Consuming Passions: Luxury Shopping in Georgian Britain
Until 31 December 2015
The Georgian age, an era of wealth, industry and empire, saw consumerism – the appetite to acquire, to possess, and to display – becoming an increasingly important social and economic phenomenon. Greater numbers of the aspiring middle classes saw their disposable income increase and shopping for luxury items became a way of displaying one’s status in society. The selection and purchase of goods was transformed into a pleasurable pursuit in its own right and shopping became a fashionable leisure and social activity for both sexes.
Consuming Passions: Luxury Shopping in Georgian Britain seeks to explore the world of luxury consumption and Georgian polite shopping in the eighteenth century. Focusing on luxury objects and commodities – such as those required to furnish, fill and decorate homes in the latest taste, to clothe and accessorise, to entertain or simply satisfy the desire for the novel, a significant component of the exhibition will look at the retail experiences and shopping practices of wealthy Georgian Society.
York YO1 9RN
Illustration:18th century trade card for Maydwell and Windle's Cut-Glass Warehouse, London
Night Shift - London after Dark
Until 10 April 2016
When the sun sets and the moon rises over London the city gradually takes on a character and the Night Shift begins.
The introduction of gas and electric street lights at the end of the 19th century brought significant change to the night time streets of London and with it new opportunities for pleasure seekers and greater demands from night workers travelling to and from the city.
The Night Shift exhibition delves into the dark side of transport in London and explores the power of publicity and the world of the night shift over the last century.
Eye catching transport posters highlight the rise of the West End and the growth of the leisure economy, whilst archive photographs and films document the development of transport to meet the needs of Fleet Street and other night workers. Wartime Tube sheltering, the burgeoning nightclubbing scene and hard hitting safety campaigns bring the story up to date and cast new light on the contemporary 24 hour city.
London Transport Museum
Covent Garden Piazza
London WC2E 7BB
Poster: Floodlighting, Harold Sandys Williamson, 1931
Fashioning Philadelphia - The Style of the City, 1720-1940
Until 4 March 2016
Trade card for J E Caldwell & Co - Jewelers, Silversmiths and Importers, 902 Chestnut St, Philadelphia. Easter 1880. Printed by Marcus Ward & Co.
Home to modest Quakers, prosperous free blacks, well-heeled international transplants, and working classes of all sorts, Philadelphia was once the country's most cosmopolitan city.
In addition to being known for stylish residents, Philadelphia gained a reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse by the 19th century. Called the “Workshop of the World,” the city supported countless manufacturers producing goods used in the fashion industry. Tanneries, ironworks, and mills made the leather, metal, and cloth that a thriving community of shoemakers, tailors, and milliners fashioned into parasols, hoop skirts, shawls, and hats.
To tell this particular story, Fashioning Philadelphia draws on the Library Company's rich collections of historical materials. Among many other items, it includes several portraits of Benjamin Franklin ("Philadelphia's first fashionista"), hand-coloured fashion plates showing men and women wearing the latest styles, tailoring patterns, contemporary views of Chestnut Street, interior views of the Stetson hat factory, architectural renderings of major department stores, and small artifacts such as 19th-century
sunglasses and ladies' boots.
By showing depictions of Philadelphians from all walks of life, from prosperous free African Americans to
the labouring poor, gang members to Quakers, the exhibition also presents a social history of the city, and of urban America in general, as it changed over two centuries.
Library Company of Philadelphia
Louise Lux-Sions and Harry Sions Gallery
1314 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Until 17 January 2016
James Gillray, The Plumb Pudding in Danger, 1805
An exhibition of caricatures of James Gillray and cartoonists inspired by him to mark the 200th anniversary of his death.
Known as 'the father of the political cartoon', Gillray was a brilliant satirist who used his work to call the king, prime ministers and high-ranking generals to account.
Born in Chelsea in west London, he started out as a letter-engraver before being admitted as a student in the Royal Academy. He continued engraving in order to support himself while studying, producing caricatures under fictitious names. These works enjoyed huge success – crowds would gather to examine them from his publisher's shop window – and it is now thought as many as 1700 caricatures can be attributed to him.
35 Little Russell Street
Spotlight – Freemasons and entertainment
Until 13 February 2016
During the 1700s, as Freemasonry grew in popularity, it began to attract new members from increasingly diverse social backgrounds. Masonic lodges had always attracted men whose work could take them anywhere in the country, such as mariners and merchants, who would find security and friendship within the fraternity. The stage was no different and throughout the 1700s, there are many examples of members of the theatrical or musical professions enjoying or seeking membership of lodges. The 1800s saw the development of “class lodges”, which were lodges for men with a common interest, background or occupation.
In 1863 Maybury Lodge No. 969 was formed for freemasons connected to the Royal Dramatic College in Woking, a home for retired actors. This was the first of many lodges associated with the theatrical profession that would open in the next 100 years.
This exhibition examines over twenty lodges associated with theatre, music and entertainment from lodges for Victorian pantomime stars in London’s Drury Lane to musical hall Bohemians in Birkenhead.
Throughout the exhibition you will also find items relating to many theatrical and musical “stars” of their time; ventriloquists, actor managers, the original Charley’s Aunt, music hall and vaudeville comedians, composers and conductors, a star of the silent screen and two rock music legends.
60 Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AZ
Show Me The Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present
Until 24 January 2016
This exhibition asks: what does ‘the market’ look like? What does money really stand for? How can the abstractions of high finance be made visible? Who is finance for?
The exhibition charts how the financial world has been imagined in art, illustration, photography and other visual media over the last three centuries in Britain and the United States.
The project asks how artists have grappled with the increasingly intangible and self-referential nature of money and finance, from the South Sea Bubble of the 18th century to the global financial crisis of 2008.
The exhibition includes an array of media: paintings, prints, photographs, videos, artefacts, and instruments of financial exchange both ‘real’ and imagined. Indeed, the exhibition also charts the development of a variety of financial visualisations, including stock tickers and charts, newspaper illustrations, bank adverts, and electronic trading systems.
Show Me The Money demonstrates that the visual culture of finance has not merely reflected prevailing attitudes to money and banking, but has been crucial in forging – and at times critiquing – the very idea of ‘the market’.
Image; Detail from Midas, transmuting all, into paper (1797) by James Gillray