The Ashmolean announces 2012 Exhibition Programme
Howard Hodgkin Collection
Claude Lorrain: The Enchanted Landscape
Major Exhibition | Until 8 Jan 2012 | Galleries 57–61 | £9/£7 (inc. Gift Aid)
Claude Lorrain: The Enchanted Landscape is the first major exhibition in over a decade to look at the 17th-century master Claude Gellée (c.1600–1682), known as Claude Lorrain. In partnership with the Städel Museum, Frankfurt, the exhibition brings together 140 works from international collections, created at different points in Claude’s career. By uniting ‘pairs’ of his paintings and making a comprehensive survey of his work in different media, the exhibition brings new research to bear on his working methods. The show will display some of Claude’s greatest masterpieces, works which have made his art familiar and well-loved, in Great Britain especially. In placing these beside his graphic art and looking at his unique methods of working, the exhibition aims to expose an unexplored aspect in the work of one of the most famous names in Western Art.
Yakusha-e: Kabuki Prints - A Continuing Tradition
Temporary Display | Until 4 Mar 2012 | Gallery 29 | Admission Free
Kabuki, Japan’s popular theatre, has captivated audiences since the early 1600s, and brilliantly coloured woodblock prints of famous actors in their elaborate costumes and make-up have been sold to enthusiastic fans for most of its history. This exhibition of actor prints from the Ashmolean’s collection includes traditional depictions of kabuki actors by late 19th-century artists Kunisada and Kunichika, and recently-acquired works by contemporary printmaker Tsuruya Ko-kei.
Unwrapped: The Story of a Child Mummy
Temporary Display | Until 4 Mar 2012 | Gallery 14 | Admission Free
To coincide with the opening of the Ashmolean’s new galleries of Ancient Egypt and Nubia on 26 November, the Museum will host an installation of contemporary work by artist Angela Palmer, inspired by the collections. Unwrapped: The Story of a Child Mummy will be shown in the Cast Gallery, offering a unique and intimate glimpse beneath the wrappings of an Egyptian child mummy. The exhibition is the culmination of Palmer’s extraordinary four-year journey to discover the story of the boy who died between AD80–120. Using CT scans of the mummy made at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Palmer developed a technique to create a 3-D representation by drawing details from the scans onto multiple sheets of glass. A glass sculpture showing the child from three angles will form part of the display, along with plaster replicas of the boy’s skull and toes.
The Thames Tapestry
Temporary Display | 4 – 11 Jan 2012 | Gallery 21 | Admission Free
More than 200 schools along the length of the Thames have contributed to the creation of a single artwork - a multifaceted portrait of the river seen through the eyes of children who live on its banks. The 3-metre high tapestry depicts the Thames from its source to the estuary, showing how the river has shaped and influenced the communities through which it flows. For one week it will go on display in the Museum’s Randolph Sculpture Gallery.
Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin
Exhibition | 2 Feb–22 Apr 2012 | Galleries 59 & 60 | £6/£4 (inc. Gift Aid)
This exhibition of Indian paintings will show the collection of the artist Howard Hodgkin in its entirety for the first time. The collection comprises the main types of court painting that flourished during the Mughal period (c.1550–1850), including the refined naturalistic works of the imperial court, the subtle paintings of the Deccani Sultanates, and the bold, vibrant styles of the Rajput kingdoms. Hodgkin has
been a passionate collector of Indian paintings since his schooldays, and has made a personal collection, formed by an artist’s eye, which has long been considered one of the finest of its kind in the world.
Guercino: A Passion For Drawing - The Collection of Sir Denis Mahon
Temporary Display | 11 Feb–15 Apr 2012 | Galleries 58 & 61 | Admission Free
An adventurous and brilliant draughtsman, Guercino (1591–1666) was one of the great Italian Baroque
artists. He drew with a passion that revealed itself in the immediacy of his preparatory studies, exploring different possibilities for literary or religious subjects, landscapes and scenes of everyday life. The core of the display comes from the collection of Sir Denis Mahon (1910–2011), an internationally renowned art historian and collector of Italian Baroque art. His Guercino drawings were collected from
1930s–’60s, and came on loan to the Ashmolean to be seen by the widest possible audience.
Art at the Edge: Where Sport Becomes Art
Temporary Display | 19 March–20 May 2012 | Gallery 2 | Admission Free
To celebrate the London Olympics 2012, the Ashmolean will display a group of bronze sculptures from Art At The Edge, a commissioned series of sculptural studies, representing different Olympic and Paralympic sports. Each sculpture is cast in bronze and made by a different artist to reflect the cross section of contemporary British sculpture. The works will be placed in the Ashmolean’s Human Image
Gallery, amongst the Museum’s permanent collections.
The English Major Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland
Major Exhibition | 17 May–27 Aug 2012 | Galleries 57–61 | £9/£7 (inc. Gift Aid)
In January 1779, The Westmorland, an armed merchant ship sailing from Livorno to London, was captured by the French, laden with works of art, books and antiquities accumulated by Grand Tourists on their travels through Italy. The cargo was acquired by the King of Spain and presented to the Royal Academy in Madrid. New research has pieced together the story, offering a unique insight into the interests and everyday lives of British travellers. The English Prize assembles material from the captured ship, from portraits by Pompeo Batoni, to antique-style sculpture, guide-books, and maps, presenting an exhibition which is a mix of detective work and colourful characters from the 18th century.