Retirement and Hobbies

Entertainment and Culture for June

Exhibitions to Visit in June

By Phyllis Oberman, Art Aficionado

This month Phyllis Oberman looks at some of the fabulous art and exhibitions you can visit in June. There are so many fascinating and interesting things for you to enjoy. Here are my favourites.

Poetic Painting

Edouard Vuillard (1868 – 1940) was one of the key figures in French art towards the end of the 19th Century and was a disciple of Gauguin and Degas. A major exhibition of his distinctive work is on show at The Holburne Museum in Bath until 15th September 2019.  

The Candlestick, 1900, by Edouard Vuillard, National Galleries of Scotland

The Candlestick, 1900, by Edouard Vuillard, National Galleries of Scotland

Vuillard: The Poetry of the Everyday shows a full range of his work including landscapes but the main emphasis is on his intimate domestic interiors featuring his mother and his older sister, Marie absorbed in everyday tasks.  

Vuillard’s mother was a dressmaker and their home was awash with very decorative fabrics. He described her as his ‘muse’ and is recorded as having made 500 portraits of her. Vuillard saw poetry as integral to his art.  He said, “There is no art without a poetic aim”.

Madame Vuillard Arranging her Hair, 1900 by Edouard Vuillard

Madame Vuillard Arranging her Hair, 1900 by Edouard Vuillard,
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham
© The Henry Barber Trust

Floral decorative wallpaper almost merges with the fabric of the dresses worn by his mother, sister and the seamstresses who also worked in their home.  

The Holburne Museum is open daily and concessionary tickets are available. For further information visit the website at

Beside The Sea

Turner Contemporary overlooking the sea at Margate has to be the perfect location for their current major exhibition: Seaside: Photographed.  

Photographers depicted the British enjoying the beach from the 1850’s using primitive equipment up to the present day in this first photographic exhibition at the gallery.

A Victorian Seaside

A Victorian Seaside Photograph Courtesy of SEAS Photography, Private Collection

Photographers from the famous to the unknown jostle to present impressions of the seaside from every angle including holiday camps, piers, excursion coaches and family groups.

Down to the Beach

Down to the Beach.  Photographer Raymond C Lawson, 1959. Courtesy of Nicholas Cordes on behalf of the Lawson Family.  Loaned by Nicholas D Cordes

This remarkable exhibition will tour to three other locations in 2020 – John Hansard Gallery, Grundy Art Gallery and Newlyn Art Gallery.   Admission is free.

For full details of the exhibition, talks and tours during the show please visit

Masterpieces To View

Marking 350 years since the death of the great master Rembrandt (1606 – 1669), The Lady Lever Art Gallery Liverpool presents Rembrandt in Print from 1st June to 15th September 2019. 

Self Portrait with Saskia, Rembrandt 1636

Self Portrait with Saskia, Rembrandt 1636 © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Whilst Rembrandt’s great paintings are world-famous, his fascination with making prints that occupied him intensively from 1630 to the late 1650’s, is not so well known.  

These include self-portraits, landscapes, and biblical stories. This exhibition of around 50 prints comes from The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford that owns an outstanding collection of over 200 Rembrandt prints.

The Shell, Rembrandt © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

The Shell, Rembrandt © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to pay whatever they can if they enjoyed the show.  

Further details can be found at

Comic Satire

Posy Simmonds: A Retrospective is the first-ever exhibition of work by this celebrated cartoonist and comic artist.

The House of Illustration in London shows 150 pieces of original artwork covering some 50 years of Posy Simmonds career.  

Her work includes cartoon strips for The Guardian and illustrations for many children’s books

Cassandra Darke at an Art Gallery 2018 © Posy Simmonds

Cassandra Darke at an Art Gallery 2018 © Posy Simmonds

Co-curator Olivia Ahmad comments, “Posy Simmonds is one of the UK’s greatest satirists. Her sharp observations lampoon the metropolitan middle classes, criticise gender inequality and tell compelling stories full of desire and tragedy.”

The House of Illustration is at Granary Square, King’s Cross in London and has three galleries. It was founded by Sir Quentin Blake in 2004.   The show continues until 15th September 2019.  

Details of tickets, talks and events at the gallery can be found on the website at

Moscow to London

She was a rebel, a radical and a multi-talented artist. Avant-garde Russian artist Natalia Goncharova (1991 – 1967) is the focus of a major exhibition at Tate Modern on London’s South Bank opening on 6th June, 2019 – the first retrospective show of her work in the UK.

Goncharova – Self Portrait with Yellow Lilies

Goncharova – Self Portrait with Yellow Lilies, 1907-1908,
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

Over 160 of her works, many from Russia’s State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, will fill the show. Coming from a wealthy influential family in central Russia, she was strongly influenced by colourful Russian folk art and costumes and the hard-working country people.

In 1914, when she was already established as a Moscow artist she was invited to Paris by the great Russian ballet impresario, Diaghilev where she designed costumes and sets for the Ballets Russes.  

Goncharova was an artist, illustrator, costume and set designer, textile and fashion designer. In fact she designed clothes and collaborated with Nadezhda Lamanova who was couturier to the Russian Imperial Court.

Goncharova – Peasant Woman Costume Design for Le-Coq-d'Or

Goncharova – Peasant Woman Costume Design for Le-Coq-d’Or, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Russia

She spent most of her long life in Paris with her partner and fellow Avant Garde artist, Mikhail Larionov.  The Tate show will include costumes and costume designs Goncharova made for the Ballets Russes.  

This exhibition continues until 8th September 2019.  Concessionary tickets are available.  

For further details including special events, talks and tours click on

Goya’s Own Prison

A small intriguing exhibition at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham – Goya’s Prison: The Year of Despair closes on 23rd June 2019. This is an exceptional show, and well worth a visit.

Francisco Goya (1746 – 1828) had an illustrious career as court painter to three Spanish kings. However in 1792 he had a serious illness resulting in him becoming profoundly deaf for the rest of his life.

In the early years of his affliction he made a series of small paintings, one of which is in the Museum. The Interior of a Prison is the work at the centre of this show.

Goya Inside a Prison

Goya: The Interior of a Prison, 1793-1974

It could be assumed that the title of the exhibition also related to Goya’s own situation which he endured until his death.

On show are two other pictures by Goya – both Portraits – Don Juan Antonio Melendez Valdes and Portrait of a Man.

The exhibition also includes paintings by Poussin, Tiepolo and Piranesi. 

Concessionary tickets can be obtained and National Art Pass owners have free entrance.

For further details including talks and tours visit the website at

On Screen Soon

A new full-length feature film, Van Gogh & Japan premieres in UK cinemas nationwide from 4th June, 2019.

This brilliant new film reveals Van Gogh’s fascination with Japanese art and life following the opening up of Japan’s relations with the West in the second half of the 1800’s.  

Van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was living and studying in Paris and with other fellow artists was exposed to a mass of Japanese art prints, and all sorts of decorative objects. 

Vincent Van Gogh, Courtesan (after Eisen) 1887, Van Gogh Museum

Vincent Van Gogh, Courtesan (after Eisen) 1887, Van Gogh Museum

When he moved to live in the south of France Van Gogh saw the possibilities for applying Japanese artistic styles in his depictions of Provencal scenery. 

Though he never travelled to Japan, his illustrated letters give detailed descriptions of how Japanese art influenced his work. 

Vincent Van Gogh, Almond Blossom

Vincent Van Gogh, Almond Blossom, February 1890, Van Gogh Museum

Many years after his death Van Gogh’s art became a top attraction in Japan.

Details of screenings can be found at

Art In Brief

Well worth a visit at the Russell-Cotes Gallery in Bournemouth is a display of paintings and prints by a local artist Leslie Moffat Ward (1888 – 1978).  

Views of Dorset landscapes show long-gone scenes of local life. The display continues until 31st January, 2020.   

Further information is available from

The Bay from Durley Chine by Leslie Moffat Ward

The Bay from Durley Chine, by Leslie Moffat Ward, 1920/1930

The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace has a major exhibition marking 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci.  More than 200 of Leonardo’s drawings make this the largest show of his work for many years.  

Further details are available from

A Portrait of Leonardo in Profile

A Portrait of Leonardo in Profile, circa 1515-18 attributed to Francesco Melzi.  Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Thames & Hudson have just published a new book. This is part of their excellent budget series, ‘Art Essentials’.  

A Muse, mid-1720's by Rosalba Carriera

A Muse, mid-1720’s by Rosalba Carriera,
The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Women Artists uncovers the story of women who made their name as artists from as early as 1550 to the present day.  

Group of Three Girls, 1935 by Amrita Sher-Gil

Group of Three Girls, 1935 by Amrita Sher-Gil,
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

With 85 full colour illustrations, Women Artists also includes a revealing timeline tracing key dates and events in this story. 

To Douse The Devil for a Ducat

To Douse The Devil for a Ducat, 2015, by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye,
Courtesy of the artist, Corvi-Mora London and Jack Shainman Gallery New York

The book is priced £10.95 and further details can be found on the Thames & Hudson website at

Favourite Gallery or Museum

If you have a favourite local art gallery or museum that you would like to share with Sixtyplusurfers readers, please send the details to Phyllis Oberman care of Sixtyplusurfers to Jenny Itzcovitz at

Please label the subject of your email Favourite Art Gallery and Museum for Phyllis Oberman’s Sixtyplusurfers column.

Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win a Kodak Luma Portable Projector from Robert Dyas

Kodak Luma 75 Portable Pocket Projector from Robert Dyas

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Kodak Luma 75 Portable Pocket Projector from Robert Dyas

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Charles Dickens Exhibition

Global Dickens
The International Life, Work and Travels of Charles Dickens

Caricature of Dickens crossing the English Channel with his books, by André Gill. Hand-coloured engraving published in L'Eclipse newspaper, 14 June 1868

The international travels and enduring global impact of Charles Dickens is explored by a new exhibition opening in his London home. Global Dickens will traces the travels of Dickens and the ways in which his ideas, stories and characters have been adopted, adapted and transformed as they have powered the imaginations of readers across the world. 

Global Dickens: For Every Nation Upon Earth is currently open and runs until 3rd November 2019 at the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street.

48 Doughty Street, the home of Charles Dickens

This is the Bloomsbury townhouse into which Dickens moved with his young family in 1837 and where he wrote Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, completed The Pickwick Papers and began Barnaby Rudge. 

Among the exhibits will be the portable rosewood writing desk used by Dickens on his later travels (it contains two ink bottles and some pens); the copy of David Copperfield taken by Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his men on the Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica in 1912 (Scott split his men into two groups, one of which, containing geologist Raymond E Priestley, was stranded and lived in an ice cave for seven months.

David Copperfield, 1910 edition taken on Scott's Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica

They had with them this copy of David Copperfield, and read a chapter of it every night for sixty nights. Priestley wrote that, when they had finished the book, they were ‘very sorry to part with him’. Unlike Scott, Priestley and his group survived the expedition but never reached the South Pole); the travelling bag which Dickens took to Italy when he climbed Vesuvius; letters written by Dickens in French and Italian; a collection of playbills from theatrical productions of Dickens’s work across the world.

While Dickens may be seen as quintessentially British, he regarded himself as a global author, writing ‘for every nation upon earth’ and his seemingly endless journeys in search of insight into the lives of people were not confined to London. Dickens was a seasoned traveller in America and Europe, touring the US, visiting France often (he was a fluent French speaker and writer) and living in Italy and Switzerland. His fascination for the wider world was a recurring influence on his writing throughout his life.

Stereoscopic card of Charles Dickens taken & published by Gurney & Sons, New York, on his second tour of America in 1867. Charles Dickens Museum, London

On New York: “The beautiful metropolis of America is by no means so clean a city as Boston, but many of its streets have the same characteristics; except that the houses are not quite so fresh-coloured, the signboards are not quite so gaudy, the gilded letters not quite so golden, the bricks not quite so red, the stone not quite so white, the blinds and area railings not quite so green, the knobs and plates upon the street doors not quite so bright and twinkling.”

On Naples: “All night there is the murmur of the sea beneath the stars; and, in the morning, just at daybreak, the prospect suddenly becoming expanded, as if by a miracle, reveals—in the far distance, across the sea there!—Naples with its islands, and Vesuvius spouting fire!  Within a quarter of an hour, the whole is gone as if it were a vision in the clouds, and there is nothing but the sea and sky.”

On Boulogne: “It is a bright, airy, pleasant, cheerful town; and if you were to walk down either of its three well-paved main streets towards five o’clock in the afternoon, when delicate odours of cookery ln the air, and its hotel-windows (it is full of hotels) give glimpses of long tables set out for dinner, and made to look sumptuous by the aid of napkins folded fan-wise, you would rightly judge it to be an uncommonly good town to eat and drink in.”

Charles Dickens Travelling Bag, c.1844. Credit Charles Dickens Museum, London

And as Dickens zig-zagged across the globe, so will the exhibition. Global Dickens will show how Dickens’s fascination for foreign countries was reciprocated during his lifetime and beyond by his audience’s enthusiasm for his work, whether in 19th century France, 20th century Russia or 21st century Japan. 

Dickens was a global star and his work was translated into many languages during his lifetime, including German, French, Dutch, Russian, Icelandic and Croatian. Oliver Twist made it into Japanese in 1885 and, in the early 1900s, his novels were translated into classical Chinese and Arabic.

Today, Dickens circulates the globe through film, music, radio, theatre and TV. He is the most adapted novelist that has ever lived, and has inspired international writers, directors, and musicians to create new works. The exhibition will be a truly global celebration of Dickens’s life, works and his forays across international media and into people’s imaginations. The academic Co-Curator is Prof Juliet John, Hildred Carlile Chair of English Literature, Royal Holloway University of London.

Frankie Kubicki, curator at the Charles Dickens Museum says, “While the thought of Charles Dickens may bring to mind images that are firmly rooted in London and England, his sights were set on the world. Dickens was as much a travel writer and journalist as he was a writer of fiction, and the subjects and social issues that preoccupied him were universal. We hope that Global Dickens will show how his work continues to inspire audiences across the globe today.” 

Cindy Sughrue, director of the Charles Dickens Museum says, “As the UK re-evaluates its relationship with Europe and its place in the world, we are celebrating the vital connection that Dickens had – and has – around the globe. Dickens knew the immense value of seeing ourselves from the outside, and of gaining inspiration and friendships along the way. Then, as now, our lives are richer for those experiences. The Charles Dickens Museum is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world, and we look forward to continuing to welcome visitors from every nation upon earth.”

Dr Claire Warrior, Senior Curator: Exhibitions at Royal Museums Greenwich & Charles Dickens Museum Trustee says, “The copy of David Copperfield from the Terra Nova voyage fits within the long tradition of British expeditions taking libraries of books to the polar regions: Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition took over a thousand books north, from past explorers’ accounts to prayer books, with, we think, The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby included too.

“Reading was an important communal activity which staved off boredom and built bonds between men living in challenging, cramped conditions with little personal space; Antarctica is rarely a place of solitude. Also, the fact that David Copperfield was originally published in instalments meant that it’s packed with cliff-hangers, which would have helped to keep interest high.”

Exhibition & Museum Visitor Information

48 Doughty Street, the home of Charles Dickens

Venue: Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX

Exhibition dates: Open now until 3rd November 2019

Telephone: 020 7405 2127 

Museum admission prices (inc. exhibition): Adults £9.50; Concessions £7.50; Children (6-16) £4.50;

Under 6 free. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm); closed on Mondays. 

More information and tickets click on

Anne Boleyn Exhibition

Hever Castle on Stage and Screen Exhibition

Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Jane Grey

Helen Bonham Carter as Lady Jane Grey, in the dining room at Hever Castle

Visitors to Hever Castle have the chance to see posters and costumes from films the attraction has appeared in as part of a new small temporary exhibition.

The Hever Castle on Stage and Screen Exhibition is open now, and runs until November in the Castle’s Moat Room (not usually open to the public). It is included as part of Castle and Garden admission.

Anne of The Thousand Days

Two dresses from the film Anne of the Thousand Days, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and a sword dredged from the moat after filming for The Passionate Pilgrim starring Eric Morecambe and Tom Baker, are among the items on display. Clips from the films are also shown as part of the exhibition.

The story of the mysterious La Peregrina Pearl is available for visitors to explore as part of the new exhibition with a replica on display. Bought by actor Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor during their first marriage, the $11millon dollar pearl was seen on screen for the first time at Hever Castle when Taylor played a cameo role in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), having been rejected for the part of Anne Boleyn.

During its visit to Hever, the pearl was briefly reunited with two Hever portraits which depict it being worn on the Queens who once owned it: Mary I and Elizabeth de Valois.

Tom Baker's sword was found in the Moat at Hever Castle

During the filming of a sword fight on Hever Castle’s drawbridge for the 1984 short film The Passionate Pilgrim, Tom Baker lost grip of his sword and it tumbled into the moat. Twenty-seven years later, when the castle’s moat was drained Baker’s sword was discovered poking out of the silt, it is displayed for the first time at Hever during the Hever Castle on Stage and Screen exhibition.

Photographs from an opera about Thomas Boleyn performed for the previous owners, the Astors in 1972 are also on display. The opera was written and composed by Timothy Higgs when he worked for the Astors. His son, Jonathan Higgs now works as a Castle supervisor.

Judi Dench at Hever Castle

Judi Dench at Hever Castle

Images from some of the TV programmes Hever Castle has appeared in are also available to see at the exhibition

Admission Prices – Castle & Gardens:  Adults £17.75; Seniors/Students £15.60; Children (5-17) £9.95 (under 5’s free); Family ticket £46.85 (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children). Gardens open at 10.30am; Castle opens at 12 noon.  Last admission 4.30pm; final exit 6pm.

For further information please visit the website at or call Hever Castle on 01732 865224.

Pembrokeshire Fish Week

Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival
Casts off in June

Pembrokeshire Fish Week June 19 Tenby Harbour

With a world-famous coastline and more award-winning beaches than you can shake a stick at, Pembrokeshire in south west Wales has always been a favourite with those who love nothing more than to be beside the seaside. And this year, the county is once again celebrating its sparkling seas and fresh locally-caught fish and shellfish during the Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival which runs from 22nd until 30th June.

Some 200 events will be taking place across the county from cookery demos and a celebrity chef evening with Bryn Williams and friends to guided coastal foraging, filleting workshops, seafood tasting and much more.

Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival

All week, restaurants and cafés will be putting their fresh local ‘catch of the day’ at centre stage – from delicious tapas evenings to chowder trails, seafood extravaganzas or traditional fish and chips. New this year is a barbecue trail at Tenby, with cafés and restaurants dishing up delicious local produce outside their establishments for passers-by to tuck into as they stroll around the town and harbour.

There’s plenty of fun-filled events for families to enjoy as well, including raft races at Goodwick Harbour, seashore activities and a fresh fish barbecue at Saundersfoot, as well as beach safaris, crabbing, guided coastal walks and much more. Anglers and those who would love to learn to fish also have lots to choose from too, with angling lessons and competitions for all ages and abilities held throughout the week.

Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival

The festival opens on Saturday, 22nd June with Milford Fish Festival, a free family-friendly fun day at Milford Haven’s Mackerel Quay with street food, live music, family boat trips, children’s activities and more.

Pembrokeshire Fish Week is co-ordinated by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Food Development Team, part-funded by Welsh Government and supported by various organisations. 

For more information, please visit

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