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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).
Some of the world’s oldest known artworks are the subject of the Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind exhibition at the British Museum.
The objects are between 40,000 and 10,000 years old, created during the last Ice Age and are presented alongside modern artworks by Henry Moore, Mondrian and Matisse to show the similarities between them.
The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition Man Ray Portraits opens in February with more than 150 photographs by the American artist, the majority of which have never been displayed in Britain before.
The exhibition covers Man Ray’s career between 1916 and 1968 with pictures on loan from major museums and private collections, including the Pompidou Centre, the Museum of Modern Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum, with special loans from the Man Ray Trust Archive.
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