Win tickets for America's Cool Modernism at the Ashmolean Museum + Neil Brand's The Silent Pianist live show

We have teamed with the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to celebrate American Modernism in art and film with a special event and a competition.

This summer, the Ashmolean Museum is hosting the first exhibition to explore the 'cool' in American art in the early 20th century - from early experiments in abstraction by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove and Paul Strand, to the strict, clean precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth. America’s Cool Modernism: O’Keeffe to Hopper displays incredible loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, including 35 paintings that have never been seen in the UK before.

Impressive... There are pictures in this show you will remember forever”
★★★★ Will Gompertz, BBC

”Casts modernism in a new light” - The Economist
— Praise for America's Cool Modernism: O'Keeffe to Hopper

Curzon Oxford have teamed up with the Ashmolean to deliver events as part of the American Cool Festival, which will run for the month of May in collaboration with the exhibition. The American Cool Arts Festival invites visitors on a journey through the Jazz Age to explore the art, music, film and literature that were born out of the Roaring Twenties, the Depression-bitten ‘30s and the booming years of World War II. The three-week festival includes a line-up of talks, performances and film-screenings held with festival partners Blackwell’s Bookshop, Curzon Oxford, The Rothermere American Institute, and Oxford Playhouse.

Find out more and book tickets here.



We are delighted to be bringing back to the UK the new documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Bill Morrison (DecasiaAll Vows) for a rare screening, following a brief sold-out event at Curzon Soho last autumn and a handful of festival shows in Cambridge and Glasgow.

In Dawson City: Frozen Time, director Bill Morrison pieces together the bizarre true history of a long-lost collection of 533 nitrate film prints from the early 1900s. Discovered buried under the permafrost in a former Canadian Gold Rush town, their story conjures the forgotten ties between the fledgling film industry and Manifest Destiny in North America.

Located about 350 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Dawson City was settled in 1896—the same year large-scale cinema projectors were invented—and became the centre of the Klondike Gold Rush that brought 100,000 prospectors to the area. Soon after, the city became the final stop for a distribution chain that sent prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom, if ever, returned.

By the late 1920s, over 500,000 feet of film had accumulated in the basement of the local library. Much of it was eventually moved to the town’s hockey rink, where it was stacked and covered with boards and a layer of earth. The now-famous 'Dawson City Collection' was uncovered in 1978 when a new recreation centre was being built and a bulldozer working its way through a parking lot dug up a horde of film cans.

This astounding feat of film archaeology provides artist Bill Morrison with the chance to create new visuals and new meanings from the films of the early twentieth century and is a fitting pre-history to the films of Jazz Age America.

This special DocDays screening will be introduced by Nicholas Lawrence from the Department of English & Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.

This special screening takes place on Wednesday 23 May 6.30pm at Curzon Oxford. 


The American Cool Festival closes with a performance by musician, writer and broadcaster Neil Brand of his wonderful show The Silent Pianist Speaks, a celebration of the great works of silent film and the accompanists who breathed life into early movies. Brand will provide improvised accompaniment and laconic commentary on film classics from the works of a young Billy Wilder to the sublime comedy of Laurel and Hardy. Read further to enter a competition for the chance to win tickets for this show! 

The Silent Pianist Speaks is on at the Oxford Playhouse on Sunday 27 May. Find out more.


This competition is now closed and the winner has been notified. Thank you for entering!


·      This competition is open to residents of the UK aged 18 and over except employees of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Playhouse, Curzon Cinema, their families, agents and anyone connected with the competition or prize.

·      There is one prize of two tickets for Neil Brand’s The Silent Pianist Speaks on Sunday 27 May 2018 at 7.30pm and two tickets to the Ashmolean Museum’s special exhibition, America’s Cool Modernism.

·      Only one entry to the competition is permitted per person. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint entries are not allowed.

·      The winner will be chosen from a random draw of entries.

·      Delivery of the prize must be arranged by 7 May 2018, or be collected from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford by the same date. No cash alternative will be offered.

·      The competition prize is non-transferrable and has no cash value.

·      To enter the Competition you must complete the boxes shown above with your details and press the ‘submit’ button.

·      The closing date and time of the Competition is 23:59 on Sunday 29 April 2018. Entries received after the closing date and time will not be included in the prize draw. The winners will be selected at random from all eligible entries.

·      The winner will be notified by email after Monday 30 April 2018. If the winner cannot be reached or has otherwise failed to acknowledge such notification within 48 hours, the Ashmolean will select a new winner of the Prize. This process will be repeated until the prize is claimed.

·      The Ashmolean has the right to withdraw this prize draw at any time.

·      The Ashmolean reserves the right to publish the name of the prize-winner on its website and social media channels.

·      Entry into this competition constitutes acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

Promoters: The Ashmolean Museum (Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PH) and The Curzon Cinema Oxford  (Westgate Shopping Centre, Queen St, Oxford OX1 1NZ)