The BM&AG 2008 exhibitions schedule is out. Some highlights…

Opening on 18th Feb 08 is Lely to Turner: British Drawings and Watercolours 1640 – 1860.

Turner, Blenheim Park, Oxfordshire 1832

In an odd coincidence, the British photographer I featured on 26th Jan, Felice Beato, gets a show. From Canton to Guangzhou opens 3rd May 08. It shows the photographs Beato made when he accompanied the British Expeditionary forces into China as a war photographer (pictures such as the city walls of Peking, below) during the Second Opium War — and pairs them with contemporary documentation of Chinese architecture in the Nansha area of Guangzhou, by Xu PeiWu.

Felice Beato, the Walls of Peking

Xu PeiWu, bridge in Nansha area of Guangzhou

Myths & Monsters looks fun, with animatronic life-sized monsters. Opening 24th May 08, it’s the touring version of the 1998 Natural History Museum show, and will no doubt pull in the all-important June and July school visits trade. It…

“explores the scientific and literary origins of mythical beasts … [ and will also ] include displays drawn from BM&AG’s collection, tracing the history of mythical monsters in fine art, applied art and social history objects.”

Animatronic monster

Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite opens 23rd August 08, showing the work of the creator of the famous “The Last of England”, a painting many will have seen on visits to BM&AG. Hopefully they’ll be able to borrow the enigmatic painting “Work” from Manchester.

Ford Madox Brown, Work, 1863

Ford Madox Brown, The Irish girl, 1860

The Art of Birmingham 1890-1939 (on until 24th Feb 08) looks at the art school system in Birmingham, and it gets a sequel at Christmas; The Art of Birmingham 1940-2000. Let’s hope there’s then a catalogue that covers both exhibitions, since there wasn’t even a photocopied hand-list for the first. We can, though, expect to (perhaps) see a version of the BM&AG Pre-Raphaelite collection online by the end of 2008.