June 2008

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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'On the Shoulders of Giants': Portraits from the University of Cambridge

'On the Shoulders of Giants'

10 June - 28 September 2008
Mellon Gallery (Gallery 13)
Admission FREE

Part of the University of Cambridge’s celebration of its 800th anniversary, this exhibition of photographic portraits by accomplished Cambridge photographer Howard Guest offers an intriguing insight into the working life of one of the world’s most celebrated academic institutions. Subjects featured in the exhibition include academics, students, porters, surgeons and a glass blower, in locations as varied as the Radio Astronomy Observatory, the Fitzwilliam Museum’s own conservation studio and a tower sealed for years after scientists’ atomic experiments. 

Howard Guest will be talking about his work at the Museum on 3 July (13.15 - 13.45).

Find out more: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/article.html?1178




Christopher Le Brun: Fifty Etchings 2005

Christopher Le Brun: Fifty Etchings

Ends 28 September 2008
Shiba Gallery (Gallery 14)
Admission FREE

Made over the course of a year and employing a extraordinary variety of subtle etching techniques, Christopher Le Brun's Fifty Etchings 2005, published by Paragon Press, revisits a wide range of subjects familiar from the artist's other work, while also introducing new themes and motifs. In this carefully constructed sequence, Le Brun shapes associations and memories of literature and music, as well as art. Like the questing rider and travellers in the prints, the viewer is drawn into a metaphysical journey in search of meaning as well as beauty.

Christopher Le Brun will be talking about his work at the Museum on 11 June (13.15 - 13.45, see below).

Find out more: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/article.html?1176


Anglo-Saxon Art in the Round

Anglo-Saxon Art in the Round

Ends 7 September 2008
Octagon Gallery (Gallery 10)
Admission FREE

This exhibition will show for the first time early Anglo-Saxon coins from the De Wit collection, recently purchased by the Fitzwilliam Museum with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund.  These gold shillings and silver pennies display the most innovative range of pictorial and geometric designs drawn from Classical and Germanic sources, with bold images of people, animals, plants and geometric motifs both rich in detail and sophisticated in concept. These pieces will be juxtaposed with contemporary ornamental metalwork drawn from other museums in the region, illuminating the previously lost treasures of an artistically vibrant period of history.

Find out more: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/article.html?1167

Anglo-Saxon Art in the Round is accompanied by a programme of talks exploring the Anglo-Saxon world and a series of interactive handling sessions - see below for further details, or visit http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/events/


Anglo-Saxon Art in the Round Podcast

A new podcast also complements this exhibition. In this episode, Mark Blackburn, Keeper of Coins and Medals, provides an illustrated tour of the exhibition's highlights, and explores the artistic vibrancy of the 7th and 8th centuries.

Other podcasts are also available to listen to online or download from The Fitzwilliam Museum's website.

Listen to the latest podcasts: mediaplayer.group.cam.ac.uk/fitzmuseum/


'The Field Calls Me to Labour': Watercolours of Nineteenth-Century Rural Life by Robert Hills and his Contemporaries

'The Field Calls Me to Labour'

Ends 7 September 2008
Charrington Print Room (Gallery 16)
Admission FREE

Although relatively unknown to audiences today, Robert Hills (1769-1844) was at the vanguard in promoting the appreciation of watercolour painting among British audiences at the beginning of the nineteenth century. His watercolours – often intimate and spontaneous ‘snapshots’ of nature and the countryside around him –  are highly original, with a freshness of vision that offers a revealing glimpse into the lives of those who worked on the land.  Drawn exclusively from the Museum’s outstanding collection of British watercolours, they will be shown alongside the drawings and watercolours of contemporary artists such as James Ward, David Cox and Peter de Wint. 

Supported by Lowell Libson Ltd

Find out more:


Special Display: Chinese Imperial Jades

 Chinese Imperial Jades

Ends 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: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/article.html?1166



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




OPEN TO ALL (space may be limited)


Money in Anglo-Saxon England

Wednesday 4 June | 13.15-13.45

With Mark Blackburn, Keeper of Coins and Medals


Fifty Etchings

Wednesday 11 June | 13.15-13.45

With Christopher Le Brun, artist

Art in Context

Hidden Histories - Buried Treasure in Medieval Cambridge

Wednesday 18 June | 13.15-13.45

With Martin Allen, Assistant Keeper of Coins and Medals


Impressionism: 'Palette scrapings on a grubby canvas'?

Wednesday 25 June | 13.15-13.45

With Julia Tozer, Head of Education


For full details of all talks, visit:




'Arts Alive' Debate: 'What future for visionary architecture?'


Friday 6 June | 14.00 - 15.00
Education Seminar Room

Should the current trend for 'iconic' architecture be applauded as artistic experimentation, or condemned for architectural indulgence? Do 'ecotowns' - such as Northstowe in Cambridgeshire - represent a bold vision for the future city?
75 years after the closure of the Bauhaus, can architecture really change the world - and should it even be trying? The speaker will be Alastair Donald, urban designer and research student.

FREE, no booking required.


Art in the Round: Handling Sessions

Fridays 6 June & 20 June | 14.00 - 16.00

Join curators and education staff in the Anglo-Saxon Art in the Round exhibition for these hands-on sessions.

These sessions are accessible for visitors who are blind or partially-sighted.

FREE, no booking required


Art in the Round


Art Speak

Art Speak 

Tuesday 17 June | 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


Head Space

Saturday 21 June | 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


For full details of all drop-in sessions, visit:




Code Crackers

Saturday 7 June | 11.30 - 15.30

For accompanied children aged 8+: search for secret symbols and crack hidden codes in the morning, then create your own code in clay in the afternoon. This workshop starts at The Museum of Classical Archaeology (Sidgwick Avenue CB3 9DR) from 11.30-12.30 and continues at The Fitzwilliam Museum from 14.00-15.30. Please note children must be accompanied at all times.

£8 per child, booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 

Code Crackers


It's Magic

It's Magic

Tuesday 17 June | 10.00 - 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 


Starting from Scratch: an introduction to etching for children

Saturday 28 June |  14.00 - 16.00

Visit our exhibition of etchings by Christopher Le Brun and work with artists from the Curwen Press exploring etching techniques without using chemicals.

£10 per child, booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 

Starting from Scratch


Dream On

Dream On

Sunday 29 June | 13.30-15.00

For accompanied children aged 5+: Christopher Le Brun’s misty world of castles and riders hints at tales of the past. Together we’ll make up a story looking at his etchings and other works in the museum and make story pictures in the studio.

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


Book now: Picturing the Past

Saturday 5 July |  14.00 - 16.00

Travel through time to find out more about life and customs of the Anglo-Saxon world through the coins and objects that have survived. Work with an artist to design and make your own 'art in the round'.

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

Starting from Scratch


For full details of all family events, visit:




Starting from Scratch: an introduction to etching

Starting from Scratch

Saturday 28 June |  11.00 - 13.00

Visit our exhibition of etchings by Christopher Le Brun and work with artists from the Curwen Press exploring etching techniques without using chemicals. Beginners welcome.

£15 (£12 concessions), booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 


Book now: Summer School

Wednesdays from 9 July - 27 August inclusive
Kettle's Yard sessions: 11.30 - 13.00
Fitzwilliam Museum sessions: 14.00 - 16.00

If you have ever walked past The Fitzwilliam Museum or Kettle's Yard and wondered what these buildings contain, this is the course for you! Join us for some informal discussions about some of the hidden treasures in these collections.

£50 (£30 concessions), booking essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email 

Summer School 




Sunday Promenade Concerts

Promenade Concerts

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


Sunday 8 June
13.15 - 14.00
Bibi Blythe, Frances Blythe
Bethan Quartermaine
Music for Flute, Clarinet and Piano
Music by Debussy, Weiner, Doppler


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'.

Visit www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/support/friends/index.html




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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!