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Eighteenth-century fan

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March 2015



Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

24 March to 6 September

A dazzling journey through the decorative arts: from the hand-crafted luxuries of the Renaissance to the first stirrings of mass commerce in the Enlightenment.

Each of the 300 beautiful and engaging objects on display was once a treasured possession, revealing the personal tastes and aspirations of its owner, and preserving precious memories. Taken together, they offer a fascinating insight into our changing relationship with the things that we wear on our bodies and keep in our homes.



Nautilus shell cup

Close-up and Personal:
Eighteenth-century gold boxes from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection

24 March to 6 September

Fashionable among both men and women, these exquisite and elegant containers were one of the most popular accessories in 18th century Europe. They were often used to hold snuff (a scented preparation of powdered tobacco) or sweetmeats. The most lavish and precious boxes were the choice present of royalty and exemplify court culture and fashion en miniature. Presented here is a selection of nearly sixty boxes from the fine collection of Sir Arthur Gilbert (1913-2001) and his first wife, Rosalinde (1913-1995).


A Young Man’s Progress

24 March to 6 September

An impressive display of five modern photographic recreations - printed to large scale – telling the fictional story of Matthew Smith, a young man from North London, who is obsessed with clothes. The modern photographs are based upon images commissioned between 1520 and 1560 by Matthäus Schwarz, one of the most committed fashion innovators of his time. See old and new images juxtaposed, along with a creation made in response to Schwarz’s Renaissance dress. A Young Man's Progress is a collaboration between sisters, artist photographer Maisie Broadhead and fashion designer Bella Newell (Burberry); and Professor Ulinka Rublack, cultural historian at Cambridge University.

 Renaissance photographic recreation



Rothschild bronzes

Until 9 August

The Italian Gallery (7) plays host to a pair of magnificent Renaissance bronzes. These remarkable objects have been known to scholars since the early twentieth century, but their authorship has always remained a puzzle. However, thanks to recent research, academics have gathered compelling evidence that argues these masterpieces are early works by Michelangelo. If the attribution is correct, they are currently the only surviving Michelangelo bronzes in the world by his hand. Find out more

MOONSTRIPS: Eduardo Paolozzi and the printed collage 1965-72

Until 7 June

Eduardo Paolozzi’s use of found images and words cut from popular magazines and scientific journals played a formative role in the development of British art in the 1950s and 60s. He adapted the technique of collage to printed media in spectacular sets - often seen as highlights of Pop Art.  With the writer J. G. Ballard, his collaborator on the innovative Ambit magazine, Paolozzi formulated a dazzling visual and verbal accompaniment to the space-age.

Modern Heroism: Printmaking and the legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte

Until 28 June

An exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon spread liberal reform across Europe and to his supporters his legacy was that of a modern hero. Highlights include prints by Charlet and Raffet, who contributed to Napoleon’s heroic legacy through glorifying war and military personnel; works by Delacroix and Gericault that respond to the drama and tragedy of the period; and satirical prints by Daumier.







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

 Roman head of Antinous

Conservation Conversations

Sat 14 March: 14.00 – 16.00

Draw up a chair and meet an object! Items from across the University of Cambridge Museums will be visiting the Fitzwilliam, along with the people who investigate them. Find out the part that light has played in their stories and how it helps with their conservation.
Free drop-in event in the Museum's Courtyard.

European perspectives on public engagement with collections of the Ancient World

Mon 16 – Tue 17 March

How should museums inspire the public with ancient artefacts? This symposium will explore the range of ideas used by European Museums to engage audiences with material culture from the ancient world. Invited speakers include prominent curators, academics and museum directors from the United Kingdom, Germany and Greece. More information and to book

 Touch tour

An introduction to the Fitzwilliam and its collections for blind and partially sighted visitors

Tue 17 March (touch tour): 14.30 – 15.30
Wed 25 March (descriptive tour): 14.30 – 15.30

Visitors will be introduced to a range of objects from the collection and explore ideas, techniques and art-historical context through direct handling and conversation.
Free but booking essential

 Hot chocolate

Medicine and the Ancient Olympic Games

Sun 22 March: 15.00 – 16.45

Do you ever wonder how the ancient Greeks perceived the relationship between athletics and medicine? Learn more in this talk by Dr Spyros Retsas, followed by a tour of the Museum’s Ancient Greece and Rome Gallery (21) by a museum curator.
Free but booking essential

The irresistible chocolate and coffee morning!

Sat 28 March: 10.30 – 12.30

All Ages

Mark the first Saturday of Treasured Possessions with a celebration of drinking chocolate through the ages. Activities will include tours of the exhibitions Treasured Possessions and Close-up and Personal, as well as practical activities in the studio. All talks and activities will take place at 10.30, 11.00, 11.30 & 12.00. Admission is by timed ticket released on the day, in batches, from the Museum’s Courtyard Entrance. Chocolate treats will also be available to buy in the Museum café!
Free, but donations welcome



Unless otherwise stated, talks are free and admission is by token, 1 per person, available at the Courtyard Entrance desk from 12.45 on the day. Induction loop available. For more information and locations visit our website.

Daumier's lithographs and the heroism of modern life

Wed 4 March: 13.15 – 14.00

Amy Marquis, Graham Robertson Study Room Invigilator, Paintings, Drawings & Prints.

Of science and art: The Breslau Psalter

Tue 10 March: 13.15 – 14.00

Dr Deirdre Jackson, Reasearch Associate, and Dr Paola Ricciardi, Conservation Scientist, Department of Manuscripts and Printed Books.

Of science and art: Illuminated manuscript fragments

Wed 11 March: 13.15 – 14.00

Dr Giulia Bertolotti, Zeno Karl Schindler-MINIARE Fellow, Department of Manuscripts and Printed Books.

Of science and art: The Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold

Tue 17 March: 13.15 – 14.00

Dr Stella Panayotova, Keeper, and Dr Paola Ricciardi, Conservation Scientist, Department of Manuscripts and Printed Books.

 Illuminated manuscript

Brand new Old Masters: Copying paintings

Wed 18 March: 13.15 – 14.00

Spike Bucklow, Research Scientist, Hamilton Kerr Institute.

Art Speak

Tue 24 March: 13.15 – 13.45

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

The Spanish Bernini: Pedro de Mena and sculpting the divine

Wed 25 March: 13.15 – 14.00

Dr Xavier Bray Arturo and Holly Melosi, Chief Curator, Dulwich Picture Gallery.

 John Everett Millais' painting of 'Twins: Kate and Grace Hoare'



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


 Bronze acrobat performing a handstand

So just how do you cast a bronze statue?

Tue 10 March (repeated Wed 11 March): 14.00 – 16.30

Go behind the scenes with Jo Dillon, Senior Objects Conservator, to learn about the lost wax casting technique using models demonstrating the stages of the process. Followed by an opportunity to handle small bronzes from the Fitzwilliam’s own collection.
£20 (£15 concessions and Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum).


Fri 24 April: 10.15 – 12.00

Draw in coloured inks at this artist led adult workshop inspired by the Museum’s exhibition Treasured Possessions.
Please note: places are limited to 15 and booking opens on the 1 April.



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

ReSource: How to make digital art on your phone or tablet

Satruday 14 March: 11.00 – 13.00

13 - 18 yrs

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

Treasures of an enlightened world: Bronze Arts Award

Tuesday 31 March – Saturday 4 March: 10.15 – 14.30

11 - 14 yrs

Uncover the personal and treasured possessions of an enlightened world, from the Renaissance artists of the Tudor Court, to the decorative arts of Europe. Discover star-gazing equipment from the eighteenth-century and find out how the Victorians explored science through puzzling toys and games. In collaboration with the Whipple Museum.
£55 for a 5 day course

 Armillary sphere



To book contact: 01223 332904 | . Places confirmed on receipt of payment.  Children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the whole duration of any workshop.


Boy painting

Family First Saturday

Sat 7 March: 14.00 - 16.00

Drop-in to our Fitz Family Welcome Point in Gallery 33 and collect drawing materials, activities and trails to use throughout the Museum, this month exploring beautiful objects.

It’s Magic!

Tue 10 March (repeated Wed 11 March): 10.00 – 11.30

2 – 5 yrs

Looking at art can be magical. Explore work in the collections and make art of your own in the studio to take home.
£3 per child

The Tudor Tattler

Sat 21 March: 10.30 – 12.30

8-12 yrs (accompanied by an adult)

Discover the world of the Tudors - a reigning dynasty that showed off to the world through Shakespeare! Become a Shakespeare character and make your own costume accessory inspired by the Museum's collection. This event is part of Shakespeare Week (16-22 March 2015).
£8 per child



Enjoy a free Sunday classical concert in the beautiful surroundings of Gallery 3 from 13.15 – 14.00. Admission is by token, 1 per person, available at the Founder’s Entrance desk on a first-come first-served basis from 12.00 on the day of the concert. Space is limited – no standing room available. Voluntary collection after each concert. Programmes may be subject to change.

Carmina Banana

1 March

Vox Cantab choir directed by Louisa Denby and accompanied by Elis Reed (piano) perform songs concerning food and wine, including Bach’s Coffee Cantata and a selection of lighter classics.

Instrumental award holders for chamber music

8 March

A variety of works played by the very best undergraduate chamber musicians.



 Music concert



Pre-raphaelite drawing

Great British Drawings

26 March to 31 August

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Tracing the history of drawing in Britain, the Ashmolean's summer exhibition includes more than one hundred watercolours and drawings by some of Britain's greatest artists. Book now 



Would you like to help inform our future programming? Please fill in our quick 4 question survey on our last major exhibition, and leave your suggestions on what you would like to see in the future.


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
2. Basket-shaped snuffbox, Russia, probably St Petersburg, c. 1775, enamels attributed to Charles-Jacques de Mailly, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

3. Maisie Broadhead, Bella Newell, The Morning After © Maisie Broadhead
. Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), The Silken world of Michelangelo from Moonstrips Empire News Volume 1, 1967, screenprint © The Trustees of The Paolozzi Foundation
9. © FoodishFetish (Flickr Creative Commons)

© Martin Bond
13. Armillary sphere
© Whipple Museum of the History of Science
© Ashmolean Museum