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October 2013



The night of longing: Love and desire in Japanese prints

Tue 1 October 2013 to Wed 12 January 2014

Beautiful Japanese prints depicting lovers from literature and life feature in our latest exhibition featuring woodcuts and books of the Edo and Meiji periods.

See how love and desire were presented and accepted in Japanese art during these eras, circa 1600 – 1900, through a selection of 40 prints and books by some of the most famous artists of the time including Harunobu, Utamaro, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi.

The prints range from chaste expressions of longing, such as a lover writing a poem or letter, through to prints of lovers during their most intimate moments.

The Night of Longing complements the British Museum’s exhibition Shunga: Sex and pleasure in Japanese Art (3 October 2013 - 5 January 2014). 

Origins of the Afro Comb:
6,000 years of culture, politics and identity

To 3 November

It is the final month of our incredible exhibition on the evolution of the iconic Afro Comb.  In addition to the hundreds of beautiful combs on display see photos, paintings, sculpture and projections showing a wide variety of hairstyles and how the combs have been used since antiquity.

Alongside the last month of the exhibition we have two free events on Saturday 12 October marking Black History Month:

12.00 – 14.00 - Object handling session
Look in more detail at some of the pieces in Origins of the Afro Comb.

14.00 – 16.00 - The use of wigs and extensions in Afro hairdressing
A talk with June Forbes, Freelance Hairdresser and Afro Hair Consultant.





New: Art appreciation course for people with dementia

Tue 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 October (continues in November): 14.00-16.00

The free course, Portals to the World, is designed specially for people with dementia and their carers.

Each week attendees will be able to enjoy a short gallery talk looking at some of the beautiful works of art in our collections.  Each session will also include a practical art activity or object handling.

A partnership project with dementiaCOMPASS.

To register your interest please contact 01223 332904 or email

Fitz hosts Britten Sinfonia Academy

Sat 12 – Sun 13 October

The talented young classical musicians of the Britten Sinfonia will be in residence in our gallery of 20th century works, Gallery 11. They will be creating music inspired by the Museum and its artefacts.

Members of the public are welcome to observe the group from behind a barrier, as they take part in creative workshops during the afternoons.




To see all our latest courses and workshops click here

To book contact 01223 332904 |


Sat 5 October: 10.15 - 13.00

Gain ideas and advice on sketching and get creative in our galleries with like minded people. £5 per session.


Fri 25 October: 10.15 - 12.00  

Become more confident with your drawing skills and discover new ways of working. £5 per workshop.



For our full season of talks and locations visit our website

Ancient tears and laughter: Some visual clues

Wed 2 October: 13.15 - 14.00

Dr Nigel Spivey, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. 

Talk marks the 2013 Cambridge Greek Play

Picturing Prometheus

Wed 9 October: 13.15 - 14.00

Dr Carrie Vour, Christ’s College, University of Cambridge.

Talk marks the 2013 Cambridge Greek Play

Art Speak

Tue 15 October: 13.15 - 13.45

Enjoy half an hour looking at and talking about art.

Thomas Gainsborough’s Heneage Lloyd and his Sister, Lucy

Wed 16 October: 13.15 - 14.00

Rachel Sinfield, Head of Education.

Part of the BBC ‘Your Paintings, Masterpieces in Schools’ programme


Healthy, humours and paintings

Wed 23 October: 13.15 & 15.00

Spike Bucklow, Research Scientist, Hamilton Kerr Institute.

It’s not easy being green: exploring the use of green pigments and mixtures in manuscript illumination

Thu 24 October: 13.15 - 14.00

Dr Paola Ricciardi, Research Associate, Manuscript and Printed Books

Models of collaboration: Artistic interventions in a fifteenth-century Book of Hours

Wed 30 October: 13.15 - 14.00

Dr Deirdre Jackson, Research Associate, Manuscripts and Printed Books



For bookable events contact 01223 332904 |


Sat 14 September: 11.00 – 13.00

Ages 13 – 18

Join us to learn specialist techniques from printing, painting, illustration and sculpture. £4 per person.

Work Experience Taster Day

Thu 31 October: 10.00 – 16.30

Ages 13 – 18

Interested in a career in museums? This work experience day gives an insight into museum life and work at two University of Cambridge Museums.

Click here for more information.



For bookable events contact 01223 332904 |

Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult

Family First Saturday

Sat 5 October: 14.00 – 16.00

All Ages

On the first Saturday of each month visit our Fitz Family Welcome Point and collect drawing materials, activities and trails to use throughout the Museum.


Line dancing (mark one)

Wed 23 October: 10.00 - 11.30 & 13.00 – 14.30

Ages 2 – 5

Join us in a workshop for preschoolers where we will encourage crossing the borders between observation, movement, mark making and meaning.

FREE but booking essential.


Discovering ancient Assyria

Sat 26 October: 14.00 – 17.00

Ages 8 – 80+

Write your name like an Assyrian on clay and read your future from oil and water! Pick up a full list of activities on the day.


Line dancing (mark two)

Wed 30 October: 12.00 – 16.00

All ages

A drop-in family drawing workshop.


Write like the ancients

Thu 31 October 10.30 – 12.30 & 14.00 – 16.00

How did the Greeks and Romans write before the invention of pens, pencils and paper? Find out through hands-on activities.

FREE but booking essential.



Enjoy a free classical concert in the beautiful surroundings of Gallery 3 at 13.15

For more information and our full concert season click here

The Mulberry Piano Trio

Sun 13 October

Paul Seddon (violin), Vivian Williams (cello) and John Richens (piano) perform pieces by Mendelssohn and Turina.

Promenade Concert

Sun 20 October

Charlotte Rowan (violin) and Charlotte Stevenson (piano) perform pieces by Brahms, Bach, Elgar and Kreisler.

The Elizabethan 007: Music and Intrigue at the Court of Elizabeth 1

Sun 27 October

Hexachordia early music group perform pieces by Dowland, Morley, Byrd and Johnson.



Big Fitz Book Sale

Fri 11 & Sat 12 October: 11.00 - 16.00

Courtyard Entrance

Pick up a second hand good quality book from 50p at the Fitzwilliam Museum’s public book sale, organised by the Development Office and Friends of the Museum. Funds raised will be used to help with transport costs for schools who find it difficult to pay for coach hire, but would like their pupils to benefit from all that the Fitzwilliam has to offer.




Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia

British Museum
17 October 2013 - 23 March 2014

Organised with Museo del Oro, Bogotá, this major new exhibition at the British Museum explores the rich and diverse cultures of Colombia before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. Discover the truth behind the legend through more than 300 astonishing objects made from gold and other precious materials.

Click here for more details.


Apple Day

Botanic Garden, Cambridge
Sun 27 October: 10.00 - 16.00

A local autumn family favourite, Apple Day, returns to the Botanic Garden for the first time in five years. We will be scouring the region to bring together a diverse collection of apples to taste and try before you buy, including some seldom sold and heritage varieties.

Apple Day tickets are £3 for visitors aged 17 and over, plus normal Garden entry. Children 16 and under are free.

Click here for more details.



General admission to the Fitzwilliam Museum is FREE

For full details of all events and workshops, visit our website at

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All images © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, unless otherwise stated

Picture 11 © UofSLibrary (Flickr Creative Commons)