work and legacy, and responding to themes and works in the exhibition.

Taking an in-depth look at Darwin's huge impact on both science and the arts, from the nineteenth-century to the present day, each short podcast features interviews with prominent scientists, historians, writers and Darwin specialists from Cambridge University and beyond.

Watch the podcasts at

Subscribe to podcasts from The Fitzwilliam Museum at


Share your photos on Flickr

Explore the exhibition's themes and issues from a contemporary perspective and share your personal photographic reponse on Flickr. Images will also be shown on screens in The Fitzwilliam Museum during the exhibition.

Join 'Evolve' - the first ever online Darwin book group

From Thomas Hardy to Ian McEwan, read novels and poetry influenced by Charles Darwin and On the Origin of Species, then share your views online.

Observe and draw 'The Entangled Bank'

Follow in Darwin's observational footsteps, and sketch your own 'entangled bank' - be it a window box, a corner of your garden, a nearby park or a small section of countryside you know well.

Find out more:



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The 2009 Fitzwilliam Museum Sculpture Promenade

Until January 2010

Enjoy the warmer weather with a visit to the Sculpture Promenade, situated in the grounds of the Museum and set against the backdrop of the Fitzwilliam's historic façade. This free open-air installation, selected by the Cambridge sculptor Helaine Blumenfeld and Fitzwilliam Museum Director Timothy Potts, showcases a selection of recent work by members of the prestigious Royal British Society of Sculptors.

NEW - discover more about the Sculpture Promenade, and hear from the artists themselves with this behind-the-scenes podcast:




Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan: Naval Diplomat and Collector

Wednesday 3 June | 13.15-13.45
Frances Parton, Researcher, Coins & Medals

Luxury and Vanity in the New Dutch Republic

Wednesday 10 June | 13.15-13.45
Gill Hart, Outreach and Access Officer

Dragonsblood: A Far-Fetched Tale about a Far Fetched Artist's Pigment

Wednesday 17 June | 13.15-13.45
Spike Bucklow, Research Scientist, Hamilton Kerr Institute

Potted Histories: What can Ancient Greek Vases Tell Us?

Wednesday 24 June | 13.15-13.45
Julia Poole, Keeper of Applied Arts


Talks accompanying Endless Forms

Survival of the Fittest? Life in the Wild and Struggling Victorians

Thursday 18 June | 13.15-14.00
Diana Donald, co-curator, Endless Forms

Flaunting It: Darwin, Beauty and Sexual Selection

Thursday 25 June | 13.15-14.00
Jane Munro,  co-curator, Endless Forms



To book an event, telephone 01223 332904 or email

I Know What You're Thinking

Saturday 20 June | 11.00-13.00

For children 8+: Darwin explored how we show our feelings in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Investigate the same themes in this workshop, which combines art and drama.

£5 per child, booking essential




To book an event, telephone 01223 332904 or email

Drawing on Darwin

Tuesday 23 June | 9.30-14.00
Tuesday 30 June | 10.00-14.30

Enjoy a tour of Endless Forms, and discover the Darwin-related material at the Whipple Museum and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. (Each session is led by a different artist and each tour focuses on different aspects of the exhibition - book for one or both days.)

£25 (£20 concessions) per day, booking essential

Art Speak

Tuesday 9 June | 13.15-13.45

Just turn up and enjoy half an hour of looking at and talking about art, led by members of the Museum's Education team. Meet in the Courtyard Entrance.

FREE, no booking required.



Enjoy musical recitals in the splendid surroundings of the Museum's galleries
FREE, no booking required

Promenade Concert

Rebecca Lancelot - Soprano

Jamal Sutton - Piano

Sunday 7 June | 13.15


For full details of all events and exhibitions at the Museum, see


Captions and credits for images from the exhibition Endless Forms: Martin Johnson Heade, Catteleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC / William Henry Fox Talbot, The Geologists (detail), National Media Museum, Bradford / Odilon Redon, "The Misshapen Polyp Floated on the Shores, a Sort of Smiling and Hideous Cyclops', plate 3 from Les Origines, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  / Laura Russell, Portrait sketch of Charles Darwin, private collection / Edgar Degas, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia / Edwin Landseer, Be It Ever So Humble, There's No Place Like Home, Victoria and Albert Museum, London


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