October 28, 2010


British Library pockets Pinter

More than 50 medals, plaques and artworks won by Harold Pinter have been acquired by the British Library under a government scheme aimed at keeping cultural treasures in public collections. Many of them complement the Pinter papers that came to the library in 2007: the 2005 Nobel prize medal and diploma are now united with notes and typed drafts for the acceptance speech that Pinter was too ill to deliver in person. Other notable honours include the Hermann Kesten Medal (2001), given by German PEN to recognise his work for persecuted and imprisoned writers; and the Legion d'Honneur, presented by France's prime minister in 2007. There is also a spoof award created by the cast of Simon Gray's Quartermaine's Terms, which Pinter directed in 1981.


The Art of Faith: 3,500 years of Art & Belief in Norfolk

An exhibition at Norwich Castle (until 23 January 2011) displays objects dating from the Bronze Age to the present day to celebrate the diversity of faith in Norfolk - from Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings to medieval Jewish communities; many varieties of Christianity; and the current mosaic of Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Baha'is. About half the objects come from Norfolk, such as Rubens' altarpiece of The Return from Egypt. Contemporary works include John Goto's Loss of Face: Iconoclasts, Zealots and Vandals - photographs of rood screens damaged in the Reformation - and Chris Newby's new film about prayer, Something Understood. The exhibition, backed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is a collaboration between the Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service and the University of East Anglia.


Super-sized, with a view

Israel's largest cultural institution this summer completed a three-year upgrade designed to "weave the Jerusalem landscape back into the museum" and to double the gallery space. Highlights of the Israel Museum, which was founded in 1965, include the Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Billy Rose Art Garden, which showcases the development of modern Western sculpture. Among the current exhibitions is Breaking Ground: Pioneers of Biblical Archaeology (until 2 April 2011), which explores 19th-century tomb raiders, the activities of the Palestine Exploration Fund and the contributions of British, French and German archaeologists Flinders Petrie, Felicien de Saulcy and Conrad Schick.


Echoes of Other Worlds

This exhibition in the Orleans House Gallery (from 28 October to 28 November) presents sculptures, video and paintings by artists, musicians and scientists exploring the links between their different worlds. Stephen Hicks, a research fellow in neuroscience at the University of Oxford, invites viewers to compare human sight with a robotic equivalent that uses detection devices to guide a virtual "eye" around an open space. Samuel Zealey offers a playful take on secondary-school science lessons in Homage to Science Year 10, while To the last syllable of recorded time is a surround-sound installation by Jake Garber and Tim Bamber featuring the music of Oumar Kouyate, last of a long line of griots from Guinea, West Africa.


Abram Games: Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means

Abram Games (1914-96) was one of the most influential British graphic designers of the 20th century. As the official poster artist to the British War Office during the Second World War, he was responsible for many of its iconic images, but his work also included stamps, company logos and promotional material for London Transport, the United Nations and Shell Oil. In bringing together more than 100 of his designs, an exhibition at Sheffield Hallam University's Furnival Gallery (until 12 November) reveals his almost uncanny ability to distil a message into a sharp visual form. One of his techniques, his designer daughter Naomi explained at the opening, was to test his ideas on her and her siblings because "he believed that if children didn't understand them, they weren't simple enough".

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