British Museum blog

Grayson Perry Late

Polly Wright and Francis Olvez-Wilshaw,
University of the Arts London students

For one night only, this Friday 11 November, we, the University of the Arts London, are exhibiting alongside Grayson Perry’s exhibition The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsmanas part of the Grayson Perry Late event at the British Museum.

I have been fortunate enough to sit on the committee of students helping to curate the event. From the written proposals to meeting my fellow students and artists, it has been an interesting journey, one of excitement, fun and insight… and we only have a few days to go!

I feel I am speaking on behalf of all involved when I say it is an exceptional experience to not only be exhibiting in the British Museum but also to be connected to the loved and respected Grayson Perry. This was apparent from the proposals we received as they were filled with enthusiastic appraisal for the British Museum as an institution and for Grayson’s work as an influential artist. Our students’ are committed to creating works suitable to communicate this inspiration. Now, in our final stages of preparation, I can already reflect upon what is a wide array of idiosyncratic ideas, across all mediums, which heightens my excitement for the night.

Meeting everyone behind the projects has been great. Whilst hearing these talented artists animatedly explaining their projects I have become more aware of the raw passion behind their work. I think this will be particularly apparent on the night. The night will be an exhibition of a wide array of interesting and colourful ideas created by a mixture of solo and collaborative works.

The performance piece Touching Death – A Wake has been a particularly interesting project to watch develop and to hear the extraordinary story behind its conception. The connections between the artists and the pure shock ability of the live wake of a real person on the night are bound to be a thought-provoking, public way of exploring death on a dramatically real level.

Showcasing 25 works, from fashion to craft, discos to pilgrimages, I can assure you that the night will be both thought-provoking and entertaining. I am personally excited to watch the space transform – we hope it will highlight aspects within the British Museum’s expansive collection as well as support Grayson Perry’s work.

I am going to leave you with a list of words the artists have used to sum up Grayson Perry: Technicolor, eccentric, genius, revolutionary, cocktail, hilarious, crackers… I hope this gets you excited! See you there!

Find out more about the Grayson Perry Late event.

Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman
is supported by AlixPartners, with Louis Vuitton.
Book tickets now

Filed under: Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

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Most Greek sculpture that survives from antiquity is carved from white marble, of which the Mediterranean has many natural sources. A relationship has often been assumed between the pure white of freshly cut marble and the idealism of Greek art. In fact, the opposite is true. Colour was intrinsic to ancient ideas of beauty. For centuries this has been a subject of fascination and controversy. The great Italian Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo revived the Greek idea of the human body but denied the use of colour. This was partly due to negative associations with the painted saints of the medieval period. During the European Enlightenment of the 1750s onwards, and increasingly into our own time, the preferred aesthetic was a truth to materials. Painting and gilding were seen as unnecessary and undesirable.

Sculpture in antiquity was often adorned not only with colour but also with different materials. The Greek marble statue of an archer reconstructed here was drilled and fitted with metal attachments. The figure originally held a bronze bow and arrow and a quiver was fixed to his left hip by a metal dowel. Individual locks of hair were made of lead. The colourful design of the man’s knitted all-in-one garment, often worn by peoples from the east, is clearly seen weathered into the marble surface under controlled lighting.

You can see this wonderful object in our exhibition #DefiningBeauty, until 5 July 2015.
#exhibition #BritishMuseum #ancientGreece #sculpture #art

Plaster cast of archer with reconstructed paint, based on a Greek original of about 490–480 BC, from the Temple of Aphaia at Aigina. Staatliche Antikensammlung und Glyptothek, Munich. Uta Uta Tjangala's masterpiece Yumari is a highlight of‪ #IndigenousAustralia, opening a week today
#exhibition #art #history #BritishMuseum #Australia #museum Hans Sloane's collection also ended up as the basis of the @natural_history_museum and the @britishlibrary!
To make more room for the increasing collections held by the British Museum, the natural history collections were moved to a new building in South Kensington in the 1880s. This eventually became the Natural History Museum. These images show some of the natural history specimens on display, including giraffes and a mastodon!
In 1997, the library departments left the Museum to be re-housed at the new British Library in St Pancras.
#history #BritishMuseum #collection #animals #books Hans Sloane's encyclopaedic collection became the cornerstone of the British Museum.
This drawer was once part of the materia medica - a sort of pharmaceutical cabinet - in the collection of Sloane. The cabinet had several drawers, each carefully constructed to keep out destructive insects. Some drawers had small compartments like this example, others contained glazed boxes with seeds, fruit, bark, roots, gums and resins inside. Each had a label written by Sloane with a catalogue number. The botanical or medicinal name of the subtance, where it came from and who collected it were then recorded in his catalogues of his collection.
As Sloane's interest in natural history grew along with his income, he was able to widen the scope of his collection from being primarily medical to being more encyclopaedic, representing the widest possible variety of substances and artefacts for his own reference and for others to consult.
© 2003 The Natural History Museum @natural_history_museum 
#history #BritishMuseum #collection #museum Our founder, Sir Hans Sloane, was born ‪#onthisday in 1660.
This engraving after a portrait  by T Murray shows him at the age of 68. The inscription at the bottom can be translated as: 'Sir Hans Sloane, baronet / Pres[ident]. of the College of Physicians of London and the Royal Society. etc.'
Sloane was born in Ireland in 1660, and trained as a doctor of medicine. At the age of 27 he went to the West Indies as personal doctor to the Governor of Jamaica and while living there he began to form his great collection of natural history specimens. For the rest of his long life he collected plants, fossils and minerals, as well as objects from ancient Rome, Egypt and Assyria. He also amassed an impressive collection of books, manuscripts, prints and drawings.
#history #BritishMuseum Leonardo da Vinci was born #onthisday in 1452. 
This study of a warrior is drawn in metalpoint, specifically silverpoint, a popular medium with Early Renaissance artists. It is most suitable for detailed and careful drawings. Metalpoint was a good method of training young apprentice artists as it required control and discipline. 
Here, the silverpoint line, which has turned grey in the atmosphere, is thin and delicate. The detail is extraordinary: the armour, the curls in his hair and the splendid elaborate helmet are even exceeded by the modelling of the man's face and the lion on his breastplate. Endless patience must have been required of the young Leonardo to produce the very fine shadows of the man's face, each a separate line.
#art #daVinci #Leonardo #history #drawing #silverpoint
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