Collections on Tour

In the small space of the present Bethlem Museum, we can only display around five per cent of our nearly 1,000 artworks at any one time. Luckily, art from the Bethlem Collection is often requested by exhibitions elsewhere. The Richard Dadd and Louis Wain collections make frequent journeys en masse: this summer, our collection of Wain cats will be travelling to the Nicholson Museum and Gallery in Leek, Staffordshire. The exhibition runs from 26 June until 8 October 2012.

Meanwhile, Elise Warriner’s The Anger Within has travelled back across the Channel, this year to be displayed at the Museum Boerhaave in Leiden (Netherlands), in an exhibition opening next week (Friday 13 April) and running until September 9th. The striking image was painted as part of Elise’s degree show, “Welcome to my World”, which focused on her struggles with anorexia nervosa, an illness from which she later recovered. The painting forms part of the exhibition The Weighty Body, shown last year at the Museum Dr Guislain in Ghent. Themed around the history of fasting, the exhibition explores the multiple religious, medical, aesthetic and political meanings of the refusal of food throughout the centuries. The exhibition catalogue is written in Dutch, French and English and explores a variety of artworks and images relating to body size. Many of these can be found on the Museum Boerhaave website.

Finally, one of our paintings appears in central London, in the Wellcome Collection‘s new exhibition, Brains: The Mind as Matter (29 March – 17 June). Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see Allan Beveridge’s Me, Myself, I. The exhibition “follows the long quest to manipulate and decipher the most unique and mysterious of human organs, whose secrets continue to confound and inspire”, asking us “not what brains do to us, but what we have done to brains.” It will explore ways in which we have measured and classified, mapped and modeled, treated and displayed this complex organ within anatomy, science and art. On Saturday April 14, visitors can come to our Richard Dadd exhibition at the Archives and Museum from 11am, before heading over to the Brain Jar special event at Wellcome from 2 – 6pm. This afternoon of events for adults includes a chance to practise brain surgery skills, witness trepanning and graduate from the school of phrenology!

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