eNews: November 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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'I turned it into a palace': Sir Sydney Cockerell and The Fitzwilliam Museum

Opens Tuesday 4 November; special preview Sunday 2 November

Many of the Museum's most spectacular acquisitions - including the 14th-century Macclesfield Psalter - are brought together for the first time in celebration of one of the most dynamic periods in the Fitzwilliam's history: the Directorship of Sir Sydney Cockerell from 1908 to 1937.

Presenting a fascinating portrait of Cambridge at the turn of the century, this remarkably diverse exhibition includes works by the Pre-Raphaelites, William Blake and Samuel Palmer, with drawings by Boticelli, Rubens and Turner alongside Ancient Egyptian papyrus, original scores by Mozart and Scarlatti and literary autographs by Keats and Hardy, as well as treasures from the Museum's world-class collection of medieval illuminated manuscripts.

"This show is full of treasures"
- The Times

'I turned it into a palace' 

See 'I turned it into a palace' before its official opening date with the special preview on Sunday 2 November (12.00-17.00), in association with the University of Cambridge's Festival of Ideas.



Explore 'I turned it into a palace' with these FREE lunchtime talks

 'I turned it into a palace'

'I turned it into a palace': Sydney Cockerell's new Museum

Wednesday 12 November | 13.15-13.45
With Dr. Stella Panayotova, Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books

Thomas Hardy's Original Manuscript of 'Jude the Obscure': Conservation and Research

Wednesday 26 November | 13.15-13.45
With Svetlana Taylor, Research Associate, Manuscripts and Printed Books

The Art of Illumination

Friday 28 November | 13.15-13.45
With Penny Prince, painter, printer, calligrapher and scribe to the University of Cambridge 



Ancient Coins from the Black Sea

Friday 31 October | 13.15-13.45
With Dr. Adrian Popescu, Senior Assistant Keeper, Department of Coins and Medals

Dreams and Lies: Poetry and politics in Picasso's prints of the 1930s

Friday 31 October | 14.00-14.30
With Craig Hartley, Senior Assistant Keeper, Department of Paintings, Drawings and Prints

A Passion for Pottery: Dr J W L Glaisher (1848-1928) and the collecting of ceramics as history and art

Wednesday 5 November | 13.15-13.45
Dr. Julia Poole, Keeper of Applied Arts

Bordering the Black Sea 


Gold and the Ancient World 

Thursday 6 November | 13.15-13.45
Dr. Spike Bucklow, Research Scientist, Hamilton Kerr Institute

William Byrd and 'My Ladye Nevells Booke'

Thursday 13 November | 13.15-13.45
Dr. Sandra Tuppen, Curator of Music Collections, The British Library

Eagles, Towers and Swords: the Coinage of the Transylvanian Princes (16th - 18th centuries)

Wednesday 19 November | 13.15-13.45
With Dr. Adrian Popescu, Senior Assistant Keeper, Department of Coins and Medals

Georgia in the Roman World and the Anglo-Georgian Excavations at Nokalakevi

Thursday 20 November | 13.15-13.45
Ian Colvin, Director of the Anglo-Georgian Expedition to Nokalakevi & Research Associate, Cambridge Schools Classics Project



To book an event,  telephone 01223 332 904 or email 


It's Magic!

Mythical Mosaics

Saturday 15 November | 11.00 - 13.00

For accompanied children aged 5+: Design and make your own mosaic tile.

£4 per child, booking essential 

It's Magic!

Tuesday 18 November | 10.00-11.30

For pre-school children and their carers: learn about magical art, then make some of your own!

£3 per child, booking essential 

Ancient Bling

Saturday 29 November | 14.00 - 16.00

For accompanied children aged 5+: Visit From the Land of the Golden Fleece and try your hand at using gold leaf.

£4 per child, booking essential



 To book an event,  telephone 01223 332 904 or email 


Symposium: From the Land of the Golden Fleece

Saturday 15 November | 10.30-16.00

Find out more about the context, culture and technology of the rich material in the exhibition  From the Land of the Golden Fleece: Tomb Treasures of Ancient Georgia through a series of short lectures by leading experts.

£15 (£12 concessions), booking essential

Symposium: From the Land of the Golden Fleece



Gold on Parchment

Saturday 22 November | 10.00-16.00

Calligraphy talk and demonstration by Patricia Lovett, scribe, illuminator, author and co-founder of the Fitzwilliam Collection of Contemporary Calligraphy.

£20 (£18 concessions), booking essential


Edward Johnston's Legacy

Saturday 29 November | 11.00-13.00

Seminar with Patricia Lovett (see above) looking at the life and work of calligrapher Edward Johnston (1872 1944), who was much admired by Sydney Cockerell, the subject of the Museum's new exhibition 'I turned it into a palace'.

£5, booking essential


Art Speak

Tuesday 11 November | 13.15 - 13.45

An informal half hour of looking at and talking about art - just drop in and meet in the Courtyard Entrance.

FREE, no booking required.

Meet the Experts




Harpsichord Recital

Harpischord Recital with Dr. Gerald Gifford

Friday 14 November | 13.15-14.00

In association with the special display The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and Lady Nevell's Book (see below), this recital by Honorary Keeper of Music Dr. Gerald Gifford focuses on William Byrd's compositions preserved in the Virginal Book and Lady Nevell's Book, presented on an Italian harpsichord similar to those used in the Tudor court.

FREE, no booking required


Sunday Promenade Concerts

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

Alan Loader - Baritone
Christian White - Piano

Sunday 2 November | 13.15

Isabella Gage - Soprano
Sunday 9 November | 13.15

Hungarian Chamber Orchestra
Sunday 16 November | 13.15

Marcus Tomalin and Anna Langley - Lutes, with Cambridge Choral Scholars
Sunday 23 November | 13.15

The Cambridge Chamber Ensemble
Sunday 30 November | 13.15

Music in the Museum





From the Land of the Golden Fleece:
Tomb Treasures of Ancient Georgia

A spectacular exhibition of 2000-year old tomb and temple treasures in gold, silver and bronze from Ancient Colchis.

Podcast now available at www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

In this new podcast, Fitzwilliam Museum Director Dr. Timothy Potts provides a personal introduction to this exhibition.


From the Land of the Golden Fleece


 Bordering the Black Sea

Bordering the Black Sea:
Greeks, Barbarians and their Coins

The first UK exhibition on this theme, this special display showcases extraordinary gold and silver coins from the Greek colonies on the shores of the Black Sea.


Dreams and Lies:
Picasso Prints from the Collection of The Fitzwilliam Museum

An exhibition presenting Picasso's portfolio Dreams and Lies of Franco, an extraordinary document of the artist's political and personal reaction to the Spanish Civil War. (Image: Pablo Picasso, Dreams and Lies of Franco, 1937. © Succession Picasso/DACS)

Dreams and Lies


 Palaces in the Night

Palaces in the Night:
The Urban Landscape in Whistler's Prints

A remarkable and atmospheric collection of the city views for which Whistler is most celebrated as a printmaker, including his visions of Venice, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.


The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and Lady Nevell's Book

The most important anthology of 16th and early 17th century English keyboard music in existence is here displayed side-by-side for the first time with William Byrd's collection of virginal music, on loan from the British Library.

Fitzwilliam Virginal Book


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


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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!