Exciting, Eclectic, Exceptional: Must See Exhibitions in 2013

Travel Ideas

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The British Museum
The British Museum

I’m not sure what’s come over us Superbreak bloggers lately but we seem to have developed a taste for all things cultural. With fellow blogger Vikki looking at the cultural highlights of Europe in her recent blog post, I’ve been thinking about combining a weekend break with an overdue trip to an exhibition. As a former History of Art student I used to visit exhibitions all the time but nowadays it can be hard to find the time during my busy schedule. By planning a weekend away where I can clear my diary and forget all about the ‘to do’ list in my inbox, I know I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the unique tranquility of a gallery or museum.

Here’s my list of exhibitions that I’m thinking of visiting during a weekend break over the next few months.

Manet: Portraying Life
The Royal Academy of Arts, London, Until 14 April 2013

Despite the fact that portraits constitute around half of the artist’s oeuvre there has, until now, never been a retrospective devoted entirely to Manet’s portraiture. I love Manet’s scenes of Parisian life from the mid to late 19th-century as he so magnificently captures the almost tangible atmosphere of the scenes he depicts, but have never really considered his portraits on their own. This new exhibition at the Royal Academy reveals Manet as a master of portraiture as well as genre paintings.

Glam! The Performance of Style
Tate Liverpool, Until 12 May 2013

Another exhibition of firsts, Glam! The Performance of Style at Tate Liverpool is the first exhibition to explore the development of glam in the early 1970s. Through the work of David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Richard Hamilton and other artists this colourful and eclectic exhibition explores the development of the unique British style which reverberated throughout Europe and America, influencing the worlds of fashion, film, painting, photography and performance.

May Ray Portraits
National Portrait Gallery, London, Until 27 May 2013

I’ve always loved the work of avant-garde painter and photographer Man Ray, who was a pivotal figure in the Dada and Surrealist movements of the early 20th-century. He was renowned for his fashion photography and portrait work and captured numerous iconic figures during his heyday, including Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Kiki de Montparnasse and Ava Gardner. This new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery comprises of over 150 prints that reveal the artist’s mastery of the photographic medium.

David Bowie Is Retrospective
The V&A, London, 23 March to 28 July 2013

Continuing the glam theme, David Bowie fans will delight at a new exhibition of the legendary icon’s musical career opening this spring at The V&A. I think this exhibition will make for a really interesting visit; combining displays of costume, photography, music videos, set design and memorabilia for an eclectic and inspirational insight into the artist’s influential career.

Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum
British Museum, London, 28 March to 29 September 2013

Featuring precious objects never before seen outside of Italy, Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum explores the lives of the Roman citizens of the ill-fated historic cities. This exhibition is the only one of its kind to appear in the UK for over 40 years, making it an absolute must-visit for history buffs. The devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 perfectly preserved these two ancient towns which have been carefully excavated to reveal how the Romans lived, as well as how they died following the tragic eruption.

Do any of these exhibitions take your fancy? What else do you recommend visiting on a weekend break over the next few months?

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