Drawn In

Exclusively British - - MADE IN BRITAIN -

The Depart­ment of Prints and Draw­ings at the Bri­tish Mu­seum, Lon­don, con­tains the na­tional col­lec­tion of Western prints and draw­ings, in the same way as the Na­tional Gallery and Tate hold the na­tional col­lec­tion of paint­ings. It is one of the top three collections of its kind in the world. There are ap­prox­i­mately 50,000 draw­ings and over two mil­lion prints dat­ing from the be­gin­ning of the 15th cen­tury up to the present day. The col­lec­tion is avail­able to the pub­lic through a pro­gramme of tem­po­rary dis­plays in Room 90a ex­plor­ing ob­jects from across the col­lec­tion. There's a fas­ci­nat­ing ex­hi­bi­tion open­ing in Room 35 from 6th Septem­ber to 20th Jan­uary. Its work­ing ti­tle is ‘I Ob­ject' and it ex­plores how peo­ple have used ob­jects to sub­vert of­fi­cial ide­ol­ogy and to mock the pow­er­ful or to chal­lenge the sta­tus quo through­out his­tory. This ex­hi­bi­tion will fea­ture a range of ob­jects, the ear­li­est of which are 5,000 years old – from an­cient Me­sopotamia, Greece, Rome and Egypt to mod­ern Amer­ica, Mex­ico, Africa, China, Bri­tain and Europe. High­lights in­clude the suf­fragettes of the Ed­war­dian era, and the work of out­spo­ken Chi­nese artists. Take a look on­line for more de­tails at british­mu­seum.org.

Ex­plore our Mar­itime Past

2018 is an ex­cit­ing year for Royal Museums Green­wich with the open­ing of a num­ber of new galleries and exhibitions. Au­tumn will see the open­ing of the Ex­plo­ration Wing, four new galleries span­ning Pacific and Po­lar ex­plo­ration and Bri­tain's mar­itime past. At the Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum en­joy the work of some of Bri­tain's best loved pho­tog­ra­phers, Martin Parr, Tony-ray Jones, David Hurn and Si­mon Roberts in the spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion, The Great Bri­tish Sea­side: Pho­tog­ra­phy from the 1960s to the Present. The ‘Ex­plo­ration Wing' will bring four new per­ma­nent galleries to the Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum. Look­ing into ex­plo­ration in its widest sense, each of the four new galleries will bring the themes alive for peo­ple of all ages: ‘Pacific En­coun­ters'; ‘Po­lar Worlds'; ‘Tu­dor and Stu­art Sea­far­ers'; and ‘Sea Things', a gallery show­cas­ing the rich­ness of the Mu­seum's collections. In March, ‘The Great Bri­tish Sea­side: Pho­tog­ra­phy from the 1960s to Present' will open. Delv­ing into our love af­fair with the sea­side it will fea­ture over 100 works by some of Bri­tain's most cel­e­brated pho­tog­ra­phers and ex­plore our chang­ing re­la­tion­ship with the sea­side over the last six decades. Ex­pect to see im­ages from the archival collections of each of the pho­tog­ra­phers, news film as well as some never-be­fore-seen im­ages. Take a look on­line at rmg.co.uk.

In love with let­ters

Promis­ing a first class day out, The Postal Mu­seum in Lon­don holds a col­lec­tion span­ning five cen­turies of postal his­tory. It in­cor­po­rates ev­ery­thing from groundbreaking de­sign and quirky tech­nol­ogy to the in­ti­macy of per­sonal let­ters. The Mu­seum only opened last July and the ea­gerly awaited ‘Mail Rail' trans­ported vis­i­tors into un­charted tun­nels in Septem­ber. The open­ing marked the end of an am­bi­tious year and a half project, to con­vert a dis­used Clerken­well print­ing fac­tory into the new mu­seum site, and bring the dis­used Mail Rail tun­nels back to life as a ride for the first time in their 100-year his­tory. Cel­e­brat­ing the sur­pris­ing and quirky his­tory of Bri­tain's ear­li­est so­cial net­work, the post, The Postal Mu­seum con­tains five zones, lead­ing vis­i­tors through five cen­turies of world­class cu­riosi­ties and pro­vid­ing a dif­fer­ent view on some of the world's most sig­nif­i­cant his­tor­i­cal events. Each zone con­tains in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits de­signed to bring the story be­hind the post to life, from a growl­ing li­on­ess telling the story of the time an es­caped cir­cus li­on­ess at­tacked a Mail Coach, to an in­ter­ac­tive game where vis­i­tors take on the role of a Mail Coach guard, to a cinema show­ing ground-break­ing films by the Gen­eral Post Of­fice's own film unit, set up in the 1930s to pro­mote the or­gan­i­sa­tion's work. All of that, plus you can see the sculp­ture of Queen El­iz­a­beth II used to pro­duce the iconic im­age repli­cated more than 220 bil­lion times on stamps. The list of quirky things to see and do goes on and on. Tick­ets for The Postal Mu­seum and Mail Rail can be bought on­line in ad­vance at postal­mu­seum.org.

Pon­derin g Pl ants

Kew’s iconic Tem­per­ate House is set to re-open on 5th May, af­ter a five-year restora­tion. The big­gest in its his­tory, the un­der­tak­ing has been truly im­mense - the en­tire frame­work of the build­ing has been painstak­ingly re­paired, and its thou­sands of panes of glass re­placed, along with its in­tri­cate iron­work and ex­pan­sive paved floor­ing. Around 500 plants were taken out and housed in a tem­po­rary nurs­ery, with an in­cred­i­ble 10,000 go­ing back in, many of them prop­a­gated by Kew's lead­ing hor­ti­cul­tur­ists. While re­tain­ing its Vic­to­rian splendour, the ren­o­vated Tem­per­ate House will em­body cut­ting edge engi­neer­ing tech­niques, and is ex­pected to be a vi­tal, for­ward fac­ing bea­con of con­tem­po­rary plant ed­u­ca­tion. This mag­nif­i­cent struc­ture will once again be home – as it had been since its birth in 1863 – to some of the world's rarest and most threat­ened plants. The plants in the Tem­per­ate House will be made up of 1,500 species, from tem­per­ate re­gions around the world - the Mediter­ranean, Africa, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, South and Cen­tral Amer­ica, Asia, and Is­land flo­ras. A pro­gramme of in­ter­ac­tive events and artis­tic en­ter­tain­ment, run­ning through­out the sum­mer and de­signed for the whole fam­ily, will re­ally bring the sto­ries of these plants to life. Be one of the first to see the re­stored Tem­per­ate House by book­ing on­line at kew.org.

Engi­neerin g Feats

There's a fab­u­lous op­por­tu­nity to see the amaz­ing Con­corde at the new Aerospace Bris­tol this year. This new her­itage mu­seum and learn­ing cen­tre in north Bris­tol tells the story – past, present and fu­ture – of the South West's world-class aerospace in­dus­try. The mu­seum opened its doors back in Oc­to­ber to show­case the bril­liance of Bri­tish in­no­va­tion, de­sign and engi­neer­ing, dis­play­ing arte­facts span­ning 100 years of avi­a­tion his­tory and bring­ing to­gether na­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant ex­hibits and hidden ar­chive records for the first time. The show-stop­ping cen­tre­piece will be Con­corde Al­pha Fox­trot, the last Con­corde to be built and the last to fly. There will also be an ar­chive store and read­ing room, con­fer­ence and meet­ing spa­ces, play and pic­nic ar­eas, and a café and shop. Book your tick­ets on­line at aerospace­bris­tol.org.

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