British Museum

British Museum
Great Russell Street
London
Greater London
WC1B 3DG
England

Website

www.britishmuseum.org

E-mail

Information

information@britishmuseum.org

Telephone

020 7323 8299

Fax

+44 (0)20 7323 8480

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
An enclosed courtyard with a glass roof and a round building in the centre
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Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history. Enjoy a unique comparison of the treasures of world cultures under one roof, centred around the magnificent Great Court.

World-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies are visited by up to six million visitors per year. In addition to the vast permanent collection, the museum’s special exhibitions, displays and events are all designed to advance understanding of the collection and cultures they represent.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Daily 10.00-17.30.
Selected galleries are open until 20.30 on Thursdays and Fridays.

The Museum is closed on 1 January and 24, 25, 26 December.

Admission charges

Admission is free to all visitors. Charges may apply for special exhibitions and events.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Medicine, Music, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War, World Cultures

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
British Museum

Ancient lives, new discoveries

  • 22 May 2014 — 19 April 2015 *on now

This exhibition will introduce you to eight people from ancient Egypt and Sudan whose bodies have been preserved, either naturally or by deliberate embalming. Using the latest technology, the exhibition will unlock hidden secrets to build up a picture of their lives in the Nile Valley over a remarkable 4,000 years – from prehistoric Egypt to Christian Sudan.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

£10 (free for under-16s)

Sutton Hoo and Europe, AD 300–1100

  • 1 June 2014 — 1 June 2016 *on now

The centuries AD 300–1100 witnessed great change in Europe. The Roman Empire broke down in the west, but continued as the Byzantine Empire in the east. People, objects and ideas travelled across the continent, while Christianity and Islam emerged as major religions.

By 1100, the precursors of several modern states had developed. Europe as we know it today was taking shape. Room 41 gives an overview of the period and its peoples. Its unparalleled collections range from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, and from North Africa to Scandinavia.

The gallery’s centrepiece is the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk – one of the most spectacular and important discoveries in British archaeology.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/galleries/europe/gallery_41_europe_ad_300-1100.aspx

Cloisonné enamel jar and cover with dragons

Ming: 50 years that changed China

  • 18 September 2014 — 5 January 2015 *on now

This major exhibition will explore a golden age in China’s history.

Between AD 1400 and 1450, China was a global superpower run by one family – the Ming dynasty – who established Beijing as the capital and built the Forbidden City. During this period, Ming China was thoroughly connected with the outside world. Chinese artists absorbed many fascinating influences, and created some of the most beautiful objects and paintings ever made.

The exhibition will feature a range of these spectacular objects – including exquisite porcelain, gold, jewellery, furniture, paintings, sculptures and textiles – from museums across China and the rest of the world. Many of them have only been very recently discovered and have never been seen outside China.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults £16.50, Members free

Website

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/ming.aspx

An engraving showing witches

Witches and Wicked Bodies

  • 25 September 2014 — 11 January 2015 *on now

This exhibition will examine the portrayal of witches and witchcraft in art from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. It will feature prints and drawings by artists including Durer, Goya, Delacroix, Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti alongside classical Greek vessels and Renaissance maiolica.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/witches_and_wicked_bodies.aspx

Poetry and exile

  • 1 October 2014 — 29 March 2015 *on now

This display, drawn from recent acquisitions of works by artists of the Middle East and North Africa at the British Museum, explores the effects of exile through the eyes of five artists.

There are many forms of exile expressed here. For Canan Tolon, it is exile from her home in Istanbul as a result of contracting polio as a child, the story of which she evokes in Futur Imparfait. Ipek Duben’s book Refugee, with its delicate gauze pages, belies the terror and helplessness of people forced to flee their homeland. Mona Saudi and Abdallah Benanteur combine the powerful verses of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish with drawings, while Mireille Kassar conjures a story of exile from her own family history and the Persian poem The Conference of the Birds.

The acquisition of these works has been supported by CaMMEA, a fund set up to support acquisitions of modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art. Canan Tolon’s Futur Imparfait is additionally supported by SAHA.

Admission

Free

An image showing an orange Buddha on a blue background

Pilgrims, healers and wizards: Buddhism and religious practices in Burma and Thailand

  • 2 October 2014 — 11 January 2015 *on now

Featuring objects from the 18th century to present day, this exhibition shows the variety of religious practices in Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand, and how Buddhism, spirit worship, divination and other activities interact.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/pilgrims,_healers_and_wizards.aspx

Germany: memories of a nation

  • 16 October 2014 — 25 January 2015 *on now

From the Renaissance to reunification and beyond, the show will use objects to investigate the complexities of addressing a German history which is full of both triumphs and tragedies.

Explore art by Durer, Holbein and Richter, and marvel at the technological achievements which gave the world the Gutenburg bible, the Bauhuas movement and the VW Beetle.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10, Members and under 16s FREE.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Contested Buddhist identities in contemporary Burma (Myanmar)

  • 27 November 2014 1:30-2:30pm *on now

He examines how Buddhists in the country are defining and redefining themselves, with reference to other religious groups, their own histories and a global Buddhist community, and how these identities are disseminated and contested through new communication technologies, new religious practices, and reimagined notions of what it means to be 'Buddhist' in Burma.

Admission

Free

Tutankhamun to basking sharks: the changing uses of the British Museum galleries

  • 27 November 2014 1:15-2pm *on now

A gallery talk by David Francis, British Museum.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Kingship and Buddhism in Southeast Asia

  • 28 November 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Alexandra Green, British Museum

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Little feet: all wrapped up

  • 28 November 2014 10:30am-12pm

In this creative and engaging session for under 5s and their parents and carers, journey to ancient Egypt using sight, sound, smell and touch in the Enlightenment Gallery (Room 1).

Admission

Free

Captivating calligraphy

  • 29 November 2014 2-4pm

Introduced by Tim Clark, British Museum, who will explore the ideas, history and techniques behind the artist’s work. The finished works will be on display in the Great Court after the event, until Monday 1 December. Supported by IFAC UK.

Admission

Free

Magical mosaic masks

  • 29 November 2014 11am-4pm

Use tablet devices to design your own mosaic masks inspired by the fearsome Aztec gods. Print your finished mask to take home and wear.

Activity takes about 30 mins.

Age: 7+

Admission

Free

Head-On

  • 30 November 2014 2-4:30pm

Cahit’s subsequent imprisonment and Sibel’s flight to Istanbul probes ideas of belonging in this tale of identity, loss and love. Introduced by Professor Daniela Berghahn, Royal Holloway, University of London. In association with Goethe-Institut London and the German Screen Studies Network.

Director: Fatih Akin

Age: 18+

Admission

Tickets £3
Members/Concessions £2

Ice Age animation workshop

  • 30 November 2014 11am-4pm

Use stop-motion software and digital cameras to bring Ice Age animals to life through animation.

Sessions last 120 mins.

Age: 7+

Admission

Free

Curator's introduction to Germany: memories of a nation

  • 1 December 2014 1:30-2:30pm

Exhibition Curator Barrie Cook gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition Germany: memories of a nation.

This event will have speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.

Admission

Free

Andrea Mantegna's Adoration of the Magi and its Ming connection

  • 4 December 2014 1:30-2:30pm

Ming porcelain did appear in Europe in the early 15th century but it was very rare – perhaps Mantegna’s patron owned an example. Caroline Campbell, Curator of Italian paintings before 1500, National Gallery, London, discusses the painting and how it is a window on a world of extraordinary connections.

Admission

Free

Demons at the edge of the world

  • 4 December 2014 1:15-2pm

Admission

free

Global China: past and present

  • 5 December 2014 6:30-7:30pm

As we embark on a period in which China’s economy and trade will lead global markets, this panel discussion examines the country’s global role today and how other leading nations' economies, governance and culture might develop in relation to China.

The discussion will be chaired by Robert Bickers, Professor of History, University of Bristol, and will feature Jonathan Fenby, author, journalist and Managing Director of the China team at the emerging markets consultancy firm Trusted Sources, Steve Tsang, Professor of Contemporary Chinese Studies and Head of School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham, and Elizabeth Wright, Chair of the Advisory Board of the China Policy Institute and Special Professor, University of Nottingham.

Please note that this discussion was originally due to be chaired by Rana Mitter, University of Oxford, who is no longer able to attend.

Admission

Tickets £5
Members £3

The Buddha in plastic, paper and nylon: sacred art in everyday life in Thailand

  • 5 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Angela Chiu, School of Oriental and African Studies.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Little feet: mess it up

  • 5 December 2014 10:30am-12pm

Join other under 5s and their parents and carers in this messy play session to explore ancient Egypt and create a masterpiece to take home.

Admission

Free

Little feet: mess it up

  • 5 December 2014 10:30am-12pm

Join other under 5s and their parents and carers in this messy play session to explore ancient Egypt and create a masterpiece to take home.

Admission

Free

The language of flowers in Chinese art and design

  • 6 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Anne Haworth, independent speaker.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Shadow puppet workshop

  • 7 December 2014 11am-4pm

Learn about the ancient tradition of Javanese shadow-puppetry and decorate your own beautiful puppets. Use voice recording software and video cameras to then bring your characters to life through film.

Admission

Free

The art of display: Philippe de Montebello in conversation with Martin Gayford

  • 8 December 2014 7-8pm

Philippe de Montebello is the former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Martin Gayford is the author of numerous acclaimed books on art. The speakers will be signing copies of their new book, Rendez-vous with Art, following the event.

Please note: the Museum closes at 17.30 and re-entry for this event will be from 18.30. Please have your booking information to hand at the Museum's Main entrance at this time.

This event was originally to have included British Museum Director Neil MacGregor. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, he is now unable to attend.

Admission

Tickets £5, Members and Concessions £3

Connecting continents: Indian Ocean trade and exchange

  • 9 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Sarah Longair, British Museum

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Women in the Enlightenment

  • 10 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Felicity Roberts, British Museum.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

German folk tales

  • 12 December 2014 6-9pm

Come to the Museum for an evening of festivities inspired by German folk and folklore. Steal away to the imagined forests and castles of the German landscape and get creative with workshops and interactive displays inspired by the tales made popular by the Brothers Grimm, led by students from the University of the Arts London, write poems inspired by objects in the Enlightenment Gallery and drop in on performances responding to German folk traditions.

In association with the Goethe-Institut London.

Admission

Free

The sculptures of the Parthenon

  • 12 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Susan Woodford, independent speaker.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Roman gods in the Enlightenment Gallery

  • 13 December 2014 1:15-4pm

A gallery talk by George Hart, independent speaker.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Digital dress up

  • 13 December 2014 11am-4pm

Dress yourself in weird and wonderful outfits from different cultures in time. Activity takes 30–40 mins.

Age: 7+

Admission

Free

Manga comic workshop

  • 14 December 2014 11am-4pm

Learn the secrets of manga comic artists, then create your own manga-inspired comic with characters from the Museum to print and take home.

Sessions last 120 mins.

Age: 7+

Admission

Free

The use of moulds, casts and electroforms in the Museum

  • 16 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Michael Neilson, British Museum

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

I saw this and thought of you: gift giving in ancient Britain

  • 17 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Katharine Hoare, British Museum.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

War and peace in the Sainsbury African Galleries

  • 18 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by John Giblin, British Museum.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Egypt under the early pharaohs

  • 19 December 2014 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by George Hart, independent speaker

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

A photograph showing some brightly coloured graffiti from the Berlin Wall

Street art

  • 20 — 22 December 2014
  • 27 — 31 December 2014
  • 2 — 3 January 2015 11am-4pm

Be inspired by German art and create your own 'street art' - digital graffiti or design your own VW Beetle.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 7-10

Admission

Free, just drop in.

Babel, babbling and the British Museum

  • 26 November 2041 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Irving Finkel, British Museum.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.

Admission

Free

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

British Museum Webquests

http://nmolp.britishmuseum.org/webquests/

Webquests are online activities for children, using the collections of nine national museums and galleries.

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