Top 3 Exhibitions Opening November 2015

Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection
at The Victoria & Albert Museum
opening 21st November

3. Diamond turban jewel made for the Maharaja of Nawanagar, 1907, remodelled in 1935, IndiaDiamond turban jewel made for the Maharaja of Nawanagar 1907; remodelled in 1035 India
The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited 2014
Photograph: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

The V&A is already in the midst of their India Festival with the fabulous Fabric of India exhibition which opened recently. The subcontinental opulence quotient takes yet another step up with their Bejewelled Treasures exhibition opening in November. Taken from the Al Thani Collection, a peerless private collection of extraordinary jewels encompassing everything from 17th century Mughal treasures to present-day Cartier gems, the upcoming show will look at the central role India has played, and continues to play, in the world of gems and jewellery as source, marketplace and influencer of luxury design both traditional and modern. Highlights of the exhibition will include an Indian turban jewel made for the Maharaja of Nawanagar, a jade-hilted dagger that belonged to Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame and a jewel-encrusted gold tiger’s head finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan of Mysore, whose huge and elaborate tent is also on show in the V&A’s Fabric of India. Can’t wait to see this addition to the V&A’s India Festival, Bejewelled Treasures promises to be an absolutely glittering spectacle.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015
at The National Portrait Gallery
opening 12th November

PPP2015_home4Norma by Teena Taylor 2014 © Teena Taylor

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 is the leading international competition for contemporary portrait photography from around the world. The prize, which this year had over 2,200 entries, has an amazing reputation and the annual National Portrait Gallery exhibition showcases works by photographers taking hugely diverse approaches to the portrait photograph which makes it one of the most exciting photography prizes. Another of its notable features is that the selected photographers range from talented amateurs to top professionals, all competing to win one of the four prestigious prizes including the £12,000 first prize. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is always well worth seeing and for fans of photography it provides a snapshot of the state of the contemporary photographic portrait genre right now.

Cycle Revolution
at The Design Museum
opening 18th November

TFR-TDF-2150 credit Emily MayeCredit: Emily Maye

As a nation we seem to have contracted a serious case of cycling fever, a delirium doubtless exacerbated by the many recent track and road successes of Froome, Wiggins, Hoy et al. Cycle Revolution, the upcoming exhibition at the Design Museum, explores our fascination with contemporary cycling. Amongst the bikes on display will be some of the most iconic racing machines of modern day cycling including Eddy Merckx’s 1972 Hour Record bike, Sir Chris Hoy’s London 2012 Olympic Track bike and Francesco Moser’s 1984 Hour Record bike, this last loaned for the exhibition from the personal collection of Sir Bradley Wiggins. Other highlights of Cycle Revolution will include a 1969 Raleigh Chopper and the earliest Brompton bike prototype in existence. There will even be a recreation of a bike builder’s workshop for those who would like to see how a bespoke bike is made. Cycle Revolution will be the last exhibition at The Design Museum’s Shad Thames home before the move to Kensington in late 2016 and the museum’s Bermondsey swansong promises to be hugely popular and unquestionably cycle geek heaven.

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