Opening this month - Museums Association

Opening this month

From the elaborate art of Iran's Book of Kings to the plain space of John Pawson: Geraldine Kendall selects the pick of September's new exhibitions
Baghdad, 5 March 2007: A Project with Jeremy Deller, Imperial War Museum, London

Opens 9 September

As the conflict in Iraq continues, the Imperial War Museum is staging a special display of its first major acquisition from the field of battle: a burnt-out car salvaged from the bombing of Baghdad’s open-air book market in Al-Mutanabbi street.

The 2007 bombing killed 38 people and wounded many more. During its time on display, the wreckage will be the centrepiece of the museum’s entrance hall and the focus of a series of conversations about the war. Turner Prizewinning artist Jeremy Deller is collaborating on the project.

Cost £30,000
Funding in-house
Curators Jeremy Deller, Roger Tolson
Design and graphics in-house

Epic of the Persian Kings: The Art of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

11 September-9 January 2011

The 1,000-year-old Persian Book of Kings, or Shahnameh, is one of the world’s most renowned literary epics. Written by the poet Ferdowsi in 1010 AD, the narrative poem tells Iran’s version of the history of the world.

To mark the passing of a millennium since its completion, this exhibition brings together more than a hundred paintings from illustrated manuscripts inspired by the epic. Spanning 800 years, it is the most comprehensive exhibition of Shahnameh art to be mounted in the UK.

Cost c£200,000
Main funders Iran Heritage Foundation, Bahari Foundation, Denis and Minouche Severis, Parsa Community Foundation, Princess Guity Qajar Fund, Monica and Ali Wambold, the ILEX Foundation, Islamic Manuscript Association
Curators Charles Melville, Barbara Brend
Design and graphics in-house

The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

16 September-5 December

An exhibition aiming to shed new light on the group of artists who founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the 1850s. Rejecting the classical compositions of artists such as Raphael as a corrupting influence, the Brotherhood is often labelled the first avant-garde movement in art.

The exhibition will look at the artists’ relationship with Italy and the influence of early Italian art and literature on their work. Highlights include Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Monna Vanna and Borgia Family, and some rarely seen works by William Holman Hunt and John Brett.

Cost £164,200
Main funders Ashmolean Museum, Minoli Tiles, Friends of the Ashmolean, Coutts
Curators Colin Harrison, Christopher Newall
Design and graphics in-house
Transport Constantine

Wolfgang Tillmans, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

18 September - 12 December

Chosen by Wolfgang Tillmans himself, this selection of photographs will be displayed as installations reflecting the artist’s personal response to the permanent collection at the Walker Art Gallery.

His choices range across a broad span of art history, including the gallery’s medieval and renaissance collection, a painting by one of Liverpool’s most famous artists, George Stubbs, and contemporary masters such as Patrick Caulfield.

Cost £4,000
Main funders National Museums Liverpool, Arts Council Collection
Curators Ann Bukantas, Ann Jones
Design and graphics Val Evans, Arts Council Collection

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

18 September -30 January 2011

A new show by digital artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, whose interactive artworks have previously been displayed in London’s Trafalgar Square and New York’s Madison Square Park.

The artist creates giant, electronic installation works that respond to the viewer – lights beat to people’s pulse rates, projections of other people appear inside viewers’ shadows. This exhibition uses surveillance cameras to create an interactive shadow play.

Cost £260,000
Main funders Manchester City Council, North West Regional Development Agency, Arts Council England, Henry Moore Foundation, Abandon Normal Devices
Curators Tim Wilcox, Fiona Corridan
Design and graphics in-house

Muybridge Revolutions, Kingston Museum, Kingston-upon-Thames

18 September-12 February 2011

A pioneer of motion picture, Kingston-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge invented the zoöpraxiscope, one of the first ever devices to project a moving image. Muybridge left his collection to Kingston Museum & Archive, so the museum holds an internationally recognised collection of 67 glass discs created for the ingenious machine.

The system uses light projected through silhouettes painted on the rotating discs to produce an impression of motion. Many of these rare discs – bearing figures such as monkeys and horses – will be on display for the first time, along with Muybridge’s magic lantern slides. A programme of events accompanies the show.

Cost £49,700
Main funders Heritage Lottery Fund, Kingston University, Association for High Speed Photography and Photonics
Curator Peta Cook
Graphics Kingston Museum design studio
Design James Rowlands, Peta Cook
Conservation Plowden & Smith

John Pawson: Plain Space, Design Museum, London

22 September-30 January 2011

Often labelled a minimalist, British designer John Pawson is known for creating architecture and product designs of visual clarity and simplicity. Plain Space traces Pawson’s career from the 1980s and includes a selection of landmark commissions, such as Calvin Klein’s flagship store in Manhattan.

At the heart of the exhibition is a site-specific, 1:1 scale architectural installation designed by Pawson. The process of design and construction will also be shown through photography, film, sketches, study models, prototypes and interviews.

Cost undisclosed
Main funder MAC
Curator Gemma Curtin
Design and graphics John Pawson Architects

Image: a back somersault as captured by photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge

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