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Join the Fitz on


May 2017



The University of Cambridge is commissioning specialist contractors to start on the refurbishment of the lantern above the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Main Entrance Hall. The first phase of the project involves the temporary closure of the Main Entrance from 25 April while scaffolding is erected. The building will remain open, but visitors will need to enter by the Courtyard Entrance. By the beginning of June visitors will be able to enter by the Main Entrance again, as the next phase of the project begins. Work is expected to be completed by early 2018, and we'll be posting updates through our social media sites, website and conservation blog throughout this time.

Main Entrance Hall 



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


Sampled Lives: Samplers from the Fitzwilliam Museum

6 May 2017 - 8 April 2018

Showcasing over 100 samplers from the Museum’s excellent but often unseen collection, this display highlights the importance of samplers as documentary evidence of past lives.

These beautifully embroidered and stitched samplers illuminate the lives of girls and women, from mid-17th century English Quakers to early 20th century school pupils, encompassing their education, employment, religion, family, societal status and needlework skills.
> More


 Indian coin

 Indian miniature

Elephants, Deities and Ashoka’s Pillar: Coins of India from antiquity to the present

16 May - 1 October
Octagon Gallery (10)

As part of the commemoration in 2017 of the 70th anniversary of Indian independence - marked by the UK-India Year of Culture - this exhibition, drawn from the Fitzwilliam’s world-class numismatic collection, will explore the history of India through coins produced from the 4th century BC until recent times.
> More

From Kabul to Kolkata: Highlights of Indian painting in the Fitzwilliam Museum

29 May - 3 September
Shiba Gallery (14)

The Fitzwilliam’s second exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, showcases a selection of Indian miniature paintings and drawings, ranging in date from the 16th to 19th century. The exhibition will include works produced under the patronage of the Mughal dynasty and other princely rulers, as well as several acquired by early British patrons and collectors in India.
> More

 Virgin and Child

Sea to Shore exhibition

Madonnas & Miracles: The holy home in Renaissance Italy

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

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

Peer through the keyhole into an Italian Renaissance home and discover a hidden world of religious devotion. This exhibition brings together a wealth of objects, including jewellery, ceramics, books, sculptures and paintings.
> More

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

Until 27 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.
> More

Matchstick boats

pastoral landscape

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.
> More


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.
> More



 Fishing boat off a jetty in a breeze

 Victorian ticket for the Lyceum Theatre, London

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.
> More


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.
> More

 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.
> More

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.
> More




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,
> More

Madonnas & Miracles exhibition

Tour for blind and partially sighted adults: Madonnas and Miracles

Wed 24 May: 14.30 – 16.15

Join curators and staff from the Fitzwilliam Museum to explore this special exhibition through a series of descriptive exhibition highlights in the gallery. Afterwards, there will be a unique opportunity to handle a selection of Italian Renaissance objects.
> More


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.

Family reading and praying in the Italian Renaissance home

Wed 3 May: 13.15 – 14.00

With Dr Abigail Brundin, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages.
> More

Making Waves and Sea to Shore
Images inspired by the sea across five centuries, from the Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard

Wed 10 May: 13.15 – 14.00

With Henrietta Ward, Assistant Keeper Paintings Drawings and Prints, and Guy Haywood, Assistant Curator, Kettle’s Yard.
> More

 Print of boats

Art Speak

Tues 16 May: 13.15 - 13.45

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


Wed 17 May: 13.15 – 14.00

Part of the seminar series Embodied Things, run by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge.
> More

 Chicken tureen

Domestic devotions: Thinking with things

Wed 24 May: 13.15 – 14.00

With Dr Dora Thornton, Curator of Renaissance Europe and the Waddesdon Bequest, British Museum.
> More

Madonnas & Miracles: The inside story

Wed 25 May: 13.15 – 14.00

With Dr Vicky Avery, Keeper of Applied Arts.
> More

Imagining the holy land in the Italian Renaissance home

Wed 31 May: 13.15 – 14.00

With Professor Deborah Howard, Department of History of Art.
> More




 Museum exterior

Late at the Fitzwilliam

Wed 17 May: 17.00 – 21.00

Immerse your senses and be transported to the holy home in Renaissance Italy. For one night only experience the Madonnas and Miracles exhibition with added sights, smells, sounds and handling objects to touch. Join Dr Irene Galandra Cooper for an introductory sensory exhibition tour, or listen to a talk by Sarah Dunant, renowned writer of historical fiction. The Courtyard Shop and Café will be open late too. Click through for more information and to book.
Free, some ticketed elements
> More

 Historical photograph of armour displays

Armour study day

Chivalry re-imagined: Collecting and displaying Renaissance armour in the late 19th century

Mon 22 May: 09.30 – 16.30

At this study day, historians and curators from some of Europe's most prominent museums will speak about the collecting practices of Renaissance armour in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
£25 (includes lunch and tea/coffee)
> More & how to book

 Nativity scene

Faith in the home

Wed 24 May: 18.00 – 20.00

Join us for a panel discussion on four different world religions and hear how traditions and personal experiences of faith are revealed in people’s homes today.
> More & how to book



ReSource: BANG! Up to date

Sat 13 May: 11.00 – 13.00
13- 18 yrs

Mix it up with collage and paint to make your own contemporary pieces inspired by the Fitzwilliam Museum modernist paintings, with artist Hideki Arichi.
> More & how to book

MAKE! Bold colour, quiet colour

Sat 13 May: 14.00 – 16.00
11 - 13 yrs

Join artist Hideki Arichi to explore colour and paint using modern art in the Museum as an inspiring starting point.
> More & how to book




 Boat building

Family First Saturday

Sat 6 May: 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 seascapes.
Free, no booking required
> More

Sea to shore

Sat 20 May: 10.30 – 12.30

Marvel at the paintings in the Kettle’s Yard exhibit Sea to Shore, then paint your own seascape with artist Susie Olczak.
£8 per child
> More & how to book



Everyday miracles

A series of two creative writing workshops
13 & 27 May: 13.30 – 15.30

Take a special tour of the Madonnas and Miracles exhibition and explore the Renaissance home where the divine and domestic are intertwined. Followed by a writing workshop with Helen Taylor.
£20 for both workshops (£15 concessions/ Friends)
> More & how to book


Fri 19 May: 10.15 – 12.00

The special exhibition Madonnas and Miracles is the starting point for discovering personal objects of devotion from Renaissance Italy. From these intimate art works and objects you can create your own small clay relief, plaque or tile.
> More & how to book

 Madonnas & Miracles exhibition



Enjoy a free classical concert in the beautiful surroundings of Gallery 3 at the weekend, unless otherwise stated. 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.


Instrumental award holders for chamber music

Sun 7 May: 13.15 - 14.00

The very best undergraduate chamber musicians perform Brahms’ Clarinet Trio and Debussy’s String Quartet.
> More

Italian keyboard music for devotion and contemplation

Fri 12 May: 13.15 - 14.00

Harpsichord recital, programmed to complement the Madonnas and Miracles exhibition, with Dr Gerald Gifford FRCM (Honorary Keeper of Music).
> More

Galliard Trio

Sun 14 May: 13.15 - 14.00

Alec Forshaw (piano and bassoon), Andy Morris (flute and piccolo) and Martin White (oboe and cor anglais) perform pieces by Ravel, Bach and Mussorgsky.
> More

 Music manuscript

Classical songs

Sun 21 May: 13.15 - 14.00

With Chloe Beresford-Jones (soprano), Helen Groves (soprano) and Jill Morton (piano).
> More

Piano recital

Sun 28 May: 13.15 - 14.00

Catherine Lan (piano) performs Bach’s English Suite No. 3, Schumann’s Sonata No. 2, and Granados’ Goyescas No. 1.
> More


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

6. Alfred Wallis, Small boat in a rough sea, c.1936 © Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge
11. Hill Arches, 1973, bronze. The Henry Moore Foundation: gift of the artist 1977. Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation.
© Martin Bond
22. Christopher Wood, Building the Boat, Tréboul, 1930 © Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge