• The only royal wedding dress that survives from the Georgian period – the silk embroidered bridal gown of Princess Charlotte of Wales, daughter of King George IV – is one of the star sights at a new exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.Style and Society: Dressing the Georgians features more than 200 works from the Royal Collection including rare surviving examples of clothing and accessories as well as artworks by artists such as Gainsborough, Zoffany and Hogarth. Other highlights include a portrait of the wedding ceremony of George IV and Princess Caroline of Brunswick by John Graham – on display for the first time – as well as the original silver and gold dress samples supplied for the bride and other royal guests. There’s also a Thomas Gainsborough,’ depicting’s full-length portrait of Queen Charlotte wearing a magnificent court gown, a preserved gown of similar style worn at Queen Charlotte’s court in the 1760, and life-size coronation portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte by Allan Ramsay. Other items include a 1782 portrait of Prince Octavius, the 13th child of George III and Queen Charlotte, by Benjamin West in which the three-year-old wears a a style of dress known as a ‘skeleton suit’, jewellery including diamond rings given to Queen Charlotte on her wedding day and a bracelet with nine lockets – one with a miniature of the left eye of Princess Charlotte of Wales, and accessories such as a silver-gilt travelling toilet service acquired by the future George IV as a gift for his private secretary at a cost of £300. The exhibition can be seen until 8th October. Admission charges apply. For more, see www.rct.uk.
• One of the finest copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio goes on display at the City of London’s Guildhall Library for just one day on Monday, 24th April, as part of the celebrations surrounding the 400th anniversary of its publication. The document will be on display between 10.30am to 3.30pm with a 10-minute introductory talk given on the hour throughout the day. Two small and original copies (‘Quartos’) of Henry IV Part One and Othello will also be on display, next to a replica copy of the First Folio that visitors can look through. The First Folio brought together 36 plays in one volume and was published in an edition of around 750 copies on 8th November, 1623 – seven years after Shakespeare’s death. It is now regarded as one of the most valuable books in the literary world. For more, see www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/history-and-heritage/guildhall-library.
• Prints and drawings acquired by the British Museum over the past five years have gone on show in Room 90.New acquisitions: Paul Bril to Wendy Red Star features works ranging from an early 17th-century study for a fresco by the Flemish artist Paul Bril to 19th century drawings by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 2019 prints by the Apsáalooke (Crow) artist Wendy Red Star and Cornelia Parker’s From H to B and back again – made during with the COVID-19 pandemic. Can be seen until 10th September. Admission is free. For more, see britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/new-acquisitions-paul-bril-wendy-red-star.
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• The collection of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library in New York is being celebrated in a new exhibition opening at the Royal Academy of Arts. Opening Saturday, Spain and the Hispanic World: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library features more than 150 works from the collection – founded in 1904 by Archer M Huntington – which range from paintings and sculptures to jewellery, maps and illuminated manuscripts. Highlights include Francisco de Goya’s painting The Duchess of Alba (1797), Pedro de Mena’s reliquary bust, Saint Acisclus (c1680), earthenware bowls from the Bell Beaker culture(c2400-1900 BC), Celtiberian jewellery from the Palencia Hoard (c150-72 BC), and Hispano-Islamic silk textiles including the Alhambra Silk (c1400). There’s also a beautifully illuminated Hebrew Bible (after 1450-97), an exceptionally rare Black Book of Hours (c1458), and, Giovanni Vespucci’s celebrated world map from 1526. The exhibition runs until 10th April. Admission charge applies. For more, see www.royalacademy.org.uk.
• The Lunar New Year is being celebrated in Greenwich this Saturday with a series of events at the National Maritime Museum. Activities range from Mahjong workshops to seeing a traditional lion dance, lantern making, a tea ceremony demonstration and, of course, the chance to find out about the items in the museum’s collection with Asian connections. For more, see www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/national-maritime-museum/lunar-new-year.
• Twenty contemporary artworks gifted by the Royal Academy of Arts to Queen Elizabeth II ar on display at The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace. The works on paper – created by Royal Academicians elected in the past decade – were presented to the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee in 2022. They include Wolfgang Tillmans’ Regina – a photograph taken during Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002 depicting the Queen in the Gold State Coach passing along Fleet Street, Yinka Shonibare’s Common Wealth – a digital print of an orchid against a collage of platinum leaf and Dutch wax printed fabric, and Sir Isaac Julien’s Lady of the Lake – a fictionalised portrait of the American abolitionist Anna Murray Douglass as well as a digital print of Thomas Heatherwick’s design for the Tree of Trees project. This 21-foot sculpture incorporates 350 saplings and was erected outside Buckingham Palace as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy and was illuminated during a special Platinum Jubilee ceremony on 2nd June last year. The works can be seen until 26th February. Admission charge applies. For more, see www.rct.uk.
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