Ten reasons to visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
- Credit: Archant © 2011
With the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh due to visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts this Friday to see the Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific exhibition, arts correspondent Emma Knights looks at 10 reasons why we should all pay a trip to this great cultural centre on the University of East Anglia campus.
• An amazing gift for everybody - The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts gives everyone the chance to enjoy world class art right on their doorstep in Norfolk, with the centre's permanent exhibition being free to visitors. It was an amazing gift from the Sainsbury family - in 1973 Sir Robert and Lisa Sainsbury donated their art collection to the University of East Anglia, and their son, David funded the building to display it on the campus.
• Cutting edge architecture - The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, designed between 1974 and 1976, was the first major public building designed by renowned architect Lord Norman Foster who is responsible for some of London's most recognisable modern-day buildings, including the Gherkin, the Millennium Bridge, Wembley Stadium and City Hall.
• Stunning world art - The Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection features more than 1,400 items from across the globe, spanning 5,000 years up to the late 20th century. There is work from cultures all around the world on display in the permanent exhibition.
• Art masters - Work by major artists including Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon, Jacob Epstein, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti and Amedeo Modigliani also features in the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection.
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• A taste of Hollywood - The centre was was used as a location in the Hollywood blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron. It features in the closing scenes of the Marvel Comics superhero film starring Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans.
• Major visiting art shows - Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific, which is thought to be the largest and most comprehensive exhibition about the South Pacific nation ever assembled, is the latest in a long line of major visiting exhibitions that the centre has hosted.
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• Japanese photography - Also on show at the moment is the Masters of Japanese Photography exhibition which runs until March 19 and explores the work of three of the most prominent Japanese photographers of the second half of the twentieth century - Nobuyoshi Araki, Eikoh Hosoe and Kikuji Kawada.
• Future exhibitions - There are lots of other other touring shows planned for this year, including a Paul Nash exhibition from April, exploring the artist's work from his earliest paintings to his Second World War paintings, and a Russian Season from October which will contrast art, life and culture in Russia before and after the Revolution.
• Other collections - The centre is also the permanent home of other collections including the Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau and the University Collection of Abstract and Constructivist Art, Design and Architecture. While not always on display, selections of works from these collections often feature in exhibitions.
• Modern Life Café - After indulging in a tour of the artwork on show, the centre's Modern Life Café is the perfect place to relax with a coffee or enjoy lunch.