Fitzwilliam Museum Owen Sheers

Fitzwilliam Museum


The Fitzwilliam Museum houses the art collection of the University of Cambridge, which is known for its quality around the world.  In one building you can see works of art from Ancient Egypt through to works produced by living artists.  Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Museum each year to see masterpieces by famous artists such as Titian, the French Impressionists and Rembrandt.  As well as the paintings drawings and prints, there are medieval manuscripts, a collection of applied arts, coins and medals and antiquities from ancient Greece and Rome.

A visitor to the museum can enjoy the permanent collection, and also a range of temporary exhibitions, not forgetting the very good café and shop!  Behind the scenes there is a programme of conservation of objects and research going on.

Image: James Dickson Innes Arenig Fawr

Owen Sheers


Owen Sheers is a Welsh poet, author and scriptwriter. He has published two poetry collections, The Blue Book and Skirrid Hillwhich won a Somerset Maugham Award. His debut prose work The Dust Diaries, a non-fiction narrative set in Zimbabwe won the Welsh Book of the Year 2005. Owen’s first novel, Resistance has been translated into ten languages. Owen co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation, released in the UK in 2011. In 2009 he published the novella White Ravens, a contemporary response to the myth of Branwen Daughter of Llyr, as part of Seren's 'New Stories from the Mabinogion' series.

Owen Sheers


Turn Owen Sheers

Piece of limestone with drawing of reindeer, c. 13,000 – 12,000 BC


At first glance no more than an ochre flake,

a skimming stone that might have been picked,

fitting so well as it would


into the ‘C’ of thumb and forefinger,

to be launched, a stuttering ellipsis,

into the heart of the river.


But look what we’d lose if it had.

This reindeer, alive in the lines

of its haunch, neck and hoof,


scratch-shaded above the suggestion of a sheath,

its motionless movement

etched by a burin struck from flint.


You might have walked past it, most did.

But not you.

You caught it, here in the forest, in this stone.


You saw the truth in the turn of its head

which seems to look back, out of this case

into the galleries of Egypt and Rome


and then further still,

into the rooms of portraits and sculpture

and on again through the walls altogether


only to taper in the city’s outer streets

at a bedsit where a student leans over her desk

to draw an arrow across her screen


and make a mark in light.


All this it seems to say in the turn of its head.

All this which lies behind me

all this which I am moving towards,

all this, is my herd, my legacy.

Fitzwilliam Museum


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07th May 2013 | 4 Comment(s) | Fitzwilliam Museum

Live stream of Thresholds Finale event at the Fitzwilliam Museum

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Museums Collections + Poets