This may be the month for lights, panto and choral singing, but don’t miss the chance to see some spectacular art too. Here are five shows that are top of our list
The top five events to enjoy this July
1 Jul 2020
Whether you want to enjoy art online or visit a newly reopened museum, here are our picks of the best events around.
Revisit masterworks at The Wallace Collection
Jean-Honore Fragonard, Les hasards heureux de l'escarpolette (The Swing), c1767-8 © Trustees of The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection will open its doors once more this month, as it celebrates 120 years since it first opened to the public. The museum will be offering socially distanced, ticketed entry and a prescribed route. It is a wonderful chance to explore treasures that span 19th-century French art, medieval and Renaissance works, including paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, and Fragonard’s Rococo masterpiece The Swing.If you can’t visit in person, there are plenty of excellent resources online, including talks and courses, ‘treasures of the month’ and works arranged by themes such as family, animals and royalty.
Get lost in National Trust properties
Penrhyn Castle (Creative Commons)
Listen in to National Trust free podcasts in this, its 125th anniversary year. Discover the darktale of Penrhyn Castle in Wales or ‘head’ to Cornwall, to mine the past of the tin coast. Tune in as Kirsty Wark explores suffrage histories of Trust sites, while Clare Balding reveals lost and hidden LGBTQ stories. Or take an aural stroll through some of the Trust’s stunning gardens (seen here, Thomas Hardy’s Dorset cottage garden in summer). We especially liked the episode on how gardens heal, with music journalist Alice Vincent, in which she reveals how the most unlikely spaces can be transformed into beautiful, restorative micro-gardens.
Explore humanity and ecological change
Alan Hunt, Grouse, 2020. Western Red Cedar, acrylic, feathers and found materials. Installation view, Pine's Eye, 2020. Image courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh.
Pine’s Eye at Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh explores what it means to be human in times of ecological change, featuring work from contemporary artists and indigenous groups. While you might not be able to visit the show in person at present, you can virtually experience the Dance of the Forest Spirits ceremonyperformed by Kwakwaka’wakw people from Canada, and view profiles of various works with curator James Clegg. So far he has spotlighted the likes of Kevin Mooney, Taryn Simon and Haegue Yang.
Discover radical figures
Dana Schutz, Imagine You and Me, 2018. Courtesy of the artist; Petzel, New York; Thomas Dane, London; Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin
As the Whitechapel Gallery reopens on 14 July (with timed, advance bookings only), visitors will have the chance to experience the acclaimed exhibition Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, which will now remain open until the end of August. It features work by Michael Armitage, Christina Quarles and Tschabalala Self, all of whom question the accepted narratives we place on the human body.
Enjoy concerts fron the comfort of your home
© Stephen Frak
While the Royal Albert Hall’s grand interiors remain closed, it is offering exclusive ‘Royal Albert Home’ sessions broadcasts from artists’ houses, featuring live and on-demand lockdown concerts, all for free. Upcoming events include songwriter Guy Chambers (2 July, 7.30pm) and Grammy Award-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti (4 July, 7.30pm). Our top picks from the archive include shows by Martha Wainwright and LA-based singer-songwriter Azniv Korkejian, better known as Bedouine.
Holly Black is The Art Society's Digital Editor
About the Author
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST
Become an instant expert!
Find out more about the arts by becoming a Supporter of The Arts Society.
For just £20 a year you will receive invitations to exclusive member events and courses, special offers and concessions, our regular newsletter and our beautiful arts magazine, full of news, views, events and artist profiles.
FIND YOUR NEAREST SOCIETY
Lucian Freud was no gardener, nor plant lover. Yet his paintings of plants – and weeds – are some of the most remarkable, and overlooked, of 20th-century art history. Now, in the year of the centenary of the artist’s birth, a new exhibition at London’s Garden Museum takes his plant works as its focus. Its curator, Giovanni Aloi, reveals the story behind three of the paintings on show
The role of women in 19th-century artistic circles was more muse than maker, which makes the story of disabled artist Sarah Biffin all the more noteworthy. Largely overlooked by history, a new show about her, says Jane Audas, places the artist in the spotlight