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Detail of John Craxton's Pastoral for P.W.

To book an event contact:

T: 01223 332904


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March 2014



Shepherd and Rocks by John Craxton

The Courtesan Somenosuke by Kitagawa Utamaro

A world of private mystery: John Craxton, RA (1922 - 2009)

Until 21 April 2014

A fresh retrospective on John Craxton - from his beginnings as a young hope of post-war British art, creating dark, meditative images of the natural world, to works of incredible vibrancy, light and colour from his later life in Crete.

This is the first exhibition to explore his whole life; arranged in the Fitzwilliam’s Mellon Gallery it features a carefully chosen selection of over sixty of Craxton's finest pictures illustrating the constant evolution of his painting.

Friday lates: open until 20.00

14 March & 11 April

From root to tip: Botanical art in Britain

Until 11 May 2014

This exhibition brings together a selection of watercolours from the Fitzwilliam’s outstanding collection of botanical art. It draws on over 300 years of work by both professional and amateur artists, tracing a history of flower drawing in Britain.

Works on show date from the seventeenth century to present day. See finely executed watercolours by many well-known and influential artists, including Georg Dionusius Ehret, who settled in Britain in 1736, and William Henry Hunt. These are displayed alongside recently acquired pieces by contemporary artists such as Margaret Stones and Rebecca John.



Writing Lives

Tue 4 March: 18.00 – 20.00

Join T S Eliot prize shortlisted poet, Sean Borodale, for poetry readings and reflections on the writer’s and artist's voice in relation to the John Craxton exhibition, with an opportunity to view the exhibition after hours. More info and how to book.
£8.00 (£5.00 concessions and Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum).

Sean Borodale

Conservation Conversations

Fri 14 March: 17.00 – 19.00
Sat 15 March: 14.00 – 16.00

Items from across the University of Cambridge Museums will be visiting the Fitzwilliam, along with the people who investigate how they were made and why some of them change over time. See the clues we look for when examining an object and discuss the decisions we take about conservation. Part of the Science Festival.
Free, drop-in.

 Conservation in progress



Free. Admission by token, 1 per person, available at the Courtyard Entrance desk from 12.45 on the day. For our full season of talks and locations visit our website.

 Head of an Aged Cretan by John Craxton

A personal tour of a world of private mystery: John Craxton, RA (1922-2009)

Wed 5 March: 13.15 & 14.15

With Ian Collins, author of the biography John Craxton.

Stalking Egyptian blue: Making and investigating the 1st synthetic pigment

Wed 12 March: 13.15 – 14.00

Jennifer Marchant & Abigail Graville, Conservators (Antiquities).

Art Speak

Tue 18 March: 13.15 – 13.45

Enjoy half an hour looking at and talking about art. No token necessary.

 The Faithful Executioner book cover


Beyond the page: Shedding (infrared) light on manuscript illuminations

Wed 19 March: 13.15 – 14.00

With Paola Ricciardi, Research Associate (Manuscripts & Printed Books).

Producing a good death: The craft of the pre-modern executioner

Fri 21 March: 13.15 – 14.00

Listen to Professor Joel F. Harrington, from Vanderbilt University, describe how executions took place in Early Modern Europe and read excerpts from his book The Faithful Executioner (pictured left).

On balance: What makes for "good composition" in a picture

Wed 26 March: 13.15 – 14.00

With Josie Camus, Artist and Gallery Educator.


To book contact: 01223 332904 | . Places confirmed on receipt of payment.

Sketch: Sculpture

Fri 14 March: 10.15 – 13.00

Enjoy sketching? Join this friendly drawing group inspired by the Fitzwilliam exhibitions and collections, with a different focus every month. Bring your own sketchbook, pencils and ideas or borrow ours. This is not an artist led session.
£5 per session.

MUSE: Pastels and paint inspired by the Arts of the 20th Century

Fri 28 March: 10.15 – 12.00

Discover new ways of working at this artist led workshop.
£10 per workshop.

 Hand drawing



To book contact: 01223 332904 | . Places confirmed on receipt of payment.

 Boy painting


ReSource: Painting from 20th Century art, with Ruth Blundell

Sat 8 March: 11.00 – 13.00

Ages 13 – 18

Join us in our art studio to develop your own ideas and projects based on this month’s theme.
£5 per session.


Family First Saturday
John Craxton: Light and colour

Sat 1 March: 14.00 – 16.00

All Ages (Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult)

Visit our Fitz Family Welcome Point and collect drawing materials, activities and trails to use throughout the Museum.
Free, no booking required.

 Red and Yellow Landscape by John Craxton



Enjoy a free classical concert in the beautiful surroundings of Gallery 3 from 13.15 - 14.00. Admission by token, 1 per person, available at the Founder’s Entrance desk from 12.00 on the day. Space is limited – no standing room available. For more information and our full concert season click here

 Music concert



2 March

James Brady (trumpet, flugelhorn), Alex Hitchcock (tenor saxophone), George Gordon (upright bass) and Derek Scurll (percussion, trombone) perform original chamber jazz and new takes on classics.

A Duo

9 March

Maurizio Parisi (recorder) and Davide Velardi (guitar) perform pieces by Telemann, Handel and Bach, amongst others.


Art & Life: 1920 – 1931
Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis & William Staite Murray

Until 11 May 2014
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

A major international exhibition of work from two of the UK’s most important 20th Century painters, Ben and Winifred Nicholson. Exploring the years of their marriage and their relationships with other contemporary artists.

 Summer by Winifred Nicholson

Cézanne and the Modern

13 March – 22 June 2014
Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford

See extraordinary masterpieces by some of the most famous artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements including, Van Gogh, Manet, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and many more. Book now:


 Cezanne and the Modern poster


General admission to the Fitzwilliam Museum is FREE

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

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All images © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, unless otherwise stated
Header: John Craxton, Pastoral for P.W. (detail), 1948 © estate of John Craxton

Picture 1: John Craxton, Shepherd and Rocks (detail), 1943 © estate of John Craxton
Picture 5: John Craxton, Head of an Aged Cretan (detail), November 1948 © estate of John Craxton
Picture 6: Joel F. Harrington's book cover for The Faithful Executioner
Picture 7: Hand drawing © (Flickr Creative Commons)
Picture 9: John Craxton, Red and Yellow Landscape
(detail), 1945 © estate of John Craxton
Picture 11: Winifred Nicholson, Summer (detail), 1928 © The Trustees of Winifred Nicholson

Picture 12: Ashmolean's poster for Cezanne and the Modern