May 2008: 'Museums and Galleries Month'

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 Fitzwilliam Museum is FREE, and a wide-ranging programme of activities is on offer.

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Museums and Galleries Month 2008 at The Fitzwilliam Museum


Enjoy a special programme of events and activites for all ages throughout May at The Fitzwilliam Museum to celebrate Museums and Galleries Month 2008.

This year, museums in the East of England are celebrating the approach of the Beijing Olympics with a festival of exciting events, many on a Chinese theme. With special displays, theatre, workshops, music, talks by experts, storytelling and gallery trails, there's something for everyone this month at The Fitzwilliam Museum as 'East meets East'.


Full details of our Museums and Galleries Month 08 programme are below - information also available from



 Art Works pocast
MGM 08 Podcast

New podcasts from The Fitzwilliam Museum

New podcast episodes are now available to listen to online or download from The Fitzwilliam Museum's website.

Discover more about what museums around the region are offering over the coming month, in our Museums and Galleries Month 2008 in the East of England podcast.

There's also the chance to hear about The Fitzwilliam Museum's work with young people aged 14-21 in the 'Art Works': Sessions for Young People at The Fitzwilliam Museum podcast - local students discuss the 'Source' and 'Head Space' sessions, and explore the challenge of encourgaing younger visitors to museums.

Visit to listen to the latest podcasts.







Made for Export: Chinese Nineteenth-Century Flower Drawings

Until Sunday 11 May 2008
Shiba Gallery (14)
Admission FREE

A fascinating group of delicate Chinese flower watercolours - exhibited in partnership with China Now, the UK's largest ever festival of Chinese culture.

Find out more:

Chinese Imperial Jades

1 May - 31 June
Chinese Gallery (Gallery 28)
Admission FREE

A special display of exceptional pieces of Qing imperial jade from the Museum's collection, carved during the reign of the Emperor Qianlong (r.1746-96). Some of the pieces bear poems composed by the Emperor himself, emphasising the important status of jade in Chinese art and culture.


Find out more:



French Tapestry and Illustration

Until Sunday 11 May 2008
Octagon Gallery (10)
Admission FREE

An exhibition that links a highly significant bequest of French 20th-century Aubusson tapestries with a gift from the Walter Strachan Archive on livres d'artiste.

Find out more:


Also at The Fitzwilliam Museum: Special Displays


'True and Lively Portraicture': Special display of seventeenth century portrait prints
Charrington Print Room (Gallery 16)

This selection of portraits is amongst the finest in the Museum's collection, with likenesses of monarchs from Queen Elizabeth I to the kings of the Stuart dynasty.

Find out more:


On the Brink

Victorian Narrative Paintings
Gallery 2

An exceptional loan of Victorian narrative paintings from a private collection is currently on display in Gallery 2, complemented by works from the Museum's own collections.

Find out





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For full details of all exhibitions at The Fitzwilliam Museum, visit: 



OPEN TO ALL (space may be limited)

Art in Context

Guercino's 'The Betrayal of Christ'

Wednesday 7 May| 13.15-13.45

David Oldfield, Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge


Voyage to the afterlife: travelling in style in ancient Egypt
Wednesday 14 May | 13.15-13.45

Helen Strudwick, Senior Assistant Keeper, Antiquities
Thomas Mann, Downing College


Hidden Histories - Qing dynasty imperial jades in the collection of The Fitzwilliam Museum
Wednesday 21 May| 13.15-13.45

James Lin, Assistant Keeper, Applied Arts


For full details of all talks, visit: 




Drop-in for all ages: Chinese Calligraphy workshop

Saturday 3 May | Drop in between 10.30 and 16.30

Have a go at Chinese writing using ink and brushes with this hands-on session, running in the Courtyard throughout the day.

FREE, no booking required

Head Space

'Can Art Change the World?'

An 'Arts Alive' debate
Thursday 15 May | 14.00-15.00
Seminar Room

Has the trend to involve the public in art production diluted the power of art? Does the idea of 'participation' mean artists have abdicated artistic authority for a sense of social purpose?

Sculptor, teacher and researcher Richard Bray discusses whether art can be a factor in social change, with opportunity for audience participation.

FREE, no booking required


Head Space

Saturday 17 May | 14.00-16.30
Meet in the Courtyard Entrance

For young people aged 14-21: Just turn up and spend some time talking about art with people like you. Try out practical ideas in our Studio after visiting the galleries. Materials and refreshments provided.

FREE, no booking required

With support from the Eridge Trust

Head Space

 20th Century Gallery

Art Speak

Tuesday 20 May | 13.15 - 13.45
Meet in the Courtyard Entrance

Simply turn up and enjoy a relaxed half-hour of looking at and talking about art, led by members of the Fitzwilliam Museum's education team.

FREE, no booking required




It's Magic

Family Theatre Performance: 
The Dragon's Pearl

Saturday 24 May | 11.30
Tuesday 27 May | 11.30
Wednesday 28 May | 11.30
Thursday 29 May | 11.30
Friday 30 May | 11.30, 14.30

Award winning theatre group Indefinite Articles bring you their latest show - an ancient folktale from China about a boy, a pearl and a magical dragon. This fantastical story is told using paper, oil, shadows and a vat of blue ink. The Dragon's Pearl has been specially commissioned by The Fitzwilliam Museum. Suitable for ages 4+.

FREE, but booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 

Paper Dragons

Saturday 10 May | 11.00-13.00

For children aged 8+: inspired by our collection, make a dancing dragon of your own that moves like the spirit of the river.

£4 per child, booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email

 paper dragons

It's Magic

It's Magic

Tuesday 13 May | 11.00-11.30

For pre-school children and their carers: come and hunt for dragons and other magical beasts around the museum, and then make your own creature to take home with you.

FREE, but booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 



Saturday 24 May | 13.30-15.30

For families with children aged 5+: a drop-in event exploring the fan gallery with a chance to make your own in the studio.

FREE, no booking required



Tales of Kings and Empires

Tuesday 27 May | 11.00-12.00, 14.00-15.00
Friday 30 May | 14.00-15.00

For accompanied children aged 5+: enjoy tales of mighty rulers, warrior kings and powerful armies from Ancient Egypt, China and Europe.

FREE but booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 


Gallery Trail: Winging It!

A new family trail will take you on a flying visit around the museum from China to Europe.

FREE from the entrance desks



For full details of all family events, visit:




Botanic Beauty

Sunday 4 May | 13.30-16.00

Based on the exhibition Made for Export: Chinese Nineteenth Century Flower Drawings, this workshop will explore the pleasures of illustrating the art of the flower. Plants from the Cambridge University Botanic Garden will be on display in our studio. Suitable for beginners.

£10 (£8 concessions), booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 


Chinese Calligraphy Workshop

Saturday 17 May | 13.00-15.00

Explore the art of Chinese brush paintings with Dr James Lin, Assistant Keeper of Applied Arts.

£10 (£8 concessions), booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 


Indulge the Senses

Indulge the Senses

Wednesday 21 May | 11.00-13.00

This multi-sensory session will be based on several paintings from the collection. Join us in the Education Studio to explore art using taste, scent, music and more!

FREE, but booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 





His Lordship's Delight

Fridays 2 & 23 May | 13.15-14.00
Gallery 3

Gerald Gifford (harpsichord) offers free introduced recitals celebrating some of the museum's remarkable treasures of 18th century keyboard music.

Supported by a donation in memory of Kate & Joseph Wood


 Harpsichord recital

Promenade Concerts

Sunday Promenade Concert

These popular recitals in Gallery 3 are free - come and listen, or simply enjoy the music as you explore the surrounding galleries.

Sunday 4 May 2008

13.15 - 14.00
Stuart Davies - Piano
Music by Haydn, Ravel, Chopin

Sunday 11 May 2008
13.15 - 14.00
The Cambridge Chamber Ensemble
Marie Noelle-Kendall - Piano
Stephen Foster - Violin
Pal Banda - Cello
Music by Smetana, Schubert

Sunday 18 May 2008
13.15 - 14.00
Alexandra Reid - Violin
Music by Tartini

Sunday 25 May 2008
13.15 - 14.00
Rachel Godsill - Soprano
Marie-Noelle Kendall - Piano
Music by Elgar, Debussy, Brahms 


For more information on music at the Fitzwilliam Museum, visit:



The Fitzwilliam Museum's Courtyard Café and Shop offers visitors the perfect place to relax after a tour of the Museum's collections. The Courtyard Café has a wide variety of hot and cold food, and provides the ideal venue for coffee and cakes, a leisurely lunch, a glass of wine or afternoon tea. The adjacent Courtyard Shop contains a varied selection of cards, calendars, books and gifts for all ages, including a range of distinctive jewellery.

The new North Lawn Café, situated next to the Museum's magnificent entrance on Trumpington Street, also offers freshly-made food to be enjoyed al fresco.




Why not consider becoming a Friend of the Fitzwilliam Museum? Enjoy a range of benefits while supporting 'one of the greatest art collections of the nation'.





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We look forward to welcoming you to The Fitzwilliam Museum soon and hope that you will find your visit inspiring and enjoyable!