Saturday 10 May 2014

Cambridge in the rain

It was very wet in Cambridge but still very lovely. Nothing can spoil the beauty of the buildings and the spring foliage seems to be flourishing with copious amounts of rain.

But we didn't linger on the streets, we scurried to the Fitzwilliam to be warm and dry and to delight in looking at the work of some of our favourite artists.

The building is impressive enough before you even start on the artwork.
A school party, (uniform co-ordinating nicely with the walls!) was learning about a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds. I could quite happily have joined them on the floor and listened in. (Although not too sure if I am still able to sit cross-legged.)
Two of my favourite artists were displayed together; one of several versions of 'The Convalescant' by Gwen John, painted in her apartment in Mendon and a small painting in distemper on card by Vuillard of his sister, Marie.
And another, larger, Vuillard had a bit more information about his private life than I knew about!

This delicious little Seurat of springtime in the rue Saint-Vincent in Paris would have fitted nicely into my pocket!
And I was just as tempted by the cushion covers on sale in the museum shop
but resisted. (Although I may go back another time and splurge.)
Outside on the streets the usual tourist tat was on sale.
The reason for our Cambridge visit, apart from a lovely catch-up with family, was to see a temporary exhibition of paintings by Ben and Winifred Nicholson and friends at Kettles Yard. It had been very well reviewed in the London Review of Books and we wanted to see it before it moved from Cambridge on May 11th. I've blogged Kettles Yard on a previous occasion as I think that it is a delightful place. It was the home of the influential art collector Jim Eades, who had worked at the Tate Gallery and was a champion of modern British art. On this visit small flower arrangements had been placed around to echo the work of Winifred Nicholson's paintings being shown in the gallery exhibition.

'Things' on tables, aren't they lovely!

As well, of course, as things on walls and shelves.

No photography was allowed in the exhibition, called, ART AND LIFE: 1920-1931. These are just a couple of postcards. 'Cyclamen and Primula' the flowers wrapped in tissue paper, a present from Ben to Winifred, was in the show. 'Greek Hill Flowers' was not, but since we had just returned from a Greek hillside I had to buy the card!

 It is a fabulous exhibition and moves from Cambridge to the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. Do catch it if you can.


  1. LOL! The oak table with the stones circling more stones in the center looks like the very one I'm sitting at now. (The one I grew up with... Complete with authentic dings, wobbles and all.)

    Thanks for sharing Cambridge -- and Greece before that. I'd always wondered what they'd be like.

    Chooks now calling my name at dawn, must get outside & toss some food at them before they get loud enough to wake the neighbors.

    Have a good day!

    1. What a lovely picture, I can see you sitting at the table and can hear the calling hens.

  2. Kettles Yard is one of my all time favourite galleries. The pebbles on the table impressed me so much many, many, years ago that I copied the idea into some paving in our garden, which I can see from where I am sitting at the moment.

    1. A trip to Kettles Yard is like visiting the house of a friend and I think that is what makes it special.