Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending November 12 2006. This page is updated every weekday.
10.11.2006 – Artangel closes Nights of London series with a night dedicated to darkness
To celebrate the close of the Nights of London series of artist-led projects exploring the nocturnal city, arts charity Artangel is hosting a special night of performances, screenings and talks dedicated to darkness.
Because the Night takes place at Bethnal Green Town Hall in London on Friday November 24 between 7.30pm and 3am and will include an array of performers, musicians and talks investigating the nocturnal metropolis.
Bat experts, paranormal investigators, cabaret artists and musicians will be on hand to enthral visitors who will also be able to sip gin and tonics whilst watching nocturnal themed films or surreal comedy or stargaze with an astronomer and catch up with the array of projects commissioned for the series. Tickets are £10, for more information see the Artangel website
10.11.2006 – Winners of Derby City Open art competition announced
The overall winner of Derby Museum and Art Gallery’s annual art competition has been announced as Nottingham-based artist Stephen Marriott.
Stephen, who had all three of his mixed media paintings selected, will be offered a one-man show at the Museum in 2008.
A Tregoning Gallery Award of £300 went to Birmingham-based Paul Hipkiss for his photo silk screen prints of bridges whilst the artist’s materials prize went to Derbyshire-based artist Mark Preston for his oil painting of a May tree in blossom.
The judges selected 163 works from over 600 entries, which will be displayed at the Gallery from November 18 to January 14 2007.
09.11.2006 – 3D images reveal scuttled German Fleet at Scapa Flow
The Scapa Flow Maritime Archaeology Project (ScapaMap) has recorded a series of 3D images that show the wrecks of the German High Seas Fleet scuttled off the coast of Scotland in 1919.
The week long survey of the seven remaining vessels used the latest, high resolution multi-beam sonar to record the wrecks and their surrounding seabed. The results are now being compared to similar maps compiled by ScapaMap in 2001.
Legally protected in 2001 as scheduled ancient monuments of national importance, the wrecks are the only remains of the fleet to have survived commercial salvage activity.
09.11.2006 - Plas Newydd needs 1930s clothes for Christmas activities
National Trust property Plas Newydd, Anglesey, is urgently looking for donations of men’s and ladies' original clothing dating back to the 1930s for their ‘Christmas Delights’ events on December 9, 10, 16, and 17.
The grand but comfortable interior of the house which was restyled in the 1930s will be decorated for Christmas, and characters will re-enact a typical Christmas in that era, but the property is in desperate need of any swishing bias-cut hemlines, stylish shimmering gowns or suits the public may have.
“We would really love to hear from anyone who is willing to donate any 1930s costumes they may have lurking in an old wardrobe or drawer for this fantastic event,” said Paul Carr-Griffin, Property Manager at Plas Newydd. “Ensuring that the re-enactors are wearing original clothes from the era makes the event even more believable and special.”
If anyone can help by donating clothing from the period or would like to lend a hand at the event, please ring Plas Newydd on 01248 714795.
08.11.2006 – V&A to transform Madjeski Garden with sound and light sculpture
A luminous interactive installation is set to transform the V&A’s John Madjeski Garden this winter as part of the gallery’s PlayStation Season.
Volume is an interactive light and sound sculpture featuring an array of light columns positioned dramatically in the centre of the garden. The work will be resident in the garden from November 24 until January 28 2007.
Visitors who step inside the lights will see their actions trigger a series of energy fields that control a spectacular display of light and sound.
The piece is a collaboration between lighting designers United Visual Artists (UVA) and a production company set up by Robert Del Nja (alias 3D) of Massive Attack who, together with the band’s producer Neil Davidge, composed the interactive soundscape.
08.11.2006 – Portrait of 18th century beauty returns to Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has acquired an iconic portrait of one of the most celebrated beauties of the late 18th century.
The full length painting of Elizabeth Gunning by Scottish artist Gavin Hamilton was acquired by the Gallery for £603,036 with the help of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £75,000 from the Art Fund.
Elizabeth Gunning’s looks were said to be so magnetic that people gathered outside her home just to catch a glimpse of her passing in her carriage. Although lowly of birth her fame and beauty allowed her to rise through the echelons of Scottish society and she wed James, 6th Duke of Hamilton, in a clandestine late night ceremony on Valentine’s Day 1752.
The portrait, which is thought to have been painted shortly after the marriage, became famous in Scotland and secured the reputation of both sitter and painter turning the young Duchess into an icon.
07.11.2006 – Government devolves responsibility for Museum of London to Greater London Authority
The Government is to devolve its responsibilities for the Museum of London to the Greater London Authority, following a public consultation on the future sponsorship of the museum.
Currently co-funded by the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the City of London Corporation with Prime Minister and the City appointing half of the Museum’s 18-strong Board of Governors each. Under the new proposals the roles of the DCMS and the PM will pass to the GLA and the Mayor of London.
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, welcomed the news: “I am very pleased with this decision,” he said, “which recognises the importance of the museum to the whole of London and the need for the strategic authority to have a say in how it is run.”
“We will work closely with both the Museum of London's staff and the City of London to raise the profile of this great organisation and ensure its future success.”
07.11.2006 - College Student designs new interactive for Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
A student from City College Brighton will see his design for a new museum interactive installed in Brighton Museum and Arts Gallery’s 20th Century Art & Design Gallery from November 13 2006.
Chris Kelly won a competition to provide the design as part of an initiative between the museum and Multimedia foundation degree course students at Brighton City College.
Students were given training in Macromedia Flash and asked to produce something that would engage and inform museum visitors. All the proposals were judged by professional museum staff and Chris’ design was considered so good it is being introduced for visitors to use.
The new interactive offers a quick introduction to the Art & Design Gallery and includes sections on the different art movements represented and highlights some key objects.
A special section gives younger visitors the chance to choose a favourite object from the gallery and to experiment on screen with the way it looks - encouraging them to look at the original object in new ways.
Photo: City College student winner Chris Kelly (centre) © The Royal Pavilion, Libraries & Museums, Brighton & Hove
06.11.2006 - Guy Fawkes Night announced as icon of England
The government-funded ICONS website is including Guy Fawkes Night in is latest list of new 'Icons of England'.
The site was launched in January 2006 and allows visitors to nominate their own icons which are then voted upon by a panel of experts for inclusion in the list. It aims to build up a snapshot of life in England in the 21st century.
"The excitement in setting off fireworks appeals to the rebel in all of us," said David Jordan, partner in leading UK fireworks supplier Jordans Fireworks.
"I think that many people have forgotten, or don't realise, the true meaning of this day we celebrate by setting off fireworks, and that it was, in fact, illegal not to celebrate Guy Fawkes night until the 1960s."
06.11.2006 - National Museum of Wales buys important Edward Lear painting
Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum of Wales has acquired one of the greatest works by Victorian artist and writer Edward Lear.
Kanchenjunga From Darjeeling was commissioned by Lear's patron, Henry Bruce, 1st Lord Aberdare, in 1873 and was originally presented as a gift to the Mountain Ash Urban District Council in 1924.
National Museum Cardiff have now been able to buy the painting from Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council for £300,000, with help from a £150,000 Art Funt grant and private donors.
The painting had been hanging on the stairs at Aberdare Library and will now join other paintings originally from Lord Aberdare's collection in the museum.