RESTORING SOANE’S BLUEPRINT
Sir John Soane’s Museum has housed a collection of the architect’s books, drawings, antiques and other personal artefacts in his former home since the early 19th century. And now the culmination of a seven-year restoration programme has returned the museum to its founder’s former specifications.
The final stage of the £7 million Opening Up the Soane project has seen the lobby opened out, the catacombs restored and the former butler’s pantry incorporated into an exhibition space that now allows a larger part of the architect’s original 1837 collection to be displayed. To celebrate, Marc Quinn’s Drawn from Life exhibition (28 March to 23 September) sees contemporary sculpture placed alongside Soane’s ancient artefacts.
LET IT FLOW
Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem was one of the must-see plays of the last decade, a Mark Rylancestarring state-of-the-nation play that sold out in London before transferring to Broadway. After a limited run for his theatrical follow-up, 2012’s The River, and work on several Hollywood blockbusters (including James Bond’s Spectre), Butterworth returns with The Ferryman, a family epic set in rural Northern Ireland. Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Paddy Considine, the initial run at the Royal Court sold out in 24 hours, so expect tickets to fly for additional 16-week West End run at the Gielgud Theatre, which runs from 20 June to 7 October.
LOUD AND COLOURFUL
A car horn, a market trader, an urban fox, a street busker… London is awash with vivid noises that shape our experience of the city and it is precisely this patchwork of sounds that has inspired The Prize for Illustration 2017. Held at the London Transport Museum and organised in partnership with the Association of Illustrators, the theme of this year’s exhibition is “Sounds of the City”.
A panel of judges selected 100 top entries to exhibit and the overall winning artwork will be displayed at tube stations across the capital. Sounds of the City runs from 19 May to 3 September.
King George III was a cultured sort, founding the Royal Academy of Arts and amassing thousands of books that now reside in the British Library. In 1762, just two years into his reign, the young monarch also bought almost the entire art collection of Venetian dealer Joseph Smith. In doing so, he secured for the nation an unrivalled portfolio of late Renaissance art, complete with dozens of vedute (or city scenes) by Italian painter Canaletto.
Key works from the Royal Collection [including Rosalba Carriera’s Winter, above] feature in Canaletto and the Art of Venice, which runs from 19 May to 12 November at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.
BACK TO THE GARDEN
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the highlight of the British horticultural calendar, as more than 150,000 greenfingered gardeners descend upon this 11-acre corner of central London. Held every year since 1913, the event provides the world’s best garden designers with the chance to showcase their skills on a series of ambitious and daring temporary plots in the hopes of winning a coveted RHS Gold Medal.
Highlight of this year’s show, which runs from 23-27 May, will include the Centenary Garden [pictured above], created to celebrate 100 years since the foundation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.