eNews: December 2008 

Christmas and New Year

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

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Adoration of the Magi 



When planning your visit to The Fitzwilliam Museum, please remember our Christmas and New Year opening hours are as follows:

Tuesday - Saturday: 10.00-17.00
Sunday: 12.00-17.00
The Museum is CLOSED Mondays, 24-26 & 31 December 2008 and 1 January 2009

'Christmas is Coming': Concert

Thursday 18 December | 19.30

The musical highlight of the Museum's festive calendar! In this Christmas concert, the New Cambridge Singers perform a selection of seasonal favourites amidst British art of the 16-18th centuries in Gallery 3.
£15 (£12 concessions and Friends of the Fitzwilliam) Tickets from: Cambridge City Centre Box Office, Wheeler Street, Cambridge CB2 3QB (tel: 01223 357851)

Christmas is Coming


Special William Blake display

Paradise Regained



Tuesday 9 December - Sunday 14 December
Gallery 3

The Museum marks the quatercentenary of the birth of John Milton with this special display of William Blake's illustrations for Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.
Milton was a continual source of inspiration to Blake (one of his illuminated books was called Milton). The dramatic watercolour of The Angel Michael foretelling the Crucifixion here on display was made in 1822, based on an earlier design. Blake only made one set of illustrations for Paradise Regained, made c.1816-1818, and two of the twelve depicting scenes from the life and Passion of Christ will be shown, alongside an early printed copy of Milton's Paradise Lost dating from 1678.


Festive shopping at The Fitzwilliam Museum's Courtyard Shop

An Aladdin's cave full of striking and unusual Christmas gifts, the Museum's Courtyard Shop is the ideal place to do your shopping away from the crowds.
A fabulous selection of distinctive jewellery is available, alongside a wide selection of books, calendars and posters, while the exclusive Christmas card selection ranges from the traditional to the unusual, featuring works from the Museum's collections.

Courtyard Shop






From the Land of the Golden Fleece 

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

Last chance to see - closing Sunday 4 January 2009

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

'These pieces of gold and silver jewellery, all of exceptional charm and sophistication, are a revelation' - The Economist

Bordering the Black Sea: Greeks, Barbarians and their Coins

Last chance to see - closing Sunday 4 January 2009

Extraordinary gold and silver coins from the Greek colonies on the shores of the Black Sea (enhancing the exhibition From the Land of the Golden Fleece)

'I Turned it into a Palace'

'I Turned it Into a Palace': Sir Sydney Cockerell and The Fitzwilliam Museum

Many of the Museum's most spectacular treasures, including the 14th-century Macclesfield Psalter, are brought together for the first time in celebration of the Directorship of Sir Sydney Cockerell from 1908 to 1937.

'This show is full of treasures' **** - The Times


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

Picasso's portfolio Dreams and Lies of Franco, an extraordinary document of the artist's political and personal reaction to the Spanish Civil War.


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

A remarkable and atmospheric collection of Whistler's celebrated city views, including his visions of Venice, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.



Gold and pigments in the Macclesfield Psalter

Wednesday 3 December | 13.15-13.45
Dr. Spike Bucklow, Research Scientist, Hamilton Kerr Institute

Gods, monsters and silver: ancient coinage in Colchis

Thursday 4 December | 13.15-13.45
Dr. Adrian Popescu, Assistant Keeper, Department of Coins and Medals

Medea and the Greek view of Colchis

Thursday 18 December | 13.15-13.45
Dr. Lucilla Burn, Keeper, Antiquities

Medea and the Greek view of Colchis



To book an event,  telephone 01223 332 904 or email 


It's Magic! 

In Search of the Golden Fleece

Sunday 7 December | 14.00-15.00

For accompanied children 5+: hear the story of Jason and the Argonauts.

FREE, but booking essential


It's Magic!

Tuesday 9 December | 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


Gods and Angels

Saturday 13 December | 11.00-13.00

For accompanied children aged 5+: visit From the Land of the Golden Fleece then make your own winged figure.

£4 per child, booking essential


Ancient Cypriot Scripts

Sunday 14 December | 14.00-15.00

Join Pippa Steele (University of Cambridge) for a hands-on family workshop exploring the syllabic scripts of Ancient Cyprus.

FREE, no booking required

Gods and Angels


Making a Modern 'Medieval' Manuscript

Tuesday 23 December | 12.30-13.30

Stella Panayotova, Keeper of Manuscripts and Printer Books, introduces Illuminate: Days are Where We Live - a competition to design a manuscript about you and your life, for two age groups: 11-17 and 18+yrs. In association with Cambridgeshire County Council.

FREE, no booking required



 To book an event,  telephone 01223 332 904 or email 


Art Speak

Tuesday 2 December | 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.


Making Sense of Myth

Friday 5 December | 11.00-13.00

A multisensory exploration of myths and legends based on work in From the Land of the Golden Fleece and paintings in the permanent collection. Accessible for blind and partially sighted participants.

FREE, but booking essential

Making Sense of Myth 


Medieval Painting Techniques 

Medieval Painting Techniques

Saturday 6 December | 10.30-16.30

Calligraphy workshop with Penny Price, painter, calligrapher and Scribe to the University of Cambridge.

£20 (£18 concessions), booking essential


Exhibition event: Wine and Worship in the Ancient World

Saturday 20 December | 14.00-16.00

Take a break from Christmas shopping and join us for a glass of wine and themed tour of the exhibition From the Land of the Golden Fleece: Tomb Treasures of Ancient Georgia.

£5 (including a glass of wine), booking essential



Enjoy musical recitals in the splendid surroundings of the Museum's galleries


Harpsichord Recital

Creative Historicism: Arnold Dolmetsch, the Early Music Revival and the Arts and Craft movement

Friday 5 December | 13.15-14.00

In association with the exhibition 'I Turned it into a Palace', this lecture-recital is presented on harpsichord and recorder by Honorary Keeper of Music Dr. Gerald Gifford and Jeanne Dolmetsch.

FREE, no booking required

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!