Degeneracy, progress, nature, eroticism, mysticism and consumerism: these themes for today are also the dominant elements in Art Nouveau, that fusion of sinuous line and vibrant colour with painstaking craftsmanship which dominated art and design in Europe at the end of the 19th century. A blockbusting exhibition opening at the V amp; A on April 6 will be dedicated to Art Nouveau 1890-1914. As well as showing masterpieces in painting, sculpture and the decorative arts, the exhibition will focus on art and design in the urban context in eight fin-de-siecle cities: Paris, Brussels, Glasgow, Helsinki, Munich, Vienna, New York and Budapest. With sources as diverse as Gothic architecture and Japanese woodblock prints, and with works from artists such as Toulouse Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Rene Lalique, the exhibition offers immersion in the birth of modern luxury goods:"modern dreams" to lure the modern spender. Admission is free to children under 18, pound;2.50 to students. Tel:0115 912 9188 to book in advance.
Music's evolution on TV
How did music evolve? A new series from Channel 4, Big Bangs, on Sundays from March 12 at 8pm, traces the history of the Western classical tradition from medieval plainchat to the polyphony of today. Howard Goodall examines five crucial developments: the evolution of notation, the birth of opera, the standardisation of tuning across instruments (so-called "equal temperament"), the popularisation of the piano and the domination of recorded sound. In a fascinating interweaving of musical technology and musical appreciation, Goodall looks at, for instance, the way in which expectations of artificiallybalanced studio music have affected what a concert audience expects from performance or how the 18th-century invention of the pianoforte enabled the new Lieder form to sweep the drawing rooms of Europe with singers and accompanists. A must-see series for both GCSE and A level students.
Drawn to the Internet
Stuck for a lesson plan? Need a quick update on resources, book reviews or magazine articles? Want to put your pupils on the net? Click on arteducation.co.uk and for a small joining fee access 310 lesson plans, more than 500 websites and a bulletin board to share news and views with colleagues around the world. Or try artsednet.getty.edu, an online tour of the fabulous Getty collections and more, including changing exhibitions (the current one on Space Art Through the Ages), lesson plans and curriculum ideas.