Front row tickets to museums, galleries and more

Virtual tours. Copyright The Royal Collection Trust

If, like me, you enjoy snooping around great country houses, museums and galleries then social distancing needn’t stop us from exploring. Isn’t it true that as one door closes, another opens? While UK attractions are currently closed to the public many are opening their virtual doors. Now is the perfect time to take a personal tour of some of the best collections from the comfort of your armchair. Here’s a few of my top picks this week.

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Review: Andy Warhol at Tate Modern

Marilyn Diptych 1962 Acrylic on canvas support (each): 2054 x 1448 x 20 mm. © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London

Andy Warhol (1928 to 1987) was the son of immigrants, a shy gay man who became a leading figure in the visual art movement otherwise. He was born in 1928 as Andrew Warhola to working class parents from present day Slovakia. In 1949 he moved from Pittsburgh to New York. Initially working as a successful commercial illustrator, his skill at transforming the imagery of American culture soon developed as ground-breaking pop art.

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A life of contemplation: Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso

The Benedictine Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso was founded in 1040. It was also a fortification hence the disproportionate watch tower.

It seems like every town and city in the Piemonte region of north west Italy features a magnificent historical building, or two. If, like me, you appreciate classical architecture, incredible gardens and exquisite frescoes this should be on your list of places to visit. This part of Italy is so different from the sunny climes further south and it has a distinctly Gothic atmosphere.

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Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

The Valley of the Kings

A new blockbuster exhibition opened last week at the Saatchi Gallery, London. 150 treasures are on display at Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh as part of a world tour before returning forever to Egypt. Over 60 pieces are on loan outside their home country for the first time. London is the third stop in a ten-city world tour, which broke records in Los Angeles before becoming France’s most attended exhibition ever attracting over 1.4 million attendees. The hottest ticket in town this winter!

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The Musée Louvre-Lens: 5,000 years of art

A satellite of the iconic Louvre in Paris, the Musée Louvre-Lens in the Pas-de-Calais region of France, is a jewel of a discovery. Once an important mining region, Lens is now home to an art gallery, a luxury hotel of the same name and a restaurant, L’Atelier Marc Meurin.

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Review: All My Sons

Sally Field and Jenna Coleman in rehearsals All My Sons, The Old Vic

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons was his second play, his first having bombed, and was written in 1947, just two years after the end of World War Two. The plot and the questions it poses about the economic circumstances of the individual in a consumer society, the morality of the individual in the community, and grief and family relationships, are all very relevant today. All of the performances in the current production at The Old Vic, London are energetic, intense and emotional, and set against a backdrop of just one stage set up of a traditional American family home, which the audience never actually see inside.

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Review: Many faces of Tudor England

The Many Faces of Tudor England, Mary Rose, Portsmouth

The Many Faces of Tudor England at the Mary Rose museum, Portsmouth opened today. The preview was 8am this morning and followed the Channel 4 documentary Skeletons of the Mary Rose: New Evidence part of the award-winning Secret Histories series, which aired last evening. 10 months in the making, it reveals new information, the result of unique, cutting-edge scientific DNA and genealogical investigation. It turns out the crew of Henry VIII’s favourite warship, Mary Rose, was multi-cultural which the programme makers claim ‘redefines what we thought we knew about Tudor England’.

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