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The Music of the Fans - Fan Museum

The Lady Violonist, Japanese fan c.1910

Exhibition preview

THE FAN Museum’s latest exhibition delves into the many facets of fans which feature musical instruments, musical themes, opera, ‘musicals’ and other music-related subjects.

Entitled The Music of the Fans, it will be on display from March 4 to July 4, 2010.

Did you know that, in 17th and 18th century Dutch paintings, the bagpipes (on account of their shape) had an erotic connotation? Have you ever stopped to wonder why the lyre is used so extensively in almost every form of decorative art?

This, and much more, is revealed in this ‘homage to Apollo’, which celebrates all things musical through the intricate and fine artwork from The Fan Museum’s extensive collections.

Subjects touched upon in this unusual and exciting exhibition relate to the great personalities in music, from Rossini and Wagner to Gilbert and Sullivan, with examples of contemporary ‘specials’, such as a small hand-painted autographed fan painted in a (very) limited edition for members of the Fan Circle International on a group matinée booking for Cats.

Most of the fans on show belong to the museum’s own collections, including a fan painted by Walter Sickert (after one of his own ‘compositions’) for one of his pupils. This features Little Dot Hetherington pointing to the spotlight in a number which she first sang but which Marie Lloyd made popular: The Boy that I love is up in the Gallery.

Musical instruments featured on the fans are complemented with loans of the actual objects, kindly lent by private individuals.

Admission: £4 (adults), £3 (concessions), free for OAPs and Disabled on Tuesdays from 2pm to 5pm (except for groups), free for children under the age of 7.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 5pm, Sunday from 12noon to 5pm.

The Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8ER