As the British Museum’s music festival Europe and the world: a symphony of cultures opens, Simon Broughton looks at how and why music is played across the world and has been for centuries.
16 April 2018
29 March 2018
A new exhibition focuses on the lives and work of three extraordinary men. Here, the curators provide a background to this fascinating story of art and friendship in post-war Greece.
16 March 2018
Oungan (Vodou priest) and ethnomusicologist Gerdès Fleurant and Caribbean historian Kate Ramsey tell us more about a Vodou drum, on display now for the first time, in Room 3.
13 March 2018
Professor of Anthropology and artist Gina Athena Ulysse reflects on her new commission by the Museum to respond to the current Asahi Shimbun Display A revolutionary legacy: Haiti and Toussaint Louverture.
12 March 2018
Professor Charles Forsdick introduces the history of the Haitian Revolution, and discusses visual images of its leader, Toussaint Louverture, including the centrepiece of a new free display.
6 March 2018
For two weeks this April, the British Museum will become a stage for music, with performances taking inspiration from around the world.
17 January 2018
What it is like to hear voices that no-one else can? What does it mean? Professor Charles Fernyhough discusses the life of Margery Kempe, an English mystic who documented her experience with inner voices 600 years ago, and how her experiences can help to refine psychological and neuroscientific accounts of hallucinations.
11 January 2018
In our new exhibition, find out how sculptures can complement one another, despite being created centuries apart.
4 January 2018
Scientists Colin Blakemore and Tom McLeish examine how the cognitive impetus that drove the emergence of science might be considered to be the same impetus that fostered religion and other metaphysical beliefs.
2 December 2017
Bioarchaeologist Eileen Murphy explains how examining the human remains from burials can help us to understand more about the Scythians.
17 November 2017
To celebrate our special exhibition Rodin and the art of ancient Greece, here are 10 things you might not know about the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
31 October 2017
Cultural anthropologist Veronica Strang, Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Durham, reveals the widespread role of water serpent beings in religious belief and ritual across the world.
30 October 2017
St John Simpson, curator of the BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia, interviews Dave Mazierski, a medical illustrator and biomedical communications professor from Toronto, who has transformed his skin with some Scythian-inspired inking.
27 October 2017
Historian and author Tom Holland explains why the Museum’s latest exhibition is a revelation, bringing the Scythians alive from the pages of Herodotus.
10 October 2017
Exhibition Curator Jill Cook provides a short introduction to some of the highlights of the exhibition Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond.
4 October 2017
Project Curator Chloe Leighton is given full rein to reveal how important horses were to the Scythians’ way of life.
27 September 2017
Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow takes us behind the scenes of the Museum’s latest exhibition.
14 September 2017
Curator St John Simpson gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the many steps that go into producing a major exhibition on a large scale.
5 September 2017
Sarah Jaffray, Project Officer for the Bridget Riley Art Foundation, talks about how drawing is enjoying a renaissance among art students, in part thanks to the Museum’s fascinating collection.
23 August 2017
Curator St John Simpson takes a closer look at Scythian burial mounds and how they reveal what these nomadic warriors believed about the afterlife.
11 August 2017
The Great Shrine of Amaravati was one of the most important Buddhist monuments in the world. Curator Imma Ramos explains the long history of this sacred site, and how we’re using new technology to help people find out about the people who funded its construction.
26 July 2017
Angus Lockyer discusses the impact on modern art of Katsushika Hokusai – an artist whose work effortlessly moved between seen and unseen worlds.
12 July 2017
If you’re excited about another fantastical series of Game of Thrones, you’re not alone. But George R R Martin’s vivid world has many real-life parallels. Here, take a closer look at the inspiration behind the bloodthirsty, horse-riding nomadic warriors, the Dothraki…
5 July 2017
Laura Phillips, Head of Community Partnerships at the Museum, writes on the importance of institutions being bold with their LGBTQ histories, and why that can sometimes be a nerve-racking experience.
18 June 2017
Julie Nelson Davis discusses the remarkable relationship between Hokusai and his daughter Katsushika Ōi, an accomplished artist in her own right who supported and worked as Hokusai’s collaborator during the final two decades of his life.
15 June 2017
Japanese woodblock prints in the 18th and 19th centuries were often produced using inks which can fade dramatically when exposed to light. Scientist Capucine Korenberg explains how she investigated the risks of displaying some of Hokusai’s most iconic prints.
10 June 2017
Traditional Japanese woodblock prints are renowned for their exquisite detail and colour. Curator Alfred Haft reveals how the skilled block cutter and printer helped to create these beautiful works of popular art.
2 June 2017
A new film, the first documentary in English on Hokusai, brings the works of Japan’s greatest artist to the big screen across the UK and Ireland on Sunday 4 June. Director Patricia Wheatley discusses Hokusai’s lasting influence, and how 8K technology has provided greater insight into his immortal skill.
30 May 2017
We’re assuming you probably don’t know very much about the Scythians. But that’s OK! Ahead of our major exhibition opening in September 2017 we’ve compiled a handy beginner’s guide to these nomadic warriors, who galloped into the pages of history…
30 May 2017
Curator of the BP exhibition Scythians: ancient warriors of Siberia St John Simpson takes a closer look at some of the intriguing objects in the show – beautiful and exquisite, unusual and unexpected, but above all light and portable…
17 May 2017
Desire, love, identity is a small exhibition that draws selectively from across the breadth of the Museum’s vast collection to highlight LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) histories that have until recently been overlooked or underrepresented in museums and galleries.
10 May 2017
People are living longer than ever before and society is constantly reevaluating what it means to be ‘old’. Exhibition Curator Tim Clark reveals why Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave focuses on the last 30 years of the artist’s extraordinarily long life.
5 May 2017
What is a print? How do artists create multiple versions of their works? What does lithography actually mean? Well, wonder no more as we take you through three techniques of getting print onto paper!
25 April 2017
Take a closer look at one of the most famous artworks in the world. The Great Wave was created in 1831 but has had a remarkable influence on art ever since. Here are some key facts you might not know about this iconic masterpiece.
6 April 2017
2017 has been a busy year for the Prints and Drawing Department with two exhibitions recently opened at the British Museum. Conservation Mounter David Giles discusses the conservation preparations for these two very different exhibitions.
4 April 2017
When archaeologists found what looked like a collection of footprints on a beach at Happisburgh (pronounced Haze-borough) in Norfolk, they were unaware they’d discovered tracks of early humans that were a million years old.
9 March 2017
The exhibition The American Dream: pop to the present is now open. Why is this extraordinary collection of modern and contemporary art at the British Museum?
22 February 2017
Famous for far longer than 15 minutes, a lot has been said about Andy Warhol already. But whether you’re an art novice or a world expert, you might just learn something new about ‘the Pope of pop art’.
13 February 2017
Author, playwright and self-confessed Baby Boomer Bonnie Greer takes a personal look at five of the works featured in the Museum’s exhibition on American prints from 1960 to the present. From Andy Warhol to Kara Walker, what does a nation’s art say about the state of its politics and its identity?
27 January 2017
In 1991, to mark the end of apartheid, BMW invited Esther Mahlangu to make a work of art for their Art Car project. Her work, with its brightly coloured geometric shapes, draws on the traditional house-painting designs of Ndebele people in South Africa.
19 January 2017
Presenting 100,000 years of history through art was always going to be an immense challenge. Here, the co-curators of the current exhibition South Africa: the art of a nation give their personal insight into the thinking behind this ambitious project.
10 January 2017
The new special exhibition for 2017, Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave (25 May – 13 August 2017), explores the work of Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), considered by many to be Japan’s greatest artist.
9 January 2017
The elephant-headed Ganesha is one of the most popular Hindu gods – the creator and remover of obstacles. Celebrating Ganesha is a Spotlight tour by the British Museum – as part of the tour a 13th schist sculpture of Ganesha will be touring six venues across the UK. In this blog post Antonia Harland-Lang interviewed members of the Oxford Hindu Temple and Community Centre Project about what it meant for an 800-year-old statue of Ganesha to travel to Oxford from the British Museum, and their experiences of being involved in the project.
5 December 2016
Maggi Hambling talks to Hugo Chapman, Keeper of Prints and Drawings, about her exhibition ‘Touch: works on paper’ at the British Museum – a retrospective of Hambling’s prints and drawings, many of which have never been exhibited before.
11 March 2016
Artist and designer Heidi Hinder together with the Citi Money Gallery Education Manager, Mieka Harris, and the Curator of the Citi Money Gallery, Ben Alsop recently led a workshop with a group of young people from the New Horizon Youth Centre as part of the Citi Money Gallery Education Programme. In the first workshop they explored the far-reaching significance of money.
3 February 2016
2015 saw the ten-year anniversary of the Asahi Shimbun Displays at the British Museum. In this blog post Laura Purseglove and David Francis engage in a critical dialogue about the Asahi Shimbun Displays and the relationship to trends within museological and cultural theory.
4 January 2016
The exhibition Egypt: faith after the pharaohs, examines religious identity in the first millennium AD, when Egypt became first a majority Christian population and later, Muslim. Today, Egyptian Christians, or Copts, are a significant minority. The extraordinary collections of the British Museum allow us to explore religious identities in Egypt up to the present, here through contemporary photography.
28 October 2014
Art historian Frances Carey looks at the life of German artist Käthe Kollwitz and the inspiration behind some of her works. A selection of Käthe Kollwitz’s works will be on display in the exhibition Germany: memories of a nation running 16 October 2014 – 25 January 2015.
13 October 2014
Joachim Whaley discusses the longest lived political system in German history, the Holy Roman Empire from its origin in Charlemagne’s Frankish realm to its destruction by Napoleon.
16 April 2014
Although Viking graves took certain standardised forms – in the detail of the rituals it was clear that almost every funeral was different giving the deceased a personalised send-off. Neil Price looks at the complexity of one particular burial site at Kaupang, Norway.
7 March 2014
Gareth Williams is working on the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend, the largest Viking exhibition in the UK for over 30 years. In this blog Gareth discuses what we can expect from the exhibition along with the challenges of incorporating a 37 metre-long Viking ship into the new Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery.
28 February 2014
Tom Williams explains how objects in the new exhibition, the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend indicate that the Vikings were working their way up and down the river systems of Russia and Ukraine more than a thousand years ago.
7 May 2013
In this blog, Vanessa Baldwin introduces us to the city of Herculaneum, often overshadowed by the city of Pompeii and explains why Herculaneum is just as important as its famous neighbour.
22 May 2012
A free exhibition, opening on 24 May 2012 at the British Museum will celebrate the epic story of the horse – a journey of 5,000 years that has revolutionised human history. Nigel Tallis gives us a preview of what to expect.