News item from 2012

Edward Lear Macaw

Autumn 2012: Exhibitions and Displays

Coming Soon:

College Commissions: All Souls & New College 2012

Display | 13 September – 28 October 2012 | Gallery 59 | Admission Free

All Souls College honours 27 members of its non-academic staff in a bold figurative painting by Benjamin Sullivan. Inspired by medieval altarpieces, it takes the form of a large triptych and echoes the styles of the artists Ford Madox Brown, Stanley Spencer and David Hockney. In contrast, New College’s abstract commission “A Dance To the Music of Time” presents 6 woven tapestries by the artist Jeni Ross. Designed for the Founders Library, the pieces take inspiration from the work of Bauhaus artist Johannes Itten, using 12 shades of blue to represent music and the passing of time.

Happy Birthday Edward Lear: 200 Years of Nature and Nonsense

Exhibition | 20 September 2012 – 6 January 2013 | Galleries 58 & 61 | £4 / £3 Concessions

To celebrate the bicentenary of Edward Lear (1812–1888) the Ashmolean is holding an exhibition covering all aspects of his work. From early natural history illustrations and extraordinary landscape sketches, to the nonsense drawings and verses for which Lear is so well known, the exhibition draws on the Ashmolean’s own collection, one of the largest and most important in the UK, and includes significant loans from the Bodleian Library and private collections.

Lady Impey’s Bird Paintings

Display | 16 October 2012 – 16 February 2013 | Gallery 29 | Admission Free

Painted by traditional Indian artists from Patna, these remarkable large scale studies of Indian and exotic birds were commissioned at Calcutta around 1780 by Mary, Lady Impey, the wife of the Chief Justice Sir Elijah Impey. The Impeys kept an extensive aviary and menagerie at their home, from which the artists could draw their observations. Most of the paintings in this display are by the highly gifted Shaikh Zain ud-Din, who successfully combined the refined technique of Mughal art with the latest European conventions of scientific natural history painting.

Gold Coinage in Britain

Display | From 22 Oct 2012 – 2013 | Gallery 1 | Admission Free

Explore the importance of gold in British history - the origin of the precious metal, the administrative and technical aspects of minting, and the design of finished coins.

Threads of Silk and Gold: Ornamental Textiles From Meiji Japan

Exhibition | 9 November 2012 – 27 January 2013 | Galleries 57, 59 & 60 | £6 /£4 Concessions

Many of us are aware of the beauty of the traditional Japanese kimono: Threads of Silk and Gold introduces the less familiar but equally spectacular ornamental textiles that were made in Japan for the foreign market in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Intricate embroideries and tapestries, dyed silks and velvets entranced Western audiences with their sophisticated designs and brilliant craftsmanship. The exhibition highlights Meiji textiles from the newly-acquired collection of the Sannenzaka Museum in Kyoto, one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of its type in existence.

Ongoing Displays:

Jenny Saville At The Ashmolean

Display | Until 16 September 2012 | Gallery 43 | Admission Free

Concurrent with a major exhibition of her work at Modern Art Oxford, the Ashmolean is displaying two new works by Jenny Saville on the theme of ‘mother and child’, taking inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci. Two of Saville’s large drawings will be displayed in the Museum’s Renaissance gallery as an ‘interaction’ with the Ashmolean’s permanent collections.

Faster Higher Stronger: Money and the Olympic Games

Display | Until 19 October 2012 | Gallery 7 | Admission Free

This special display shows coins, banknotes and medals concerning the Olympic Games from
historical and modern times, focusing on the themes of venue, events and trophies. It also
explores how the Olympic Games of the classical world were appropriated by the modern Olympic movement.

Unfolding Nature: Images of Summer in Chinese & Japanese Fan paintings

Display | Until 7 October 2012 | Gallery 29 | Admission Free

Folding fans have long been used to keep people cool in Asia. Carried by men as well as women, fans were important symbols of status and identity and they were often carefully decorated with smallscale paintings or calligraphic inscriptions. This display of Chinese and Japanese fan prints from the Museum’s reserve collections includes a selection of fans designed for the hot summer months.

Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sullivan Collection

Display | Until 27 January 2013 | Gallery 11 | Admission Free

The Sullivan Collection is one of the most important groups of modern and contemporary Chinese art in the west, belonging to the leading scholar on Chinese art, Prof Michael Sullivan. It was last exhibited at the Museum in 2002. This new display features works acquired in the last 10 years, some which have never been shown before. A companion exhibition will be held in Beijing in the autumn at the National Art Museum of China which will be the first time the collection is shown to the Chinese public.


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