. . . In addition to hoisting a pint to calm my nerves after a tense, hard-fought game today pitting England against Sweden (ending in a draw, but how I rooted for a Brit win) – I would be heading to the British Museum. I took a seminar class on Michelangelo when I was studying abroad in Florence, and as such I consider myself fortunate to have seen most of his finished works and many of his drawings and sketches. But this exhibit brings together some that I have not seen. I love the anatomical power and grace of Michelangelo’s human forms.
Michelangelo Draws Night Crowd
Associated Press article, 6/8/06
LONDON – The British Museum said Thursday that it will stay open until midnight for the first time to meet the demand for access to its exhibition of the works of Italian master Michelangelo. More than 140,000 people have visited “Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master,” since it opened at the end of March.
Now the 247-year-old museum will remain open until midnight every Saturday until the show closes on July 25.
“The exhibition has been such an overwhelming success that we wanted to find a way to let more people see the show before the end of its run,” said director Neil MacGregor. “This really is a unique opportunity to spend your Saturday night with a master of the Italian Renaissance.” The exhibition is a study of the Renaissance artist’s life from his earliest pen drawings to his late, haunting crucifixions.
It reunites material not together since the posthumous dispersal of works from Michelangelo’s studio in 1564. The works come from collections in the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Teyler Museum in Holland.
The museum’s first Michelangelo exhibition in 30 years features 90 drawings and a collection of thumbnail sketches and red chalk studies that trace the evolution of the painting of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
The exhibition took a record 11,000 bookings before it even opened, beating the previous record of 3,670 advance bookings set by an exhibition of Persian art.