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Pleasures and treasures

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David Fraser Jenkins tracks down the coming year’s exhibitions both at home and abroad

Yet another of its out-of-the-way and enchanting little exhibitions at the Courtauld Institute opens the year with a surprise, the designs for the Valois Tapestries by Antoine Caron: Drawings for Catherine de’Medici (18th January to 15th April). Caron organised the pageants for the French Court, so we’ll see tournaments and mock naval battles, and weirdly unreal mannerist figures. A treat for anyone near the National Gallery of Art, Washington (28th January to 13th May) will be Outliers and American Vanguard Art, comparing folk and outsider artists to the mainstream modern Americans, restoring justice to this history.  February brings immense pleasures. The V&A’s Ocean Liners: Speed and Style (3rd February to 10th June) gathers real bits of ships, and their publicity, from the 1840s to the QE2 (no, not that QE) – art deco, a fragment of the Titanic, a bright painting of a funnel by Charles Demuth. This is huge...


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