Above An illustration from Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, by Charles Piazzi Smyth, 1890
CLAD TIDINGS The only casing stone from the Great Pyramid of Giza to be displayed anywhere in the world outside Egypt has gone on show in Scotland, marking the bicentenary of the birth of the man who brought it to the UK.
The block of fine white limestone will go on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh to celebrate the 200th-anniversary of the birth of the royal astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900), who originally displayed it in his Edinburgh home.
Below Assistant curator Dr Daniel Potter with the casing stone ©National Museums Scotland
On tour There’s an opportunity to see two works of art this month start as they embark on separate year-long tours of the UK.
The 1615 Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, by the most celebrated female artist of the Italian Baroque, Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1654) will be on show at the Glasgow Women’s Library from March 7-19.
The display pre-empts the National Gallery’s major exhibition of 35 of her works in 2020 – the first ever in the UK.
This year will also see Nicolas Poussin’s The Triumph of Pan, 1636 on tour at three locations around the country: Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, from April 11 to July 7; York Art Gallery, from July 12 to September 22 and Auckland Castle, County Durham, from October 5 to January 5, 2020.
This picture, which depicts revellers arranged in a tightlyknit group around the figure of Pan, was commissioned by Cardinal de Richelieu and sent from Rome to Paris in May 1636. Some of Poussin’s preparatory drawings are in the Queen’s collection at Windsor Castle.
Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria will undertake a pop-up tour of unusual and unexpected venues this year
Above Nicolas Poussin’s The Triumph of Pan is travelling the UK in 2019.
Flight path A new museum charts the history of one of the UK’s most famous airfields, with exhibits ranging from a 50kg unguided bomb (not active) to a Luftwaffe tea set.
Following a 16-month construction project, the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum will reveal the Kent airfield’s role in the Battle of Britain and commemorate the 454 RAF pilots who lost their lives in WWII. Established in 1917 as a flight testing ground, Biggin Hill went on to play a pivotal role in WWII, pioneering air-to air communication, seat belts, altimeters and pressure gauges to name a few.
But it is its role in the Battle of Britain (July to October 1940) that defines its history. Part of a chain of airfields that protected the capital, RAF Biggin Hill was memorably described by Churchill as ‘the strongest link’.
The grade II listed St. George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance, built in 1951 at the behest of Sir Winston Churchill, has also been restored to its original design.
The chapel includes a wooden floor made from propeller blades, as well as 12 stained glass windows designed by Hugh Easton’s studio, which created the Battle of Britain window at Westminster Abbey. For more details visit www.bhmm.org.uk
Far right Stained glass window, St George and the Dragon by Goddard and Gibbs © Biggin Hill Memorial Museum
Right Child’s gas mask and box © Richard Black, Private Collection
Above 609 Squadron. Biggin Hill visit by Winston Churchill, July 7 1941© Image from the Bob Ogley Collection
ANTIQUE COLLECTING 9