To mark the Great Court’s 20th birthday, we’ve rounded up everything you ever wanted to know about this iconic space – from famous faces who have passed through to how many blue whales would make up the weight of the roof.
4 December 2020
27 November 2020
From the story of one of Rome’s most infamous emperors, to the assassination of Thomas Becket, see what special exhibitions are coming up in our 2021 programme.
10 November 2020
As technology advances and the world embraces change, centuries-old skills, practices and traditions can be pushed aside – sometimes disappearing altogether. Find out how skills and practices that are in danger of being lost are being preserved by the Museum and EMKP – the Endangered Material Knowledge Programme.
25 August 2020
Museum Trustee Grayson Perry returns to the galleries with a work that celebrates the forgotten artists who made many of the objects in the collection. Find out more about the work, hear from the artist and see it on display in Room 17.
5 June 2020
‘The British Museum stands in solidarity with the Black community throughout the world. Black Lives Matter.’ A message from Director Hartwig Fischer.
31 May 2020
Dreaming of a day out? Join us as we take you on a virtual whistle-stop tour of some London sights through the prints and drawings collections.
7 May 2020
Journey back over 2,600 years with curator Gareth Brereton as we visit the Assyrian capital city of Nineveh. Discover the sights, shopping destinations, entertainment and local delicacies not to be missed (and the areas to steer clear of).
27 April 2020
Janina Ramirez reveals four special objects that we couldn’t fit into our upcoming BBC Museums in Quarantine episode, and ponders how the events of 2020 might be remembered by historians of the future.
14 April 2020
Need a change of scenery? Join us as we set off around the world to take in a baker’s dozen of delightful landscapes.
9 April 2020
We all need a little inspiration sometimes, especially while we’re stuck inside. We asked Museum staff to share their inspirational stories and powerful objects from the collection (and beyond) – we hope they inspire you too.
8 April 2020
Newly appointed Trustee Mary Beard introduces you to her top five objects in the collection, and reveals a moment in the Museum that started her journey to becoming Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge
27 March 2020
Whether it’s a virtual visit or a Curator’s corner, there are plenty of ways to keep exploring the British Museum online – here are our favourite ones.
26 March 2020
Curator Susannah Walker takes a closer look at the life and work of Dorothy Hawksley – a talented but enigmatic artist who remained independent of any mainstream art movements – and how a recent acquisition has helped shed light on her work.
11 February 2020
Single-use and disposable objects are not a recent phenomenon, but the environmental impact of modern-day single-use items is huge. Kayte McSweeney and Julia Farley examine two disposable cups made 3,500 years apart that are on display in our current free exhibition, and take a look at what the Museum is doing to reduce its environmental impact.
8 January 2020
Bonnie Greer OBE, playwright, critic and former British Museum Trustee, explores her relationship with the Museum and what she calls the ‘Era of Reclamation’ – a time for conversations around ownership, not only of ourselves and our identities but of what we believe belongs to us.
19 December 2019
Co-curators Julia Farley and Kayte McSweeney explore how rubbish has enabled archaeologists to better understand the lives of people living in ancient Britain, and consider what our own rubbish will say about us.
24 July 2019
It’s been 80 years since Sutton Hoo was discovered and excavated. But why is this Anglo-Saxon ship burial so important and what has it taught us?
31 May 2019
Iszi explores the special exhibition, Edvard Munch: love and angst using the expert lecture of Giulia Bartrum to guide both you and her through it.
31 May 2019
In 2018, conservators, curators and scientists had the challenge of preparing an imposing Tahitian mourning costume for display and long-term preservation. Head of Organic Conservation Monique Pullan talks you through the lengthy process
10 May 2019
Tim Clark discusses the origins of manga, and debates whether Hokusai could actually be said to be the father of modern day manga…
3 May 2019
Iszi talks to Curator Daniel Antoine about his work in Bioarchaeology.
5 March 2019
It is art’s most haunting and iconic face. A universal symbol of anxiety. It even has its own emoji. Discover more about the fascinating story behind The Scream, and maybe a few things you didn’t know.
26 February 2019
Curator William Greenwood explores the themes connecting objects from a vast and fascinating area, now on display in our Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic world.
18 January 2019
Co-founder of the Pussyhat Project, Jayna Zweiman, talks about how the Pussyhat escalated from an object of protest to a cultural icon and symbol of women’s rights.
15 January 2019
Join us as we celebrate 260 years since the Museum first opened its doors on 15 January 1759. From cats to conservation, we’ve compiled the biggest and best numbers from the last two and a half centuries.
1 January 2019
From manga to Munch, the myths of Troy to the realities of feeding the world, see what’s coming up in our 2019 exhibitions programme!
27 November 2018
Follow Iszi as she wanders around the Museum out of hours on Halloween. Listen to spooky tales, hear a ghostly interview from a curator who worked at the Museum at the height of the Second World War and discover more about the Iron Age penchant for serving mulled wine by the bucketful.
30 October 2018
Stonehenge is an enduring source of mystery, myth and legend. It’s one of the most famous monuments in the world, equal to the pyramids. But who built Stonehenge, and what was their world like?
4 October 2018
King Ashurbanipal might have been a fearsome warrior but he was also a keen gardener! We take a look at how the Assyrian kings created a slice of paradise on earth with their exotic botanical gardens.
25 September 2018
This month Iszi presents Ian Hislop’s discussion with Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, on the history of protest and poking fun at authority. Later, Iszi takes us on a tour of the Museum’s latest show, the Citi exhibition I object: Ian Hislop’s search for dissent.
29 August 2018
This month Iszi presents the second part of the Members’ exclusive lecture from Sir Barry Cunliffe and wonders how and why humans became seafarers.
10 August 2018
A group of eight historic objects from Tello seized in a Metropolitan Police raid are now going back to Iraq with the help of the British Museum.
24 July 2018
This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Sir Barry Cunliffe and wonders how and why humans became seafarers. The human impulse to conquer the sea stems from an inbuilt urge to explore and is perhaps the driving force in human history.
26 June 2018
This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Joyce Tyldesley and explores the creation of a cultural icon, from its ancient origins to its modern context: its discovery, its display, and its dual role as a political pawn and artistic inspiration.
26 June 2018
A new audio commentary tour exploring LGBTQ histories in the Museum’s collection has just been launched. Head of Interpretation and Volunteers, Stuart Frost, highlights objects from the tour and looks at stories that, until recently, have been overlooked or underrepresented in museums and galleries.
30 May 2018
What was it like to live in Britain before the arrival of the Romans? This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Curator Julia Farley and explores what life was like for the farmers and warriors who lived in these islands over 2,000 years ago.
25 April 2018
This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Carl Heron, Director of Scientific Research, looking at spectacular new research findings, the development of new laboratory facilities, and the many activities of the department.
16 March 2018
Sushma Jansari looks at the lives of four women collectors, and some of the objects they collected that are now in the British Museum.
28 February 2018
This month Iszi interviews Jonathan Lubikowski all about the redevelopment of The Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia.
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.
18 December 2017
From pediments to capitals, we take a look at some of the key features of ancient Greek architecture and how it has inspired our own building in Bloomsbury
13 December 2017
We are delighted to announce a major partnership project with the University of Reading to develop a significant new collection storage and research facility.
27 November 2017
This month Iszi talks to curator Thomas Hockenhull all about the free exhibition the currency of communism. She finds out why shells are hard to forge, how communist states purposely made their currency feel worthless and even uses Thomas’ crystal ball to look at the future of money.
24 November 2017
The Museum’s Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme began in 2015 to help combat the many threats to the country’s archaeology. Now, learn about some of the project’s important new discoveries.
9 November 2017
On 8 November 2017, we were delighted to welcome Her Majesty The Queen to officially open the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia.
9 October 2017
Playwright, producer and director Patricia Cumper is also a British Museum Trustee. Here, she looks at what Black History Month has meant to her, and how the British Museum can help to tell these stories to the world.
4 October 2017
Project Curator Chloe Leighton is given full rein to reveal how important horses were to the Scythians’ way of life.
28 September 2017
Know your ode from your elegy? Your spondee from your dactyl? Then take a look at some of the poetry found within the Museum.
27 September 2017
Iszi Lawrence talks to Julianne Phippard, the British Museum’s first preventative conservator. They discuss how the Museum keeps the collection safe from pests, light, and chemicals and even gives you some top tips for saving a mobile phone that you’ve dropped in the toilet.
27 September 2017
Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow takes us behind the scenes of the Museum’s latest exhibition.
25 September 2017
Curator Irving Finkel may have joined the wrong department to look after the Lewis Chessmen, but that hasn’t stopped him writing a book on them, and having a surprising connection to a film about a certain boy wizard.
22 September 2017
Find out what a dental anthropologist does all day, and how tooth decay can lead to exciting new discoveries.
18 September 2017
Curator Sarah Vowles takes a closer look at a spectacular Florentine Renaissance drawing recently acquired by the Museum.
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.
11 September 2017
Senior Curator Judith Swaddling uncovers the ancient Greek origins of the long-distance endurance race, revealing the original ‘marathon runner’.
8 September 2017
Curator Thorsten Opper reveals some of the secrets of the so-called Sword of Tiberius – the most famous sword to have survived from the Roman world.
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.
1 September 2017
British Museum Scientist Joanne Dyer talks about the new scientific techniques that are casting ancient objects in a new light.
30 August 2017
Millions of Muslims make the journey to Mecca each year. Here are a few of the key things you should know about this incredible pilgrimage.
29 August 2017
Iszi Lawrence talks to Historian James Delbourgo all about his new biography of Hans Sloane, Collecting the World. They discuss Sloane’s pursuit of ‘universal knowledge’, how he contributed to the founding of the British Museum and his association with the slave trade.
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.
21 August 2017
As a solar eclipse crosses the United States on 21 August 2017, Curator Jonathan Taylor takes a look at what the Babylonians thought of this celestial phenomenon.
19 August 2017
Photography is not even 200 years old, and yet has changed the way we think about the world. Archivist Francesca Hillier and Senior Photographer Kevin Lovelock reveal the intriguing history of photography at the British Museum.
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.
8 August 2017
Oceania Curator Polly Bence talks about her work with the UK’s Kiribati community through the Object Journeys project, helping to bring the British Museum’s Micronesia collection into focus.
3 August 2017
Curator Naomi Speakman explores the fantastical world of medieval bestiaries and the mythical creatures found within.
31 July 2017
Ever wanted to take your favourite British Museum object home? Daniel Pett explains how the Museum is using pioneering 3D printing technology to produce replicas of some of its most iconic objects.
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.
21 July 2017
Curator St John Simpson explores how the Museum’s collection of postcards from the port city of Aden in Yemen capture snapshots of social history.
19 July 2017
The Museum’s objects from Egypt span from prehistory to the present. In 2016 the modern Egypt project was launched to bring the collection into the 21st century. Objects from housewares and everyday items to ephemera and photographs can tell stories about historical, economic and cultural developments in Egypt over the past century.
15 July 2017
Ilona Regulski is Curator of Egyptian Written Culture at the British Museum. This includes looking after one of the most iconic objects in the world! Here, she shares what she has learnt since becoming the latest custodian of the Rosetta Stone.
14 July 2017
You’ve probably heard of the Rosetta Stone. It’s one of the most famous objects in the British Museum, but what actually is it? Take a closer look…
7 July 2017
Our Director Hartwig Fischer reflects on his first year here, and presents a new vision for the Museum’s collection in the 2016–2017 Annual Review.
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.
3 July 2017
Assistant Collections Manager George Benson talks about hoisting the Rainbow Flag over the British Museum for Pride, and why its importance isn’t just restricted to LGBTQ people.
30 June 2017
Dora Thornton, Curator of Renaissance Collections, details how Queen Elizabeth I used her portrait to manipulate her public and private image.
27 June 2017
In an age when talking about ‘the birds and the bees’ doesn’t cut it anymore, Education Manager Melany Rose explains an important new offering at the Museum for schools.
23 June 2017
Museum Archivist Francesca Hillier takes us through the fascinating history of the first building to house the British Museum’s collection, Montagu House.
22 June 2017
Head of Interpretation Stuart Frost explains how his team collaborates with colleagues across the organisation to help develop new permanent exhibits and temporary special exhibitions.
13 June 2017
Curator of horology Oli Cooke takes a closer look at a beautiful 17th-century clock that presents a novel way to tell the time in the middle of the night.
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.
31 May 2017
Julia Farley, Curator of British and European Iron Age Collections, joins Iszi Lawrence to examine the early years of the Roman conquest, when allegiances were shifting rapidly. Highlighting extraordinary objects and fascinating characters, Julia and Iszi’s discussion brings the period to life.
31 May 2017
London’s history has always been closely connected to the River Thames, one of the UK’s longest and deepest rivers. On London History Day, Jennifer Wexler, Digital Research Project Producer, dredges up some of the fascinating objects found in this famous river.
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…
24 May 2017
Did you know that the Museum has a conservation studio just for East Asian paintings? The Hirayama Studio opened in 1994 and continues to use traditional techniques to preserve, protect and display these amazing works. Here, student Matthias Sotiras writes about his five months spent in this unique work environment.
21 May 2017
As the project to conserve Dürer’s Triumphal Arch reaches the final stages Sam Taylor and Agnieszka Depta work with the Hirayama Studio to prepare the print for future display.
21 May 2017
As the Frome Hoard is voted the nation’s top Treasure find of the last 20 years by Telegraph readers, Sam Moorhead, Finds Adviser for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, takes a look back at this remarkable discovery and how its legacy continues today.
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.
3 May 2017
2017 marks the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, and the emergence of India and Pakistan as independent nation states and is also the India-UK Year of Culture. To celebrate this, the British Museum is presenting a season bringing together different activity in London and across the UK, celebrating the many cultures of South Asia.
29 April 2017
For International Tabletop Day 2017, British Museum curator Irving Finkel challenged YouTuber Tom Scott to a round of the oldest playable board game in the world – The Royal Game of Ur – a game Irving discovered and deciphered the rules to himself.
26 April 2017
Richard Wheeler, National Specialist in Garden History for The National Trust, discusses English landscape designer Capability Brown with Iszi Lawrence.
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.
18 April 2017
Museum Archivist Francesca Hillier explains how the collection got too big for one institution, and why you won’t find dinosaurs in Bloomsbury.
12 April 2017
There are plenty of cats depicted in Museum objects, but did you know that real cats used to live at the Museum? Digital Creative Producer Nick Harris takes us through his podcast on this surprising aspect of the Museum’s history.
10 April 2017
The statue of King Idrimi arrived at the British Museum in 1939. The inscription that stretches across the front of the statue is now recognised as one of the 20 most important cuneiform documents ever found. James Fraser, Project Curator, Middle East Department, discusses the importance of Idrimi’s story, and how new scanning techniques are allowing us unravel the inscription in more detail.
30 March 2017
Thomas Hockenhull tells the story of an ordinary British penny of Edward VII, that was made extraordinary by a simple act of vandalism.
22 March 2017
Coming to a cinema near you this summer, the British Museum brings the works of Hokusai to the big screen.
8 March 2017
Did you know that the word ‘museum’ literally means a temple to the muses, all of whom were female (albeit allegorical)? This International Women’s Day, take a look at some of the very real women represented in the Museum’s collection today. Your guides are some of the many women curators who are continuing to tell these important stories to the world.
2 March 2017
For World Book Day, we’re celebrating all things literary. From some of the earliest writing from 5,000 years ago to our favourite fiction, discover the different ways people around the world have shared ideas through books in their many forms!
6 February 2017
The Jericho Skull is arguably the oldest portrait in the British Museum – a human skull from the ancient city of Jericho which had plaster applied to it to form a type of early facial reconstruction. The Jericho Skull is fascinating to look at, but since being discovered in 1953, archaeologists weren’t able to find out much more about this man – until now.
22 October 2015
Pairing drawings of BA Fine Art students from Central Saint Martins with the works that inspired them during their visit to the Prints and Drawings Study Room Wayfinding explores drawing as a tool that artists, both emerging and established, use to find their way.