All visits are to exhibitions and venues in the wider London area. They take place on Friday mornings and normally last about two hours including time in cafes. Places are offered to members of the Museums and Galleries Group first but if there are any vacancies they will be offered to members of U3A as a whole.
Group Convener : Jennifer Pulham
We will not be arranging visits in July or August but are planning to start again in September, probably with Aftermath : Art in the Wake of World War I at Tate Britain. Details to follow nearer the time.
Apsley House offered so much of interest that it was hard to take it all in. The collection ranges from gifts of silver and porcelain to an astonishing range of Dutch, Spanish and Italian works by major artists. The cafe next door provided not only coffee and a chance to chat, but also an excellent close up view of the Household Cavalry in all their splendour
Shirley Teece enjoyed the visit so much that she writes:
On Friday 15th June a Group of us went to Apsley House, home of Duke of Wellington – in days of yore, known as Number One London. Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day. As I was early I went to cafe and had coffee. As I walked to the cafe, a team of The Household Cavalry rode by.It was a lovely sight to see with their bright red tunics, their brass helmets gleaming in the sun with a sort of pony tail on the back of their helmets. I imagine they were on their way for Changing the Guard ceremony. Quite a lot of people around, many of them I imagine were tourists, cameras, some of them real, many on smart phones pointed at the Guards as they rode by. A great photo opportunity and the chance for visitors to see a small bit of London ‘pageantry’. The house was extremely interesting. Beautiful high ceilinged rooms, with a wonderful collection of paintings over the centuries. I was rather surprised to see a portrait of Napoleon amongst them. Jennifer Pulham, the Convener and her friend Louise were extremely knowledgeable about the house, which added greatly to our visit. I would really recommend it. Hope to go back some time, I have a friend who has a great collection of Napoleon memorabilia, and is also extremely knowledgeable. She has a house in Scotland is there now till end of summer, I am going to visit her in August. When she is back in London we are going to go to the house together. I would really love to see it again and I know she would enjoy it too. Many thanks to Jennifer for organising it and both of them for their knowledge of the period. Interestingly some of the family still live there.
Sir John Ritblat Gallery in the British Library
Some members of the group visited the Sir John Ritblat gallery in the British Library. We could only do justice to a small selection of its many treasures, from Magna Carta, through ancient and beautifully illustrated texts of a number of religions, jottings of famous writers, Shakespeare’s first folio and early methods of notating music on paper, to Karl Marx and, unexpectedly to some of us, the Beatles. The morning was rounded off with coffee and chat outside in the sunshine.
Gursky at the Hayward Gallery
Andreas Gursky has devoted his life to developing photographic techniques and the effects he achieves are extraordinary. 12 members of the Galleries group visited the exhibition on Friday 13th April at the Hayward Gallety. One of them stopped in front of the first photograph and exclaimed “Well! My gob is smacked already! “, which just about summed up the experience of us all. The exhibition ends on 22nd April, and we would urge U3A members who have not seen it to try to do so. Prepare to have your mind blown!
Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell Collection
Five intrepid souls evaded illness, slippery pavements, heating problems and everything else that the vicious late winter could throw at us, and were greatly cheered by the colourful Degas works on loan from the Burrell collection in Glasgow. If you missed the exhibition, do go: it’s on until 7th May (and free)!
Rhythm and Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain, Two Temple Place
11 members of the Group appreciated both the exuberant décor of the building and the cheerfully contrasting style of the exhibition on between-the-wars Jazz, and afterwards adjourned to a café to discuss these and many other matters.
Soutine’s Portraits : Cooks, Waiters and Bellboys at the Courtauld Gallery
El Greco to Goya – Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum at the Wallace Collection