Welcome to Wednesday Wishes. Three cheers light has appeared at the end of the tunnel. I confess that my cheers are a little muted. Non essential shops are to reopen on April 12, along with commercial art galleries, but museums have to wait until May 17. I don’t understand why a museum needs to be lumped in with a concert venue and not shops.
Scent of the Week
One of my favourite museums anywhere is the Mauritshuis in The Hague. It started life as a house, well a palace, and the spaces are comfortable you can imagine living there. The artwork is the among the very best that the Dutch Golden Age has to offer. A new exhibition FLEETING scents in colour was due to open this month. Yesterday I went on a virtual curator tour of the show which looks at the depiction of smell in art. Not just big vases of flowers, but the rotting ripeness of fruit, the stench of a 17th century canal, the gentle lactic smell of a bleaching field. In the gallery itself there are foot operated pumps that dispense the smells. At home you have a selection of atomisers that you deploy at key times. I absolutely loved the idea of this exhibition when I first heard about it last year and my glimpse of it yesterday just made me want to jump on a train to The Hague. Last night’s experience was for press only but the Mauritshuis is planning to have smelly online curator tours available for everyone soon, in the meantime take a look at the Mauritshuis website.
Birthday of the Week
Happy Birthday to the Albert Hall, 150 years old this year. A year of celebrations had been planned now sadly much diminished. Sir Mick Jagger has kicked off the celebrations with short film remembering past glories at the Albert Hall and looking forward to future concerts.
Concert of the Week
Audiences may not be able to assemble until May but 200 real live musicians will take to the stage at the Wigmore Hall this month. Not all at the same time of course. At 7.30 most evenings in February the Wigmore Hall will live stream a concert, attendance is free but please consider making a donation as the musicians have to eat. Check out the Wigmore Hall website for a full run down of concerts.
Book of the Week
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford was a dazzling debut a couple of years ago. You were plunged into 18th century New York for his follow up novel Light Perpetual, Francis Spufford has zipped forward to late 20th century London. Light Perpetual starts with a second by second exploration of the launch and explosion of a V2 bomb in war time London. Hundreds of people are killed. Then, as novelists can, he plucks five children from the wreckage and tells the story of the lives that they would have led.
Contains affiliate links if you click a link and buy a book it will cost you the same but I will get a small payment. Thank you to Faber and Faber and NetGalley for an advance copy of Light Perpetual.
Where will you wander with Cultural Wednesday Wishes this week?