Events and Exhibitions

May 2015

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Marian Maguire, Herakles discusses Boundary Issues with the Neighbours (2007)



The Labours of Herakles

17th April - 15th August, 2015

Hercules – most famous of all the Greek heroes – steps directly out of a Greek vase and into the New World in this series of beautifully observed lithographs and etchings. New Zealand artist Marian Maguire imagines Herakles as nineteenth-century colonist, venturing into a landscape where his labours are both mundane and extraordinary.

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Museums at Night: Drink and Draw

Friday May 15th, 6-9pm
Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cast Gallery

Join us for a glass of wine, pick up a pencil and get involved as we sketch among our sculptures after hours with expert guidance from artist Susie Olczak. All abilities are welcome, no prior experience is required and materials will be provided. We’ll also be open to those who wish to browse the collection in this special late night opening.

The Gray Lectures

'Infancy': Tuesday May 19th, 5-6pm
'Childhood and Play': Thursday May 21st, 5-6pm
Faculty of Classics, Room G21
No need to book

Two lectures by Prof. Malcolm Schofield (Cambridge)
When Greek philosophers wanted to explore the human condition and its prospects, they often approached it via reflection on the new born infant, or again the toys and games of children's play. They found infancy and childhood 'good to think with' - and none of them more so than Plato.

Herakles the New Zealand Pioneer: an ancient Greek hero reflects on colonialism

Thursday May 28th, 6-7pm
Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cast Gallery
No need to book

A talk by Emma Stafford (Leeds)
Marian Maguire’s series of lithographs and etchings The Labours of Herakles superimposes an image of Herakles inspired by Attic black-figure vase-painting onto nineteenth-century New Zealand landscapes, wittily casting the hero as a European Pioneer. This talk will examine a selection of the prints, looking at their general and specific references to ancient material – including the Museum’s own casts of Greek sculpture – and how these are combined with other sources to create a new (anti-?)hero. It will focus particularly on Maguire’s use of Herakles, the archetypal ancient colonist, to comment on on-going debates about New Zealand’s colonial past.


Cut it out!

Wednesday June 5th, 7-9pm
Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cast Gallery

Join cut paper artist, Vanessa Stone, for this cut paper workshop for adults. Vanessa will be sharing her expertise on how to produce pieces inspired by black-figure pottery and the lithographs in our current exhibition, The Labours of Herakles by Marian Maguire. Find out more about Vanessa and her work at

Help the Fitzwilliam Museum win an artist!

The Fitzwilliam is 1 of 5 institutions in competition to win contemporary artist Alinah Azadeh to conduct a Museums at Night event on Friday 30 October. If successful, the Museum will work with community groups, staff and online audiences to capture stories/artwork of people's responses to works in the collections. These Hidden Histories will be shared, and more captured, in an intervention to be devised by Alinah at the Museum later this year. The Fitzwilliam Museum needs your support to make their proposal a reality, so please visit to vote.

Voting closes on Saturday 16 May.


Museum nominated for Family Friendly Award

Friday 1st May 2015

The Museum of Classical Archaeology has been featured in an article in the Sunday Telegraph, focusing on Museums which have been nominated for Kids in Museums' Family Friendly Award. Nominations remain open until May 10th, after which twenty museums will be long-listed for the prize.


London Maori Club welcomes Marian Maguire's The Labours of Herakles to Cambridge

Monday 27th April 2015

Marian Maguire's The Labours of Herakles, a series of lithographs and etchings exploring colonialism in 19th century New Zealand via the classical figure of Herakles, were welcomed to Cambridge by the London Maori Club. During the Private View on the evening of Friday 17th April, representatives from Ngati Ranana, performed a waita (a ritual song) called 'Haere Mai'.

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