New Exhibition at the Queens House

Before I start – a piece of news which probably everyone else has heard before me but I’ve been a way a bit recently and I missed it GODDARD’S PIE SHOP HAS SHUT!!!! I’m terribly upset – yet another piece of independent “Old” Greenwich gone – to a burger chain. At least it’s not McDonalds – but nevertheless it’s a crying shame. I used to be able to get a pie for virtually pennies – when we ate in the Kingston branch of the Gourmet Burger chain a couple of months ago it cost an arm and a leg. I wonder – will there be ANYTHING left soon?

Onto other matters. There’s a new exhibition at the Queen’s House, which I popped along to see yesterday. It’s a “radical” (hmm) new hanging of some of the gems of the NMM’s collection – with a strong naval theme and showcasing some of the more famous artists.

It’s what I call a “solid” exhibition. It’s hardly exciting – far too many rooms full of seascapes for a land lubber like me – but there are some interesting bits – I found the paintings of people far more enlightening – not just the bigwigs who were the founders of the British Navy but “ordinary” sailors, travellers and the people encountered by explorers. There’s a charming portrait of a “native” polnesian woman and a fun picture of sailors enjoying a spot of shore leave. A new acquisition is a Victorian painting of people seeing off a ship bound for the New World – almost photographic in its detail and very cosmopolitan for its time in its depiction of black people. I did like the 20th Century war paintings – I found them very moving – and beautiful in their own way.

Despair not – as I almost did – they haven’t lost the Greenwich galleries so the pics of Sam Pepys and his ilk are still intact.

This is not an exhibition to rush out and see, but it’s definitely a good option for something to take visitors to (especially visiting parents) – it’s interesting and involving and certainly not to miss in the long term.

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