Spring awakening

In Museums on April 11, 2011 at 7:58 am

The annual museum and gallery exhibition calendar is well established now. The summer blockbuster is a favourite set piece for the nationals and this year is no exception. As per norm the National Portrait Gallery will have the portrait award and the Natural History Museum is doing another massive exhibition about dinosaurs.

But for a long time I’ve been a fan on an exhibition in the Spring. Often, less bombastic or sensational than its summer counterpart, the Spring Exhibition tends to be more discursive. It asks questions or provokes debate. Exhibitions at this time of year are often simpler and more reflective than the showy shows of the summer and can be quite inspirational.

Some that have caught my eye right now are:

Women War Artists, which opened at the Imperial War Museum last week, looks to be an interesting reflection on female artists working in wartime.

Foundling Voices opens this week at the Foundling Museum. Based on their ongoing oral history research, this exhibition seeks to bring the actual voices of people who grew up in the Foundling Hospital to the public. There’s going to be a rap competition – can’t wait to see that.

I’ll probably make a visit to Manchester to the People’s History Museum to see On The March, an exhibition about banners used protests and marches. I imagine it will be full of intriguing objects with strong stories.

And, of course, I’m hugely looking forward to the next exhibition at the Museum in Docklands – Pirates: The Captain Kidd Story. You can even follow the captain on twitter!

In addition to the temporary exhibitions there are some new museums and galleries about to open for the first time as well. The Riverside Museum in Glasgow and the Hepworth Wakefield are both set to open this Spring. And tomorrow I’m off to the opening of the David Chipperfield-designed Turner Contemporary in Margate.

There’s so much going on, I might just take a month off work and go visit museums!


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