This exhibition explores animals in royal collections, menageries and early zoos, and political beasts in the period 1750 to 1850. Discover the fascinating story of the first living giraffe in the UK, given to George IV as a diplomatic gift in 1827, plus the history of travelling menageries performing in London and Brighton, and other exotic creatures.
Other works on show will include satirical prints, original menagerie bills, sculptural and ceramic pieces and paintings and archival material; the display includes historical prints depicting animals in menageries and circuses before the introduction of animal welfare laws.
Matthias Buchinger's Drawings from the Collection of Ricky Jay
Until 11 April 2016
This installation of drawings, prints, and related ephemera by the German artist and performer Matthias Buchinger (16741739) explores for the first time the oeuvre of the so-called Little Man of Nuremberg.
Standing only twenty-nine inches high, and born without hands or feet, Buchinger was celebrated in his own time as a draftsman and calligrapher as well as a magician and musician. He boasted a clientele that included noblemen, kings, and emperors, along with members of the public who visited him at inns and fairs from Leipzig to Paris and from London to Belfast.
Buchinger's remarkably delicate drawings often exploited flowing lines of microscopic texts to build up figures and elaborate scenes, an ancient Jewish technique known as micrography. The vast majority also incorporate calligraphic inscriptions that describe his physical condition as well as his artistic and personal triumphs. His main subjects include family trees, coats of arms, the Ten Commandments, and portraits.
The Royal Game of the Goose: 400 years of printed board games
23 February - 14 May 2016
This exhibition, based on Adrian Sevilles collection, brings
together some seventy games on paper. All are of the simplest
kind: throw the dice to race to the end of the spiral
track no choice of move, no skill possible.
of the Goose is the prototype, to which all the games are
related, some using it as a close template for thematic variation,
some being only distant relations.
The exhibition begins by demonstrating the spread and
endurance of the classic Goose game worldwide, and then
shows how educational variants were invented in mid seventeenth-
By contrast, British educational
games are shown as developing a century later. Thematic
sections follow these displays of the games history, and
cover propaganda and polemic, science and invention,
advertising, and some intriguing images of America as
seen from across the pond.
The show concludes with
games arranged for play: try your luck in progressing from
Errand Boy to respected Banker and a good citizen!
Image: Jeu des manchons "la couronne" Paris: Etabs. Robert & Cie., 55 & 57 Rue Louis-Blanc, [c. 1900] Chromolithograph, 260 x 370 mm
Drawing on Childhood
Until 1 May 2016
Drawing on Childhood brings together the work of major illustrators from the eighteenth century to the present day, who have created powerful images of characters in fiction who are orphaned, adopted, fostered or found.
The exhibition considers how illustrators of different generations have chosen key moments in stories from European folklore and fiction, and brought these child heroes to life.
Original drawings, first editions and special illustrated editions will be on display, featuring characters as diverse as James Trotter (James and the Giant Peach) who was orphaned as a young boy, Hetty Feather, who lived at the Foundling Hospital, and Rapunzel, whose parents gave her up as a child.
Two original illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert for the 1961 edition of Roald Dahls James and the Giant Peach will be exhibited, alongside Arthur Rackhams original 1919 drawing of Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother. Major illustrators and artists whose work will be on display include Quentin Blake, George Cruikshank, David Hockney, Phiz (Hablot K. Browne), Arthur Rackham, Thomas Rowlandson, Nick Sharratt and Stref.
Czech-born Alphonse Mucha (1860 1939) is one of the most celebrated artists of the fin-de-siècle. Rising to international fame with his elegant designs for decorative panels, and stunning advertising posters, le style Mucha became synonymous with the Art Nouveau movement.
This exhibition explores the work of the artist, around the theme of beauty the core principle underlying his artistic philosophy. The show will include over 60 works drawn primarily from the collection of the Mucha Trust, focusing on drawings, paintings, photographs and iconic posters, such as Gismonda, Muchas first poster designed for the actress Sarah Bernhardt.
Like artists of the British Arts and Crafts movement, it was Muchas belief that beautiful works of art should improve the quality of peoples lives. He wrote:
I was happy to be involved in art for the people and not for private drawing rooms. It was inexpensive, accessible to the general public, and it found a home in poor families as well as in more affluent circles.
Pepys was one of the most colourful and appealing characters of 17th-century Britain. Known as a naval mastermind, he was also a notorious gossip, socialite and a lover of culture, fine living and women!
He also fought for survival both on the operating table and in the cut-throat world of public life and politics. He successfully navigated his way to wealth, power and status until his luck, intimately entwined with the Kings fortunes, finally ran out.
The emblem of The Ephemera Society represents Samuel Pepys (1633 - 1703), Secretary to the Admiralty and celebrated diarist.
Described by the societys founder, Maurice Rickards, as the first general ephemerist, Pepys's collection embraced trade cards, board games and labels as well as ballads and other street literature.
Mark your calendar for the Ephemera Society of Americas (ESA) thirty-sixth annual conference, Politics, Patriotism & Protest, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Old Greenwich, Connecticut. The conference examines the use of ephemera in promoting political, patriotic, and protest movements, emphasizing such issues as race, gender, and war.
The scholar-collectors who will present during our Friday conference will speak about creating collections and the knowledge that can be derived from them, including their use in teaching university-level American history. Topics cover a variety of topics including symbols of patriotism, political protest posters, 19th-century presidential election campaigns, black protest movements, and war-related greeting cards.
After the presentations, there will be an opportunity to meet some of the speakers at a book signing. Attendees who come early, on Thursday, may attend an important new Ephemera Society event, an afternoon presentation on the use of ephemera by college students in the classroom.
On Saturday and Sunday, ESA will present the widely anticipated Ephemera Fair, considered by many the best in America. There will be exceptional material from a wide spectrum of knowledgeable and experienced dealers, displaying their freshest and best ephemera.
When the sun sets and the moon rises over London the city gradually takes on a character and the Night Shift begins.
The introduction of gas and electric street lights at the end of the 19th century brought significant change to the night time streets of London and with it new opportunities for pleasure seekers and greater demands from night workers travelling to and from the city.
The Night Shift exhibition delves into the dark side of transport in London and explores the power of publicity and the world of the night shift over the last century.
Eye catching transport posters highlight the rise of the West End and the growth of the leisure economy, whilst archive photographs and films document the development of transport to meet the needs of Fleet Street and other night workers. Wartime Tube sheltering, the burgeoning nightclubbing scene and hard hitting safety campaigns bring the story up to date and cast new light on the contemporary 24 hour city.
Poster: Floodlighting, Harold Sandys Williamson, 1931
War in London
Until 27 April 2016
This new exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives reveals the effects of five conflicts on Londoners and their city, from the English Civil War to the Cold War.
In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Zeppelin air raids of the First World War, and the 75th anniversary of the London Blitz during the Second World War, this exhibition uncovers historical manuscripts, maps, photographs and films that tell us about the destruction of the city, the threat of imminent invasion and the heroism of ordinary Londoners.
Image: World WarII - London Bus conductress Photograph recording the service which women in Britain gave during wartime
Bawdy Bodies: Satires of Unruly Women
Until 26 February 2016
Characterised by comically grotesque figures performing lewd and vulgar actions, bawdy humor provided a poignant vehicle to target a variety of political and social issues in eighteenth-century Britain.
Bawdy Bodies: Satires of Unruly Women explores the deployment of this humorous but derisive strategy toward the regulation of female behavior. The exhibition presents satirical images of women from a range of subject categories including the royal family, aging members of fashionable society, disparaged mothers, political activists, gamblers, medical wonders, artists, performers, and intellectuals.
Fashioning Philadelphia: The Style of the City, 1720-1940
Until 4 March 2016
Trade card for J E Caldwell & Co - Jewelers, Silversmiths and Importers, 902 Chestnut St, Philadelphia. Easter 1880. Printed by Marcus Ward & Co.
Home to modest Quakers, prosperous free blacks, well-heeled international transplants, and working classes of all sorts, Philadelphia was once the country's most cosmopolitan city.
In addition to being known for stylish residents, Philadelphia gained a reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse by the 19th century. Called the Workshop of the World, the city supported countless manufacturers producing goods used in the fashion industry. Tanneries, ironworks, and mills made the leather, metal, and cloth that a thriving community of shoemakers, tailors, and milliners fashioned into parasols, hoop skirts, shawls, and hats.
To tell this particular story, Fashioning Philadelphia draws on the Library Company's rich collections of historical materials. Among many other items, it includes several portraits of Benjamin Franklin ("Philadelphia's first fashionista"), hand-coloured fashion plates showing men and women wearing the latest styles, tailoring patterns, contemporary views of Chestnut Street, interior views of the Stetson hat factory, architectural renderings of major department stores, and small artifacts such as 19th-century
sunglasses and ladies' boots.
By showing depictions of Philadelphians from all walks of life, from prosperous free African Americans to
the labouring poor, gang members to Quakers, the exhibition also presents a social history of the city, and of urban America in general, as it changed over two centuries.