Thursday 30 April 2015

National Gallery - 'Soundscapes' is now on sale

The National Gallery
Credit Suisse - Partner of the National Gallery

Soundscapes, 8 July - 6 September
Book now for our summer exhibition
'Soundscapes' invites musicians and sound artists to select a painting from the collection and compose a new piece of music or sound art in response. Immersive and site-specific, the experience encourages visitors to 'hear' the paintings and 'see' the sound.

The exhibition includes new works by composer Nico Muhly, Turner Prize-winning sound artist Susan Philipsz OBE, DJ and producer Jamie xx, Oscar-winning film composerGabriel Yared, recorder of wildlife and natural phenomena Chris Watson, and renowned installation and sound artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.
Book now
Members go free
Supported by the National Gallery Development Committee, Blavatnik Family Foundation and Susan and John Singer.
Join for free, unlimited entry to 'Inventing Impressionism', 'Soundscapes' and 'Goya: The Portraits'.
Join today

Museum of London - What's on in May

This month, we welcome a new free display tot he Museum of London, London Dust, which showcases recent work by artist Rut Blees Luxemburg. This small photography and film exhibition responds to the redevelopment of the City of London and the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis through contrasting an idealised London, with the gritty, unpolished reality.               

What's new this month

We're exploring the myths and mysteries of The Thames this May bank holiday weekend at the Museum of London Docklands with family events including crafts, storytelling and shows, in partnership with Cityread London.

This month, explore Roman Londinium with a new walk Londinium II: defences to civic centre, celebrate a literary master with Shakespeare's London and join our popular Evolving cityBlitz in the City and Smithfield tours.
Hidden London
Ever wanted to know what gets found beneath London's famous landmarks? Explore secret finds in a tour of our Archaeological Archive on 4 & 18 May.

>  Book now

25 Jun, 7-8pm
Love photography? Make sure you catch the curator of Soldiers and Suffragettes: The Photography of Christina Broom, Anna Sparham, in conversation with women’s history specialist Di Atkinson and Edwardian postcard expert Guy Atkins. You can also enjoy an exclusive after-hours viewing of the exhibition.  

Half term at the Museum of London Docklands
Join us for a week of craft, drama, storytelling and art workshops all about London's theatrical East End with family events from 23-31 May at the Museum of London Docklands.

>  Find out more

From Tudor theatres to the Olympic Opening Ceremony, we're getting to know the performances of London's past with a week of crafts, storytelling and drama for families of all ages at the Museum of London.

Journey through Canary Wharf and learn how the derelict West India Docks were transformed into a thriving business hub with our walk, Regeneration, on Sun 3 May.
>  Book now

To mark the launch of The Crime Museum Uncovered, we've teamed up with Penguin Books UK to offer you the chance to win a copy of the enthralling new crime novel from M.J. Carter, The Infidel Stain, and a pair of tickets to our major exhibition opening in October.

To enter, follow the link below and enter by 5pm, Sunday 31 May 2015.

On the blog

Read about the mystery of the 'spring bodice', currently in the museum's newShow Space, where we present some of our more recent arrivals, making connections with what's happening in London right now.

Partner promotions
Christopher Williams the Production Line of Happiness
29 April – 21 June
Whitechapel Gallery, Free
Somewhere between a film director, a picture editor and an art historian, American artist Christopher Williams investigates photography as the defining medium of modernism.

Changing Britain 1997-2015
Southbank Centre
Sat 2 May

A new political era dawns as the rise of Tony Blair's New Labour ends 18 years of Tory rule. Get 50% off talks, screenings, music, performance and visual arts by quoting BRITAIN when booking.

Find out more  
Olympia in kensignton
21-23 May
150 modern and contemporary galleries from 40 countries will present artists from across the globe. 2 for 1 tickets are available to Museum of London subscribers. Use code 'museumoflondon' to claim this special offer.

Museum of London                        
Archaeological Archive          

The birth of the weather forecast

Race-goers 1800s

The man who invented the weather forecast in the 1860s faced scepticism and even mockery. But science was on his side, writes Peter Moore.
One hundred and fifty years ago Admiral Robert FitzRoy, the celebrated sailor and founder of the Met Office, took his own life. One newspaper reported the news of his death as a "sudden and shocking catastrophe".
Today FitzRoy is chiefly remembered as Charles Darwin's taciturn captain on HMS Beagle, during the famous circumnavigation in the 1830s. But in his lifetime FitzRoy found celebrity not from his time at sea but from his pioneering daily weather predictions, which he called by a new name of his own invention - "forecasts".
There was no such thing as a weather forecast in 1854 when FitzRoy established what would later be called the Met Office. Instead the Meteorological Department of the Board of Trade was founded as a chart depot, intended to reduce sailing times with better wind charts.
With no forecasts, fishermen, farmers and others who worked in the open had to rely on weather wisdom - the appearance of clouds or the behaviour of animals - to tell them what was coming. This was an odd scenario - that a bull in a farmer's field, a frog in a jar or a swallow in a hedge-row could detect a coming storm before a man of science in his laboratory was an affront to Victorian notions of rational progress.
Early forecasting wit frogs
Early weather prediction, using frogs
Yet the early 19th Century had seen several important theoretical advances. Among them was an understanding of how storms functioned, with winds whirling in an anticlockwise direction around a point of low pressure.
Weather charts, another innovation, made it easier to visualise the atmosphere in motion. One influential theory argued that storms occurred along unstable fault lines between hot and cold air masses, just as we know earthquakes today happen on the boundaries of tectonic plates.
But despite this, the belief persisted among many that weather was completely chaotic. When one MP suggested in the Commons in 1854 that recent advances in scientific theory might soon allow them to know the weather in London "twenty-four hours beforehand", the House roared with laughter.
Admiral Fitzroy
But FitzRoy was troubled by the massive loss of life at sea around the coasts of Victorian Britain. Between 1855 and 1860, 7,402 ships were wrecked off the coasts with a total of 7,201 lost lives. FitzRoy believed that with forewarning, many of these could have been saved.
After the disastrous sinking of the Royal Charter gold ship off Anglesey in 1859 he was given the authority to start issuing storm warnings.
FitzRoy was able to do this using the electric telegraph, a bewildering new technology that, the Daily News observed, "far outstrips the swiftest tempest in celerity".
With the telegraph network expanding quickly, FitzRoy was able to start gathering real-time weather data from the coasts at his London office. If he thought a storm was imminent, he could telegraph a port where a drum was raised in the harbour. It was, he said, "a race to warn the outpost before the gale reaches them".

BP Portrait Award reveals 2015 shortlist

National Portrait Gallery

Three artists from the UK, Spain and Israel have been shortlisted for this year's BP Portrait Award at London's National Portrait Gallery, in a record-breaking year for entries.
British artist and three time runner-up Michael Gaskell is listed for a photo-realist painting of his niece Eliza.
He is up against Spanish painter Borja Buces Renard's My Mother and My Brother on a Sunday Evening and Israeli artist Matan Ben-Cnaan's Annabelle and Guy.
The winner will be announced in June.
The works will then go on display at the National Portrait Gallery from 18 June to 20 September, along with 52 of the other entries.
On top of the £30,000 prize, the winner also receives a commission worth £5000 to paint a portrait for the National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection.
This year, artists were allowed to submit images of their portraits digitally for the first time.
Organisers said this accounts for the striking increase in entries - 2,748 portraits, up from 2,377 last year.
The judging panel this year includes historian Simon Schama, artist Peter Monkman, and the National Portrait Gallery's Acting Director, Pim Baxter, who said "it was good to see even more international artists entering".
He added: "My fellow judges and I were impressed by the different styles of portraiture, some quite new to the exhibition, and intrigued by the different 'stories' behind the portraits."
Now in its 36th year and sponsored by BP for 27 years, the competition received portraits from 92 different countries.

Michael Gaskell's Eliza


Leicester-based Gaskell has been selected for the BP Portrait Award exhibitions five times, and was second prize winner on three occasions.
He was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in 2012 to paint a portrait of climate scientist Sir James Lovelock.
His shortlisted portrait is of his 14-year-old niece Eliza, and was influenced by the work of the 15th Century painter Hans Memling.
"I hope this painting conveys a sense of Eliza's growing confidence as she develops into a woman, but retains some of the self-consciousness which was also present at the time," said Gaskell.

Borja Buces Renard's My Mother and My Brother on a Sunday Evening

My Mother and My Brother on a Sunday Evening

Buces Renard, who works and lives between Madrid and Florida, has painted his mother and brother in the living room of his parents' house on a typical Sunday.
His father had not been able to join for such Sunday gatherings in some time, due to an illness which led to his death a few weeks after the painting was finished.
"Making this weekly event slowly disappear, I wanted to portray this emotion in my painting," he said.

Matan Ben-Cnaan's Annabelle and Guy

Annabelle and Guy

Ben-Cnaan is from the north of Israel.
His portrait features his friend Guy and step-daughter Annabelle, though he describes it as allegorical and partly inspired by the biblical story of Jephthah.
"The rough wall and rugged gravel echo the grittiness and grief in Guy's (Jephthah's) character, whilst the fig tree, casting an ominous shadow, presages Annabelle's fate," he said.