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July 2013



Origins of the Afro Comb:
6,000 years of culture, politics and identity

2 July – 3 November: Fitzwilliam Museum
2 July - 28 September: Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology

Afro Comb

Origins of the Afro Comb invites you to discover the 6,000-year history of the Afro Comb, its extraordinary impact on cultures worldwide, and community stories relating to hair today.

At the Fitzwilliam Museum see beautiful material culture from pre-dynastic Egypt to present day and explore a digital interaction gallery featuring projections of personal stories about combs and African type hair. Over at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology experience three contemporary art installations that bring to life the ‘Cottage Salon’ in the home, The Barber Shop and The Hairdressing Salon; explaining black hair culture, styling and politics as we know it today. A special series of events have been programmed to complement the exhibition. July activities, as below:

Talks (free)

Natural hair past & present

Sat 6 July: 14.00 – 16.00, Fitzwilliam Museum

With Sandra Gittens (Author and Lecturer with a specialism in African Caribbean Hair)

An introduction to Origins of the Afro Comb exhibition

Wed 10 July: 13.15 – 14.00, Fitzwilliam Museum

With exhibition curator Sally-Ann Ashton (Assistant Keeper of Antiquities)

Afro picks and hot iron combs modern black hair styling

Sat 13 July: 14.00 – 16.00, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology

With Michael McMillan (Freelance Writer, Artist and Curator)

Object handling sessions (free)

Sat 13 July: 14.00 – 16.00, Fitzwilliam Museum
Thu 18 July: 14.00 – 16.00, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology

Hair braiding demo (free)

Tue 16 July: 14.00 – 16.00, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology


Black Hair Stories

Sat 20 July: 14.00 – 16.00  (18+), Fitzwilliam Museum

Hear a selection of personal audio recordings about black hair and join discussions on topics such as: my first hair style, bad hair days and geri-curl nightmares. Free. More info and how to book

How to Braid Hair

Sat 27 July: 14.00 – 16.00 (18+), Fitzwilliam Museum

Learn hair braiding and cornrow techniques.
£5 per person. More info and how to book

Bring your own comb!

Tue 30 July: 10.30 – 12.30 (Ages 5-7), Fitzwilliam Museum

Bring your own comb, then join us for a hunt around the exhibition and learn fascinating facts. Free. More info and how to book

African comb workshop

Tue 30 July: 13.30 – 16.45 (Ages 8-11), Fitzwilliam Museum

Discover 6,000 years of little-known art & culture through the beautiful combs on display in the exhibition, followed by a practical hands-on activity. Free. More info and how to book



Vue de Lausanne by Balthasar Anton Dunker


Fashioning Switzerland: Portraits and landscapes by Markus Dinkel and his contemporaries

4 June – 15 September

An exhibition of Swiss watercolours and prints featuring a rare selection of finely drawn and coloured portraits of Swiss women in regional costume, by the Bernese artist Markus Dinkel (1762-1832). These are accompanied by other artists’ picturesque views of the Swiss landscape, largely etched and each one delicately hand finished in watercolours.


Art Recreation

Sat 13 July: 10.00 – 16.00
John Lewis, Cambridge

See the Fitzwilliam Museum’s painting of Le Repas by Pierre Bonnard come to life in an art recreation in John Lewis, Cambridge, using the department store’s products for props. Watch the moment captured on canvas by local artist, Stuart Catterson and be in with a chance of winning some of the props.


John Lewis art recreation


Movement and mark making

Sat 20 July: 10.30 – 12.30 (Ages 8+)

Create large experimental drawings exploring the physical and mental connection between movement and mark making.

£5 per child. More info and how to book

 Hand drawing



Talks take place at 13.15, unless otherwise stated. For more information and locations visit our website

 Jade figure


Display, piety and dedication: the re-use of coins in later medieval England

Wed 3 July

Richard Kelleher, Assistant Keeper Coins and Medals.

Art Speak

Tue 16 July

Enjoy half an hour looking at and talking about art

Myths and realities of food consumption and cuisine in Ancient Greece

Wed 17 July

Anastasia Christophilopoulou, Outreach Officer Greece and Rome

The stone of heaven: the scientific study of ancient Chinese jades

Wed 24 July

Dr. Rong Wang, Fudan University, Shanghai

John Smart Senior’s miniature self-portrait on loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum

Wed 31 July

Amy Marquis, Study Room Invigilator (Paintings, Drawings & Prints)


Booking Essential. To register your interest please contact 01223 332904 or email:

Curiouser and curiouser!

Fri 5 July: 10.30 – 13.00

Have you ever opened any of the little drawers in Gallery 27? Walked straight through Gallery 23? Or wondered what's under the covers in Gallery 15? In this workshop make your own bespoke sketchbook, then use it in the Museum to explore and draw with a variety of materials. Also benefit from art tutoring and the opportunity to discuss ideas with like minded folk.
£30 (£25 concessions) per person.

 Gallery 7


Fri 19 July: 10.15 – 12.00

Become more confident with your drawing skills and discover new ways of working at this art workshop. Please note: places are limited to 15 and booking for each session opens on the first day of that month.
£5 per person.




Enjoy free classical concerts in the beautiful surroundings of Gallery 3 at 13.15.
Seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. Voluntary collection after the concert. Programme subject to change.



Cambridge Summer Music Festival concert

Sun 21 July

Anna Hashimoto (clarinet), Chikako Kondo (clarinet) and Daniel King Smith (piano) perform pieces by Mendelssohn, Poulenc's Sonata for Two Clarinets, and Ponchielli's fantastic 'Il Convegno'.

Cambridge Summer Music Festival concert

Sun 28 July

Anthony Brown (saxophone) and Leo Nicholson (piano) perform Ravel Sonatine, Piazzolla from Histoire du Tango and I Bordel 1900, Ibert Histoires and Dubois Le Lievre et la Tortue.


Curate the world’s largest art show

This summer Art Everywhere will flood the UK in art by converting thousands of billboards into British masterpieces. But first you have been invited to help decide which works go on display. From Millias’ tragically serene Ophelia and Hepworth’s oceanic Pelagos to Bacon’s terrifying Head VI and Caulfield’s iconic After Lunch, there’s over 600 years of British art to choose from. Have your say and help choose the final 50 to go on display. The more donations Art Everywhere receives the bigger the art show, so please support this exciting project now.

Billboard art




 painting by Paul Gauguin

Collecting Gauguin: Samuel Courtauld in the '20s

20 June – 8 September
The Courtauld Gallery, London

A special summer display offering a fascinating insight into the development of Gauguin’s reputation in the UK, which brings together Courtauld's significant collection of works by the Post-Impressionist artist. More info and how to book


General admission to the Fitzwilliam Museum is FREE

For full details of all events and workshops, visit our website at   

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Image credits

Banner: combs from Origins of the Afro Comb exhibition

1. Bamboo, midribs of palm leaf, glass beads and cotton thread hair comb, date unknown, from Malawi by a Yao artist © Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

2. Balthasar Anton Dunker after Johann Ludwig Aberli, Vue de Lausanne, 1773-4 (detail). Image © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

3. Recreation of Pierre Bonnard's Le Repas, photograph courtesy of Keith Heppell

4. Hand drawing © (Flickr Creative Commons)

5. Jade standing figure, 1900-1940. Image © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

6. Gallery 7, Italian Art 16th-18th century. Image © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

7. Drawing © joyfulseeker (Flickr Creative Commons)

8. Anthony Brown © Cambridge Summer Music Festival

9. Art Everywhere image © The Art Fund

10. Paul Gauguin, Te Rerioa, 1897 (detail) © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London