Not to be missed ... events summer 2018

| May 18, 2018

As flowers bloom, voting history is celebrated, and historians dig deeper into the tragedy of the Titanic, Lucy Pierce rounds up the best of British culture to look forward to this spring and summer.

Kew's Temperate House

Kew’s glasshouse reopens

After five years of restoration, the stunning Grade I listed Victorian glasshouse at London’s Kew Gardens will reopen to the public on 5 May 2018. The Temperate House is the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world and will house 1,500 different species of temperate plants. Among these species are some of the world’s rarest, including the South African cycad Encephalartos woodii – only one specimen of which has ever been found growing in the wild, and has long since disappeared. The restoration involved the replacement of 15,000 panes of glass, 180km of scaffolding (the equivalent length of the M25) and 5,280 litres of paint. 

Opens 5 May 2018;

Kew's Temperate House orchids

Kew's Temperate House orchids


The intimate belongings of Mexican painter and style icon Frida Kahlo, which were locked away for 50 years by her husband Diego Rivera, will be displayed outside Mexico for the first time at London’s V&A museum from June. Released by her family for public view in 2004, these clothes and artefacts relate to her inimitable signature style, defined by the indigenous Tehuana dress, her monobrow, which she coloured in with eyeliner, and her traditional Mexican braided hairstyle, often embellished with flowers.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up; 16 Jun – 4 Nov 2018;

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Red and Gold Dress, 1941, Oil on canvas, 39 x 27.5 cm © Gerardo Suter - The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and The Vergel Foundation.

Shakespeare outdoors in Rutland

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Stamford Shakespeare Company in Rutland will perform two of The Bard’s plays this summer: The Merchant of Venice and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Founded in 1968 by RADA graduate Jean Harley, the company moved to near-derelict Tolethorpe Hall in 1977, which was restored and turned into the leading regional theatre it is today. The Rutland Open Air Theatre is in a natural amphitheatre in the hall’s grounds, and drew more than 34,000 to its Shakespeare season last summer.

12 Jun – 1 Sep 2018;

Comedy of Errors Shakespeare

Comedy of Errors Shakespeare

Titanic Stories in Cornwall

Using new information to reappraise some of the myths and controversies surrounding the sinking of the Titanic, the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is hosting a Titanic Stories exhibition. Bringing together never-before-seen items and the personal stories of survivors and the descendants of victims, including those living locally in Cornwall, the exhibition also explores how the tragic event has been commodified and commercialised.

8 Mar 2018 – 7 Jan 2019;

Titanic Stories

Titanic Stories 

Votes for women in Manchester

The People’s History Museum in Manchester is marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave all men and some women the right to vote, with a series of exhibitions throughout 2018. The headline exhibition, Represent! Voices 100 Years On, will celebrate the city’s position as a hub of political activism during the suffrage movement and beyond. The exhibition will be made up of submissions by campaigning groups such as Safety4Sisters and Manchester Women’s March.

2 Jun 2018 – 3 Feb 2019;

Items from the People's History Museum's collection

Items from the People's History Museum's collection

Moulin Rouge, La Goulue (Poster), 1891. Collection: Victoria and Albert Museum, London, presented by Mrs. J. T. Clarke. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.Pin-Ups: Toulouse-Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec famously depicted the joie de vivre in Paris at the end of the 19th century, focusing on life in his bohemian neighbourhood of Montmartre, with its thriving cafe culture and the avant garde cabaret of the Moulin Rouge and Le Chat Noir. His illustrations and lithographic posters made their stars famous, coinciding with a revolution in printmaking and mass marketing. A collection of his artworks will be on display at Pin Ups: Toulouse-Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity, at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh this autumn/winter.

6 Oct 2018 – 20 Jan 2019;

Moulin Rouge, La Goulue (Poster), 1891. Collection: Victoria and Albert Museum, London, presented by Mrs. J. T. Clarke. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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