Posted tagged ‘British Museum’

Three of London’s most famous cultural institutions shine a spotlight on American art

January 19, 2017

Three of London’s most famous cultural institutions shine a spotlight on American art  
American history and culture will be at the forefront of a series of world class exhibitions due to go on display in London this year.

Over the next 12 months, five exhibitions featuring some of America’s most celebrated artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Grant Wood, Robert Rauschenberg and Alice Neel will come to London. Many of the exhibitions will feature iconic works of art such as Rauschenberg’s Monogram 1955-59 and others which have never been seen before in the United Kingdom like Wood’s famous piece American Gothic.

The exhibitions at the British Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts and Tate Modern, will cover a range of artistic movements from the 20th century, from Regionalism to Surrealism and from Abstraction to Pop Art, and will prove a big draw for visitors to the city.

The Royal Academy of Arts’ February exhibition, America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s, will examine how American artists’ chronicled the unsettled economic, political and aesthetic climate that dominated the decade following the Wall Street Crash of 1929. In the autumn, the Royal Academy will present a survey of one of the most influential living US artists, Jasper Johns. Bringing together the artist’s paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, from his innovations in sculpture to his use of collage in paintings, the exhibition will give focus to different chapters of Johns’ career.

In March, the British Museum will stage The American Dream: pop to the present, an exhibition charting the creative momentum of the print across five decades of turbulent and dynamic US history. The show will include works by American greats such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, Chuck Close and Louise Bourgeois, alongside more recent works from artists such as Kara Walker, Willie Cole and The Guerrilla Girls.

Later in the year, Tate Modern’s major summer exhibition, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (12 July – 22 October 2017), will explore how ‘Black Art’ was defined, rejected and redefined by artists across the US in the period between 1963 – 1983. Many works will be on display in the UK for the first time and will introduce UK audiences to American artists such as Norman Lewis, Lorraine O’Grady and Betye Saar.

Opened last month, Tate Modern’s Robert Rauschenberg, organised in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art in New York, is the first posthumous retrospective and the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s work for 20 years. Each chapter of Rauschenberg’s incredible six-decade career is represented by major international loans that rarely travel. The exhibition is open until the 2 April 2017.

Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons, said: “We are so lucky to have the world’s greatest museums and galleries here in London. One of our real strengths as a city is our internationalism, and our cultural institutions consistently and brilliantly celebrate this. As well as telling the story of our own nation, they also celebrate the world’s culture, and this series of exhibitions showcasing pioneering American artists of the last 50 years is no exception. From Surrealism to Pop Art, Londoners will have the chance to see incredible 20th Century pieces, reinforcing our reputation as a global centre for contemporary culture that is very much open to the world.”

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum said: “The American Dream is an extremely exciting project for the British Museum, highlighting our extraordinary holdings of American prints and drawings. As a new President enters the White House and another chapter of US history begins, it feels like an apposite moment to consider how artists have reflected America as a nation over 50 tumultuous years.”

Tim Marlow, Artistic Director at the Royal Academy of Art, said: “The Royal Academy of Arts is delighted to be joining the British Museum and Tate Modern in exploring and celebrating some of the decisive moments in 20th century American Art. Grant Wood’s epoch-defining painting American Gothic will travel to Britain for the first time as we examine the turbulent emergence of modernism in the 1930s in America after the Fall. We are also paying homage to one of the undisputed masters of modern art, Jasper Johns, in the first major survey in London of an innovative career spanning seven decades and still going strong.”

Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, said: “Tate Modern’s exhibitions celebrate both the familiar and the unfamiliar – from showing a key American figure like Rauschenberg in a new light, to exploring more diverse connections between America’s art and its social history in Soul of a Nation. We are delighted our exceptional international loans allow us to bring great American works to UK audiences, many for the first time.”

The British Museum, the Royal Academy and Tate Modern are among the capital’s most visited attractions welcoming over 12 million visitors in 2015.¹

Culture is a key driver for tourism to London, with 8 out of 10 visitors saying it is their main reason for coming to the city.² The exhibitions are due to go on display at a time when London offers better value than ever before for international tourists.

¹ According to Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
² London Visitor Survey, 2011

Search on for Londoners’ favourite cultural highlights and hidden gems

March 4, 2015

Search on for Londoners’ favourite cultural highlights and hidden gems

Londoners are being asked to name their personal hidden gems in a new poll to identify the cultural attractions they would recommend to tourists. Launched today, the poll is part of a new drive to promote the variety of cultural activity there is to be discovered across the capital.

The city is enjoying record visitor numbers, with international tourists making nearly 13.5 million trips here in the first nine months of 2014 – a six per cent increase compared to the same period in 2013. 80 per cent of visitors say culture is a key factor for coming to London, drawn by our free national museums, major galleries, grand theatres and concert halls and historic royal palaces and heritage sites.

Research shows that, as well as the high profile major institutions, visitors increasingly want to explore parts of the city that are off the beaten track and to discover cultural activity that feels more local and “authentic”

Later this month the Mayor of London will be publishing his vision for cultural tourism in the capital. Working with organisations both large and small, the aim is to maximise the potential of the full range of activity there is to be experienced across the capital, from the major museums, galleries and theatres in central London to the smaller and lesser known gems that are waiting to be discovered by visitors to the city.

There are hundreds of hidden gems to be enjoyed in every borough that a London insider might want to recommend to a visitor.

It could be a favourite small museum, like the Horniman in Dulwich, or the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow; a theatre such as the Lyric Hammersmith in west London, or cinema like the Everyman in Hampstead; a royal residence like Eltham Palace in Greenwich, or an example of Victorian engineering like the Crossness Pumping Station in Bexley; a walk through Highgate Woods, or a visit to see the rhododendrons and azaleas at the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park; a foodie destination like Broadway Market in Hackney or a historic pub like the Prospect of Whitby in Wapping.

We are calling on Londoners to tell us two things:

1. From the following list of top London cultural attractions, tell us which one is your favourite.
British Museum
National Gallery
Natural History Museum
Tate Modern
Coca Cola London Eye
Science Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
Tower of London
Royal Museums Greenwich
Madame Tussauds London

2. As a Londoner, what lesser known cultural gem would you recommend to a visitor looking for an insider tip?
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson says: ‘London tourism is a huge success story, with almost 19 million international tourists expected to have visited in 2014 – thanks to the unparalleled choice of world-class museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls on offer. We know increasing numbers of visitors want to try something a little bit different, or off the beaten track, and are looking for insider knowledge to get under the skin of the city. We are working with cultural organisations large and small to fully bring to life the cultural cornucopia that exists across the capital, from the visual arts to live performance, and unique heritage sites to lush green spaces.

‘As a Londoner, my own insider tip would be to suggest Highbury Fields, a small but perfectly formed green space in north London, where on warm days one can while away the hours with friends, a frisbee and a picnic.’


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