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Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 12:00 - 17:00
Closed Good Friday, 24-26 & 31 December and 1 January


Friends of the Fitzwilliam Summer 2019 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.


Friends Study Morning

Making a Nation: Money, image and power in Tudor and Stuart England

Tuesday 30 April - 10.15 – 13.00

The major dynastic, political and cultural changes that occurred in England under the Tudors and Stuarts are traced in this exhibition. The money and medals of this 250-year period provide a fascinating insight into broader developments in artistic expression, monarchy, nationhood, and trade in a rapidly expanding world. Coins and medals acted as powerful agents in conveying the official image of the king or queen and commemorating the important events of the day. They also reveal the changing role of money and economic experience through periods of religious conflict, civil war, exploration and the union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland. 

The morning will begin with a presentation from the exhibition curator, Richard Kelleher, before inviting the Friends to join him in the exhibition.

Image: English and Scottish gold coins found in the demolition of buildings at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1874 and 1875. Pembroke College loan
Places: 25 - Friends only
Cost: £20 includes coffee and cake
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, meet in the Seminar Room (35) at 10.15




Welcome Coffee, Cake and Tour for New Friends

Tuesday 7 May - 14.00 – 16.00

f 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.

Image © Martin Bond


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 14.00 for coffee, tea and cake before the tour at 14.30

The Sue and Ian Purdy Lecture with Luke Syson, Director and Marlay Curator

Winds of Change

Thursday 23 May - 18.00 – 20.00

Lecture 18.00 – 19.00

Drinks 19.00 – 20.00

“Museums are not the relatively simple places they once were. When I began my career at the British Museum nearly thirty years ago, it was just beginning to change with curators, many of them up to that point squirrelled away writing catalogues for other scholars, urged to be more ‘outward-facing’. Over three decades museums have, quite rightly, become ever more conscious of their public role - providing learning but also entertainment and experiences. How then should a university museum - this university museum - with one of the greatest collections anywhere, a jewel in the crown of one of the world’s great universities, seek to marry tradition with the most exciting developments in visitor engagement? How might the Fitz remain a place for cutting-edge research but become, dare one say it, more fun, more relevant to people’s lives. We’re thinking hard at the moment - and this lecture will be a wonderful opportunity to share our ideas.”

Luke Syson

Image: Giovanni Francesco Rustici 1474 – 1554), Mercury taking Flightc.1515
Places: 200 • Guests welcome
Cost: £10 to include a glass of wine
Venue: Lecture Theatre and theatre foyer, Fitzwilliam College. Parking at Huntingdon Road and Storey’s Way entries to the college. Bus Service to Huntingdon Road from the City Centre. Please note parking is limited and available on a strictly first come, first served basis.



Friends Curatorial Morning

Beggarstaffs: William Nicholson and James Pryde

Tuesday 4 June - 10.15 –13.00

In the 1890’s the painters William Nicholson and his brother-in-law, James Pryde formed an unusual artistic partnership. Having rejected conventional artistic training, they began working together as the brothers Beggarstaff - a name they claimed to have found on a sack of fodder in an old stable. Inventing an entirely novel technique involving collage and stencilling directly onto huge sheets of plain brown wrapping paper, they created some of the most innovative posters of the day, including their celebrated Don Quixote for the great actor-manager Henry Irving’. Though both have long been recognized as key figures in the development of Modern British art and design, many of their ground-breaking graphics have been stored - rolled-up and unseen - for years, whilst their later individual works as painters have never before been shown together. The exhibition will be a revelation, exploring for the first time the fascinating ways in which these young artists’ powerful reciprocal influence and shared love of striking subject matter worked on their wildly differing temperaments to inspire two remarkable careers.

The morning will begin with a presentation from the curator, Stephen Calloway, before Friends are invited to join him in the exhibition galleries.

Image: Sir William Nicholson, A was an artist, from An Alphabet, 1898 © Desmond Banks / Image © The Fitzwilliam Museum
Places: 40 • Guests Welcome
Cost: £20 includes coffee and cake
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, meet in the Seminar Room (35) at 10.15



Friends Summer Party and Barbeque at Homerton College

Wednesday 17 July - 18.30 – 20.30

Founded in London in 1768, Homerton moved to Cambridge just before 1900. Once an academy for the Nonconformist Church, then a renowned teacher-training college, Homerton has been, since 2010, a full College of the University of Cambridge, offering a full range of academic subjects.

Homerton is one of the most attractive Colleges in Cambridge, with a mixture of old and new buildings set in spacious wooded grounds away from the noisy centre of town. It is also the largest College in terms of student numbers, with a thriving and diverse community. Join Luke Syson, Director and Marlay Curator at this year’s Summer Party and Barbeque. Plenty of seating will be available on the patio and gardens for you to enjoy a delicious selection of BBQ food, breads, salads and pastas, followed by dessert. Please also take some time during the evening to explore the stunning grounds, and the orchard. If the weather decides to be unkind, we can move into the beautiful Fellow’s Dining Room to enjoy the evening in comfort.

Places: 130 - Guests welcome
Cost: £35 to include drinks, barbeque food, and dessert.
Venue: Homerton College, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PH. Ample parking