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The Robert Cripps Gallery, Magdalene College Cambridge. Exhibition: Everest 1921 - A Reconnaissance

The Robert Cripps Gallery

The College opened the new Robert Cripps Gallery at Magdalene College in November 2021 and is delighted with this new gallery space for visiting exhibitions and for occasionally displaying parts of the College art collection to the wider community.

The Gallery has been named in honour of Mr Robert Cripps AM, a passionate art collector, generous supporter and Honorary Fellow of the College since 2005. The Robert Cripps Gallery forms a key part of the award-winning New Library, a purpose-built space for Magdalene students and staff to meet, work, relax and find inspiration.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Cross-Connections: Paintings by Ruth Rix

1 February - 28 March 2023

A selection of Ruth Rix’s more recent work from sixty years of painting, shown alongside prints by her mother Helga Michie, a Kindertransport refugee from Vienna. Whilst the artists’ career trajectories were very different, the works shown here together illustrate powerful resonances which throw light on each artist’s work.

Ruth Rix: House, House, 2016

Ruth Rix. House, House. 2016

Ruth Rix and Helga Michie

Ruth Rix was born in Leamington Spa in 1942 and went to school in Gloucestershire, Berkshire and London. Her mother Helga escaped on one of the last Kindertransporte from Vienna in 1939, and her father fled Vienna in 1938. Her early years were spent in emigré circles including many people from the arts.

Ruth studied Art and Theatre Design at Chelsea School of Art and The Central School of Art and Design 1960–63, and Fine Art at Leeds College of Art 1969– 71. From 1972–74 she studied for 2 years at Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Vienna under Fritz Wotruba, before returning to live in England, in York, East Sussex and finally in Brighton.

She has painted for over six decades, and a selection of her more recent work is shown here in the Robert Cripps Gallery at Magdalene College.

Ruth Rix, Attersee, 2020

Ruth Rix, Attersee, 2020

Helga Michie (1921–2018) was born in Linz, the twin sister of the writer Ilse Aichinger, and spent most of her school years in Vienna. When the Nazi persecutions began, the family tried to leave Austria, but only Helga’s aunt Klara Kremer, and Helga, were able to escape to England. Helga’s twin sister Ilse was left behind with their mother Berta, but managed to survive the Nazi occupation. The other close family members were deported to Minsk and murdered. The twins’ separation in 1939 was a thread which ran though their adult lives and work. It was ten years after this separation that the twins were reunited first in England and then in Austria. Ilse and Berta continued to live in Austria and Germany, while Helga returned to England, living and working mainly in London from then on near aunt Klara.

Helga began to draw using ball-point pen in the late 1960s, and then studied printing at The City Lit. Her work mainly spans the two decades 1968 to 1988.

This exhibition shows a small selection of her etchings and lithographs from the late 1970s and the 1980s.

© Hugh Rix, 2022

Helga Michie, Fallada I, 1978

Helga Michie, Fallada I, 1978

Exhibition Events

Saturday, 11 February, 3pm. Cripps Court Room 4

Secret Grounds - Ruth Rix in conversation with Georgina Paul
The exhibition will be open from 2pm -3pm

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Saturday, 25 February, 2pm. Robert Cripps Gallery and Cripps Auditorium

After Abstraction – The Soundscape of Shapes in the Works by Ruth Rix and Helga Michie: an experimental musical performance and a talk by Rüdiger Görner

Free admission, no tickets required

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Friday, 17 March, 5pm. Robert Cripps Gallery and Cripps Auditorium

Discovering the Living Space: an exploration of space, real and imagined, in times of movement and migration.
Music performance and panel discussion

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Study Packs

Study Pack for students of German

General Study Pack in English


Exhibition Opening Hours

1 February - 28 March 2023

Monday to Thursday. Closed on Friday.

  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (last entry 11:30 AM)
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (last entry 3:30 PM).

Information for Visitors

  • To arrange access to the Exhibition please call at the Porters’ Lodge, Magdalene College, Magdalene Street, Cambridge, CB3 0AG.
  • entrance will be to the Gallery only
  • visitors are requested to call in at The Porters' Lodge in First Court before visiting the gallery
  • visitors are requested not to enter other parts of the New Library or Magdalene College

Past Exhibitions

Will Carter - Man of Letters

An important retrospective featuring the wide-ranging portfolio of one of Cambridge’s most respected and much-loved resident artists, including many examples of his calligraphy, letter carving, printing, and typefaces.

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From Southwold to Alice Springs

From Southwold to Alice Springs: Selected works from the Collection of Robert Cripps, showcased a small snapshot of the paintings, drawings and engravings acquired over many years by a remarkable collector, reflecting both his deep roots in the countryside and coast of East Anglia and his...

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Everest 1921 - A Reconnaissance

Pioneering works in the history of photography! With the kind permission of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), this exhibition showcased a selection of prints of the approaches to Mount Everest, taken in 1921 and reconstructed from newly digitised fragile silver nitrate negatives.

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Fragile Planet - Watercolour Journeys into Wild Places

Fragile Planet was a major exhibition of watercolours by Cornwall’s world-renowned wilderness artist, Tony Foster. Fragile Planet - Watercolour Journeys into Wild Places, highlights the precariousness of the world’s wildernesses and endangered environments, many of which Tony visited and painted...

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