‘Following Hercules: The story of classical art’ has opened at the Fitzwilliam Musuem, Cambridge. The exhibition, located within the Octogon Gallery is free to the public and runs from 25 September to Sun 6 December 2015.
Michael Grubb Studio provided lighting design services for the temporary exhibition. Many of the objects on display are light sensitive, with 50 Lux requirements. The Studio worked closely with the in-house conservation team and the head curator Dr Caroline Vout, Reader in Classics in the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Christ’s College.
Hercules is one of the best loved heroes from ancient Greece. Known in antiquity for completing twelve tasks or ‘labours’ that confirmed his status as a god, Hercules is today tasked with one more – to show visitors to the Fitzwilliam how sculptures made in the Mediterranean millennia ago came to define western art. Hercules inhabits each of the forty objects on display, which range from exquisite miniatures and Renaissance prints, drawings and paintings, to Wedgwood cameos and a giant polystyrene statue by A colossal polystyrene statue of Hercules by contemporary artist Matt Darbyshire.
The result is an arresting visual experience of differing scales, styles and material, which gives ongoing meaning to the ‘classical’.
The story continues at the Museum of Classical Archaeology where you can see the cast of the Farnese Hercules – one of the oldest casts on site.
Founded in 1816 the Fitzwilliam Museum is the principal museum of the University of Cambridge and lead partner for the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) Major Partner Museum programme, funded by The Arts Council. The Fitzwilliam’s collections explore world history and art from antiquity to the present day. It houses over half a million objects from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman artefacts, to medieval illuminated manuscripts, masterpiece paintings from the Renaissance to the 21st century, world class prints and drawings, and outstanding collections of applied arts, ceramics, coins, and Asian arts. The Fitzwilliam presents a wide ranging public programme of major exhibitions, events and education activities, and is an internationally recognised institute of learning, research and conservation.