Heads up: Peter Blake: Pop Music

It was 80 years ago today ... Peter Blake's birthday celebration

What are we talking about? A major exhibition featuring the works of Sir Peter Blake, godfather of British Pop Art.

Elevator pitch Britain's legends back on show in Blake's best pop-picks.

Prime movers Sir Peter Blake himself, whose 80th birthday is marked by this exhibition curated by Pallant House's Simon Martin.

The stars The icons of rock'n'roll, whom Blake captured on canvas. His best-known images have been inspired by Elvis, Sammy Davis Jnr and, of course, The Beatles – namely his cover for the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Blake's art, and his vast collection of pop ephemera, reveal a history of his close work with the past century's musical legends.

The early buzz The Times Literary Supplement considers Blake's work to be a contributing factor to the "glory" of the Pallant House Gallery, characterised by a wealthy diversity of 20th-century British art. Although some of Blake's works feature in the gallery's staple collection, this more explorative show promises to gauge the national mood, especially considering Blake's involvement with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Forty years after his original (rejected) offer to paint Elizabeth's portrait, many readers will have seen his pop-art masterpiece on the front cover of last week's Radio Times.

Insider knowledge Exclusive to the gallery, limited-edition badges and signed screenprints of Blake's renowned The Beatles 1962 painting have been reissued for sale. Whether you are a fan of the band or the artist, this is a not-to-be-missed collectors' opportunity!

It's great that ... this historical overview of British pop culture will make available, to this summer's thousands of visitors, a richer demonstration of our heritage than soggy fish and chips.

It's a shame that ... Chichester may seem a little out of the way for the majority of the forthcoming tourist visitors ....

Hit potential There's not been too much media attention just yet, but the current buzz of cultural patriotism suggests that the exhibition will not be lacking any attention when it opens.

The details Peter Blake: Pop Music runs from 23 June to 7 October, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (pallant.org.uk).

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