Culture24/7: Ships, silver and symphonies in our History and Heritage picks for November

By Ben Miller | 02 November 2012
An image of an oil painting of a 17th century gent in formal clothing
George Frideric Handel by Thomas Hudson. Charles Jennens, Handel's collaborator and friend, is the subject of an intriguing exhibition at Handel House Museum this month© Royal Collection Trust / HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012
17th century Scottish craftsmanship, influential Egypt and words from the Middle East and Asia illuminate an exotic month in History and Heritage. Here are a few exhibitions to look out for...

Other Ranks – Honouring the Fallen, Royal Armouries, Leeds

A contemplation of the human cost of heroism, this multi-sensory, 16-speaker oval installation by sound artist Amie Slavin channels the uncompromising echoes of marches, drills, weapons and assault courses through the gallery, set next to small lanterns atop a carpet of hundreds of photos and dozens of boots left eerily empty.

I Spy the Countryside, Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket

Aiming to bring fresh thinking to rural displays, the Museum of English Life and the Museum of East Anglian Life spent two years hunting for new, unusual objects to spice up their collections between 2008 and 2010. This is a chance to see some of them and offer feedback.

Silver: The Aberdeen Story, Aberdeen art Gallery, Aberdeen, from November 3

All that shimmers proves silver in this retrospective of a trade which once flourished on the northern tip of the isles, showcasing the work of local silversmiths across 400 years with dazzling objects from private and public collections.

Egypt in England, Quadriga Gallery, London, from November 7

To accompany a book exploring dozens of public monuments across Britain with a distinct Pharaohic influence, Wellington Arch goes from Cleopatra’s Needle to Art Deco interiors in a survey of Egyptian influence on the 90th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamen’s Tomb.

Calligraphy Today, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, from November 10

Another exotic trip through creative history, as the Fitzwilliam opens its unbeatable collection of contemporary calligraphy for mixed media works by artists inspired by Europe, the Middle East, China and Japan.

Newport Medieval Ship, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, from November 17

The Mary Rose might steal the deep sea limelight, but the Newport Ship – believed to be a century older than its Pompey counterpart – has its story told in a precursor to its eventual display, featuring a model of the ship and original 15th century artefacts.

Charles Jennens: The man Behind Messiah, Handel House Museum, London, from November 21

The list of Charles Jennens’ achievements is as long as a symphony. The first exhibition dedicated to the philanthropist, arts supporter and editor centres on his long-standing friendship with Handel, for whom he wrote swathes of the masterpiece which became Messiah.
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