Pineapples: art, status and the Fitzwilliam Museum

There is limited accommodation available at Madingley Hall for this course. If your preferred accommodation choice is not available, please contact our Registration Team on +44 (0)1223 746262.

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Credit: Fitzwilliam Museum
Credit: Fitzwilliam Museum

Have you ever wondered how a particular museum came into being? This exploration of the Fitzwilliam will start with a painting of a pineapple which both illuminates the museum’s origins and introduces the ultimate 18th-century status symbol. We will then expand to embrace pineapple imagery all over the Western hemisphere.

Portrait of a pineapple - read more about this fascinating painting on the University of Cambridge research website

Course Programme

Friday 18 May 2012

Please plan to arrive between 4:30 and 6:30. You can meet other course members in the bar which opens at 6:15. Tea and Coffee making facilities are available in the study bedrooms.

19:15 Dinner
20:30 Introduction to the connecting link pineapples provide between ‘art, status and the Fitzwilliam Museum’ with particular reference to Netscher’s painting of 1720 Pineapple grown in Sir Matthew Decker’s garden at Richmond, Surrey.
22:00 Terrace bar open for informal discussion

Saturday 19 May 2012

08:00 Breakfast
09:00 Visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum.
10:30 Coffee
11:00 Visit to the Fitzwilliam, continued.
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Free
16:00 Tea
16:30 Background to the Northern European preoccupation with pineapple imagery.
19:15 Dinner
20:30 Does the Netscher pineapple painting really celebrate the first pineapple grown in England?
22:00 Terrace bar open for informal discussion

Sunday 20 May 2012

08:00 Breakfast
09:00 The Founder's family background and Northern European preoccupation with pineapple imagery reflected in the Fitzwilliam Museum and its collection, particularly its 17th century Dutch paintings.
10:30 Coffee
11:00 Pineapples, art and status beyond the Fitzwilliam.
13:00 Lunch

The course will disperse after lunch


pdf Application form

pdf Course material


Unless otherwise stated, teaching and assessment for ICE courses are in English. Students whose first language is not English should refer to the Competence in the English Language Policy for further guidance.

Printable versions of our brochures are available to download from the Institute Publications page.

Pre-enrolment information

Information about studying with ICE

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Admissions Team
Madingley Hall
United Kingdom
CB23 8AQ

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01223 746262

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Course details

Start date

18 May 2012 (19:15)

End date

20 May 2012 (13:00)

Course code



1 weekend


Institute of Continuing Education
University of Cambridge
Madingley Hall, Madingley
United Kingdom
CB23 8AQ

Accommodation fees

Single room: £110
Double/Twin room (per person, 2 people sharing): £90

Qualifications / Credits