Exhibitions & Displays 2010

Release date: 
Monday, 18 January 2010

The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace 

The Conversation Piece: Scenes of Fashionable Life
Until 14 February 2010

This exhibition explores the tradition of the ‘Conversation Piece’, group portraits of high-society sitters in strikingly informal situations.  With its roots in 17th-century Dutch painting, the genre is best known through the work of the English artists William Hogarth and George Stubbs in the 18th century and Sir Edwin Landseer in the 19th century. The greatest exponent of the Conversation Piece was Johan Zoffany, and the exhibition includes a remarkable series of works produced by the artist for his royal patron, George III.  While a portrait primarily records the sitter’s appearance, the Conversation Piece depicts their way of life and thus provides a fascinating insight into the fashions, interiors and manners of the age.

Advance tickets and information: +44 (0)20 7766 7301

Victoria & Albert: Art & Love
19 March 2010 – 31 October 2010      

This major exhibition is the first ever to focus on the unique partnership of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their shared enthusiasm for art. It celebrates the royal couple’s mutual enjoyment of collecting and displaying art from the time of their engagement in 1839 to the Prince’s untimely death in 1861. Bringing together over 400 objects from the Royal Collection, the exhibition includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, furniture, jewellery and photographs. Around a third of the works were exchanged as gifts between the couple. The exhibition also challenges the popular image of Victoria – the melancholy widow of 40 years – and reveals her as a passionate and open-minded young woman.

Advance tickets and information: +44 (0)20 7766 7301


The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography
2 October 2009 – 11 April 2010

This exhibition of remarkable Antarctic photography by George Herbert Ponting and Frank Hurley marks the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott’s ill-fated journey to the South Pole.  Ponting’s dramatic images record Scott’s Terra Nova expedition of 1910-13, which led to the tragic death of five of the team on their return from the South Pole.  Hurley’s extraordinary icescapes were taken during Ernest Shackleton’s Polar expedition on Endurance in 1914-17, which ended with the heroic sea journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia.  Both collections of photographs were presented to King George V and are today part of the Royal Photograph Collection.

Advance tickets and information: +44 (0)131 556 5100

Dutch Landscapes
30 April 2010 – 9 January 2011

This exhibition brings together 42 remarkable landscapes from the ‘golden age’ of Dutch 17th-century painting.  Following the Protestant Reformation, landscape painting was no longer confined to the background of a religious narrative, but gained an independent status and currency in its own right.  Artists turned to the countryside and to the sea to convey a pride in their homeland – the newly reformed Dutch Republic.  While some painters looked to their native surroundings for subject-matter, others found inspiration in the mountainous vistas and golden light of Italy.  The exhibition includes works by Jacob van Ruisdael, Aelbert Cuyp, Nicolaes Berchem and Meyndert Hobbema.

Advance tickets and information: +44 (0)131 556 5100

The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle

Henry VIII: A 500th Anniversary Exhibition
Until 18 April 2010

To mark the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne, some of the most important and beautiful treasures to survive from the King’s reign are brought together from the Royal Collection and 
the archives of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.  Windsor played host to Henry VIII and his court on many occasions, and the monarch is buried in St George’s Chapel with his third wife, Jane Seymour. Through paintings, drawings, miniatures, prints, books and manuscripts, the display explores the life of a King who had a profound impact on history and whose fascinating story continues to generate huge interest today.

Advance tickets and information: +44 (0)20 7766 7304


Marcus Adams: Royal Photographer
24 April 2010 – 6 February 2011

Marcus Adams (1875-1959) photographed four generations of the Royal Family between 1926 and 1956. The son of the photographer Walton Adams, he established a reputation as a leading child photographer through his ability to capture the personality of his young sitters. The 55 images in the exhibition span a period of 30 years  and  include  vintage  prints  from  almost  all  the  royal  sittings, many  from  the  collection  of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a charming group of photographs of the very young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret taken in the late 1920s and 1930s.

Advance tickets and information: +44 (0)20 7766 7304