The year 2019 will be an exciting time for both popular and highbrow culture.
From the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement, the 200th anniversary since Gustave Courbet's birth, to the rumoured release of Beyoncé’s seventh solo album (with a new music video allegedly filmed in Rome’s Colosseum), we will at least have some entertaining distractions from the relentless political mess.
Here are some of the highlights, told through works on Art UK.
50 years since the last Beatles concert
On 30th January 1969, The Beatles performed for the last time together, playing an impromptu gig on the rooftop of the Apple Record offices in London. Unfortunately, the gig was cut short by police. They all appear to be very tanned in this work by iconic pop artist Peter Blake (b.1932), who also designed the cover for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Later this year, Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis' musical comedy inspired by the Beatles will be released, starring Lily James and, rather strangely, Ed Sheeran.
200th anniversary of John Ruskin
John Ruskin (1819–1900) was a leading art critic at the end of the Victorian era, who championed the careers of modern painters, including the Pre-Raphaelites, J. M. W. Turner and architects of the Gothic revival.
To mark the 200th anniversary since his birth, there will be an exhibition at Two Temple Place.
350th anniversary of Rembrandt's death
If you appreciated Ruben Östlund’s film The Square, you may also enjoy Velvet Buzzsaw, another artworld satire film due to be released in February. Directed by Dan Gilroy, this psycho-thriller stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Toni Collette and John Malkovich.
Sorolla at The National Gallery
Van Gogh at Tate Britain
100th anniversary of Bauhaus
On 1st April 1919, Walter Gropius (1883–1969) founded the Bauhaus in Germany, an avant-garde movement with utopian aspirations to radically reform painting, sculpture, design and architecture. Artists like Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), Paul Klee (1879–1940) and László Moholy–Nagy (1895–1946) taught at the Bauhaus school.
Edvard Munch at the British Museum
500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death
200th anniversary of Queen Victoria
24th May marks 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria (1819–1901), who reigned Britain from 1837 until her death in 1901. A temporary exhibition about her life will open at Kensington Palace, where she was raised as a child.
A new biopic about pop legend Elton John, Rocketman, will be released on 31st May – directed by the creator of Bohemian Rhapsody and the writer of Billy Elliot.
200th anniversary of Gustave Courbet
The prolific creator of L’Origine du Monde (1866), French painter Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) was born 200 years ago on 10th June 1819 in Ornans, France, now home to the Musée Courbet, which will be celebrating the artist's bicentenary. Many of his works can be seen in The National Gallery.
Natalia Goncharova at Tate Modern
50th anniversary since the first moon landing
To commemorate the landing of Apollo 11 on 20th July 1969, there will be a Moon Festival in London.
The Lion King remake
In July, a live-action remake of The Lion King will be released, featuring Donald Glover, Beyoncé and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film will be accompanied
And for those of you who can’t get enough of Stranger Things, series three will hit the screens (Netflix) on 4th July.
250th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte
Europe’s favourite political tyrant, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) was born on 15th August in 1769. Napoleon ruled France as Emperor between 1804 to 1814, and then again in 1815. During this time he led France through the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) and was finally defeated by Lord Admiral Nelson (1758–1805) at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Wellington had this portrait of Napoleon in his house, possibly a smug reminder of the British victory.
200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre
Four years after the Battle of Waterloo, there was a huge spike of political radicalism in Britain, with demands for parliamentary reform and suffrage. A meeting in St Peter’s Field, Manchester, involving up to 80,000 people, ended in a bloody massacre, ironically named the Peterloo Massacre (1819).
Last year, director Mike Leigh released Peterloo. (Note: the film is two and a half hours long).
450th anniversary since the death of Pieter Bruegel the elder
William Blake at Tate Britain
'Pre-Raphaelite Sisters' exhibition
The National Portrait Gallery will open the first-ever exhibition exploring the female Pre-Raphaelite artists, including Evelyn de Morgan (1855–1919), Effie Millas (1828–1897), Elizabeth Siddal (1829–1862) and Joanna Wells (1831–1861), amongst others.
30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Before the Berlin Wall was demolished in November 1989, Western allies named the crossing point between East and West Germany ‘Checkpoint Charlie.’
100th anniversary since the first female MP took her seat
Nancy Astor (1879–1964) was the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat, joining the House of Commons in 1919. She represented Plymouth Sutton, replacing her husband, Waldorf Astor. The first woman elected was Constance Markievicz (1868–1927) in 1918, an Irish Republican and member of Sinn Fein. She did not take her seat, as she refused to take the oath.
100th anniversary of Auguste Renoir’s death
Lydia Figes, Content Creator at Art UK