Cotton to Gold at Two Temple Place

Cotton to GoldIn the nineteenth century, the textile industry in the North West was booming, making the factory owners rich beyond the dreams of avarice. What did they do with this huge wealth? Well, some of them at least spent it on amassing some amazing collections of art and natural objects. Like Roman coins, medieval manuscripts, Turner watercolours, Tiffany glass, Japanese prints, Byzantine icons, ivory sculptures, preserved beetles and a Peruvian mummy, which all feature in the current exhibition at Two Temple Place. Continue reading

Hokusai’s Great Wave – a view from the souvenir shop

Hokusai Great Wave souvenir apron I was in the British Museum the other day (as I often am) and, as I was passing the shop in the great court, a shopping bag printed with Hokusai’s Great Wave caught my eye. It made me wonder about the perspective people get who don’t climb the stairs (or take the hidden lift) to the fifth floor to see the Japanese collection, but just come across images in the shop. So I went to see what else was on offer. And got a bit of a shock. Continue reading

Hokusai Exposed in Spitalfields

Hokusai - Red Fuji in Fine Weather

There’s a bit of a buzz around about the Hokusai Exposed exhibition at the Old Truman Brewery in Spitalfields. It describes itself as an ‘immersive exhibition of “recreated” works by Hokusai’ which sounds a bit out of the ordinary so I was keen to get down there and see what it’s all about. Starting with finding out just what it means to “recreate” a work of art. Continue reading