The Fitzwilliam Museum

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From Egyptian coffins to Impressionist masterpieces – the Fitzwilliam Museum's world-class collections of art and antiquities span centuries and civilizations.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 12:00 - 17:00

Admission charges

Free

The Fitzwilliam Museum has magnificent permanent collections of international importance. The entire collection is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Holdings include antiquities from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome; English and European pottery and glass; furniture, clocks, fans and armour, coins, medals, illuminated, literary and music manuscripts and rare printed books; paintings, including masterpieces by Simone Martini, Domenico Veneziano, Veronese, Titian, Rubens, Hals, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Monet and Picasso, portrait miniatures and 20th century art, and changing displays of drawings, watercolours and prints. The collections also include artefacts from Sudan and Cyprus, and Chinese, Japanese and Korean art, rugs and samplers.

Founded in 1816, the Museum is housed in splendid buildings, the first of which, designed by George Basevi opened in 1848.

Items from this collection

Collection details

Weapons and War, Music, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Ancient Egypt, Sudan
  • Greece and Rome
  • Roman and Romano-Egyptian Art
  • Western Asiatic displays and Cypriot Art
  • English and European pottery and glass, furniture, clocks, fans, armour
  • Chinese, Japanese and Korean art
  • Simone Martini, Domenico Veneziano, Titian, Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck, Hals, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Picasso
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Highlights from Kettle’s Yard

  • 14 August 2015 — 30 April 2016 *on now

See a slice of Kettle’s Yard’s unique collection of modern art, natural objects and furniture recreated in the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Kettle’s Yard house and gallery is currently closed for a major building project.

In the first of two displays, key arrangements from Kettle’s Yard’s house will be re-created in the Glaisher Gallery.

These groupings of art works and other objects reflect the founder of Kettle’s Yard, Jim Ede’s belief in the importance of creating balance in spaces to enhance the beauty of the works of art and objects that they contain.

Paintings and sculptures by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Joan Miró and Christopher Wood will be on display.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5163

Henry Moore’s Hill Arches (1973)

  • 1 February 2016 — 30 November 2017 *on now

For the next two years a monumental bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, titled Hill Arches, will be on loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum from the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire.

Moore is best known for sculptures of the human figure sited in architectural or natural settings, but here he has created a landscape in its own right - perhaps, as the title suggests, an echo of the rolling hills of his native Yorkshire.

This enormous, four piece sculpture will be sited in front of the Museum, visible to all visitors and those walking down Trumpington Street.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5537

Encounters: Money in the age of discovery

  • 2 February — 29 May 2016 *on now

Between the 15th and 18th centuries the riches of new worlds in the Americas, Africa and the Indian Ocean saw Spanish, Portuguese, British and French explorers and adventurers venture to new continents in search of new lands and wealth. The objects in this display illustrate the fundamental changes that occurred in this period of European expansion, which paved the way for the modern global economy.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5538

illustration showing butterfly and caterpillar on a plant

Crawling with Life: Flower drawings from the Henry Rogers Broughton Bequest

  • 2 February — 8 May 2016 *on now

Spiders, snails, beetles, butterflies, moths, frogs and lizards are just some of the living creatures painted amongst the flowers in the Museum’s botanical paintings and drawings.

See superb watercolours by the intrepid 17th century German naturalist and illustrator, Maria Sibylla Merian and her tutor Jacob Marrel, as well as works by the Dutch artist Jan van Huysum and members of the Dietzsch family. These are accompanied by studies of carnivorous plants and those designed to attract insects through mimicry or putrid smells, painted by the German born scientist and illustrator Georg Dionysius Ehret and the French artist and engraver Nicolas Robert.

Website

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5462

old sepia photograph of man in top hat leaning against the entrance to the Fitzwilliam Museum

Celebrating the First 200 Years: The Fitzwilliam Museum 1816 - 2016

  • 4 February — 30 December 2016 *on now

Running throughout 2016, this exhibition will explore the Fitzwilliam’s past, present and future. A timeline of the first 200 years will introduce key themes and characters, while displays of objects will show how the collections have developed over two centuries.

The exhibition runs alongside a new book The Fitzwilliam Museum: A History. For the very first time, this will tell the full 200 year story of the Museum. The triumphs and challenges of successive Directors, the changing nature of the Museum’s relationship with its parent University, and its dogged survival through the two World Wars. It will also shed light on the colourful, but previously little-known, personal life of Viscount Fitzwilliam himself.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5460

print in sepia tone showing figures and cattle in shallow lake in front of monument

1816: Prints by Turner, Goya and Cornelius

  • 9 February — 31 July 2016 *on now

A look across Europe at three series of prints by major artists published in 1816, the year of the founding of the Fitzwilliam.

The period was known as ‘The year without a summer’ due to the after-effects of the 1815 volcano eruption in Indonesia. Global cooling, volcanic ash, darkness, crop failures, food riots and spectacular sunsets influenced artists and writers of the time. A variety of responses can be seen here with Goya’s Tauromaquia, books eleven and twelve of Turner’s Liber Studiorum, and Peter Cornelius’s large-scale Illustrations to Goethe’s Faust.

Website

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5463

photograph of ancient egyptian carved face

Death on the Nile: Uncovering the afterlife of ancient Egypt

  • 23 February — 22 May 2016 *on now

The first major exhibition for the Fitzwilliam’s 2016 bicentenary celebrations goes beyond the images of mummies, pharaohs and mystery often associated with ancient Egypt. It shows how coffin design developed over 4,000 years, reflecting significant changes both in the status of affluent ancient Egyptians and in the gods that were important to them.

Discover how these remarkable objects were constructed and what this information can reveal about the craftsmen who made coffins and the clients who commissioned and bought them. A ‘live’ conservation area in the exhibition will provide visitors with a unique insight into the science used to examine the objects on display.

Exhibition eGuides are available for a small fee from both Museum entrances and the exhibition gallery landing.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/article.html?5461

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Writing Lives: Death on the Nile with novelist Sophie Hannah

  • 13 May 2016 6:45-7:30pm

To celebrate the Death on the Nile exhibition and Agatha Christie’s Poirot novel set in Egypt, crime novelist and poet Sophie Hannah will be talking about being given permission by the Christie estate to write a new Poirot murder mystery The Monogram Murders, and her latest novel A Game for all the Family.

Booking essential, tel: 01223 332904 or email: education @fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

We also invite book groups and individuals to read Agatha Christie’s famous Poirot mystery Death on the Nile and join in our online discussion group: dotnfitzbookgroup.wordpress.com

Books will be available to buy in the Fitzwilliam shop or to borrow from your local library who have ordered extra stock for our online book group.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
Image of young couple looking at painting in the Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam After-hours

  • 13 May 2016 5-9pm

Drop-in and explore the collections, catch a Jazz performance and enjoy a spot of late-night shopping. With cocktails and Mediterrean nibbles available from the cafe. Plus enjoy the chance to view our current exhibition Death on the Nile: Uncovering the afterlife of ancient egypt after-hours

Suitable for

  • Any age

The Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
CB2 1RB
England

Website

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/

E-mail

fitzmuseum-enquiries@lists.cam.ac.uk

Telephone

01223 332900

Fax

01223 332923

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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