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August 2014


Fitzwilliam appeal to acquire weeping Virgin

A realistic painted wood bust of the Virgin of Sorrows by Spanish Golden Age sculptor Pedro de Mena has gone on display in the Spanish & Flemish Gallery as part of a fundraising appeal.

Mesmerisingly beautiful the Virgin of Sorrows fetaures glass eyes, teardrops and eyelashes made from human hair.  £85,000 is still needed to secure the work of art by the end of September 2014.

Donate online here, or contact Sue Rhodes, Development Officer, , 01223 332939.

Campaign supported by The Art Fund and The Henry Moore Foundation.


Portico back to original glory

Giant plaster lotuses, burnished golden pineapples and a host of wild animals are now available to see in their original glory for the first time in over 100 years, after a £430,000 project to restore the portico of the Fitzwilliam Museum.

The year-long conservation finished at the beginning of July. Before restoration, the plasterwork coffering inside the portico was at risk of collapse following water damage from the leaking roof, and the detail of animals and running boys in the surrounding frieze was obscured by dirt.

Analysis of paint samples discovered the original colours of the railings, now repainted in bronze green, with details highlighted with a very fine layer of 23.5 carat gold leaf.

Memory Mirror on display for Art Everywhere

Following a successful online voting campaign, the Fitzwilliam is now part of this year's Art Everywhere. From 21 July - 31 August the Museum's John Hoyland painting Memory Mirror will appear on various poster sites, bus stops and billboards across the UK.

The original painting will also be on display throughout August in the Fitzwilliam's Glaisher Gallery.

Summer at the Museums 2014

Until 3 September

This summer, family fun and adventure are just around the corner as museums in Cambridge and beyond offer a jam-packed programme of creative activities, events and trails.

With 20 local venues Summer at the Museums has heaps of happenings to help you get the most out of the holidays.

Pick up a free Museum Scrapbook from any participating venue.

Find out more on the Summer at the Museums webpage.



La Grande Guerre: French prints of the First World War

Until 28 September

See French colour lithographs and woodcuts from the series La Grande Guerre, illustrating events of the first seven months of World War I. Scenes of action in the form of battles, sieges and air strikes are punctuated by moments of relative repose, including depictions of English and Scottish soldiers drinking tea and Indian soldiers at prayer.

SPECIAL DISPLAY: The conservation of illuminated manuscript fragments

Until 28 September
Rothschild Gallery

The Fitzwilliam holds one of the finest museum collections of illuminated manuscripts in the world, second only to the Vatican Museum.

This behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of contemporary conservation shows how illuminated manuscript fragments are conserved. Learn about the conservator’s choice of materials and treatment methods, and see detailed close-up images of fully conserved fragments showing pigments under magnification.




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.


La Grande Guerre: A WWI Centenary exhibition of French prints

Wed 6 August: 13.15 – 14.00

With Elenor Ling, Exhibition Curator and Researcher (Paintings, Drawings and Prints)

Art Speak

Tue 12 August: 13.15 – 13.45

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

Coins and currency in the crusader states

Wed 20 August: 13.15 – 14.00

With Dr Richard Kelleher, Assistant Keeper (Coins and Medals)

Fantastical pottery creatures by Andrew Hull

Wed 27 August: 13.15 – 14.00

With Kathy Niblett, Author of Andrew Hull: Artist and Sculptor Designs since 1986




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

Caricature: Portraits giving a different view

Wed 27 August: 10.15 - 16.00

Guided by artist Andrew Hull, participants will explore, in clay, the merging of two images to depict a caricatured portrait to be proud of!
Please bring a photo of yourself and a picture of a bird which you like. Break for lunch at 13.00.
£40 (£35 concessions and Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum)




Family First Saturdays: Sculpture

Sat 2 August: 14.00 - 16.00

On the first Saturday of each month visit our Fitz Family Welcome Point in the Courtyard and collect drawing materials, activities and trails to use throughout the Museum, exploring a variety of themes.
Free, drop-in

Family art week at the Fitzwilliam

Tue 5 August - Thu 7 August: 11.00 – 13.00 & 14.00 – 16.00

Pop in for a taste of our family programme at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Create your own works of art to take home or add to our group installation. On each of the three days we will be exploring and experimenting with a different art material, using the Museum’s collections for creative inspiration.
All ages





Hop on a bike

The Fitzwilliam Museum is in a new fun free map of Cambridge, its cycle routes and places to see and do things.

Cambridge is the UK’s capital of cycling – so hop on a bike and explore the cultural jewels of the city. Pick up a new map to guide you to 20 key cultural venues, some of our key festivals and illustrating the locations of the new Cycle of Songs Commission.

Download a copy at:


Joan Fontcuberta: Stranger Than Fiction

23 July – 9 November 2014
Science Museum, London

Discover the incredible fictions of Joan Fontcuberta in his first major UK exhibition, featuring six conceptually independent narratives that mix fact with fiction and science with art.  Winner of the 2013 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, Fontcuberta uses the storytelling capabilities of photographic imagery to create a reality that is convincing, mischievous and visually compelling.

For more information visit the Science Museum website.

Extreme Engineering

July onwards
Cambridge Science Centre

Families! Engineering gets extreme this summer. Build, create and test your ideas as the Cambridge Science Centre opens its latest hands-on exhibition. The centre is also running a great programme of engineering events across the summer holidays.


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: Eduardo Garcia Benito (1891-1981), Les drapeaux alliés flottent sur les forts des Dardanelles, no. 52 in the series La Grande Guerre, Photo Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
4. John Hoyland, Memory Mirror, Photo Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
8. Andrew Hull in his studio
10. Detail from the Cambridge Hop on a Bike map
11. Cercophitecus Icarocornu from the Fauna series by Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera, 1985. © Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera
12.Extreme Engineering poster, Cambridge Science Centre