A FANTASTIC new programme has been unveiled at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.
Throughout 2019 the Gallery aims to bring the best of the nation’s art to Worcester, including artworks by Matisse and JMW Turner, and a family summer show from a galaxy far, far away.
Saturday February 2 sees the opening of Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition from the Southbank Centre, London which includes iconic images such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes.
Matisse designed costumes for the Ballets Russes, making him a natural partner for the exhibition Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes opening on the same day and offering a unique opportunity to see one person’s amazing collection of costume and ephemera from the spectacular ballet company.
In May the venue welcomes The Young Turner from the Ashmolean Museum, in a beautiful, detailed exhibition which highlights Turner’s love of architecture and includes his first sketchbook.
The summer show promises lots of family fun as ever. This summer visitors can travel to a galaxy far, far away for May The Toys Be With You. For little kids and big kids alike this is an unmissable opportunity to discover many rarely seen Star Wars toys and original cinema posters.
Staff are also pleased to launch their new activity bags for families to borrow when they visit, to help them explore the temporary exhibitions.
2019 marks curator Garston Phillips fifty years with the museum service. To celebrate his knowledge and commitment to the museum Garston has his own exhibition Fifty Objects: Fifty Stories which is on at the Art Gallery and Museum until Novembe 9.
Museum chiefs hope visitors will enjoy the selection of some of Garston’s favourite objects and artworks from the museum’s collection including a majestic golden eagle and a First World War anti-tank rifle.
Coun Lucy Hodgson, chairman of the Joint Museums Committee says: “We are very pleased to bring world-class art to Worcester throughout 2019.
“It is a rich and varied programme and it is fabulous to have these incredible works of art on our doorstep. We look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to enjoy the exhibitions, events and permanent displays.
“My personal highlight will be discovering the many objects chosen by our curator Garston that make up Fifty Objects: Fifty Stories”.
There are plenty of talks, events and activities in the new Art Gallery & Museum leaflet which can be picked up from the Gallery or the Tourist Information Centre at the Guildhall.
You can also follow the Gallery on Twitter or Facebook for up-to-date news @worcestermuseum www.facebook.com/worcestercitymuseumandartgallery or visit www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk.
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm and entry is free.
Fifty Objects; Fifty Stories
12 January – 9 November
Since 1969, for fifty years, Garston Phillips has curated the museum’s extensive and varied collections. His Fifty Objects; Fifty Stories exhibition allows Garston the opportunity to share with you the objects, tales, anecdotes and memories that have been special to him and have shaped this museum for five decades . This exhibition is a unique chance to celebrate half a century of wonderful stories from the museum.
MATISSE Drawing with Scissors
A Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition from the Southbank Centre, London
Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes
2 February – 27 April
This spring, two stunning exhibitions will combine to provide a spectacular, colourful show.
Matisse: Drawing with scissors
Henri Matisse was one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. His vibrant works are celebrated for their extraordinary richness and luminosity of colour and his spectacular paper cut-outs were his final triumph. This exhibition features 35 posthumous prints of the famous cut-outs that he produced in the last years of his life. It includes iconic images such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes.
Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes
A unique fabulous collection of costume and ephemera telling the stories of the Ballets Russes, the most spectacular and sometimes scandalous ballet company of the early 1900s. Never before seen together, the objects will pull visitors back to another era. Matisse was one of many artists commissioned to create costumes and scenery for the company, the exhibition also includes work by other great artists of the period including Dame Laura Knight.
The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspective
4 May – 6 July
JMW Turner’s drawings, paintings and engravings from the 1780s to the 1810s illustrate his interest in architecture and the sources of his inspiration. The works on display are drawn primarily from collections in the Ashmolean Museum, and are complemented by loans from the Tate and several private collections. On show will be Turner’s first sketchbook and some of his diagrams for the lectures in perspective he gave at the Royal Academy, which have rarely been exhibited before.
Exhibition organised by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
May The Toys Be With You
20 July – 14 September
From a galaxy far, far away comes one of the UK’s finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys and original cinema posters – an absolute must see for Star Wars fans of all ages.
26 September – 30 November 2019
The lure of the ruin has excited people for centuries, prompting us to visit and explore the leftovers of distant or recent civilisations. This exhibition of contemporary art curated by Meadow Arts from the Arts Council England collection, alongside important and rarely seen artworks from the museum’s collections, explores our fascination with what has passed, but survives as a Living Ruin. The exhibition complements Meadow Arts’ Ruins exhibition at nearby Witley Court (Summer 2019).
Crafted For You
16 November – 5 January
The Midlands has a special history as a centre for decorative making skills and we’re proud that this tradition continues today and is celebrated in this exhibition which features an exquisite array of jewellery, glassware, ceramics and other handmade craftsmanship.
All items are for sale. Purchasing from the exhibition supports both the museum and local artistry.
Worcester Society of Artists 72nd Annual Exhibition
7 December – 26 January
This annual exhibition is a great opportunity to see a fabulous and eclectic selection of art created by local artists. Founded in 1947 to encourage the appreciation, understanding and practice of the visual arts, the Society has exhibited every year since their first year of existence at Worcester City Art Gallery. The WSA today is a thriving group of amateur and professional artists, open to anyone interested in creating art, who meet for a programme of lectures, practical sessions and exhibitions.