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RA announces election of David Adjaye and Gilbert & George as new Royal Academicians

Sir David Adjaye. Image © Ed Reeve


THE Royal Academy of Arts has elected the internationally renowned architect Sir David Adjaye and artist Gilbert & George as new Royal Academicians following a recent General Assembly.

Christopher Le Brun, President of the Royal Academy, said: “David Adjaye joins us at a time when the Royal Academy architects currently comprise a more distinguished group than at any time in its long history. I’m delighted to welcome Gilbert & George to the Royal Academy; the election of two people as one artist member is the first of its kind in the history of the Academy.”

Sir David Adjaye is recognised as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his broadly ranging influences, ingenious use of materials and sculptural ability have established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision.

He founded Adjaye Associates in 2000, and immediately won several prestigious commissions including the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo (2005) and the Idea Stores in London (2005), which were credited with pioneering a new approach to the provision of information services. His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in Autumn of 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times.

Adjaye Associates now has offices in London, New York and Accra with projects in the US, UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. These include the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO (2010), the Sugar Hill mixed-use social housing scheme in Harlem, New York (2015); the Aishti Foundation retail and art complex in Beirut (2015); and two neighbourhood libraries in Washington DC (2012).

Prominent ongoing projects include a new home for the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, a major neighbourhood masterplan in San Francisco, and One Berkeley, a £600 million redevelopment project in London’s prestigious Piccadilly area.

Adjaye frequently collaborates with contemporary artists on art and installation projects. Examples include The Upper Room, with thirteen paintings by Chris Ofili (2002), Within Reach, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art for the 21st Century Pavilion designed to show a work by Olafur Eliasson, Your Black Horizon, at the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Adjaye worked with curator Okwui Enwezor on the design of the 56th Venice Art Biennale (2015). He was awarded an OBE for services to architecture in 2007, received the Design Miami/Artist of the Year title in 2011, the Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013 and the 2016 Panerai London Design Medal, awarded by the London Design Festival. In 2017, Adjaye received a knighthood for services to architecture in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Gilbert & George standing in front of BEARD AWARE (2016), at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2016. Image © Stephen White.

Gilbert & George began creating art together in 1967 when they met at St Martins School of Art, and from the beginning, in their films and ‘LIVING SCULPTURE’ they appeared as figures in their own art. The artists believe that everything is potential subject matter for their art, and they have always addressed social issues, taboos and artistic conventions.

Implicit in their art is the idea that an artist’s sacrifice and personal investment is a necessary condition of art. They have depicted themselves as naked figures in their own pictures, recasting the male nude as something vulnerable and fragile rather than as a potent figure of strength.

The backdrop and inspiration for much of their art is the East End of London where Gilbert & George have lived and created art for nearly 50 years. From street signs to Ginkgo trees, from chewing gum stains on the pavements to vistas of urban grandeur and decay, their work is both an ongoing portrait of a city and a reflection on the human condition.

Gilbert & George have confronted many of the fundamental issues of existence: sex, religion, corruption, violence, hope, fear, racial tension, patriotism, addiction and death.

Gilbert & George both live and work in London. Together they have participated in many important group and solo exhibitions including 51st International Venice Biennale (2005), Turner Prize (1984) and Carnegie International (1985).

They have had extensive solo exhibitions, including Whitechapel Gallery (1971-1972), National Gallery, Beijing (1993), Shanghai Art Museum (1993), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1995-1996), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1998), Serpentine Gallery, London (2002), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2002), Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2004-2005), Tate Modern, London, Haus der Kunst, Munich (both 2007), Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art (both 2008), ‘Jack Freak Pictures’, CAC Malaga, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (all 2010), Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Kunstmuseum Linz (both 2011), Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk (2011-2012), Museum Kuppersmuhle, Duisberg (2012), and Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter (2014).

Image (top): Sir David Adjaye. Image © Ed Reeve.

Image (bottom): Gilbert & George standing in front of BEARD AWARE (2016), at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2016. Image © Stephen White.

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano - National Gallery

Michelangelo & Sebastiano Paperback Catalogue

Exhibition preview

UNTIL June 25, 2017, the National Gallery is presenting the first ever exhibition devoted to the creative partnership between Michelangelo (1475–1564) and Sebastiano del Piombo (1485–1547). Entitled simply Michelangelo & Sebastiano, it features exceptional loans, some of which have not left their collections for centuries.

Michelangelo & Sebastiano explores the complementary talents, yet divergent personalities, of the two artists. It encompasses approximately seventy works – paintings, drawings, sculptures and letters – produced by Michelangelo and Sebastiano before, during and after their association.

Examples of their extensive, intimate correspondence offer us a unique insight into their personal and professional lives; their concerns, frustrations and moments of glory.

In 1511, Sebastiano, a young, exceptionally talented Venetian painter, arrived in Rome. He was quickly embroiled in the city’s fiercely competitive art scene. He met Michelangelo, who was working on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and the two quickly became friends and allies against the prodigious Raphael; another recent arrival whose star was rising with the most influential patrons in Rome.

As the only oil painter in the city to rival Raphael, Sebastiano was an ideal collaborator for Michelangelo, who did not care for the medium but wanted to marginalise his younger competitor. For his part, Sebastiano profited immensely from Michelangelo’s drawings and conceptual ideas. Together they created several works of great originality and rare beauty.

Their friendship lasted over twenty-five years, far beyond Michelangelo’s long-term relocation to his native Florence (1516) and Raphael’s death (1520). It ended acrimoniously after Michelangelo’s permanent return to Rome to paint the ‘Last Judgement’ in the Sistine Chapel, apparently with an argument over painting technique.

Their partnership unfolded during a remarkably dramatic time for Italy – one of revolution, war and theological schism, but also of great intellectual energy and artistic innovation.

A key loan to the exhibition is the ‘Lamentation over the Dead Christ’, also known as the Viterbo ‘Pietà’ (about 1512–16) after the central Italian town where it resides. This painting is Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s first collaboration and eloquently represents their combined vision. Rarely seen outside of Italy, it is also the first large-scale nocturnal landscape in history, iconographically original for its separation of Christ from his mother’s lap.

In its time, the Viterbo ‘Pietà’ was received with widespread praise, and on its merits Sebastiano garnered his next two major commissions, both of which were completed with Michelangelo’s input – the decoration of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, Rome (1516–24) and ‘The Raising of Lazarus’ (1517–19). The latter was painted in competition with Raphael’s great ‘Transfiguration’ (now Vatican Museums) for the Cathedral of Narbonne, France, from which it was removed in the 18th century.

‘The Raising of Lazarus’ eventually became part of the foundational group of paintings forming the National Gallery Collection in 1824, where it was given the very first inventory number, NG1.

Recent scientific research conducted at the National Gallery has provided new insights into the two artists’ respective work on ‘The Raising of Lazarus’. Infrared reflectography has revealed Sebastiano’s contribution to be more substantial and independent of Michelangelo’s influence than previously assumed. It is now understood that Michelangelo only intervened at a relatively advanced stage in the painting’s development, revising in drawings the figure of the revived Lazarus, which Sebastiano had already painted.

Among other exhibition highlights is ‘The Risen Christ’ by Michelangelo, a larger-than-life-size marble statue carved by Michelangelo in 1514–15, generously lent by the Church of S. Vincenzo Martire, Bassano Romano (Italy). ‘The Risen Christ’ is being shown with a 19th-century plaster cast after Michelangelo’s second version of the same subject (1519–21), which resides in – and never leaves – the S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome. Never attempted before, this juxtaposition presents visitors with the first ever opportunity to see these statues side by side.

Sebastiano’s ‘Visitation’ from the Louvre, Paris, and the ‘Lamentation over the Dead Christ’ from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, have also left their collections for the first time to travel to Trafalgar Square. The latter has been united with Sebastiano’s ‘Christ’s Descent into Limbo’ (1516) from the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and Francisco Ribalta’s 17th-century copy of Sebastiano’s lost ‘Christ Appearing to the Apostles’. The three paintings are being presented in their original triptych format for the first time since they were separated in 1646.

To evoke the experience of seeing the works in situ, groundbreaking technology is being used to present a spectacular three-dimensional reproduction of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, Rome. Using the most advanced digital imaging and reconstruction techniques, the National Gallery is bringing the chapel to London for an immersive experience of the structure much as it was created.

Matthias Wivel, curator of The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano, said:

“This is the first exhibition of its kind anywhere, and the first to showcase the work of Sebastiano in the UK. Although highly esteemed among collectors in the 19th century, Sebastiano has since slipped from our awareness in large part due to his close association with Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian. I hope this will encourage a new look at this tremendously original artist, while highlighting an overlooked aspect of Michelangelo’s activity.”

Director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, said:

“The exhibition introduces us into the very heart of High Renaissance Rome, where a new and heroic art was being forged. Against a background of war and religious conflict Michelangelo and Sebastiano produced works about life, death and resurrection which are among the most powerful and moving ever made. This is a unique opportunity to see an exceptional gathering of masterpieces.”

Since 2008, the National Gallery and Credit Suisse have been working together in a unique partnership, which provides a vital funding platform for the Gallery’s exhibitions and educational programmes. David Mathers, CEO of Credit Suisse International, said:

“We are delighted to be sponsoring this landmark exhibition which allows visitors to study the extraordinary professional alliance and artistic friendship between Michelangelo and Sebastiano del Piombo during the height of the Renaissance in the sixteenth century. The exhibition is particularly special because it features exceptional loans and will give visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy art treasures which have not left their collections for centuries.”

A paperback catalogue (pictured) is available from the National Gallery Shop.

Admission: Full price: £18; Seniors: £16; National Art Pass (ArtFund) holders: £9; Student/Jobseeker/12–18 years: £9.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5pm); Fridays from 10am to 9pm (last admission 8.15pm).

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN


Royal Academy of Arts announces Eileen Cooper RA as the co-ordinator for the Summer Exhibition 2017

Exhibition preview

THE ROYAL Academy’s 249th Summer Exhibition will be co-ordinated by Eileen Cooper RA.

The hanging committee will consist of Royal Academicians Ann Christopher, Gus Cummins, Bill Jacklin, Fiona Rae, Rebecca Salter and Yinka Shonibare. This year, the Architecture Gallery will be curated by Farshid Moussavi RA.

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission exhibition providing a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience.

Eileen Cooper is a painter and printmaker known for her instantly recognisable style, sometimes described as “magical realism”.

Cooper studied at Goldsmiths College from 1971-1974 and was taught by fellow Royal Academicians Michael Craig Martin and the late Albert Irvin. She went on to study at the Royal College of Art and by the 1980s was exhibiting widely. She became a Royal Academician in 2000 and was elected as the Keeper of the Royal Academy in 2010, the first woman in this role since the RA began in 1768.

This year, the Royal Academy received 12,000 entries from both UK and International artists, from which the committee will make a selection to hang in the Main Galleries in Burlington House. Around 1200 works, in a range of media, will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original artwork by high profile and up-and-coming artists.

One of the founding principles of the Royal Academy of Arts was to ‘mount an annual exhibition open to all artists of distinguished merit’ to finance the training of young artists in the Royal Academy Schools.

The Summer Exhibition has been held every year without interruption since 1769 and continues to play a significant part in raising funds to finance the current students of the RA Schools. The RA Schools is the longest established art school in the UK and offers the only free three-year postgraduate programme in Europe.

Eileen Cooper, co-ordinator of the Summer Exhibition 2017 said: “As Keeper of the Royal Academy I am committed to the Summer Exhibition, given its support of the RA Schools students over the past 249 years. I have submitted work to the Summer Exhibition since I was an art student and subsequently many times as an Academician. I am delighted to be the co-ordinator this year and to be working with such an exciting committee.”

The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award and other Prizes

Over £50,000 is offered in awards and prizes for every category of work in the Summer Exhibition.

Established in 1978, the Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award is, at £25,000, one of the largest and most prestigious art prizes in Britain. Previous winners include: David Nash RA (2016), Rose Wylie RA (2015), Wolfgang Tillmans RA (2014), El Anatsui Hon RA (2013), Anselm Kiefer Hon RA (2012), Alison Wilding RA (2011) and Yinka Shonibare RA (2010).

Sponsor’s Statement

Abdallah Nauphal, Chief Executive Officer, Insight Investment said: “Insight’s long association with the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition has spanned more than a decade and we are honoured to play a role in its enduring success. As a public entry competition for artists from all walks of life, it helps to inspire innovative new work and provides the opportunity for them to be associated with a world-leading institution. We hope everyone who experiences the Summer Exhibition will share our enthusiasm for this remarkable event.”

Dates: Tuesday, June 13 to Sunday, August 20, 2017.

Times: 10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm). Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Admission: Prices include the List of Works giving details on every exhibit in the show. Adult ticket £15.50 (£14 excluding Gift Aid donation); concessions available; under 16s and Friends of the RA go free. Tickets are available daily at the RA or by visiting

Group bookings: Groups of 10+ are asked to book in advance. Telephone 020 7300 8027 or email

Also at the Royal Academy of Arts: America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s (until June 4, 2017).

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Tel (for public information): 020 7300 8090.


Where the Thunderbird Lives: cultural resilience on the Northwest Coast of North America

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Where the Thunderbird Lives: cultural resilience on the Northwest Coast of North America is on display at the British Museum (Room 91) until August 27, 2017.

The exhibition explores the rich cultural heritage of Northwest Coast Peoples through a collection of evocative and powerful objects spanning thousands of years.

It is the British Museum’s first exhibition focusing on the Pacific Northwest Coast and celebrates the cultural resilience of the communities in this region. With over 9,000 years of cultural, linguistic and genetic continuity, these societies have successfully maintained their identity and way of life in a rapidly changing world.

The exhibition commemorates the tradition of the Thunderbird, a legendary ancestral being who symbolises great strength in Northwest culture and art.

On display will also be striking masks depicting ancestral stories and intricate form-line narrations of histories and lineages, demonstrating how people both today and in the past enshrine their conceptions of the world within objects that create their material heritage.

Northwest Coast Peoples have one of the longest continuous cultural traditions in the Americas. Revealing the connections between their dynamic history and lived reality, the exhibition will bring into dialogue the past, present and the future of Northwest Coast Peoples.

The displayed objects are arranged chronologically and geographically, taking the visitor on a journey through the artistic expressions that embody their longstanding values and beliefs.

One side of the exhibition will display themes of strength showcasing 2,500 year old stone tools and early historic weapons. The other side will feature contemporary art and regalia from the Northwest Coast collections as testament to the innovative practices and economic adaptation of these thriving communities following the arrival of Europeans in the 18th Century.

The vibrant culture of the Pacific Northwest Coast is underpinned by power, environment, kinship and interaction. Displayed in the middle of the exhibition will be treasured objects that immortalise these shared core values, including the precious and honoured Potlatch objects. Copper shield shaped sculptures are gifted during an opulent and elaborate ceremonial feast, which are held by powerful chiefs to reaffirm social status and denote the wealth of the hosting family.

Where the Thunderbird Lives reveals the stories and histories behind these works of art that have united generations and provided stability in the face of great change.

The mountainous fjords, lush islands and temperate forests that stretch along the coastline from Alaska, British Columbia and Washington State are home to the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Nisga’a, Kwakwaka’wakw, Coast Salish Peoples, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Makah among many others. These peoples have created some of the most extraordinary carving and weaving traditions in the world and many of these are displayed for the first time in the British Museum’s history.

The survival and continued practice of these powerfully beautiful forms of artistic expression have become iconic of Northwest Coast culture. Where the Thunderbird Lives invites visitors to consider their own identity and cultural resilience during a time of global change.

The exhibition also speaks to the wealth of objects displayed at the British Museum, like that of Totem Poles in the Great Court, and will showcase some of the wonderful North American collections.

Image: Rattle in shape of a bird by Nuu-chah-nulth artist Patrick Amos, 1980s. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Admission: Free.

Opening hours: Saturday to Thursday, 10am to 5.30pm; Fridays, 10am to 8.30pm.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

March 2017 at Proud Galleries includes The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus

Exhibition preview

PROUD Galleries have two new exhibitions opening in March 2017 – The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus and Access All Areas: Photographs by Paul Harries.

The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus will be on display at Proud Chelsea from March 16 to May 14.

Proud Chelsea will showcase a moving documentation of the legendary band’s phenomenal ascent by photographer David Magnus, who bore witness to some of their greatest moments.

This exhibition, featuring many previously unseen photographs, is a fascinating and deeply candid insight into The Beatles during an historic occasion taken at the world famous EMI Studio 1 in Abbey Road.

Magnus’s rare and remarkable collection from this inimitable occasion highlights the band’s domineering presence and influence within the music industry whilst reflecting the recognition, admiration and excitement that sparked the world-over across the last five decades.

Each photograph is limited to 50 and signed by David Magnus.

Access All Areas: Photographs by Paul Harries will be on display at Proud Camden from March 9 to April 23.

Access All Areas: Photographs by Paul Harries is an exhibition showcasing Harries’ iconic collection of rock legends from over two extraordinary decades.

Proud Camden will explore Harries’ distinctive portfolio of celebrated icons including Metallica, Slipknot, Slash and Muse, each injected with his unmistakable style and creativity.

Access All Areas will reveal a memorable collection of Harries’ photographs, from the 1990’s to the present day, revealing a captivating glimpse into all aspects of the Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle, including live photographs of Nirvana during sell-out performances, candid shots of Slash and Ozzy Osbourne and a series of photo-manipulated images including an iconic photograph of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson in a replica WW1 plane.

Image: The Beatles on the set at Abbey Road studios with a background of balloons, 1967 © David Magnus. Featured in ‘The Beatles Unseen’. Signed Silver Gelatin. Limited Edition: 50. Print Size: 20×24”. £1400 ex VAT.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 - Barbican Art Gallery

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 will be on display in the Barbican Art Gallery from Thursday, March 23 to Sunday, June 25, 2017.

This is the first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War to now, a field which has consistently produced some of the most influential and extraordinary examples of modern and contemporary design.

In the wake of the war, the widespread devastation of Tokyo and other cities in Japan brought an urgent need for new housing, and the single family house quickly became the foremost site for architectural experimentation and debate. In the years following, Japanese architects have consistently used their designs to propose radical critiques of society and innovative solutions to changing lifestyles.

Considering developments in residential architecture in the light of important shifts in the Japanese economy, urban landscape, and family structure, The Japanese House presents some of the most exciting architectural projects of the last 70 years, many of which have never before been exhibited in the UK.

As well as architectural projects, the exhibition incorporates cinema, photography and art in order to cast new light on the role of the house in Japanese culture.

Architects include: Takefumi Aida, Atelier Bow-Wow, Takamitsu Azuma, dot architects, Go Hasegawa, Itsuko Hasegawa, Hiromi Fujii, Terunobu Fujimori, Sou Fujimoto, Ikimono Architects, Kumiko Inui, Osamu Ishiyama, Toyo Ito, Yuusuke Karasawa, Kiyonori Kikutake, Chie Konno, Kisho Kurokawa, Kiko Mozuna, Hideyuki Nakayama…

…Kazuhiko Namba, Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA), Keisuke Oka, onishimaki + hyakudayuki architects, Antonin Raymond, Junzo Sakakura,Kazunari Sakamoto, Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA), Kazuo Shinohara, Seiichi Shirai, Kenzo Tange, Tezuka Architects, Riken Yamamoto, Junzo Yoshumira,Takamasa Yoshizaka and others.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 is curated by Florence Ostende (Barbican Centre, London), in collaboration with Kenjiro Hosaka (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) and Pippo Ciorra (MAXXI, National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome). The Chief Advisor is Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow-Wow). The exhibition is designed by Lucy Styles.

Events include a lecture from Ryue Nishizawa, on March 26 in the Barbican Hall.

Also at the Barbican: Into the Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction, a genre-defining exploration of one of popular culture’s most celebrated realms (Saturday, June 3 to Friday, September 1, 2017).

LGBTQ histories at the British Museum

Exhibition preview

THIS year, 2017, is the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in July 1967. This legislation partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales and marks an important milestone in the campaign for equality.

To celebrate this anniversary, the British Museum will host two displays and a public programme relating to LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) histories. There will also be an accompanying trail through the permanent galleries.

David Hockney: Fourteen Poems from C P Cavafy – March – May 2017. Room 90a. Free.

In 1966, David Hockney produced a series of etchings inspired by the work of the Greek poet C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933). Cavafy’s poetry reflects his personal experience as a Greek raised in Alexandria and his knowledge of the ancient Mediterranean world. Same-sex love and desire is a central theme in Cavafy’s work.

In making the Cavafy etchings, Hockney drew upon his own experiences as an openly gay artist. The publication of Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy reflects changing attitudes to same sex-relationships in England and Wales during the 1960s culminating in the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967.

Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories – May 11 to October 15, 2017. Room 69a. Free.

The display Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories provides glimpses into LGBTQ experience across time and around the world through the British Museum’s collection. The earliest object dates from around 9000BC. Some objects relate to named individuals; others offer glimpses into what the novelist EM Forster memorably described as a ‘great unrecorded history.’

Ranging chronologically from ancient history to the present day, the objects often prompt questions, challenging the contemporary viewer to consider the assumptions that they may bring to objects from other cultures, traditions or the more distant past.

The display draws on material from across the breadth of the Museum’s collection including coins, medals, and prints. As well as highlighting famous figures such as the poetess Sappho, and the Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous, the display looks beyond Europe’s classical past to explore less familiar themes and stories.

This display will include modern and contemporary works (such as Otsuka Takashi’s Drag Queen Deck) and a selection of LGBTQ campaign badges from the 1970s to the present day.

The British Museum has longstanding relationships with LGBTQ organisations, and many individuals shared their expertise and experiences to help shape the final display.


A significant number of objects related to LGBTQ histories are currently on display in the British Museum’s permanent galleries. A trail will be developed to help visitors easily identify these objects and explore LGBQT histories in the Museum’s collection in more depth.

The trail will be based around a core of 10-15 key objects in the permanent galleries, allowing the LGBTQ aspects of these artefacts to be explored in their particular historical and cultural context.

The trail will include collection highlights, objects such as the remarkable Warren Cup, a Roman silver drinking cup dating to the 1st century AD decorated with scenes showing two pairs of male lovers. The Warren Cup was acquired by the Museum in 1999; its history provides a powerful illustration of changing attitudes to homosexuality.

Additional interpretation will be added to key objects where this is needed to fully explore each artefact’s individual story. When the exhibition ends, temporary trail interpretation will be removed, but new permanent labels will be installed to ensure that the LGBTQ significance of the object is captured, creating a lasting legacy.

Public programme: lectures and events

Hidden in plain sight: finding LGBTQ histories at the British Museum – in Room 61 on February 14, 2017 (1:15pm to 2pm).

A gallery talk by Laura Phillips, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories, on LGBTQ objects in the permanent collection.

Exploring LGBTQ histories at the British Museum – February 19, 2017 (10.30am to 4pm).

This all day event is part of the OUTing the Past National Festival of LGBT History in collaboration with LGBT History Month. The programme will include talks and creative family activities focused on objects with LGBTQ stories in the British Museum’s collection.

Free talks will run in the BP Lecture Theatre from 10.30am to 2.40pm. These talks range from Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals, discussing LGBTQ badges to Stuart Frost and Laura Phillips, from the British Museum, discussing the forthcoming display on LGBTQ histories.

LGBTQ: our family – 11am to 4pm, Great Court. Free, just drop in.

The British Museum will host a family craft activity inspired by LGBTQ History Month that explores how families are unique. Visitors can work with an artist to create a family portrait inspired by works in the collection and make a love token to take home.

LGBTQ: digital rethink – February 19, 2017, 11am to 12 noon, 1pm to 2pm and 3pm to 4pm, Rooms 51, 69 and 70. Free, just drop in.

Visitors can use digital tablets to make posters inspired by the relationships depicted on Museum objects. Visitors are encouraged to rethink who made the objects, who they were for and what their impact is.

Suitable for ages 7+.

Activity supported by Samsung as part of the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre.

LGBTQ Objects of desire tour with Babs Guthrie – Saturday, March 11 from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.

David Hockney’s Fourteen Poems from C P Cavafy – Room 90a on Thursday, April 6 from 1.15pm to 2pm.

A gallery talk by Stuart Frost, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.

David Hockney: from poetry to print – Room 90a on Wednesday, May 3 from 1.15pm to 2pm.

A gallery talk by Jennifer Ramkalawon, curator of Western Modern and Contemporary Graphic Works.

Desire Love Identity – Room 69a on Tuesday, May 16 from 1.15pm to 2pm.

A gallery talk by Stuart Frost, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.

LGBTQ Objects of desire tour with Babs Guthrie – Friday, May 19 from 7pm to 8pm.

Desire Love Identity – Room 69a on Thursday, July 27 from 1.15pm to 2pm.

A gallery talk by Laura Phillips, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.

Image: David Hockney, “In the Dull Village” 1966, Ink on paper, 12 3/8 × 9 7/8” © David Hockney.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

The LEGO Batman Movie® installation - Southbank

Event preview

THE LEGO Batman Movie® installation is due to land on the south bank of the Thames on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, to mark the release of The LEGO® Batman Movie on February 10.

The ground-breaking installation will be the biggest ever LEGO® Batarang and will consist of 35,000 LEGO® pieces and stand three metres tall, creating the illusion Batman’s famous utility has crash-landed onto Observation Point.

It will be unveiled by Duncan Titmarch (The official LEGO Master Builder) at 8.30am and he will be joined by costume characters of Batman, Robin and Batgirl from the movie.

A dynamic scene will be created using a huge section of broken ground, burning rubble and lighting effects, making it an incredibly dynamic piece of art by day and night.

The installation, which will be in place for two days and nights, has been crafted by Duncan Titmarsh (Britain’s only official professional LEGO builder) and his team at Bright Bricks.

View pictures and find out more

Image: Britain’s celebrated ‘Legography’ photographer Andrew Whyte teamed up with The LEGO® Batman Movie with a little help from its star Will Arnett to create a spectacular and humorous set of perspective shots of a LEGO® Batman Minifigure’s day out in London. This is one of them.

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes - London’s South Bank

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes - Batman

Exhibition preview

FOLLOWING a successful run in Madrid, The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes makes its London debut on March 1, 2017.

The contemporary art exhibition will be shown in an exclusively built space on London’s South Bank, home to the capital’s cultural quarter.

Together with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the well-known and celebrated artist Nathan Sawaya has created the world’s largest collection of artwork inspired by DC’s Justice League, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, alongside DC Super-Villains the Joker, Harley Quinn and more.

Through a series of immersive galleries, The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes showcases Sawaya’s interpretations on characters, vehicles, environments and themes found throughout DC Super Heroes mythology including transformation and reinvention, strength and weakness, as well as good vs. evil.

To kids and adults who love LEGO, Sawaya is a bit of a super hero. For the last decade, the former lawyer-turned-artist has elevated the simple toy to highly sought-after artwork, and has inspired countless kids to think outside of the box. Sawaya has turned to the stories of super heroes for his own inspiration in this exhibition — The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes – that features LEGO sculptures that emulate DC’s legendary characters, vehicles, surroundings and themes that are present in the DC mythology.

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes exhibition includes more than 120 original pieces, created exclusively from LEGO bricks, including a life-size Batmobile (5.5 meters) and built from half a million standard pieces. Sawaya has captured on a real scale some of the most iconic Super Heroes and Super-Villains from DC, exploring more than 80 years of history.

“Just like Superman, we all have our own story. This art collection is based on the elements of the journey of a super hero, including the moment in which we are all called to the adventure,” explains Sawaya. “I can’t wait to return to London with The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes following the warmth of the welcome The Art of the Brick received in 2014.”

“As a kid I spent Saturday mornings sitting on the floor playing with LEGO and watching the DC Super Friends cartoons. I would imagine the people in my LEGO city would have super powers and could defeat any evil nemesis – which usually meant my sister’s dolls. So this new collection of artwork is a dream come true for me. It is an honour to re-imagine these seminal characters and stories in a new way, through my medium of choice,” Sawaya said.

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes - Superman

“We are incredibly excited to continue our partnership with Nathan on this unique and fascinating global touring exhibition, that combines DC icons with LEGO, in an immersive entertainment experience,” said Peter van Roden, Senior Vice President, Global Themed Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Whether you’re a comic fan, a LEGO fan, or an art fan, there is something for everyone in this signature exhibition.”

“Kuma is excited to be bringing Nathan Sawaya’s work back to the UK, and many of our team were also part of the promotional team that brought The Art of the Brick here in 2014. We know first-hand how his art inspires and engages the visitor, and are looking forward to bringing the experience of The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes to London,” said Kuma CEO Paul Gregg.

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes is in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment. The exhibition holds true to the creative disciplines of Sawaya’s original touring exhibition, The Art of the Brick, which encourage inspiration, education and participation and has been seen by millions of people in more than 75 cities across six continents. Award-winning and record-breaking, CNN rated it as one of the world’s “Must See Exhibitions.”

To watch trailer visit

Tickets: Adult: £16.50, Child (4 – 16): £11. Under 4: Free. Concessions available. To book, call 0333 247 0620 or visit

NB: Special opening week offer, all single tickets £10 from March 1 until March 6.

Times: Sunday to Wednesday: 10am to 6pm; Thursday: 10am to 8pm; Friday and Saturday: 10am to 7pm. Last admission one hour before closing.

London’s South Bank, Doon Street Car Park, Upper Ground, London, SE1 2PP

A new art fair comes to London in March 2017

Event news

TALENTED Art Fair is the latest addition to London’s growing art fair scene, with its inaugural edition taking place at the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch from March 17 to March 19, 2017.

Founded by the team behind the now well-established New Artist Fair, Talented offers a new physical platform for some of today’s most exciting and talented British and international artists to exhibit and sell their work directly to the public.

While The New Artist Fair’s primary aim, as its name rightly suggests, is to introduce the work of new artists, Talented will complement its sister-fair by taking it to the next level and focusing on more established artists.

Having skillfully curated and run art exhibitions and fairs since 2011, the organisers recognised a gap in the market for artists with a successful track record in selling their work who also want to present their art directly to the general buying public.

Talented Director and Founder Oliver Norris said: “We wanted to create an art fair for all art lovers, seasoned collectors or first-time buyers; a place where they can confidently buy an artwork in the full knowledge that they are making a solid investment”.

And in a bid to also make buying and collecting art properly accessible, the Talented Art Fair team have carefully selected over 100 highly talented artists, including painters, sculptors, print makers and ceramicists, who will be offering original art from as little as £100 to a maximum of £4,000, making it a truly affordable art fair.

For more information visit

Private View: Friday, March 17 from 6pm to 9pm.

Public Opening: Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 from 12pm to 6pm.

Talented Art Fair, The Old Truman Brewery, London, E1