1st June 2001 at 01:00
Keep on going past the sign announcing "dinosaurs this way", avoid human biology and arrive in the cool, airy space of the Natural History Museum's Jerwood Gallery. Here is an enticingly displayed exhibition of work by a little-known but influential painter. Joseph Wolf - Capturing the Moment is an introduction to wildlife painting, to Victorian attitudes towards animals and to the artistic process.

Wolf was born in 1820 on a farm in Koblenz, Germany, the eldest of five children, but he always showed more interest in sketching the animals than tending them. He left home at 16 to become a lithographer and, by 1848, was sufficiently well known as an illustrator to be invited to England, where he spent the rest of his life. His particular achievement was to change the way animals and birds were viewed, bringing out their intrinsic interest and not presenting them, as was fashionable, simply as props in a study of human heroism or achievement. Wolf sketched from life as often as possible, working up these rough drawings at leisure. But this being a period of exploration, he sometimes worked from specimens which had been preserved in rum on long voyages home from exotic regions. If he had to work in this way, he would try to give his drawing an accurate background by studying plants at Kew.

London Zoo was expanding in the mid-19th century and Wolf became the official zoo artist in 1851, three years after he had his first work accepted at the Royal Academy. He sketched animals which drew the Victorians to gawp in their thousands, such as the Giant Anteater on show here, sketched by Wolf in 1861.

Although he paid proper attention to scientific accuracy, worked from Books of Proportion and collaborated with Darwin on his book Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, Wolf was also a fine artist. He knew the Pre-Raphaelites and was admired by Landseer. Jane Mainwaring, the exhibition researcher and an artist herself, is especially pleased to have brought together several examples of works in development from rough sketch to oil painting. "Gyr falcons striking a kite", in its finished version a luminous almost 3-D painting, has the added humorous touch of the prey - rabbits - escaping more decisively with each phase as the birds of prey squabble over them.

The exhibition is not overwhelming in size, so there should be time for the colourful displays of chromosomes, hormones, child development and the rest in Human Biology, and even to visit the all-moving, all-roaring T. Rex in his swamp on the way out. The Natural History Museum produces school materials about its permanent displays and there is an activity sheet, Art of Nature, free to visitors and suitable for chilren over eight. For information:020 7942 5555; Don McCullin's photographs are famous all over the world for their intensity of vision. Cold Heaven at the Whitechapel Art Gallery is an exhibition, mounted in association with Christian Aid, which focuses on the devastating effect of Aids in Africa. Two schools will explore cultural, social and moral issues raised by the images in art, and drama workshops led by artists and teachers with experience of working in the developing world. Information about Whitechapel Art Gallery education: 020 7522 7888;; and about the tour of Cold Heaven to other venues: A major conference for teachers and others involved in education at key stage 2 and 3 is scheduled to take place at Tate Modern on June 19. Organised by Film Education, Picturing Literacy aims to do nothing less than "examine the relationship between visual and general literacy from a theoretical and practical point of view". Delegates can enter their students in a competition to win a free educational visit to the Tate and a free film screening. To register, fill out the form at www.filmeducation.orgpicturingliteracy. Information: 020 7976 2291.

The Theatre Royal Bath is the venue for Sheer Poetry in Motion, not a reference to the professional qualifications of the Poet Laureate, but a project to inspire young people aged 12 and 13 to write poetry for performance. Bristol-based poet Mike Ratnett has been working with four schools, St Gregory's, Chew Valley, Withywood and Hartcliffe, to prepare work for a performance on the theatre's main stage later this month. Information about Education at Theatre Royal: 01225 448815.

Bush Hall, a forgotten venue described as a "hidden architectural treasure" in Shepherd's Bush, has just opened its doors to music lovers for the first time in 50 years. All kinds of music - jazz, classical, acoustic and folk - will once again play among the plaster cherubs and mosaic floors. Bush Kids and Bush Babies clubs will cater for younger music-lovers. Information: 020 8222 6955; As everyone prepares for the final strait towards the summer holidays, hundreds of children will be preparing to go up to "big school". GW Theatre's Moving Up is designed to take the fear and mystery out of this rite of passage. Sixty-five primary schools in Oldham and Manchester will be playing host to a performance which promises to be fast and funny while raising all the sensitive issues which may be lurking at the back of young minds. For information about GW Theatre, which is also touring plays dealing with exclusion and teenage drinking: 01457 837668.


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