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April 2017



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

Madonnas & Miracles: The holy home in Renaissance Italy

'Surely the best exhibition of the year'
The Mail on Sunday *****

'A pioneering exhibition'
The Spectator

Until 4 June
Adeane (12) & Mellon (13) Galleries

Our first major exhibition of 2017 invites you to peer through the keyhole of the Italian Renaissance home and discover a hidden world of religious devotion. Bringing together a wealth of objects, including jewellery, ceramics, books, sculptures and paintings, the exhibition invites us into a domestic sphere that was charged with spiritual significance.
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Madonna & Child restoration

Sea to Shore exhibition

Matchstick boats

Sea to Shore: Paintings by Alfred Wallis & Christopher Wood
Kettle’s Yard at the Fitzwilliam Museum

1 April - August
European Pottery Gallery (27)

The third display from Kettle's Yard brings together paintings by Alfred Wallis and Christopher Wood that are inspired by the sea and the shore.
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Lesbos and Syria

Until 31 July
Case 14 in Greece & Rome (21)

To mark the sixth anniversary of the uprising in Syria, poet, classicist and Hellenophile Ruth Padel, joins artist Issam Kourbaj, to present an intervention that explores the millennia-long relations between the Near East and ancient Greece.
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pastoral landscape

Fishing boat off a jetty in a breeze

Honey from Many Flowers: Carl Wilhelm Kolbe and Salomon Gessner’s Idylls

Until 10 September
Charrington Print Room (16)

This exhibition showcases a recently acquired complete set of Carl Wilhelm Kolbe’s etchings, after Salomon Gessner’s landscape drawings which capture the Romantic period’s preoccupation with the pastoral idyll. A selection of works by eminent masters from whom Gessner drew inspiration, such as Claude Lorrain, can also be seen.
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Making Waves: Discovering seascapes through drawings and watercolours

Until 21 May
Shiba Gallery (14)

This exhibition brings together many rarely seen drawings and watercolours from across the collection, especially the bequest of Sir Bruce Ingram, that depict tempestuous seas, naval battles, serene harbours and bustling shores with fishermen selling their catch.
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 Houghton's Emperors

 Victorian ticket for the Lyceum Theatre, London

Houghton's Emperors: Portraits and power

Until 23 April
Octagon Gallery (10)

A short Cambridge viewing for two impressive marble busts of Roman Emperors Commodus and Septimius Severus alongside a display evoking both their ancient and 18th century contexts, explaining the enduring power of portraits.
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Victorian Life and Leisure

Until 2 July
The Arts of the Near East (33)

Coins, medals and tokens show how everyday life was transformed by the coming of the railways and a consumer revolution in Victorian Britain.
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 Henry Moore sculpture

 Tiffany vase

Henry Moore’s Hill Arches (1973)

Until November 2017
Front lawn

With Hill Arches, Moore has created a landscape in its own right – perhaps, as the title suggests, an echo of the rolling hills of his native Yorkshire. The sculpture, from the Henry Moore Foundation, sits on the front lawn.
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The Frua-Valsecchi collection

Over 130 works of art from from the collection of Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi now populate the galleries on long term loan. Pieces on display include the nude portrait of Patricia Preece by Stanley Spencer, William Burges’s painted ‘Flax and Wool’ cabinet and Art Nouveau Tiffany glass. The pieces can be identified by their special labels.
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 Observing pottery

Tour of the Museum

Saturdays: 14.30 - 15.30

A one-hour tour of the collections with a Cambridge Badge Guide.

Tickets may be bought from the Guide or in advance through Cambridge Visitor Information Centre, tel. 01223 791501,
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Degas Bronze

Tour for the blind and partially sighted

Up close and personal: Degas and Rodin bronze sculptures

Wed 26 April: 14.30 - 16.15

A unique opportunity to handle bronze sculptures of horses, dancers, and other figures by the famous French Impressionists, with Dr Vicky Avery, Keeper of Applied Arts.
Free. Booking essential tel: 01223 332904
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Free, admission is by token, 1 per person, available at the Courtyard Entrance desk from 12.45 on the day, unless otherwise stated. For more information and locations visit our website.

Art Speak

Tues 18 April: 13.15  - 13.45

Enjoy half an hour looking at and talking about art. No token necessary.
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A pious home? Italian Renaissance devotional jewellery and amulets

Wed 26 April: 13.15 - 14.00

With Dr Irene Galandra Cooper
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Rock Crystal Rosary



White rabbit by Ronald Searle

Cambridge Literary Festival

Sunday 23 April
12.15 – 13.00

Louise Foxcroft introduces her biography:
Gayer-Anderson: The Life and Afterlife of the Irish Pasha

Based on the personal journals of Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson (1881–1945), Egyptologist, poet, surgeon, soldier, and noted collector, this candid historical biography tells of Gayer-Anderson’s strange and eclectic life in the final days of the British Empire.
After Louise’s talk the audience are welcome to visit Gallery 20, The Gayer-Anderson Room, named in recognition of the bequest of part of his Egyptology collection to the Fitzwilliam Museum.

13.15 – 14.00 (display on show until 15.00)

Gillian Beer introduces her book:
Alice in Space: The Sideways Victorian World of Lewis Carroll

In his Alice books Lewis Carroll created fantastic worlds that continue to delight all ages today. Alice in Space reveals the contexts within which the Alice books first lived, bringing back the zest to jokes lost over time and poignancy to hidden references. After Gillian’s talk the audience are welcome to see a thematic display of prints and drawings including some depictions of Alice by Ronald Searle, and a letter written by Lewis Carroll containing an idea for a unit of measurement for pleasure.

Tickets on sale mid-February
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Booking essential, unless otherwise stated. To register your interest please tel: 01223 332904 or email: Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

MAKE! Art on your bag

Sat 29 April: 14.00 - 16.00
11 - 13 yrs

Design your own tote bag! Transform your drawings into coloured pattern and design, and transfer these with paints, on to your own bag with artist Hideki Arichi.

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ReSource: Pattern sensation

Sat 29 April: 11.00 – 13.00
13 - 18 yrs

Pattern is everywhere from ceramics to armour. Learn how to transform your drawings into coloured pattern, then transfer these on to your own tote bag or canvas with artist Hideki Arichi.
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Bronze Arts Award in a week!

Tuesday 4 - Friday 7 April:
10.15 - 15.00
11 - 14yrs

We express our identities through how we decorate the palces we live in and the pobjects we surround ourselves with. Inspired by Madonnas & Miracles, create your own objects for the home, find out about artists and makers, share skills and achieve an Arts Award.
£85 (4 day course)
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Family First Saturday

Family First Saturday

Sat 1 April: 14.00 – 16.00

Drop-in on the first Saturday of the month and join us for activities and art-making on the theme of Miraculous stories.
Free, no booking required
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  New Heritage App at Fitzwilliam

New App brings the Fitzwilliam to life

Cambridge is one of twelve of England’s historic cities which have collaborated to develop an innovative augmented reality (AR) product that is set to bring heritage to life. The ground-breaking new AR experience launched on March 31st to celebrate English Tourism Week. It consists of an app and video content that transports the user back in time to unveil some of the secrets of the museum.
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 The Dome Founder's Entrance

Building work to the Founder's Entrance

From 25 April the Founder's entrance will be closed for three weeks so scaffolding can be erected for essential building works.

After three weeks the entrance will re-open but with the ceiling not visible to visitors. Works will be completed in the new year of 2018.



Hymns from the Hearth: Domestic polyphony from the Italian Renaissance

Friday 21 April
18.45: Doors open (Main Entrance) and pre-concert drinks
19.15: Concert

Designed to complement our Madonnas and Miracles exhibition, this programme explores a different tradition of musicmaking from the grand polyphony of the chapel and cathedral. The Italian lauda (sacred song) provided a rich resource of music and poetry for domestic musical devotion at all levels - from simple, unaccompanied renditions to elaborate polyphony; yet it also influenced the most sophisticated composers of the age. Hear The Clerks vocal ensemble, specialists in the consort music of the Renaissance, perform traditional song, including laude from the collections of Ottaviano Petrucci and Serafino Razzi, and motets by Josquin Des Prez and Palestrina.
£25 (£20 consession/Friends)
Booking essential visit: Cambridge Live Tickets or tel: 01223 357851.
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 Music manuscript



 Studies of antique sculptures

Reading Drawings

21 January – 4 June 2017
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London

An examination of inscriptions that can be found on drawings, from artists’ signatures to records of ownership. This selection reveals how such annotations can shed light on the purpose, history and use of drawings. 
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 Tamsin Waley-Cohen

Kettle’s Yard chamber concert series

Thursdays at 8pm
Old Divinity School, St John’s College, Cambridge, CB2 1TW

The Kettle’s Yard music series returns in May with four unmissable concerts, starting with the critically acclaimed Tesla Quartet and a folk-inspired programme on the 4th. In the following weeks, resident violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen returns with new friends, and hear “natural Beethovenian” pianist Llŷr Williams on the 25th.
£16 (£6 students)
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Business Partners 2017

TTP Group plc, ACE Cultural Tours, Brewin Dolphin and Sotheby’s all lend their support to the Museum as 2017 Business Partners, enabling a dynamic calendar of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

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. Alfred Wallis, Small boat in a rough sea, c.1936 © Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge
8. Hill Arches, 1973, bronze. The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977. Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation.
10 & 15 & 16
© Martin Bond
13. Alice, 1992 (detail), Ronald Searle
© The estate of Ronald Searle
19. Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, Studies of antique sculptures, circa 1532. Courtesy of The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
20. Tamsin Waley-Cohen © Patrick Allen 2015