The diary: what's on in April

This month, take in seminal British sculpture, historic haute couture and colour-soaked textile art

Fine forms

Now considered one of Britain's greatest sculptors, Henry Moore was interested in the natural objects he found around the English countryside from a young age. A new exhibition shows how these natural forms continued to inspire Moore's art, from drawings and maquettes to the large scale sculptures he is famous for. Featuring over 50 of the artist's works as well as over 100 of the objects that inspired them.

* Until 7th May. The Lightbox, Chobham Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 4AA. 01483 737800;  


Bright spark

A multi-talented modernist, Josef Frank was an architect, designer and progressive thinker. Born in Austria, Frank moved to Sweden in 1933 where he created bold designs for everything from fabric and glassware to entire interiors, giving birth to Swedish modernism. Josef Frank Patterns-Furtniture-Painting is the first ever UK exhibition of his works and showcases his vibrant fabric designs alongside watercolours. 

* Until 7th May. Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, Se1 3XF. 020 7404 8664;


Betley Court Antiques and Fine Art Fair

The Grade II-listed Betley Court will welcome 40 dealers, selling ceramics, glass, silver, jewellery, paintings, furniture and decorative pieces. The action take place in the John Nash Drawing Room and in a marquee on the lawn, where visitors can stroll through the magnificent gardens of the 18th century property between purchases. 

* 21st-23rd April. Betley, Cheshire, CW3 9BH. Opening times may vary. £8. 07798 931437; 


Another country  

Surrounded by Capability Brown-sculpted greenery, Compton Verney is the perfect place to muse on the great outdoors. The exhibition Creating the Countryside looks at how rural life has been represented in art over the past 350 years. Traditional representations by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and Jean-Francois Millet sit alongside works that challenge our notion of bucolic bliss, including Grayson Perry's 'Fantasy Village' vase. 

* 18th March-18th June. Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park, Warwickshire, CV35 9HZ. 01926 645500;


Sheer delight

It may seem like a leap from Arts and Crafts to Japanese artistic traditions but a former apprentice of William Morris provides the link. Sheer Pleasure - Frank Brangwyn and the Art of Japan charts the artist's passion for Japanese art. Brangwyn produced his own work and collaborated with master printmaker Yoshijiro Urushibara. The exhibition includes famous woodblock prints and ceramics from his collection. 

* Until 14th May. William Morris Gallery, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 4PP. 020 8496 4390;


Art for arts sake

York is an apt setting for Albert Moore: Of Beauty and Aesthetics. Born in the city in 1841, Moore was a leading figure of the Aesthetics movement and created beguiling classic figures of great beauty. This exhibition tracks the evolution of Moore's paintings from his youthful Pre-Raphaelite works to the classical figures of his mature style, highlighting the beautiful women for which he is most famous. 

* 7th April-1st October, York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York, Y01 7EW. 01904 687687;


Fashionably great

The evolution of fashion is a fascinating way to trace social history, as A History of Fashion in 100 Objects shows. This major exhibition walks us through the last 400 years by showcasing 100 stylish pieces, from Regency fashion to modern-day couture. Shoe aficionados can drool over era-defining footwear while the children's historical fashion trail should put those 'you're not going out like that' moments into perspective. 

* Until 1st January 2019. Fashion Museum, Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath, BA1 2QH. 01225 477789;



Small Wonders

Great things come in small packages, as this exhibition of doll's houses at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery shows. 4th March-25th June. 01603 493625;

Spring into Action

Around 160 exhibitors will be tempting eagle-eyed browsers with a wide range of items at the Spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in Battersea Park, London. 4th-9th April. 020 7616 9372;

Constable in Brighton

A new exhibition at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery allows you to experience the seaside resort through the eyes (and works) of the Romantic painter John Constable, who lived there with his wife Maria between 1824 and 1828. 8th April-8th October. 03000 290900;



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