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.

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

Contemporary Japanese Prints: Noda Tetsuya’s ‘Diary’ Series

  • 5 April — 5 October 2014 *on now

Since the late 1960s, artist Noda Tetsuya (born 1940) has created an on-going series of prints under the title, ‘Diary’. Intimate portraits of his family, landscapes experienced on his travels and objects from everyday life are recorded with sensitivity, wit and a certain mystery. Spanning almost fifty years and now reaching some five hundred works, the Diary series shows from within one individual’s world, with evocative perspectives onto a wider society.

This special display presents twenty-two of Noda’s Diary prints, works that span his life and career. The unusual technique of the prints combines colour woodblock with photo silkscreen. Noda cuts woodblocks to print areas of colour and subtle shades of white background onto handmade Japanese paper. Photographic images which have been deliberately altered by the artist to express his personal sensibility are then printed over the colours using silkscreen. This adds the darker outlines and areas of shading. Noda describes the camera as his sketchbook, using it to fix the compositions that are most significant to him. Noda’s everyday subjects and colour and outline style sometimes recall traditional Japanese ukiyo-e prints, with their observation of everyday-life, frankness and absence of ostentation.

Recent Noda acquisitions have been generously donated by the artist and also funded by the JTI Japanese Acquisition Fund.

Website

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

Soldiers emerge from the mouth of a sleeping Earl Kitchener.

The other side of the medal: how Germany saw the First World War

  • 9 May — 23 November 2014 *on now

This display examines a selection of medals made by artists who lived and worked in Germany between 1914 and 1919. Challenging and at times deliberately provocative, many of the medals were intended to influence popular opinion against Germany’s enemies. Others provide a more universal criticism about the futility of war and waste of human life.

Initial enthusiasm for the First World War quickly descended into horror at its scale and brutality. Reflecting upon this, numerous artists revived the medieval Dance of Death motif to present an almost apocalyptic view of the conflict. On these medals, Death stalks the battlefield, sea and sky, hacking down soldiers, sinking ships or manipulating giant Zeppelin airships. The figure becomes an active malevolent presence and indiscriminate force of destruction.

Medal artists also embraced Expressionism to explore the psychological effects of war, distorting reality to convey mood and emotion. Vulnerable stick-like figures become dominated by giant war machines in scenes that strip humanity of its individualism. German medallists were also keen to consider the collateral effects of war, depicting refugees displaced by invasion or people starving as a result of food shortages. This showed the totality of the First World War in a way that eluded most contemporary medals made in Allied countries.

Due to their use of pro-German propaganda, wartime Britain regarded these medals with outrage. Despite this, the British Museum was highly proactive in acquiring them, realising their significance as historical documents. A century on, this display of medals from the collection offers a fresh perspective to our understanding of life and death during the First World War.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

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

British Museum

Ancient lives, new discoveries

  • 22 May — 30 November 2014 *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)

A picture showing an intricate drawing of an arch.

Durer's paper triumph: the arch of he Holy Roman Emperor Maximilain I

  • 11 September — 16 November 2014 *on now

A small display featuring a spectacularly large 1515 print by German artist Albrect Durer.

Suitable for

  • Any age
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

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

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

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

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.

Curator's introduction to Ancient Lives, new discoveries

  • 30 October 2014 1:30-2:15pm

Exhibition curators John Taylor and Daniel Antione give a 45 minute introduction to the exhibition Ancient Lives, new discoveries.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

A photograph showing a dramatically lit dragon puppet

Chinese adventures

  • 25 October 2014 11am-4pm

Take part in a range of digital activities inspired by China. Find your Zodiac character, make a digital vase and more!

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 7-10
  • 14-15

Admission

Free, just drop in.

A photograph showing someone reading a manga comic

Manga comic workshop

  • 21 September 2014 11am-1pm, 2-4pm *on now

Learn the secrets of manga comic artists, then create a comic to print and take home.

Sessions last 120 minutes.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 7-10
  • 14-15

Admission

Free, booking essential.

Origins of mummification in Egypt

  • 25 September 2014 1:30-2:30pm

Recent research shows that the first mummified remains to be found in the Nile Valley date from 3500BC rather than 3000BC as previously thought. Renée Friedman shares her research on the origins of the mummification process, the relationship between natural and artificial mummification and how this informs our views of a process so ingrained in our understanding of the ancient Egyptians.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

Inside out: revealing nature's secrets

  • 26 September 2014 6:30-7:30pm

Whether helping pathologists o perform virtual autopsies, scrutinising martian meteorites or revealing the secrets of ancient mummies, computer visualisation techniques are opening up new worlds of understanding.

Anders Persson, Director of the Centre for Medical Image Science and Visualisation and Anders Ynnerman, founder of Norrkoping Visualisation and Interaction studio showcase their world leading techinques.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£5, Members and concessions £3

Curator's introduction to Ming: 50 years that changed China

  • 26 September 2014 1:30-2:15pm
  • 3 October 2014 1:30-2:15pm
  • 16 October 2014 1:30-2:15pm
  • 31 October 2014 1:30-2:15pm

Exhitbition curators give a 45 minute introduction to the exhibition Ming: 50 years that changed China.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

A photograph showing a camera on a white background.

Photography mystery trails

  • 27 September 2014 11am-4pm

Use a digital camera to explore the museum and follow trails through the galleries. Turn your pictures into a comic strip to take home.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

Free, just drop in.

Embalming: theory and practice

  • 2 October 2014 1:30-2:30pm

Ancient Egyptian embalming techniques are popularly known, but where does our informaion come from and how does recent research challenge our assumptions? Project Curator Marie Vandnbeusch explains what the ancient texts say on embalming practices, what experts expect to find through CT scanning and what the evidence leads us to conclude about this ancient process.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

Evil hags and mothers: women in witchcraft in Germany

  • 3 October 2014 6:30-7:30pm

Lyndal Roper talks about the witchcraft trials of 16th and 17h century Germany and asks why witches were so often older women. Many accusations began in the 6 weeks after a baby was born, a period when the mother could not leave the house and was believed to be under the power of the Devil. If a baby failed to thrive, then the new mother might blame the lying-in maid, frequently an older woman.

Fears about women's bodies and envy and jealousy between women form part of the background of the figure of the witch.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£5, Members and concessions £3

A photograph showing a sitting jackal

Passport to the afterlife

  • 4 October 2014 11am-4pm

Use smartphones to follow an augmented reality trail around the Egyptian galleries, solving clues about the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 7-10

Admission

Free, just drop in

African rock art and photography: preservong 28,000 years of art

  • 6 October 2014 1:30-2:30pm

Photographer David Coulson joins museum curato Elizabeth Galvin to discuss Africa's rock art and how photography is used to document and disseminate these works, which span thousands of years.

Showing stunning photographs of rock art taken throughout Africa over the past four decades, this talk will discuss the echniques and tools used, the subjects represented and what rock art can tell us about the people that made them. It will also show how new technology is being used to study and preserve rock art.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking advised.

The Weird Sisters with RIFT theatre company

  • 10 October 2014 6:30-8pm

An opportunity to spend an evening in the exhibition Witches and Wicked Bodies with a drink and join theatre company RIFT for an evening of tricks, tales and supernatural talismans. RIFT explore Shakespeare's Weird Sisters.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

A photopgraph showing a mummy

Exploring Egyptian mummies

  • 11 October 2014 11am-4pm

Explore mummies using digital techniques used by museum scientists to uncover the secrets of the ancient Egyptians.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Admission

Free, just drop in

A photograph showing a fragment of Egyptian scroll.

Ancient Egyptian journey to the afterlife

  • 13 October 2014 11am-4pm

Use mobile devices to explore the Egyptian galleries and learn more about preparing for the afterlife. Can you collect everything you need for the perfect afterlife?

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 7-10
  • 14-15

Admission

Free, just drop in.

BBC Radio 3: In Tune

  • 17 October 2014 4-6:30pm

To celebrate the opening of the new exhibition Germany: memories of a nation, In Tune will be broadcast live from the museum. The audience in the BP Lecture Theatre will enjoy German chamber music and a short film of the curator discussing exhibition highlights.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

A photograph of Ramasses II

Talk like an Egyptian

  • 18 October 2014 11am-4pm

Learn about ancient Egyptians and use digital technology to bring their stories to life.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

Free, just drop in.

Photograph showing a horse

Make a hotchpotch horse

  • 19 October 2014 11am-4pm

Use Photoshop to create your own hotchpotch horse from different parts of the museum's collection. Then see your horse race on a big screen!

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

Free just drop in.

The Forbidden City

  • 24 October 2014 1:30-2:30pm

in this lecture, Frances Wood guides us through the enormous complex of buildings known as the Forbidden City, one of the most famous extant legacies of the Ming dynasty.
Built on the orders of the Yongle Emperor, the Forbidden City was the centre of the imperial court and government within the new capital of Beijing.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

Ming Beijing

  • 24 October 2014 6:30-7:30pm

Susan Naquin asks if any traces of Ming Dynasty Beijing can be left in today's huge modern city. This lecture will explore China's capital in search of those objects, buildings and sites that survive and can be seen by the intrepid, casual explorer.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£5, Members and concessions £3

Curator's introduction: Germany: memories of a nation

  • 25 October 2014 1:30-2:15pm

Exhibition curator, Barrie Cook, gives a 45 introduction to Germany: memories of a nation.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

A photograph showing a oung girl drawing

The Big Draw: Ming family day

  • 26 October 2014 11am-4pm

Help celebrate the glories of the Ming Imperial Court by drawing dancing dragons in the Great Court. Listen to stories that might have been told to entertain the Emperor and create your own blue and white plate.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 5-6

Admission

Free, just drop in

A photograph showing two javanese shadow puppets

Shadow puppet workshop

  • 26 October 2014 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

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

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Admission

Free, booking essential.

A photograph showing a brightl coloured vase

Magnificent Ming China

  • 27 — 31 October 2014

Come to the museum for a whole week of activities inspired by Ming: 50 years that changed China.

Create your own jewellery based on items worn by the Emperors, help create a giant scroll or join a family gallery talk.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 7-10
  • 14-15

Admission

Free, just drop in

Art and commerce: the prints of Albrect Durer

  • 27 October 2014 1:30-2:30pm

Albrect Durer (1471-1528) was in many ways the first artist to achieve international fame, and this was mainly through his use of the medium of prints.

In this lecture, Guilia Bartrum will look at how he introduced sophisticated Renaissance ideas to his prints, and how his background and contacts enabled him to create a market in which to sell them.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free. Booking essential.

Anglo-German relations

  • 31 October 2014 6:30-7:30pm

This lecture will explore Anglo-German relations through history- from the traumas of the 20th century to the 19th century and beyond, when two nations fostered major artistic and cultural exchange, were vital trade partners and allies in foreign policy.

The recent past has clouded a rich relationship often characterised by a curious mix of mutual envy and admiration.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£5, members and concessions £3

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.

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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