Artworks depicting family relationships will go on display in a new exhibition at Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum.

More than 120 pieces, including paintings, photography and sculptures, will show how artists such as Alice Neel, Chantal Joffe and Lucian Freud have represented different aspects of family life.

Real Families: Stories of Change was developed in collaboration with the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge.

It focuses primarily on artworks from the past five decades.

The exhibition invites people to consider what makes a family today, and highlights artists who portray new forms of family.

This includes those formed by assisted reproduction, single parents by choice and families with LGBT+ parents.

Luke Syson, director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, said: “The artworks presented within this exhibition offer compelling stories of how artists have responded to their own family experiences and sensitively recorded those of others for generations.

“This unique collaboration with the Centre for Family Research has demonstrated how many of the centre’s discoveries over the past 50 years have simultaneously been interpreted by artists.

“Showcasing art as a way of evidencing the centre’s groundbreaking research has offered an exciting new model for the Fitzwilliam, and offers a platform for future collaborative work within our university museum.”

Real Families: Stories of Change exhibition
A woman views Mother And Child II by Chantal Joffe in the Real Families: Stories of Change exhibition which opens at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on October 6 (Joe Giddens/PA)

Susan Golombok, curator of the exhibition and professor emerita of the Centre for Family Research at Cambridge, said work on the project had been “immensely enriching and enlightening”.

“We have learned so much from the outstanding team at the museum, not only about communicating the findings of our research through art, but also about the insights into family relationships that artists offer,” she said.

“In addition to the exhibition itself, it has sparked new conversations and collaborations between the museum and the centre that will continue well beyond the life of the exhibition.”

The exhibition will run from October 6 to January 7.