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New exhibition & displays opening today

Free admission. Open: Tue to Sat 10.00 - 17.00, Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays 12.00 - 17.00. Closed: Mondays

Prints by contemporary print artists Jane Dixon & Susan Aldworth

Realisation: Recent works by Susan Aldworth and Jane Dixon

Until 5 February 2017
Shiba Gallery (14)

This exhibition of beautiful contemporary graphics by two British artists challenges our assumptions of reality and identity. Jane Dixon’s photograms, Evidence of Doubt, appear to be photographic records of real organic forms, but prove to be imaginary and drawn by the artist’s hand. The intangible images in Susan Aldworth’s two series of prints, Transience and Passing Thoughts, resist recognition and identification, yet they actually derive from the physical touch of human brain tissue, and portray real people. Evidence of Doubt is exhibited here for the first time and includes two photograms commissioned specially by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum.


Inside the Macclesfield Psalter

Until 27 November
20th Century Gallery (11)

Emil Siemeister's immersive installation The Placebo Macclesfield Psalter is inspired by the riotous imagery of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Macclesfield Psalter, a tiny prayer book made in 14th century East Anglia that continues to capture the public’s imagination with its charming glimpses of every-day life, uninhibited fantasy and ribald humour. Here visitors are invited to step inside the world – and the mind – of the Macclesfield Psalter’s artists in a unique, dreamlike experience.

The original manuscript of the Macclesfield Psalter is displayed in the COLOUR exhibition.

Macclesfield Psalter contemporary art installation


Art on Mars: Beagle 2 and Damien Hirst

Until 20 November

The Fitzwilliam Museum is delighted to display the spot painting prepared for the Beagle 2 space mission by artist Damien Hirst. This painting is the flight spare that was designed to be the earth partner to the instrument calibration target on-board the Mars spacecraft. Beagle 2 was originally thought to have been lost in 2003, but recent images from NASA reveal that it landed safely on Mars making Hirst’s spot painting the first work of art from Earth to land on another planet.

The display complements the COLOUR exhibition. It will also be one of several activities marking the 40th anniversary of the Hamilton Kerr Institute, the Museum's Department of paintings conservation, whose conservators sourced some of the pigments used by Professor Colin Pillinger, leader of Beagle 2, and Hirst in the spot painting.

Related events

Lunchtime lecture:
Calibrating the colour of Mars

Art making and Colour in Space talk, aimed at a younger audience, 10+:
Family First Saturday: Artful Science

Evening opening of exhibition & talk on colour in the solar system:
Art on Mars: Illustrated lecture

Damien Hirst spot painting for Beagle 2


Our bicentenary is supported by our Business Partners:
TTP Group plc, ACE Cultural Tours, Hewitsons LLP, Marshall of Cambridge, Rheebridge Ltd and Sotheby’s

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

1. Left: Jane Dixon, Evidence of Doubt, 2011-13 (detail) © The artist
Right: Susan Aldworth, Passing Thoughts, 2013 (detail) © The artist
3. All Rights Reserved Beagle 2