Dickens London Haunts

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Take a look at this. The real London locations which formed the settings for various Dickens novels are shown, sometimes with characters from the books superimposed. The remaining locations are all associated with scenes from the books: the Old Curiosity Shop off the Aldwych, the Adelphi arches (now Embankment), the site of the blacking factory at Hungerford Market and Jacob’s Island from Oliver Twist.

Based on a successful magazine, the film series Wonderful London captures the life of the capital in the 1920s. These simple travelogues contrast different aspects of city life; East End and West End, poor and rich, natives and immigrants, looking beyond the stereotypes to show surprising views of the city. These six restorations by the BFI National Archive reintroduce the films’ original colours, with new piano accompaniments by John Sweeney.


Victorian Masterpieces of Childhood in Oxford

10om17meller.jpg-pwrt2Victorian Masterpieces of Childhood will feature works showing children from the 1800s. Mr Meller, 41, said: “There will be 30 works showcasing Victorian works that are exploring childhood. They are remarkable.

Aidan Meller is gallery director of the Meller Merceux Gallery group. It has galleries in Broad Street and Oxford High Street in Oxford an  is preparing this Victorian exhibition

“The exhibition offers a remarkable insight into the rarified lives of aristocratic Victorian children” added Mellor “Some of the works are reminiscent of the world of the TV show Downton Abbey.”

The exhibition opens on Thursday, January 22 at the Aidan Meller Gallery, in Broad Street, Oxford.

A Victorian Obsession: The Pérez Simón collection at Leighton House Museum

Ferederic_Leighton_-_Crenaia,_the_nymph_of_the_Dargle;_1880The Pérez Simón collection is running until 29th March and looks utterly fascinating.

The paintings are owned by Juan Antonio Pérez Simón, who was born in Spain but brought up in Mexico owns owned in excess of 3,000 paintings including works by Goya, El Greco, Dalí, Rubens, Van Gogh and Monet. He has some truly remarkable pieces.

On the left is the beautiful Nymph of the Dargle by Crenaia from 1880. This is the first time I have seen it. Dorothy Dene is naked apart from a length of transparent white gauze she is both stunning and wonderful.

This and others are on display at the Leighton House Museum, 18 Stafford Terrace, London W8 7BH.

Victoriana: The Art of Revival

ef3ad2cf87fd6f07900eb52210436b9bThe Victorian Era is such a strong landmark in literature, politics, morality and aesthetics so it come as no real surprise that an exhibition featuring graphic design, film, photography, ceramics, taxidermy, furniture, textiles and fine art with multi-media show that explores work inspired by the 19th century and created over the last 20 years, highlighting the ongoing influence of the Victorian age.

‘Victoriana: The Art of Revival’ brings together 28 major contemporary artists who encapsulate the many forms and motivations of modern takes on Victorian style. These include Yinka Shonibare, Grayson Perry, Paula Rego, Dan Hillier, Paul St. George, Rob Ryan, Kitty Valentine and Jake and Dinos Chapman.

I have to say it looks interesting…so hopefully I will see you there!!

The exhibition is from Saturday 7 September to Sunday 8 December at the City of London Guildhall, London EC2P 2EJ. T 020 7606 3030 for further details.

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Dickens and London at the Museum of London 2012

On Saturday whilst in the great metropolis I decided to take in the current ‘Dickens and London’ exhibition at the Museum of London. Tickets are £7, the Museum blurb says:

To mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth, the Museum of London will be holding an exhibition celebrating his work. London was Dickens’ ‘magic lantern’ providing the setting and inspiration for some of his greatest works.

This atmospheric and multi-sensory exhibition will explore his 

love/hate relationship with the city and will examine London life through his words and the contemporary social issues he threw under the spotlight. It will include manuscripts of some of his most famous novels, his writing desk and chair, artefacts, paintings and audiovisual effects to create an immersive and exciting journey through Dickens’ imagination.

I have to say I was pretty disappointed with it, the reason being it had more

about London of his time than the great author himself.

There were a few manuscripts, a few pieces of furniture, a few costumes, lots of images and paintings of London plus the blurb about them.

“The best celebration of Dickens’ legacy.” ***** The Independent

“The Museum of London’s new exhibition will enthrall.” londonist.com

Got to be honest having read the above on the website I wondered if I was at the same exhibition as these chaps. 

The apparent highlight of the exhibition was ‘an audio-visual experience bringing to life the famous painting of Dickens’ Dream at the desk and chair where he wrote his novels’. Well it wasn’t a highlight for me.

If you are planning a trip don’t expect too much and myself and my friends decided it definitely wasn’t worth £7 and of course the £8 fare to get to London.

Queen Victoria’s Christmas recreated

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I have always imagined Queen Victoria’s Christmas would have been something to behold.

Well if you happen to be anywhere near Windsor Castle (and I hopefully will be in a few weeks) from the 7th Dec (or 26th Nov according to the press association – take you pick!) to Jan 8th you will find that The royal residence has been transformed with decorations the monarch and her consort Prince Albert would have recognised complete with a Christmas tree suspended from the ceiling,

The ‘festive’ or Christmas tree was made popular by Queen Victoria’s consort (her husband) Prince Albert when he presented large numbers to schools and Army barracks.

In 1846 the Illustrated London News featured the above image and the tradition for the Christmas Tree became firmly established.

The exhibition will feature a tree hanging in place of a chandelier, as in Victoria’s day, in the Octagon dining room. The tree will be covered with items inspired by decorations featured on the Queen’s firs including swags (ornamental drapery) ribbons, replica candles and imitation snow and should be quite interesting and maybe present some good ideas for our own Victorian Christmas.

At Windsor two gift tables will be recreated with presents exchanged by Victoria and Albert.

Among them is a painting of a young nun and her suitor by Sir Charles Eastlake. It was commissioned by Victoria in 1844 as a gift for her husband.