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The Treasures Gallery is a new space in the Natural History Museum that will display 22 of the most valuable and extraordinary specimens from the museum’s vast collection. Each item has been picked for the story it has to tell and its value to fields of botany, mineralogy, palaeontology or zoology.
The treasures to go on show in the permanent new gallery include the Archaeopteryx lithographica fossil with both bird and reptile features discovered two years after Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published, a first edition of which is also on display, and the 200-million year old ammonite that led ‘the father of geology’ William Smith to discover that rocks are layered through time.
The Rest is Noise is a year long festival of 20th century classical music at the Southbank Centre, aiming to tell the story of the last century’s music from Strauss to John Adams, inspired by Alex Ross’s book The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.
The series charts the history of the century alongside its music, showing how revolutions, wars, social change and technology all had an affect on classical music.
Art from the Americas is taking London by storm this year, with exhibitions of some great artists from the 19th century to the present day.
From 19th century landscape artist Frederic Church (America’s Turner) at the National Gallery, which is showing 25 of his oil sketches; a major retrospective of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein at the Tate Modern (both starting in February); to early 20th century realist artist George Bellows of the Ashcan School, at the Royal Academy (from March). Also at the Royal Academy (from July) an exhibition of Mexican art between 1910-1940; and later in the year Dulwich Picture Gallery is showing views of Thames by19th century artist James McNeill Whistler (from October).
RB Kitaj: Obsessions is an exhibition (split between two venues) on the American post-war painter, being held at the Jewish Museum in London (21 Feb-16 Jun) and Pallant House Gallery in Chichester (23 Feb-16 Jun).
Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber is an exhibition which tells the story of the rituals, sleeping arrangements and power politics of the Stuart and Hanoverian courts and how important affairs of state were conducted in the most private of rooms.
During the reign of Charles II, the royal bedchamber became a more public room in the palace, in which the King was dressed and undressed in front of an audience and many previously private events, from wedding nights to childbirth, were witnessed by members of the court. (See article about royal sleeping arrangements by Historic Palaces’ Lucy Worsley).
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