Happy Birthday, Mr Ashmole!

If you’re lucky enough to be near Oxford this coming Friday, 19th May, join the party at the Ashmolean to celebrate the 400th birthday of its founder, Elias Ashmole.

The Ashmolean was the world’s first public museum, and this year hosts a programme of events to not only celebrate its founding, but to educate visitors about its place in Oxford history, and Ashmole’s royalist connections during the English Civil War. This Friday there will be a parade, led by King Charles I and his cavaliers and courtiers,  ending up at the Ashmolean, where a very special acquisition will be revealed.

In a rare purchase by a public institution (as such pictures hardly ever become available), the Ashmolean has acquired a canvas by none other than King Charles’s Royalist painter, William Dobson,  which will in due course hang in the permanent collection,  just streets away from where Dobson himself lived in the 1640s. I know which portrait it is, but I won’t spoil the surprise!

The event is free, but you’ll need to book a ticket. I’ve already got mine, so I’ll post an update next weekend and let you know how it went!

More details here:

Ashmolean Live Friday

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