Ancient History Repeating: The World of Stonehenge

It's a pretty tall ask to fit a few thousand years of use and relevance, plus all the geographic and social connections of an ancient monument into one exhibition, even if the exhibition is at the British Museum's newest, largest, and fairly flexible exhibition space. So, how did they do? In a pleasing act of … Continue reading Ancient History Repeating: The World of Stonehenge

Beastly, violent, but restrained: Francis Bacon at the RA

When visiting a retrospective of "Britain's" best-selling painter (as ever, the British are very good at claiming for their own successful Irishmen), it's best to take someone who is if not an expert on the man himself then at least interested enough to have read multiple biographies. Fortunately, I am in possession of just such … Continue reading Beastly, violent, but restrained: Francis Bacon at the RA

Delicate, emotional, and complex: Masculinity for the 21st Century?

The day before I went to the Barbican Gallery's "Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography" exhibition, I underwent the strenuous business of finding Westminster City Hall--not easy, when Google Maps insists this is either on South Bank by Westminster Bridge, where the ignoble "Shrek Adventure" is, or in Marylebone, rather than where it actually is, at 64 … Continue reading Delicate, emotional, and complex: Masculinity for the 21st Century?

The Virgin on the Rocks: How To Make An Exhibition Of One Painting

Or rather, how not to make an exhibition of one painting, particularly an exhibition with a £20 entry fee, of a painting which is usually available to view for free in the gallery, and is not a loan or recent acquisition. The Virgin on the Rocks: And Nothing But The exhibition space is arranged around a … Continue reading The Virgin on the Rocks: How To Make An Exhibition Of One Painting

Pacific Perspectives, Oceania, and James Cook

Featured string: Cooking up a Storm I created this particular string as a response to two exhibitions I attended more-or-less back-to-back. In a feat of coordination, the British Museum and the Royal Academy have produced two differing exhibitions on Pacific culture recently. They differ in scale, they differ in function, they differ in approach, layout, and … Continue reading Pacific Perspectives, Oceania, and James Cook