• A letter written by Sir Christopher Wren requesting stone for the construction of the Royal Hospital for Seamen in Greenwich is on display in the Painted Hall vestibule. Wren wrote the letter requesting 2,000 tonnes of Portland stone to Thomas Gilbert, overseer of the King’s Quarries of the Isle of Portland, on 11th October, 1700. It is being displayed along with information explaining how the stone was brought from Dorset to London. The display is one of a series of events taking place at the Old Royal Naval College marking the 300th anniversary of Wren’s death on 25th February, 1723. Can be seen until January, 2024. An admission charge applies. For more, see https://ornc.org/whats-on/painted-hall-display-letter-written-by-sir-christopher-wren/. For more on events surrounding the 300th anniversary of Wren’s death, head to https://ornc.org/celebrating-wren300/.
• Slavery, the cruel segregationist policies of the Jim Crow era, and the civil rights movement in the southern United States are all explored in a new exhibition at the Royal Academy. Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers: Black Artists from the American South, features around 64 works – including assemblages, sculpture, paintings, reliefs, and drawings – by 34 artists spanning the period from the mid-20th century to the present. Drawn mostly from the collection of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia, many of the works are being seen in Europe for the first time. The display in the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries also features quilts by the celebrated quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and the neighbouring communities of Rehoboth and Alberta. Opening on Friday, the exhibition can be seen until 18th June. Admission charge applies. For more, see royalacademy.org.uk.
• Three masterpieces from The National Gallery’s collection – by Hogarth, Gainsborough and the Le Nain Brothers – have gone on show at The Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury as part of a new exhibition exploring what family is and can be. Finding Family examines the ways in which artists have represented and responded to ideas of family with reference to the historic paintings as well as contemporary works of art. The art is accompanied by creative writing created by participants in ‘Tracing Our Tales’ – the museum’s award-winning programme for young care leavers – who have responded to the exhibition’s themes. Opens on Friday and runs until 27th August. Admission charge applies. For more, see https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/event/finding-family/.
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