great places to visit off the beaten path.
The University College London (UCL) Art Museum is located at their main Bloomsbury campus and offers changing exhibits throughout the year (the new exhibit titled ‘Plastered’ opens on 21-Jan-2013 which focuses on plaster, the casting process, and scultpure) as well as opportunities for research, with a fully searchable online catalogue that can be viewed by request. With over 10,000 works of art from the 1500’s onward, including drawings by Turner and etchings by Rembrandt, paintings, prints and sculpture there are plenty of reasons to visit. The museum integrates its collection with students, researchers from other disciplines, modern artists and other museum collections when forming its exhibits creating a more unique and educational experience for the audience.
History of the Museum Collection: In 1847, neo-classical artist John Flaxman made a gift of his sculpture models and drawings to the College. Further gifts came over the years, including a bequest from Felix Slade in 1868 endowing the Fine Arts program (thus the Slade School of Art). The majority of the collection came from two bequests – Mr. George Grote in 1872 and Henry Vaughan in 1900. Grote’s gift included an important group of 16th-century German works and a selection of Renaissance and Baroque prints and drawings mainly from Northern Europe, while Vaughan’s gift included drawings by Turner and De Wint, Rembrandt etchings, and early proofs and states of Turner’s Liber Studiorum and Constable’s English Landscape Scenery. A bequest from Sherborn in 1937 added more rare and important prints to the collection including an early edition of Dürer’s Apocalypse woodcuts and early states and proofs from Van Dyck’s Iconographia.
The collection also holds the collection of prize-winning student work from the school dating from 1890 to today, including gifts and purchases. Since the Slade School of Fine Art was the first art school to admit women on equal footing to men a large number of works by pioneering women artists are in the collection, dating from the 1890s onwards.
Museum Info: The Museum’s “works on paper” (prints and etchings) are housed in a traditional Print Room setting in the museum, while paintings and sculpture are displayed in public rooms around the college. The Flaxman Gallery (in the Wilkins Building) under the dome is currently being renovated to open it up to the ground level below, creating better light and a new exhibition space. The collections are publicly accessible through temporary exhibitions and displays across the campus. The museum is open to the public (free admission) Mon-Fri 1 pm-5 pm whenever an exhibition is on display. See their website for more details, which includes information on their ‘Top 10’ items, as well as a self-guided tour outline. There are also various conferences and lectures provided throughout the year, though they may require booking and fees. See: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/uclart
Located at: South Cloisters, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT
Closest Tube: Euston Square