Exhibitions to see this spring

From the Fitzwilliam’s first show exploring William Blake’s influence on fellow visionary artists, to The Biba Story – an exhibition dedicated to fashion phenomenon Biba – held at the Fashion & Textile Museum, there’s plenty of exhibitions to see this Spring.

Hurvin Anderson, Limestone Wall , 2020. © Hurvin Anderson. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo: Richard Ivey.

Angelica Kauffman, Royal Academy of Arts 1st March - 30th June 2024

In March 2024, the Royal Academy of Arts presents the life and work of Angelica Kauffman, a founding member of the Royal Academy and one of the most acclaimed artists of the 18th century.

Showing her pioneering history paintings as well as portraits – including some of her finest self-portraits – the exhibition traces Kauffman’s artistic career from child prodigy to one of Europe’s most sought-after painters. The exhibition features over 30 artworks by Kauffman and includes important international loans, many of which have never been seen in the UK before.

Angelica Kauffman, Portrait of Emma, Lady Hamilton, as Muse of Comedy, 1791. Oil on canvas, 127 x 101.6 cm. Private collection

The Biba Story, 1964-1975 Fashion & Textile Museum, 22nd March - 8th September 2024

The Biba Story explores how fashion phenomenon Biba blossomed to become the world’s first lifestyle label, sparking a revolution in how people shopped and how Biba earned its spot as the brand that epitomises 1960s and 1970s fashion.

The exhibition focuses on the years 1964, when the first Biba boutique opened, to 1975, when the legendary Big Biba closed its doors to the public. Displaying fantastic archival pieces of clothing, original photographs, film, and material all of which have been personally chosen by Barbara Hulanicki.

Image Courtesy of Fashion & Textile Museum

William Blake’s Universe The Fitzwilliam Museum, 23rd February - 19th May 2024

Responding to the upheavals of revolution and war in Europe and the Americas, visionary artist, poet, and printmaker William Blake (1757-1827) produced an astonishing body of work that combined criticism of the contemporary world with his vision for universal redemption. But he wasn’t the only one.

William Blake’s Universe, which opened at the Fitzwilliam Museum in February 2024, is the first major exhibition to consider Blake’s position in a constellation of European artists and writers striving for renewed spirituality in art and life.

William Blake (1757-1827) ‘Thus wept the Angel voice’ From America A Prophecy, 1793-1821 Relief etching with hand colouring, 30.4 x 23.1 cm PD.127-1950(12) The Fitzwilliam Museum

Soulscapes Dulwich Picture Gallery, 14th February - 2nd June 2024

Soulscapes is a major exhibition of landscape art that will expand and redefine the genre. Featuring more than 30 contemporary works, it spans painting, photography, film, tapestry and collage from leading artists including Hurvin Anderson, Phoebe Boswell and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.

Soulscapes explores the gallery’s connection with the world through the eyes of artists from the African Diaspora, considering the power of landscape art and reflect on themes of belonging, memory, joy and transformation.

Hurvin Anderson, Limestone Wall , 2020. © Hurvin Anderson. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo: Richard Ivey.

Shirley Craven The Whitworth, 6th Aprl 2024 - 11th May 2025

Born in Hull in 1934 and evacuated during the Second World War, printer Shirley Craven became Chief Designer and Director of a small and visionary firm by the age of 29 whose artist-designers also included Althea McNish and Eduardo Paolozzi.

The Whitworth is home to over 80 of Craven's bold abstract textiles, displayed together for the first time in over 60 years alongside newly acquired works from her days as a Student at the RCA.

Shirley Craven, Simple Solar. Designed by Craven for Hull Traders Ltd. in 1967. Hand screen printed tabby woven cotton. © Shirley Craven. Photograph: Michael Pollard.

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