Five exhibitions to see this August

Can’t take any more sunbathing? Head into the cool with these five great exhibitions, all recently opened or beginning in August.

It seems everything is on the move this month; join priceless treasures on a rare trip home to Peterborough, go on tour with Wales’ natural history collections or visit the Edinburgh Festival with an iconic London fashion studio – all for free or enjoy great offers with a National Art Pass.

Sigmund Freud’s study in Berggasse 19, Vienna, 1938

Leaving Today: the Freuds in Exile 1938

‘Leaving today for 39 Elsworthy Road, London…’ So Freud wrote quickly to a friend on 4 June 1938 in Vienna before escaping with his family into exile. He would never return. Through personal effects such as original travel documents and his correspondence with Albert Einstein and HG Wells, this exhibition explores the family’s flight from the Nazis, but also the wider experience of displacement and asylum that continues today. At the heart of the display is work by young people seeking safety and refuge in Britain who have all arrived here unaccompanied.

The Casket of St Thomas Becket, c1180-90


Whether you’re a proud Peterborian or simply a fan of fascinating historical treasures, don’t miss this outstanding collection of objects, all of which originated in Peterborough or have associations with the city. For the first time, with Art Fund’s support through the Weston Loan Programme, Peterborough Museum has gathered together pieces from national collections, such as the V&A and the British Museum, which showcase Peterborough’s significance throughout history. Highlights include the intricate Casket of St Thomas Becket, rare silver pieces from Roman Britain and the Peterborough Chronicle, which contains the first known use of the ‘she’ pronoun.

St Mary's Church Swansea painted on a feather by Captain Will Nelson c1898

Stuffed, Pickled and Pinned: 50 Wonders of Nature in Welsh Museums

If you want to see a platypus or a puffer fish (and who doesn’t?), a Welsh castle might not be the first place you’d think to look. Think again. This touring exhibition unveils the rich and varied natural history collections held by museums throughout Wales. From a choice of over 72,200 specimens, 50 items have been brought together, ranging from whale ear bones, ancient corral and giant clams to precious metals, egg collections and feather art. As well as celebrating the wealth of objects collected, the exhibition considers our impact on the natural environment.

Chippendale archives and signature at Nostell

Interior Worlds

Celebrate the 300th birthday of the cabinet-maker who revolutionised interior design and lose yourself in the magnificent State Rooms of Nostell Priory. Thomas Chippendale, the ‘Shakespeare of Furniture’, was called in to decorate the house because its owner Rowland Winn wanted everyone to know he could afford the best. Ground-breaking design and entrepreneurship met with extraordinary wealth and social ambition within Nostell’s walls and much remains as Chippendale left it. From a full suite of rooms in the Chinese style to japanned furniture and intricate carvings, Nostell captures the dynamic spirit of Chippendale’s craft and era.

Liberty of London, Kaftan, silk and satin with embroidery, 1960

Liberty Art Fabrics & Fashion

Starting in 1875 as a store selling dyed silk fabrics from the Far East, Liberty’s became synonymous with innovative fashion, attracting collaborations with leading artists and designers from Yves Saint Laurent to Richard Quinn. This major retrospective tells the retailer and studio’s story through over 100 garments and fabrics from the last 143 years, exploring its support of British craftmanship alongside its use of industrial methods to make style and beauty affordable. Liberty’s links with Scotland, where it established a textile print works, are also highlighted through designers Jean Muir and Marion Donaldson.

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