New beginnings

July 2013
Mary Rose Museum

This spring has seen the eagerly awaited opening or renovation of a number of wonderful museums and galleries and, with them, a fantastic excuse for you to incorporate visits to some (or all!) of them in your upcoming travel programme. We’ve chosen just three highlights to whet your appetite - Amsterdam’s wonderful Rijksmuseum, Munich’s Lenbachhaus Museum & the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth...

RijksmuseumRembrandt's Night WatchAmsterdam’s Rijksmuseum - it has been a 10 year wait, but the restoration of the great Rijksmuseum is finally complete. Home to some of the most famous works of Dutch art, the great highlights are the works from the Golden Age of Dutch art from around 1620 to 1680 including Vermeer’s ‘The Milkmaid’ and Rembrandt’s epic portrait ‘The Night Watch’. First opened in 1885, the collection spans more than 8,000 paintings and objets d’art housed in more than 100 rooms and galleries that have been meticulously restored and controversially expanded, with its new basement galleries now installed below the water table. For those who like to plan ahead, from 12 February 2015 to 17 May 2015, the Rijksmuseum will be presenting a retrospective of Rembrandt’s later work for the very first time. In collaboration with The National Gallery in London (where the exhibition will run from October 2014 to January 2015), the exhibition ‘Rembrandt: The Final Years’ presents a comprehensive overview of the master’s work from around 1652 to his death in 1669. See our suggested Group Tour to Holland & the Dutch Masters

Mary Rose MuseumMary Rose Museum - the brand new Mary Rose Museum has just opened in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, a few yards from the stern of Nelson’s Victory. The Museum’s interior evolved from the frozen moment in time seconds before Henry VIII's flagship sank on a fine summer day on 19 July 1545 as she sailed into action against the French fleet. The excavation and raising of the Mary Rose uncovered and lifted an extraordinary collection of Tudor maritime life. When she capsized onto her starboard side, she along with tens of thousands of objects quickly settled beneath layers of protecting silts in the Solent. This provided a time capsule of the ship, her fittings, weaponry and armament, and all the possessions of her 500 crew and soldiers from the Admiral to the common sailor. Visitors to the Museum walk in between the conserved starboard section of the hull and the virtual hull constructed to represent the missing port side with all the guns on their original gun carriages, cannonballs, gun furniture, stores, chests, rope and rigging. The end galleries then interpret the context gallery deck by deck in more conventional museum display cases. See our suggested Group Tour to Winchester, the Isle of Wight and the Mary Rose museum

Lenbachhaus MuseumMunich’s Lenbachhaus Museum - Munich’s standing as one of Germany’s major cultural centres has been consolidated with the completion a four year renovation of the city’s Lenbachhaus Museum overseen by Lord Norman Foster. As part of the renovation project, its original buildings dating from 1891 have been restored and a new wing has been added. The newest space is composed of a series of small galleries which display the ‘Blue Rider’ collection of early twentieth century Expressionist paintings, with the more intimate rooms intended to replicate the domestic scale of their original setting as a studio and villa for the artist Franz von Lenbach. The focal point of the new building is its top lit atrium, which houses Wirbelwerk, a specially commissioned artwork by Olafur Eliasson. See our suggested Group Tour to The Palaces & Art of Munich