I finally visited Cambridge! Got to see people punting, partake in the ancient art of dodging slow moving tourists and looking at the colleges.
Luckily, I had a local(ish) guide – my dear friend Ashley whose been studying there this summer.
The Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitz museum is full of lots of different items spanning all sorts of time periods and places. They focus on art objects – loads of paintings, but have ceramics and armour as well. Basically they get whatever their generous donors were interested in. It gets eclectic.
The museum is free (yay!) and is pretty imposing. The ceiling of the colonnade was beautiful – look up as you enter.
Here is Ashley doing a great job modelling this Rodin sculpture. They had quite a few of his smaller pieces in a room with some Van Gogh’s and Monet’s. It was recently their 200th year anniversary. There was a nice special display highlighting how their collection has grown and changed.
THIS IS THE ENTRANCE HALL! Can you feel the poshness? So much marble.
BEES! This was a hand-painted cabinet done by a Pre-raphaelite artist done in the medieval style.
The Fitz also has a great temporary exhibition on- Colour. All about illuminated manuscripts. No photos allowed sadly. It was a great contrast to see works like this cabinet that were inspired by the stuff in Colour. The amount of work in those manuscripts is mind boggling.
I really quite liked this room. The upper balcony is accessible via a very steep spiral staircase. The balcony is also quiet shallow. We almost touched some of the paintings accidentally.
A pretty little Constable! The collection has a lot of the BIG names in the western art cannon – the already mentioned Van Gogh, Titian, Leighton, Millias, etc.
The ceramics hall is almost overwhelming. The sheer volume of objects on display is impressive. Makes me wonder how much they have in storage. Most museums can only display a fraction of the amount of items they hold.
My favourite object of the day! A teapot (or ewer as the label says) that is in the shape of a melon. The photo does not do the light justice at all.
Pros: Beautiful if imposing building, diverse and broad collection, great special exhibition, kind staff, good shop
Cons: It is very large – we didn’t see all of it. The gallery organisation is a bit muddled – not a clear narrative or pathway. May be difficult in some areas for people with mobility issues.