art and culture

Emma Talbot with Valentino Nizzo, Director at the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Rome
2021. Photo: Tiwi

Italian Fashion Brand: Max Mara Art Prize For Women


  • Italian Fashion Brand: Max Mara Art Prize For Women
    The biannual Max Mara Art Prize for Women makes me wish I was talented artistically. Not only does the winner get to spend time in Reggio Emilia, Catania and Rome, researching classical mythology, but also explore textile craftsmanship, permaculture and the myriad historic sites and institutions. Having minored in Classical Studies at University, six months spent in this way sounds to me like the quintessential …
  • A visit to an Extraordinary Doll’s House
    Motifs in Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s three-act play, A Doll’s House (premiered 1879), include appearances, the power of money, and women’s place in a patriarchal society. A work of its time, there is a clear divide between those who lived upstairs and the servants living below. Actual doll’s houses, those little microcosms of everyday life, dating back to the 16th century and reflecting similar societal …
  • Review. Extraordinary Everyday: The Art & Design of Eric Ravilious and Turn and Return by Dierdre Wood
    Maybe it’s the non-stop disturbing news from around the world, or the long dark winter and the recent wild storms (including Storm Eunice which carried a Red Alert warning) but I just haven’t been feeling the love. The year has felt slow in getting started. This week I visited a new exhibition at The Arc in the historic city of Winchester, to explore the work …
  • Review. Paul Joyce: A Life Behind The Lens
    What did Paul Joyce, filmmaker, writer, photographer and painter, make of Jane Fonda? Why did Joyce and David Hockney fall out? And which of his photographs did Sophia Loren choose as a personal gift? Paul Joyce (credits include director and producer of four series of Dr Who, 1981) spent his childhood in Winchester so it seems entirely fitting that a city gallery is hosting an …
  • Review. Frans Hals: The Male Portrait at the Wallace Museum
    A stunning new display of over 12 works by Frans Hals, one of the greatest masters of the Dutch Golden Age, offers a unique perspective on 17th century masculinity and sense of style. In a breakaway from the male gaze upon the female form, Hals fixes his painterly eye upon his male contemporaries. The portraits are displayed against a dark background, with subtle gallery lighting …
  • This week… tigers, skulls and a Del Boy moment
    Temperatures have dropped in the UK this week and after what seemed like endless days of autumn sunshine we now have heavy rain. From now until around March bracing country walks, warming hot soups and evenings on the sofa watching great classic films are the general rule, including an annual rerun of Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (BBC, 1979) with the much-missed Alec Guinness.
  • This week… chimney tops, ration books and guardian angels
    Every September heritage houses, museums and other buildings throw open their doors to the public. Entry and tours are free despite the work of many of these organisations being independently funded, so a donation is welcome. The nationwide Heritage Open Days festival closes today and I took the opportunity take a peek behind the scenes over the nine-day event in Winchester. Here’s what I discovered.
  • Gustave Moreau: The Fables at Waddesdon Manor
    A new exhibition opens today at Waddesdon Manor featuring 35 exotic watercolours seen in public for the first time in over one hundred years. The works were created by Gustave Moreau, one of the most influential artists of the French Symbolist movement, between 1879 and 1885.
  • Fashion and textiles: must-see exhibitions
    In the words of Bill Cunningham “Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life”. Fashion is life-enhancing and this summer museums and galleries are offering an exciting programme of stylish exhibitions, a visual feast to revive our hopes and our dreams.
  • Gallery and Museum Reopenings: Summer’s Top Exhibitions
    This week the government announced plans to cut funding for arts education by as much as 50%. Ironically, this month museums and galleries (and other indoor venues) will be able to reopen from lockdown. I’m keen to support as many as art venues as possible but there’s no room here to include every one, so from an inbox choc-full of press releases on new exhibitions …

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