Joanna HeseltineRuth GeeGroup visits to exhibitions, galleries and salerooms. Discussion groups. Ad hoc pop-up visits — an individual member can advertise a date, time and venue for a visit they intend to make in order to find out if any other members would like to join them.

Group Coordinators: Joanna Heseltine (click to contact) and Ruth Gee (click to contact)

One visit per month (plus planning meetings every three months and occasional discussion groups and pop-up visits).

We go anywhere in Greater London (and sometimes more widely in the South East that can be reached relatively easily by public transport.) Suggestions from group members are welcome.

Our range of interest in art is broad. We agree our programme of visits at planning meetings, and visits are organised by the members. We buy our own tickets and meet up by pre-arrangement with the organiser before the visit. We do not go round as a group, but those who wish to meet up afterwards for a snack and a chat about the visit. We normally choose to see special exhibitions at public or private galleries, from old masters to modernism. Some recent visits are mentioned below.

Our Next Events
'On Friday November 10th we shall visit BasquiatBasquiat: Boom for Real at the Barbican Art Gallery.’

Photo copyright Edo Bertoglio, courtesy of Maripol

Our Next Planning Meeting
This will be at 2.30 on Wednesday 01 November. We shall plan our activities for the period 01 November 2017 to 31 January 2018.

Recent Visits
In October we visited Scythians: Warriors of BritishMuseumAncient Siberia (900-200 BC) at the British Museum. To sound effects of wind sighing and galloping hooves, across the steppes and forests ranging from China to the Black Sea, we learnt about the Scythians through their artefacts and funerary goods — many preserved in near-perfect condition having been hidden in permafrost until excavated. We saw pieces of cheese, saddles, human skin with tattoos still visible, gold neck rings (similar to Celtic torcs), bags, shoes, felt decorations — a felt swan for hanging on the inside of a wagon or tent looked as if it had been made yesterday. The Scythians were nomadic, had no written language and relied on their horses, which were sacrificed as part of funeral rites and decorated for the afterlife, as well as being used for food and milk. They seemed to weave their beliefs into everything they, and their horses, wore. They were famously fierce and fought each other as well as others; but they also traded and formed alliances through marriage. We compared the Scythians with other animistic cultures — looking at ideas such as realms governed by different creatures, sacrifice and taking drugs (marijuana), perhaps to connect with spirits. A bag containing nail clippings and hair seemed reminiscent of European witchcraft. One can only speculate about what the Scythians actually believed, but their beautiful artefacts give us glimpses of an extraordinary way of life.

Also in September we visited the HeathRobinsonMuseumHeath Robinson Museum in Pinner. William Heath Robinson was an accomplished and original artist whose work, whether in his humorous drawings or his illustrations for Kipling, Shakespeare or children’s stories, is integral to British cultural heritage. His name entered the language as early as 1912 and is still in daily use to describe the kind of ad hoc contraptions that featured in many of his cartoons. For Islingtonians he is a local boy — born in Finsbury Park and educated at Islington School of Art. The Museum is the first purpose-built museum to be opened in London for forty years and it has been open for less than a year. It is small but beautiful and is set in a lovely park. The display of Heath Robinson’s work is imaginative and informative; and the temporary exhibition was also both interesting and attractive. In 1935 William Heath Robinson created a series of drawings that he called “Rejuvenated Junk”, showing new uses for unwanted objects. Ten of these drawings were published in a magazine. The temporary exhibition featured several of these together with a collection of recycled and upcycled artefacts from 33 countries around the world, provided by knowtrash ( Picture copyright Heath Robinson Museum Trust.

In September we visited Waddesdon Manor Waddesdon Manornear Aylesbury, a French-inspired chateau set among extensive parkland, both the single-minded creation of the fabulously wealthy Ferdinand Rothschild in the late 19th century. Ferdinand stopped at nothing: the top of the hill was chopped off to make a flat platform on which to build; existing buildings were demolished; and farmed land was converted to parkland. He ruthlessly cleared away anything that would cause the untidiness of the real world to intrude on his luxurious idyll. And luxury, and ostentation, were certainly everywhere evident, from the circular entrance room with portraits by Gainsborough and Reynolds to the sumptuous dining room, and the sequence of other rooms filled with ormolu and Sevres-inlaid furniture, 17th and early 18th century carpets, ceilings and panelling alike bought by Ferdinand, a connoisseur as well as an avid and wily collector, from French hôtels and chateaux once owned by pre-revolutionary aristocracy, the shapes of the rooms designed and adjusted to incorporate them. We proceeded room by ever more grandiose room until we were bedazzled out! Not all of us ventured up to the bedrooms, once host to Queen Victoria, Queen Mary and George V, or to the exhibition of Tudor portraits. Upstairs, two virtually complete sets of Sevres porcelain were on display as well as material from the Waddesdon Archive. Picture copyright National Trust Waddesdon Manor.

On the wettest day of the year in August four Grignani@Estorickof us were glad to visit the Estorick Collection's fascinating exhibition of works by the influential artist and graphic designer, Franco Grignani, whose most famous creation was the Woolmark logo. Anticipating Op Art by ten, if not twenty, years his designs are ingenious, even if, as we all agreed, they mess with your eyesight! Our visit to the two rooms displaying his work was completed with tea and a shared pasteis de nata in the gallery's new café.

John PiperIn July we had a day out and visited the new Piper Gallery, to see “John Piper — A Very British Artist“, at the River and Rowing Museum at Henley-on-Thames. John Piper spent most of his working life living at Fawley, just outside Henley. Apart from works in its own collection the Museum’s Piper exhibition includes loans from private and public collections and also a video of an interview with the artist. It is a relatively small exhibition, but attractively and informatively displayed. It shows work in a range of media, covering drawing, painting, collage, stained glass, ceramics, tapestry, set design, books, photography and textiles. Piper revelled in collaborating with other artists and craftsmen on joint projects. He developed an early interest in modernism, to which an interest in Romanticism was later added. He refused to be pinned down to any one style or movement. His lifelong interest in English art and architecture informed the wartime pictures of bombed architectural landmarks such as Coventry Cathedral, which made him famous. 
Copyright Photo Ian MacDonald Photography

HokusaiIn June we visited Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave at the British Museum. Hokusai’s image of his famous print “The Great Wave” has been used for a variety of purposes and is familiar to people almost everywhere, even if they do not know the name of the artist. This exhibition covers many aspects of Hokusai’s life and art: his exploration of the natural and spiritual worlds, his own aspirations and his humanity. Born in 1760 in Edo (present-day Tokyo), he was adopted (a common practice) into a family who were mirror polishers at the Shogun’s court, where at six he showed a talent for drawing. He received a good education and in his teens he trained as a block-cutter. This knowledge of woodblock cutting stood him in good stead when he became a print-designer. He knew poverty as well as fame; and in his last years (he died at 89) he lived with his artist daughter. Hokusai was prolific: by the 1780s ideas poured from him. He widened his subject matter and became more adept at the use of techniques, especially in the gradation of colour to give a sense of distance. When he worked with paint directly on silk his style is often softer but not lacking in power. At this time Japan was opening up to the influences of the West; Hokusai was quick to experiment with the new colour of Prussian Blue and to delight in imported paper. His ambition was to improve as an artist through the whole of his life. This exhibition is the opportunity of a lifetime to see so many masterpieces by this great artist.

In June an enjoyable discussion group took place in a Canonbury garden about the David Hockney exhibition at Tate Modern.

In May a visit took place to the Estorick Collection toEstorick see Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future. Four of us thoroughly enjoyed the visit to this hidden gem in Islington. We were able to enjoy a light lunch and afternoon tea in the delightful partly-shaded courtyard with a large metallic eye-catching sculpture. The exhibition encompasses all aspects of Giacomo Balla's talent drawn from the Biagiotti Cigna Collection: abstract and figurative painting, applied art, fashion-related designs, clothing and futuristic furniture. This was totally unexpected and we were very impressed. We also enjoyed the permanent collection of early 20th century Italian art in the rest of the gallery. We would thoroughly recommend a visit to this gallery. There are free tours on Saturdays at 3.00pm.

BrangwynIn April a visit took place to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. Is yet another once very famous British artist about to be resurrected? The small exhibition at the Gallery Sheer Paradise; Frank Brangwyn and the Art of Japan perhaps suggests so. A pillar of the Arts and Crafts movement Brangwyn developed a lifelong passion for Japanese art around the time of the First World War, somewhat after the popular interest of the late nineteenth century. His interest was particularly stimulated by his meeting, and then working closely with, a Japanese woodblock master, Urushibara, who lived in London. The exhibition provides selected examples of this collaboration. It also shows examples of Brangwyn's many other Japanese-related interests such porcelain, screens and architecture. For an artist with a very wide range of artistic endeavours, this exhibition provides a fascinating taster of his Japanese dimension. We all thought the William Morris Gallery itself is a little gem and well worth a visit.

Queens GalleryA second discussion group took place in March at the home of Art in London group member Maggie Butcher. The focus was the Rauschenberg exhibition at Tate Modern and the guest speaker Robert Vas Dias introduced Rauschenberg in his artistic context. There was a group visit to the Queen’s Gallery on March 21st to view the exhibition Portrait of the Artist. The exhibition contained over 200 objects including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and decorative arts ranging from the 15th to the 21st century. It focused on images of artists within the Royal Collection, showcasing self-portraits by artists including Rembrandt, Rubens, Hockney and Lucian Freud. Also featured were images of the artists by their friends, relations and pupils — including the most reliable surviving likeness of Leonardo da Vinci by his student Francesco Melzi. The relationship between artists and patron, and the role of the monarchs in commissioning, collecting and displaying portraits of the artist, was discussed. After viewing the exhibition the members of the Art Group met up in a local cafe to exchange their views on the exhibition. The illustration shows the self-portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi that is in the Royal Collection. Copyright Royal Collection Trust.

Garrick ClubIn March we teamed up with some members of the Theatre Group for a tour of the Garrick Club, where we saw a fascinating collection of paintings dating from the eighteenth century to the present day, displayed in the fine architectural setting of a nineteenth-century gentleman’s club. The informative tour was led by Frances Hughes, lecturer in Art and Theatre History and Sarah Hughes, drama school lecturer and casting director.

In February a group of us enjoyed a discussion at the Co-ordinator’s house about the exhibition of the work of Paul Nash at Tate Britain.

On January 10th there little-tim-and-the-sea-captainwas an enjoyable group visit to Ardizzone: A Retrospective at the House of Illustration at King’s Cross. Although Ardizzone’s style seems quintessentially English, he was not born English. He spent most of his childhood in Suffolk, but he was born in Vietnam where his French father was then working for an English firm. His father had been brought up in Algiers and married a Scot. We admired the quietly rebellious streak in Ardizzone that saw him leave the dull office work that his parents had chosen for him and in 1929 branch out as a full-time artist, having learned his craft at evening classes. He featured children in his stories who were as independent-minded as himself. Having married in 1926, he succeeded in supporting his wife and three children solely through his art. The 1930s was a good time to be going in for children’s books, which were then becoming more popular and exciting than they had been before. Ardizzone said that he envisaged his illustrations as rather like views of a stage seen from up in a box; and although his scenes contained a lot of action, the action somehow appeared frozen in time as in a tableau. We enjoyed the economy and fluidity of his line, drawing in pen and ink and in lithographic crayon.
Image: copyright estate of Edward Ardizzone

On January 13th there was a group visit to Cambodian dancerRodin and Dance: the Essence of Movement at the Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House. The centrepiece of this exhibition was a series of experimental sculptures known as the Dance Movements made in 1911 which gave the viewer an insight into Rodin’s unique working practices. The pieces were presented alongside a series of drawings in which Rodin explored movement and new forms of dance. They included the acrobatic models who posed for him in the studio as well as performers from the Royal Cambodian dance troupe, the like of which had never been since in Paris before. The highly stylized movements and positions of the limbs of these Cambodian dancers clearly fascinated Rodin. This exhibition was a delight for all but particularly for art students, of which there were many at the time we visited, and those of us who love dance both as observers and practitioners. The stretching, leaping and twisting figures were in turn moving, interesting and perplexing — can the human body really achieve that pose? The drawings and photographs were often more satisfying in that the models and subjects were living and beautiful and showed the artist’s appreciation and understanding of the human form.
Image: Copyright Musée Rodin, Paris.

TurnerOn December 9th we made a group visit to JMW Turner: Adventures in Colour at the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate. As a boy Turner visited Margate, where he would have seen the sea for the first time, and as an adult he returned to Margate and painted from a house with the same sea views now enjoyed by visitors to the Turner Contemporary. This exhibition includes more of Turner’s views of Margate than have been exhibited together before, and we were lucky to see these on a day when the soft winter sunshine echoed the colours in some of the paintings. Including works in both oils and watercolour, the exhibition charts the impact made by the artist’s exploration of experimental materials and techniques.
Joana Heseltine Our guide told us how the gallery reaches out to the local community and talked to us about a monumental, richly worked installation displayed in the gallery, The Three Graces by Kashif Nadim Chaudry. This commission has been selected and made in collaboration with Turner Contemporary's Studio Group, a group of local artists and makers.

Fashion & Textile MuseumSadly our scheduled visit to the British Museum on November 9th to see ‘Sunken Cities’ did not take place because illness struck those planning to attend. However, two unscheduled ‘extra’ visits in November were much enjoyed: on November 4th to Jazz Age Fashion and Photographs at the Fashion and Textiles Museum (on until January 15th);

Sotheby'sand on November 7th to view a selection from David Bowie’s Personal Art Collection on show prior to auction at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street.

Colour and VisionOn October 13th we made a group visit to the very interesting Colour and Vision exhibition at the Natural History Museum. Detailing a 565 million year journey through the eyes of nature, the excellent museum displays and descriptions showed us how vision evolved, and how colour in nature is such an enormous influence in art, design and innovation. Journeying through the natural world reveals much that is tantalizing. For example, do animals see the world as humans do? We discovered that this is unlikely as it was shown that many animals' eyes work quite differently from ours. Their brains' visual processing and mental perception can also be different. Without eyes do colours really exist? In modern times, what do colours mean to us? These, and many other questions, led us to the realisation that each individual has favourites, dislikes, associations and reactions that are "coloured" by personal experiences.
Image: Copyright The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

GOKOur group’s second visit in September was to ‘Georgia O’Keeffe' at Tate Modern. As none of O’Keeffe’s paintings are in UK public collections, this is a rare chance to see her work. Marking the 100th anniversary of the artist’s New York debut, this retrospective presents over 100 of her works, spanning sixty years. By exploring O’Keeffe’s varied sources of inspiration and wide range of subject matter, the exhibition challenges the bias that has largely based her fame on the flower paintings that form only a fraction of her oeuvre. The curators emphasize O’Keeffe’s own rejection of the sexual reading of these flower studies that was first put forward by her husband Alfred Stieglitz, and later taken up by feminists in the 1970s. O’Keeffe is shown blazing a trail as a woman whose importance was equal to that of male contemporaries. However, the exhibition also points out that O’Keeffe asserted that she was an important artist, not just an important female artist. More information here.
Image: copyright Metropolitan Museum of Art New York

Terence DonovanOur group’s first visit in September was to the Photographers Gallery (a contemporary and rather neat venue). This was our first visit to a photographic exhibition and it stimulated a rather broader discussion of the art scene than perhaps we had originally thought. The main focus was a first retrospective of the work of Terence Donovan. He was one of the “Black Trinity” of British fashion photographers who radically changed fashion photography in the 1960s. Out with formal posh surroundings and in with gritty provocative contemporary scenes usually shot in black and white not colour. A John Osborne equivalent situation perhaps. Also showing were a series of his portraits of leading figures of the day including the famous ones of Julie Christie and Terence Stamp. This provided a direct cross over to the current David Hockney portraits exhibition at the RA so there was much opportunity for comparing and contrasting.
    A second smaller exhibition showed photos of black males in very striking and, for us, unusual clothing. Whether this really did justify its title “Made You Look; Dandyism and Black Masculinity” is debatable. However there were some interesting historical photos.
Image: copyright Archives Elle/HFA

CorotOur group’s visit in August was to Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck at the National Gallery. The exhibition contained 80 works spanning 500 years, half of them exceptional loans from private collections. Each work exhibited had been chosen by a painter for themselves. How it influenced the painter was illustrated  by referencing the painter's own work, also shown in the exhibition. This thread was followed throughout the exhibition crossing countries and centuries, and enriching a huge variety of artistic styles. The audio guide gave insight into the owning painter's passion for and obsession with their purchase. This gave the whole exhibition an added depth.  An exciting, painterly exhibition. 
Image: Corot, ‘Italian Woman’ (detail), about 1870 copyright National Gallery, London

Giuseppe-Wenter-MariniOn 6th July we visited The Experience of Colour at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art. This exhibition explores the little-known work of a group of six painters in Northern Italy who came together in 1976 to publish their “Manifesto of Objective Abstraction”. Although each artist possessed a unique and independent artistic vision, what united them was their desire to make colour the focal point of their artistic practice, exploring its optical and perceptual effects. They saw painting “as a laboratory” and the artist as more a researcher, investigator, worker. The group’s moment was brief, largely because two of the group died in a train crash in 1978. We felt that the group’s aim of attaining scientific objectivity in art is unobtainable, because the choices made by the artist about shape and colour will have a degree of unconscious subjectivity, however objective the artist’s intention. However, we felt that whatever their theoretical basis, many of the works were pleasing to the eye.
Image: Diego Manzonelli, Untitled, 1976, serigraph (silk screen print) on paper, private collection.

Pallant HousePallant House, Chichester
— On the morning of June 22nd a group of iu3a members, drawn from the Art in London Group and the Theatre Visits Group, visited the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, where a volunteer guide gave us an illuminating tour of the permanent collection. The main focus of this impressive collection is 20th century British art; and the collection is housed in the Gallery’s original building, a fine Queen Anne mansion. Also on view was a small but beautiful temporary display of watercolours, prints and drawings belonging to the English landscape tradition from Gainsborough to Nash. Some of us attended a production of Ross (a play about T.E.Lawrence) in the afternoon at the Festival Theatre, and also fitted in a visit to the Cathedral, where we admired more 20th century art and two wonderful Romanesque reliefs. The full, enjoyable day unfortunately ended in many changes of train on our way home, caused by an industrial dispute.
Image: copyright Pallant House Gallery

Anna AkhmatovaOur group visit in June was to Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy & Tchaikovsky at the National Portrait Gallery. Pavel Tretyakov commissioned portraits of those he considered of Russian cultural importance in the last decades of the Tsarist regime (1867-1914). First we see the three great novelists placed next to one another. Dostoyevsky (Perov,1872), looking weak and unhealthy having endured ten years in Siberia. Next, a vigorous-looking Tolstoy (N.Ge,1884), writing at his desk with a frown of intense concentration. Then Turgenev, looking disdainful, having disagreed with his painter. The main representative of the theatre is Chekhov (Braz,1898). He is seated in a seemingly relaxed pose, but there is much tension in his shoulders and face. Among the composers is Mussorgsky (Repin,1881), painted a few days before his death from alcoholism. A sad portrait, showing his watery eyes, unkempt hair and beard, and red nose. Tchaikovsky's portrait (1893), painted in his final year, shows someone ill-at-ease, in spite of his fame, barely looking at the painter, his right hand pressed down on his papers. Anna Akhmatova (D-V-Kardovskaia,1914), the poet, is shown in profile against a post-Impressionist landscape. Later, she and her family would suffer much under the Leninist/Stalinist regimes for their criticism. The final portrait is of the patron and Matisse collector Morosov, (Serov,1910), in front of Matisse's Fruit and Bronze. Compared with the earlier Realist paintings of Repin and Perov, this shows the influence of the French art movements. This exhibition gave us insights into the characters of many famous Russians.  
Image: Anna Akhmatova by Olga Della-Vos-Kardovskaia, 1914 © State Tretyakov Gallery.

DelacroixIn May our visit was to Delacroix and the Rise of Modernism at the National Gallery. This exhibition includes paintings made up to 50 years after Delacroix’s death by artists who were known to have admired him. The Expressionist and almost Abstract ‘Modernism’ of some of these paintings is seen as following on from the liberation of form and colour that happened when the self-taught Delacroix turned away from literal description towards emotive self-expression. Linking some of these paintings by other artists to Delacroix is a bit far-fetched, and it is sad that Delacroix’s larger and more famous works are absent from this modest exhibition. However, these are mere quibbles because, as Delacroix himself said, ‘the first virtue of a painting is to be a feast for the eyes’ and Delacroix's vibrant colours, dynamic brushwork and dramatic lighting and movement feasted our eyes, as too did the moving intensity of van Gogh’s colours and brush-strokes and Matisse's creative interplay of colours and forms.

GiorgioneOur last group visit was on 5th April to In the Age of Giorgione at The Royal Academy of Arts. Giorgione has always been a famous painter, but a lack of documentation makes attributing works to him controversial. Today only a few works are generally attributed to him and most of these cannot travel. In the exhibition there are just two works that are firmly attributed to Giorgione because of inscriptions on their versos, and there are a few other paintings that might be by him. However, beautiful paintings of the same general era show Venice on the cusp of its golden age, when it was soaking up and making its own many influences from elsewhere. These influences include the intimate realism of the portraits and landscape studies of Dürer (several of whose works are in the exhibition), the chiaruscuro mysteriousness of Leonardo’s portraits and the flowering of humanism in contemporary literature. Works in the exhibition by Giovanni Bellini show the glorious richness of oil and the attention to landscape that he had taken from the Northern Renaissance and that were developed by his successors.

Watts GalleryOn 15th March we went on an all-day guided tour of the Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village near Guildford. We were well looked after by the Gallery staff and volunteers, whose knowledge was deep and enthusiasm infectious. We learned that although G.F.Watts became a highly successful Victorian painter and sculptor, he had risen from humble origins and he and his second wife Mary, a distinguished artist in her own right, believed in making access to both art and art education freely available to all. Their Artists' Village therefore included not only a Gallery but also workshops; and Mary designed a beautiful, highly decorated Chapel that was made with the participation of 70 local people of all classes and ages, most of them without any previous experience of arts and crafts. We also visited the house that G.F.Watts and Mary built for themselves near the artists' village.

Comix CreatrixOn 26th February we visited Comix Creatrix at the House of Illustration near King’s Cross. "The world has turned!" was the comment from many of the art group visiting Comix Creatrix, and rightly so. This small but power-packed exhibition "explores the world of comics, graphic novels and zines through original artwork by 100 international women comic creators working across genres and generations". There is nothing frivolous here at all. The subject matter covers tough subjects, from Nazi occupation to surreal fantasy (including clear pictures of female genitalia). Nothing cosy, nothing easy. The overarching opinion of the group was that this exhibition was a good introduction to a new genre to explore. In this The House of Illustration gives us a start. They offer us a "Free digital Comix Creatrix download from SEQUENTIAL, the graphic novel app for ipad". The world awaits!

VermeerOn 20th January we visited Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer at the Queen’s Gallery. The painters of these 27 masterpieces included Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Vermeer and Rembrandt. We were treated to scenes of ordinary people — warts and all — doing everyday things from carousing in taverns to enjoying a quiet meal in a peasant cottage. In some of them the artist himself appears. Some of the meticulously rendered details allude to the work’s deeper meaning or to moral messages that would have been familiar to the contemporary viewer. One of the joys of the Queen’s Gallery, aside from the free entry to exhibitions for a year after the purchase of a single ticket, is the opportunity to get very close to the works. It is a privilege to see the fine brushwork and indeed the flaws in these wonderful pictures. 

Some of us also visited the exhibition of Thomas Rowlandson cartoons High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson. We were treated to the caricaturist’s satirical observations of life at the turn of the C19th with his portrayals of portly squires, young dandies, corrupt politicians, Jane Austenesque ladies and notorious celebrities of the age. Many of these still raise a chuckle, looked at from a C21st perspective. Plus ça change! 
    In the evening of the same day some of us much enjoyed a friendly get-together at a pub. We should do it again!

Celt AmuletOn 14th December we visited Celts: Art and Identity at the British Museum. A member of our group describes her impressions of the exhibition: "The story unfolds over 2,500 years, from the first recorded mention of ‘Celts’ to an exploration of contemporary Celtic influences. This identity has been revived and reinvented over the centuries, across Britain, Europe and beyond.
    Some of the gold torcs were in pristine condition, some torcs were enormous and we guessed must only have been for ceremonial occasions — tiny coins and a giant bowl — the Gundestrup cauldron. Pieces of swords and axe heads found in rivers including objects found in the Thames — the horned helmet. Swirling geometric patterns on a mirror and the boar featured in designs on helmet and shield.

Modern interpretations included the creative work of Archibald Knox and of course Asterix the Gaul!''

If you are interested in reading about our earlier visits then have a look at our archive here.

If there are exhibitions that you don’t want to miss (including if you were unable to join one of our group visits recorded above) you can consult our blog for the closing date (scroll down to “About” and click on it to get to the most recent post). There you will find a selection of London exhibitions listed in the order in which they close.

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