A few weeks ago I was in Oxford, the day I delivered the slippers, and I decided to spend some time in the Ashmolean Museum.
At the time they had three Free Exhibitions and I went and looked at each of them.
But first I went up to the roof terrace and had a cup of coffee.
I tried to photograph the whole terrace but the sun was so bright, I just pointed the camera and hoped! The camera was not quite level as you can see.
First Exhibition – The Tale of Prince Vessantara
(This exhibition is on till 9th September)
The story behind the pictures, and there were quite a few though I did not photograph all of them, was that of a past life of the Buddha.
He was born as Prince Vessantara who was such a generous man that he gave away everything, including his wife and children. Generosity is a prime Buddhist virtue but I must say that I was rather shocked at the idea of praising a man for giving away his children.
The story shown in the paintings on show was how a man asked the prince for his children so they could be servants for his wife. The prince agrees.
The prince’s wife is of course devastated though that is not shown here. The light was very poor so I only took photographs where it was better.
But later the prince’s father recognises the children and pays the man a great deal of money for their return.
Second Exhibition – A Century of Women in Chinese Art.
(This exhibition is on till 14th October)
The century in question here is the twentieth.
Here I only photographed a couple of paintings that were different to the norm.
The first show Tibetan women presenting lengths of white silk to guests.
The second I thought was particularly interesting because it show a Western style clock on the wall.
I also thought the garment in the same display case was so beautiful.
Here is a closer look.
And another piece of embroidery that caught my eye because it’s theme contains the phoenix and the dragon just like my Chinese laquer plate does.
Third Exhibition – Paintings and a sculpture by Ibrahim El-Salahi a Sudanese artist.
(This exhibition is on till 2nd September)
I especially liked his tree paintings.
and And this tree sculpture.
On the wall opposite the sculpture there was a huge painting of Flamenco dancers that he had see in Andalusia.
Bodleian Library – Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth
(As you can see this exhibition is on till 28th October)
A few days later I was back in Oxford to meet my daughter and husband and go to see a Tolkien exhibition in the Bodleian Library. The exhibition is free but you do need to book tickets for a particular time slot.
Unfortunately it was not permitted to take photographs in the exhibition but I did take a photograph of the display outside.
If you are interested in Tolkien, I can thoroughly recommend a visit. We spent at least an hour there and could have spent longer. There were photographs and artifacts concerned with different stages of his life, books and paintings and maps he had made.
And the shop had lots of Tolkien inspired memorabilia.
I bought a fridge magnet.
This is much enlarged of course!