on-going exhibitions in November


Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern until 3 April 2016

tickets from £14.50 – 18.


Calder re-invented the mobile. His works will transfix you. You must go and experience them, as stills do not do them justice.


Antennae with Red and Blue Dots 1960 Alexander Calder 1898-1976 Purchased 1962 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00541

Antennae with Red and Blue Dots 1960 Alexander Calder 1898-1976 Purchased 1962 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00541

The world of Charles and Ray Eames at the Barbican

£10 student tickets

From 21 October to 16 February

One of the few successful husband and wife architectural teams in which the wife actually got credit for her work. Known for their furniture, their chairs are often the focus of “mid-century modern” collectors.



Jeanne-Etienne Liotard. at the Royal Academy


One of the most popular portrait artists in the 18th century, Liotard has largely been forgotten now. But his talent at capturing a sitter’s face, as well as the sumptuous materials in which they dressed will make this an interesting show. It’s also a chance for the viewer to think about differences in how cultural appropriation and “eagerly absorbing other cultures” (as the RA puts it) might be seen.

Plus, who knew miniature portraits were worn like wrist-watches?


Julie de Thellussen-Ployard, 1760, pastel on vellum.

Posted in Art

5th of November

by Unknown engraver, engraving, 1606

National Portrait Gallery, The Gunpowder Plot conspirators, Anonymous* Engraving, 1606

You may hear the poem repeated today:

Remember, remember the 5th of November

Gunpowder, treason and plot

Today celebrated as Guy Fawkes’ Day, bonfires and fireworks mark the occasion when Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators plotted to blow up the houses of Parliament and kill King James I. Instead they were caught, hung, drawn and quartered, as shown in the print above.

More info here:


*not that one



West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song

Literature and music from Western African empires of the Middle Ages to West Africa today.

“Beautiful manuscripts, historic film and sound recordings, books, photographs, and woven and printed textiles offer a unique insight into a profound and engaging literary culture with centuries-old written heritage existing alongside ancient oral traditions. ”

At the British Library until 16 February. Full price £10, concessions available.


Lee Miller: A Woman’s War

Lee Miller was one of the first women photographers to be embedded with troops during WWII. She was one of the first to document the horrors of the concentration camps in Nazi Germany, but is more often remembered as a model and a friend of surrealists. (Go figure). Her powerful and moving photographs of WWII’s impact on women are on display at the Imperial War Museum until April 2016. Tickets are £10.


Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy


It will be overcrowded and overbooked, but if you like AiWeiWei this is the first large-scale survey of his work in the UK. You must book in advance.


Ai Weiwei, Surveillance Camera, 2010

The Celts at the British Museum

3 October – 31 January

First major exhibition covering 2,500 years of Celtic history and the Celtic diaspora. The British Museum excels at this type of exhibition, causing you to look at wide arcs of history across multiple locations through even the smallest of objects.


Romano-British bronze and enamel pan with the names of forts along Hadrian’s Wall. Staffordshire Moorlands, England, c. AD 150. Bronze, enamel. Jointly owned by the British Museum, Tullie House Museum and Stoke Potteries.


The Fabric of India at the Victoria & Albert Museum

3 October – 10 January 

In conjunction with the V&A’s India festival, http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/v/v-and-a-india-festival/  the major fall exhibition is The Fabric of Indiaexploring the rich history of handmade textiles in India from the 3rd to 21st century. The V&A began as a museum of art and design, and this mission is always reflected in its shows.


Sari, 1887, V&A


Goya: The Portraits at  The National Gallery  7 October to 10 January

This season’s National Gallery blockbuster centres on Goya’s portraits. Curator Xavier Bray has brought together the first show to focus on Goya’s unerring eye for psychological  portraits of royal and common sitters. This will be a sell-out, so book tickets in advance.


Franciso de Goya, The Family of the Infante Don Luis de Borbon, 1783 -84, Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Parma, Italy


Scottish National Gallery, 3 April – 30 January

Rocks & Rivers Masterpieces of Landscape Painting from the Lunde Collection

Norwegians and Swiss are some of the best painters of light around, and if you enjoy looking at beautiful scenery, this exhibition will delight you.

Plus, it is free.

oil on canvas 40.3 X 51.1 cm

Thomas Fearnley (1802-1842), Arco Naturale, Capri (detail) 1833, oil on canvas.


Many of you will want to hit the ground running once you arrive. The first month will be busy with orientations, getting to know your cities, and meeting new people. If you can hold off going to Europe for the first month, you will have a better chance at getting to know the UK.

Get your culture right at your new home

Nearly every museum has a Friday Late opening, often with themed events.

Here’s a list of museum exhibitions to start.


Until 27 September, Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust at the Royal Academy.

Cornell Medici Slot Machine 1942

One of the finest artists of the 20th century, American artist Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes are wonders of assemblage and the imagination. Self-taught, he never left New York, yet his works explore the themes of travel and history and attracted the Surrealists and Pop Artists.



Until 25 October, Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World at Tate Britain.

Women didn’t often sculpt during the Renaissance, and even during the modern era they are few. The British artist Barbara Hepworth worked in stone, wood and bronze.

The show will also provide a great opportunity to visit Tate Britain, with its wonderful collection of Pre-Raphaelites.

by Ida Kar, vintage bromide print, 1961

by Ida Kar, vintage bromide print, 1961


10 September – 6 December, Drawing in silver and gold. Leonardo to Jasper Johns at the British Museum

When’s the last time you went to an exhibition of drawings? One of the best ways to understand an artist is to look at his or her drawings. These are silverpoint drawings, in which the artist traces lines on an abrasive preparation, resulting in very detailed drawings.





Until 27 September 2015, From Palace to Studio: Chinese Women Artists, 1900- the present at the Ashmolean

China’s Empress Dowager Cixi had a ghost painter, who produced paintings in the Empress’ name, infrequently signing her own name. The exhibition examines women’s work and reputations.




Until 4 October 2015, An Elegant Society. Adam Buck. Artist in the Age of Jane Austen

Bring your glasses. Adam Buck was a favourite artist of Regency society for miniature portraits.





Until 10 January 2016, Head to Head: Portrait Sculpture Ancient to Modern, Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Jacob Epstein