The diary: what's on in April

April brings an array of exciting events. Check out the best events and new exhibitions to visit this spring

Railway Posters exhibition at Dorset County Museum

Antiques Roadshow expert Paul Atterbury has helped curate a show of over 50 of the most famous old railway posters at Dorset County Museum. Railway companies of the 1920s–30s employed some of the best known artists to advertise trips to the coast with beautiful results.
* 19th March to January 2017. High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XA. 01305 262735;


Painting the Modern Garden at the Royal Academy of Arts

That maxim of the interiors world, ‘bringing the outside in’, takes on fresh meaning in the Royal Academy of Arts’ new show, Painting the Modern Garden. Monet’s depictions of his waterlily pond are joined by other artists’ interpretations of their own and other’s gardens. A feature film out on 12th April explores the gardens behind the paintings.

* 30th January to 20th April. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD. 020 7300 8090;


Artist and Empire at Tate Britain

An exhibition to catch before it ends is another major show at Tate Britain entitled Artist and Empire. It’s been acclaimed by critics for being a provocative look at how artists addressed and created the image of the British Empire, and there are as many stern faces and rollicking battle scenes as you might expect. Amid the traditional colonial depictions of empire, though, is a fascinating array of early photographs, intricate Indian panels and Maori statuettes – the colonised depicting the colonisers. This shows the remarkable cultural exchange that the British Empire fostered and the impact it had on art. With tribal antiques becoming increasingly popular, this exhibition might give you some good context for your next auction visit.

* Until 10th April. Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG. 020 7887 8888;


Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979 at Tate Britain

We have become so accustomed to conceptual art these days with artists such as Ai Weiwei, it’s easy to forget the waves made when artists began to prioritise ideas over material back in the 1960s. Tate Britain’s new exhibition, Conceptual Art in Britain 1964–1979, seeks to remind us of just that with an array of game-changing British art by the likes of Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Long, Mary Kelly and John Hilliard (think series of fading photographs or piles of fruit from which visitors are invited to take a piece) as well as archival objects that inspired the ideas. It’s a thought-provoking look back at the Sixties and Seventies. 

* 12th April to 29th August. Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG. 020 7887 8888;


Reopening of Nottinghamshire's Harley Gallery 

Nottinghamshire’s Harley Gallery, which was set up to display the treasures of the dukes of Portland, is reopening in a new purpose-built gallery this month. Its astounding collection includes a rarely seen Michelangelo and a glittering Cartier tiara among the highlights. The opening exhibition is of portrait miniatures selected by artist Sir Peter Blake. 

* From 20th March. Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LW. 01909 501700;



Intricate samplers at CADA FAIR

If you can get to the Cotswolds this month, make it the weekend of the CADA Art & Antique Fair at Blenheim Palace (21st–24th April), which has a display of samplers. 

07831 850544;

The London Original Print fair

An affordable way to buy art is to invest in a print. This fair (5th–8th May) is the largest of its kind in Europe and, at the Royal Academy of Arts, has a winning location too.

020 7439 2000;

Antiques for everyone

Birmingham’s NEC may be functional but it provide space for the 230-odd dealers who gather for Antiques for Everyone (7th–10th April). Prices range from £10 upwards and talks by experts Judith Miller and Will Farmer.

0844 581 0827;

Image credits: John Hilliard; The Harley Gallery 2015/The Portland Collection; Jason Ingram; National Museums Liverpool; Advanced Graphics London

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