Botticelli's Birth of Venus is one of the most enduring images in art history. This curvaceous nude, modesty protected only from her flowing locks, rides towards us on the waves of the sea perched in a shell. And that iconic single image is the launchpad for this bold new exhibition at the V&A that examines Botticelli's influence on art and culture, right up to the present day.
The pieces on show are also not exciting. There's a couple that catch the eye at the start of the exhibition, such as Aztec-print beachwear from Pucci's first collection and some very elegant evening dresses in lace and ruffles from early pacesetters such as Simonetta and the Fontana Sisters, but it all peters out very quickly after the promising start.
In this tercentenary of the Hanoverian accession to the throne, the V&A has brought together an extraordinary body of work to celebrate that era's most influential designer and architect - William Kent. Kent is not a man that is spoken about widely but his influence continues to be profound. This fascinating and evocative exhibition goes a long way to redressing that imbalance.
The concerts were part of the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, a collaboration between the British Council and Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) to develop links across culture, education, science and sport... At a time when Qatar is coming under international scrutiny like never before, particularly as hosts of the 2022 football World Cup , initiatives like this represent an opportunity for our two countries to learn about each other.
It is in many ways the perfect exhibition. Simply called David Bowie Is..., it showcases the glittering career of one of the most versatile and thoughtful artists of the last century. The range of collaborations with artists and designers 'in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theater, art and film' is astonishing. And the music ain't bad either.