Welcome to Wednesday Wishes, my pick of what to see in London this week and a book to read on the way.
Banknotes of the Week
Put 5 June 2024 in your diary. That is the date the the new King Charles III banknotes go into circulation. If you want to catch a glimpse of them before that head over to the Bank of England Museum where they are on show in the new Future of Money exhibition. As well as the new look notes the exhibition looks at how we spend money is changing. Most of us tap to pay now, whether with phones or cards. Some payments are made using cryptocurrency. What role do Central Banks have in this new digital world and more importantly will the Tooth fairy go cashless are questions tackled by the exhibiton. Free to visit and always fascinating.
Woman of the Week
Angelica Kauffman was one of the founding artists of the Royal Academy. Not that Zoffany painted her in his famous founders of the Academy painting. She and Mary Beale (the other female founder) were not allowed in the life class that the male artists were all attending. She spoke five languages, was friends with Joshua Reynolds and Queen Charlotte and one of the most sought after portrait artists in London. She painted anybody who was anybody and when she died her funeral procession through Rome was organised by Canova and saw some of her paintings carried through the streets. The RA has a new exhibition devoted to her and her work.
Craft of the Week
Somerset House plays host to Collect Craft Fair this weekend. Its rooms will be filled with the work of the very best crafts people from around the world. Most of it is for sale, prices range from £500 to £50,000 so we are talking creations way beyond dodgy macramé plant holders. I love seeing the exquisite things that people create. Open Friday to Sunday it is one of my favourite things to visit every year.
Auctions of the Week
Springtime in London means that Sotheby’s and Christie’s put some of the very best treasures up for sale. Before the hammer falls both auction houses hold free exhibitions of everything that is up for sale. Expect Hockney, Chagall , Picasso and many Surrrealists. Sotheby’s exhibition will run from 28 February – 6 March . Christie’s viewing for their 20/21st Century, Art of the Surreal and Impressionist sales run 1 – 7 March
Book of the Week
Wolves, facts about wolves, myths about wolves, rewilding and wolves. I have been reading about all things lupine this week. Hunt for the Shadow Wolf: The Lost History of Wolves in Britain and the Myths and Stories that surround them by Derek Gow tells you everything you ever wanted to know about wolves. I confess that I am skeptical about the merits of reintroducing wolves into the UK but very much enjoyed reading about the myth and legend of them.
Thank you to Chelsea Green publishing for a review copy of Hunt for the Shadow Wolf
For more cultural inspiration take a look at look at Best London Exhibitions or for ideas for Cultural Travels how about my European Exhibitions Worth Travelling for 2024 or some Inspiring UK Cultural Destinations. For reading inspiration take a look at my best books of 2023
Where will you wander with Cultural Wednesday Wishes this week?