Drink and Draw draws in the crowds

Julia Stanyard 19 May 2015

In Easter term, I turn my ability to avoid revision into an art form and, by going to the ‘Drink and Draw’ event at the Museum of Classical Archaeology on Friday evening, I quite literally did just that. With a self-explanatory title, guests were provided with pencils, paper, and a complimentary glass of wine and were set loose to draw the many casts and prints held within the Museum gallery. Over the past few days, seven of Cambridge’s museums and galleries have remained open until 9pm as part of a nationwide festival where such institutions remain open after hours. Armed with little more than a glass of wine, paper and pencils, and a mediocre Art GCSE, I set off into the sculpture jungle.

Diana reaching for her arrows – Sophie Buck

I’ll ashamedly admit that I had never been to the Museum of Classical Archaeology before. I’ve spent many an hour in Cambridge’s various museums and galleries, either as part of my degree or in attempts to culture myself, but this one passed me by. I have been missing out on a wonderful place. The light and airy gallery holds around four hundred and fifty casts of sculptures which cover a time span of over two thousand years, from the early Ancient Greek to Roman sculptures dating from the Christian era. It instils a tremendous sense of calm in the visitor, a place of peace and serenity that lifts the tension from your shoulders as soon as you walk through the door. Even with the event attracting many people, the gallery remained only gently busy as visitors quietly sat and drew what was in front of them. Artists Susie Olczak and Loukas Morley meandered through the collection, offering advice to artists to help put their ideas onto paper as well as discussing their own work. 

Roisin Taylor also took on the Apollo Belvedere


Within 40 minutes of opening their doors, the museum had reached its maximum capacity of 100 people, leaving a significant number of people queuing outside. People were still waiting when I left close to the end of the evening. Considering the Facebook event had nearly 1,000 people due to attend, I think the Museum hadn’t anticipated their own popularity. With the Museum due to hold similar events in the future, perhaps a ticketing system of some sort might be a way of making the event run more smoothly.


The popularity of the event has led to the Museum planning to put on regular events like Drink and Draw. If Friday night’s atmosphere and free wine were anything to go by I would definitely recommend going, just make sure you are fashionably early.