2019 Art in Review

It’s that time of year again… reflecting on what went on during the year and making all those resolutions that we don’t keep. So, I’m no different and, having just added it up, I’ve been to over 50 exhibitions or art galleries this year; visited 5 countries and did a couple of mad things, all in the name of art!

Started the year in Paris. Cracking idea and wish I was doing something similar before heading back to school. Timing is everything, I find! Went for two reasons: Amelie and Camille Claudel. Stayed in Pigalle, deliberately, so I could visit Montmatre and I even did an evening in the Two Windmills Cafe! (If you haven’t seen Amelie, make that your new year’s resolution!)

Decided to review this year as a top ten and add links to anything I have written about this year.


At number 10, is the Camille Claudel museum in Nogent Sur Siene. This was a dream visit as I had to work out the logistics to get there and hope it was worth it… it was!

Camille Claudel


Number 9 Theodore Major! Yes, the irascible Theo is one of my favourite artists so I was more than happy to wander up the motorway on a sunny Saturday in October.

A Northern Adventure


At Eight, same day as Theodore Major, ended up driving across the Pennines to drop in on the Mandy Payne exhibition at Huddersfield. That day saw me drive 219 miles for 5hrs 10 mins and did a complete circle. I love Mandy’s work and am thrilled to have met her.

Mandy Payne Out of Time

7 on my list was George Shaw at the Holbourne Museum in Bath. My mate gave me the heads up and I took my mum! Absolutely loved this and think George is a bit of a genius!

George Shaw: A Corner of a Foreign Field


6 is the small church in Mainz, Germany where I was overwhelmed by the windows, designed by Marc Chagall. This was such a beautiful spot, and well worth travelling to Mainz to see.

Cool blue comfort


Half way and at number 5, is Fernand Leger at Tate

Liverpool. The reason? I didn’t get it! Fernand Léger at Tate Liverpool I ended up writing an apology to Fernand to make up for it! Je suis désolée, Fernand. I was wrong!

Number 4 – Edvard Munch at the British Museum. Loved this so much and I also went to listen to the wonder Dr Janina Ramierez talk about Munch. Her delivery and the way she interacted with the audience started with her saying that she is a teacher first and foremost and I hope I have half the engagement with my students as she did with us! I’m really proud of the essay I wrote about Munch last year when I went to Norway to see the world Munch came from.

Edvard Munch at the British Museum

Love and Angst: The Psychological Roots of Edvard Munch’s Images of Women

In at three is just about everything in New York but I will have to put seeing Christina’s World in MoMa here. I was able to see for myself, up close, the delicate brushstrokes of Andrew Wyeth

Number 2 visit is actually going to the Whitney Gallery in New York. Ever since I began this journey, my dream was to go to this particular gallery. So many conversations have been about works that are held by the Whitney and to stand in the room, with Hopper, Sheeler and Driggs and to share that excitement with someone, was so special!

And at number one, (I really feel like it’s Top of the Pops now!) was my decision to pop over to Paris on Eurostar for a day trip to see the Wilhelm Hammershoi exhibition, Hammershoi: Master of Danish Painting at Musee Jacquemart Andre. Coolest thing I have done!

Hammershøi: Master of Danish Painting


What else stood out this year?

Worst exhibition? Had to be Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean. Oh dear! A bit of fun, but just a lot of hot air, after all! Jeff Koons at The Ashmolean


Memorable moment? Becoming the owner of Maurice Wade’s palette knife! Thank you, Henry and Ruth at Trent Art, https://trent-art.co.uk/

Maurice Wade: Painter of light and shade

And, on the subject of Maurice Wade, now owning three works by him is an absolute thrill:

It has been another fantastic year of art and travel and I’m looking forward to planning more things next year. Huge thanks has to go to my lovely arty friend who inspires me to push myself and to look at things with new eyes every time! Here’s hoping for an exciting 2020!

Happy New Year!