On Friday 13 May, the History of Art team at Oxford Brookes headed to the Ashmolean museum for LiveFriday, an after-hours experience.
This time around, the theme for the evening was Framed!, focussing on portraits across the museum and beyond, from gargoyles to pop-art, self-portraits to caricatures, and face-swaps to selfies.
Alongside other live performances, hands-on creative workshops and behind the scenes talks and tours, the History of Art team collaborated by designing a portrait trail across the museum’s galleries. It featured a range of portraits and sculptures from the 16th to the 20th century and included highlights such as Titian’s portrait of the Genoese merchant Giacomo Doria and Reynolds’ intriguing double portrait of James Paine and his wayward son.
The trail led visitors to various portraits and sculptures based on a set of clues; at each exhibit an academic member of staff or student from the History of Art course were on hand to explain the piece in more depth.
Popular features of the portrait trail were the life size cut outs of two famous artworks from the museum’s collection. The Portrait of a Young Man by Alessandro Allori and Music by Edward Burne-Jones proved popular with both young and old visitors.
“It was such fun to take part in an event which allowed us, staff and students alike, to work together on a light-hearted, but carefully researched, project and to engage the public in discussion on some of our favourite works in the Ashmolean Museum. It was a wonderful opportunity for some of our second year students to collaborate on an event outside the usual lectures and assessments, really highlighting how exciting art-historical research can be!"
Dr Marika Leino, Senior Lecturer in History of Art
Events such as LiveFriday give visitors the opportunity to experience the museum and explore the collections after hours.
For more information on Ashmolean LiveFriday events please visit their website.