The Best Exhibitions and Events in December 2019

This month's festive round up of the best exhibitions and events in December 2019 are all handpicked by the team at Shapero.

The list includes Art Fairs, Architecture, and a truly iconic smashed up bass!

What: Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2019

When: Ongoing until 16th February 2020

Where: National Portrait Gallery

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2019 is the leading international competition, open to all, which celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world.

What: The Clash: London Calling

When: Ongoing until 19th April 2020

Where: Museum of London

When The Clash’s third album ‘London Calling’ was released in the winter of 1979 it was clear that the band had made an instant classic, an era-defining masterpiece which still stands as one of rock’s all-time greatest albums.
To celebrate this truly London work, the Museum of London will showcase a collection of items from The Clash’s personal archive including notes, clothing, images and music, many previously unseen, in The Clash: London Calling, a free exhibit opening on 15th November.

What: Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece

When: Ongoing until 12th January 2020

Where: National Gallery

The secrets of Leonardo’s masterpiece are revealed in four distinct spaces. Each space invites you to look at 'The Virgin of the Rocks' in a new way.

What: Gauguin Portraits 

When: Ongoing until 26th January 2020

Where: National Gallery

The first-ever exhibition devoted to the portraits of Paul Gauguin. Spanning his early years as an artist through to his later years spent in French Polynesia, the exhibition shows how the French artist revolutionised the portrait. By adding carefully selected attributes or placing the sitter into a suggestive context Gauguin was able to make portraits that expressed meaning beyond their personalities. A group of self portraits, for example, reveals how Gauguin created a range of personifications including his self-image as 'Christ in the Garden of Olives', 1889 (Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach).

What: Quentin Blake: An Anthology of Readers

When: Ongoing until Christmas Eve

Where: Shapero Rare Books

Yes, yes, we know! It's our exhibition! But we couldn't include a round up of the best exhibitions without including it!

Opening on the 29th November 2019, An Anthology of Readers is comprised of seventy-two new pen, ink & watercolour drawings by the much-loved Quentin Blake, all of which affectionately caricature people who love books - the perfect Christmas present for any bibliophile.

Head over to the blog to read an interview we were lucky to do with the great artist.

What: Art Miami 2019

When: 3rd December - 8th December 2019

Where: Art Miami Pavilion

We are excited to announce our Gallery, Shapero Modern, will be exhibiting for the first time at Art Miami 2019 as IFPDA members!

Our stand will include iconic works by a number of titans of 20th-century culture, with prints by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Jean Michel Basquiat with others besides.

What: Making Marvels

When: Ongoing until 1st March 2020

Where:The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Making Marvels explores the complex ways in which the wondrous items collected by early modern European princes, and the contexts in which they were displayed, expressed these rulers' ability to govern. Approximately 170 objects—including clocks, automata, furniture, musical instruments, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, print media, and more—from both The Met collection and over fifty lenders worldwide are featured. Visitors will discover marvelous innovations that engaged and delighted the senses of the past, much like twenty-first-century technology holds our attention today—through suspense, surprise, and dramatic transformations.

From the styling of everyday objects to the invention of spatial configurations for the modern home through to the realisation of complex projects inserted within an urban context such as the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan or the cathedral in Taranto, Ponti’s design was characterised by his comfort in switching scales. Produced in collaboration with the CSAC of Parma and Gio Ponti Archives, the exhibition presents archive materials, models, photographs, books, magazine and objects that permit the discovery of a remarkable protagonist of Italian architecture who left an indelible mark on diverse continents.

What: Draped

When: Ongoing until 1st March 2020

Where: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Degas, Christo, Michelangelo, Rodin, Man Ray, Dürer ...

The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon retains an exceptional drawing by Albrecht Dürer studying a piece of drapery. This meticulous study reveals how the flexibility of a fabric lends itself to an infinity of folds, underlined by shadows and lights.

How is a drapery put in place? For what reasons does this motive persist until today? How to explain its power of fascination? These are the questions that this exhibition intends to pose, in order to enter the "factory" of the drapery and to get closer to the artistic gesture. By showing the stages of making a drapery, the visitor will discover the singular practices of artists from the Renaissance to the second half of the 20th century.

What: A Christmas Carol

When: Ongoing until 18th January 2020

Where: The Old Vic

Matthew Warchus’ big-hearted, smash hit production of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic returns to The Old Vic , joyously adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and starring Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, Babylon) as Ebenezer Scrooge.

The Old Vic’s A Christmas Carol fills the auditorium to the brim with mince pies, music and merriment. A unique staging immerses the audience in this uplifting story.

What: Cyrano de Bergerac

When: Ongoing until 29th February 2020

Where: The Playhouse Theatre

Fierce with a pen and notorious in combat, Cyrano almost has it all - if only he could win the heart of his true love. There’s just one big problem: he has a nose as huge as his heart. Will a society engulfed by narcissism get the better of De Bergerac - or can his mastery of language set Roxane’s world alight? James McAvoy returns to the West End in an inventive new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s masterwork by Martin Crimp, with direction by Jamie Lloyd.

What: The Tiger Who Came to Tea

When: 9th December - 5th January 2020

Where: Theatre Royal Haymarket

Based on Britain’s best-loved picture book by Judith Kerr, the Olivier Award nominated smash hit show The Tiger Who Came to Tea returns to the West End for Christmas. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger! Join the tea-guzzling tiger in this delightful family show; packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos! A stunning stage adaptation of the classic tale of teatime mayhem... expect to be surprised!