Coming up in 2020

Posted on by Lauren MacCarthy.

Happy New Year – and happy new decade – from everyone at Bristol Museums!

Have a look at what’s coming up in 2020 and start planning your next museum trip. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.

Continuing this year…

Do you believe in magic?
On now until 19 April at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Do you believe in magic? features over 200 fascinating objects and stories that reveal how magic has been used to heal, hunt and harm across the world. From ancient uses of witchcraft, to belief in the power of gods and ancestors, this exhibition explores the complex intersection between magic, science and religion. Find out more about Do you believe in magic?

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019
On now until 4 May at M Shed
Two penguins canoodling in the snowEncounter the beauty and fragility of wildlife, see fascinating animal behaviour and get to know extraordinary species. You’ll discover the surprising – and often challenging – stories behind the images during a time of environmental crisis. Find out more about Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019.

Being Human: An exhibition of modern sculpture
On now until 4 October at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Can art capture what it is to be human? Being Human explores how sculptors have grappled with the human form. Presenting work from Bristol’s collection, this exhibition is a powerful visual feast by a significant group of artists. Their work focuses on themes of beauty, identity, sexuality and existential angst in the aftermath of war. Find out more about Being Human.

New this year…

Hinamatsuri: Japanese Doll Festival
28 January – 6 April 2020
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Japanese Doll Festival is a special day in Japan. Celebrated annually for the last 400 years, platforms covered with red material are used to display sets of ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional dress. We will be displaying our collection of Japanese Doll sets to coincide with the festival and to offer an insight into Japan’s imperial family, courtly dress and aristocratic traditions. Find out more about Hinamatsuri

21st Century Kids: Bristol through our eyes
19 March – 19 August 2020
M Shed
What is it like to be young in Bristol today? Hear from young people across the city reflecting on their experiences, challenges and hopes for the future. M Shed travelled across the city visiting youth groups, schools and colleges. We spoke to over 200 young people from all walks of life and recorded over 70 interviews. They talk about Bristol, their loves and hates and what they wish older people would understand. Find out more about 21st Century Kids.

A netsuke of a horse lying down

Netsuke: Miniature masterpieces from Japan
10 April 2020 – April 2021
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
This small exhibition will showcase some of the 200 Japanese netsuke in our collection. Netsuke are finely carved miniature sculptures used as dress accessories by Japanese men. Each netsuke is unique, and they depict a huge range of subjects from Japanese popular culture – animals, mythical creatures, people and objects from the natural world as well legendary gods and heroes. Marvel at the breathtaking carving skills and the huge range of stories they tell.

Pre-Raphaelites: Dreaming of a medieval past
16 May – 27 September 2020
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
he Garden Court by Edward Burne Jones | Six sleeping women draped elegantly over garden furnitureThe Pre-Raphaelites were fascinated by the stories, objects and colours of an imaginary medieval world. They rebelled against academic conventions and searched for new means of artistic expression by choosing entirely new subjects and portraying them in shockingly heightened realism. Featuring work by Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and more, this exhibition will showcase highlights from our own collection and some impressive loans from Tate and other art galleries around the UK. Find out more about our Pre-Raphaelites exhibition.

Reflections on the Bristol School
May – August 2020 (exact dates TBC)
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
25 paintings in our Bristol School gallery are being loaned to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux. In the meantime, we’ll be displaying new work by local wellbeing art groups. The Bristol School was a creative group of professionals and amateurs who worked in the city during the early 19th century. They made a unique contribution to the history of British art. The new works are all contemporary responses to these works. How will 21st century Bristolians reflect on these same themes of life, nature and people? Find out more about Reflections on the Bristol School.

Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The evolution of a global movement
6 June – 1 November 2020
M Shed
A street artist sketching with a black sharpieVanguard | Bristol Street Art celebrates Bristol’s instrumental role in the development of British street art, with rare work by leading Bristolian, British and Irish artists – including seminal works from the late 90’s. Early work by creatives such as the earliest instigator of street art in Bristol, Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja (3D), Henry Chalfant, Banksy and Inkie through to deep fake viral sensation Bill Posters and Swoon will be exhibited, including works never seen before or not shown in public for over 20 years. Find out more about Vanguard | Bristol Street Art.

Mimesis: African Soldier by John Akromfrah
17 October 2020 – 15 February 2021
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
John Akomfrah stood in front of his work "Mimesis: African Soldier" at the Imperial War MuseumTo coincide with Remembrance Sunday, we will present Mimesis: African Soldier by John Akomfrah. During World War I millions of commonwealth soldiers came to Europe from Africa and Asia to fight ‘the war of their imperial masters’. In his stunning film Mimesis, John Akomfrah uses archive and filmed footage to paint a vivid cinematic portrait of a forgotten and overlooked history.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020
Dates TBC
M Shed
An annual Bristol favourite! The renowned wildlife photography competition from the Natural History Museum returns with 100 spectacular images. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights.

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