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
31 May 2019
7 May 2019
Artists have subverted the common postcard for decades. Discover both the politics and playfulness of a unique collection of postcards recently gifted to the British Museum by the artists’ postcard expert Jeremy Cooper.
28 January 2019
This year the British Museum will present the largest exhibition of manga ever held outside of Japan but what exactly is Manga, when did it originate and how do you read it? Exhibition Curator Nicole Rousmaniere tells you what you need to know about the Japanese phenomenon that has taken the world by storm.
17 September 2018
The Private Eye editor talks about a handful of favourite objects from his new exhibition.
2 December 2017
Bioarchaeologist Eileen Murphy explains how examining the human remains from burials can help us to understand more about the Scythians.
20 November 2017
Scientist Aude Mongiatti explains her process of investigation and discovery comparing the craftsmanship of the Oxus treasure with the style and techniques of Scythian gold.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
20 June 2017
Artist Bern O’Donoghue explains the moving story behind her work Dead Reckoning ahead of its installation in the Museum as part of Refugee Week 2017.
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.
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.
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.
22 March 2017
Coming to a cinema near you this summer, the British Museum brings the works of Hokusai to the big screen.
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?
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.
6 December 2016
Object Journeys is a new three-year partnership project at the British Museum. Generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund the programme will see the Museum support and collaborate with community partners to research and explore ethnographic collections and to work directly with staff towards a gallery intervention in response to these objects.
5 February 2016
Bink Hallum and Marcel Marée discuss hieroglyphic texts on display in the Egypt: faith after the pharaohs exhibition and in particular the 18th-century copy of the Book of the Seven Climes.
29 January 2016
Curator Julia Farley explores the fashion world of 2,000 years ago and answers that eternal question: how should you wear a torc?
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.
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.
19 March 2015
In autumn 2014, Albrecht Dürer’s monumental Triumphal Arch went on display in the Asahi Shimbun Display in Room 3 to great success. In this blog, Joanna Kosek, discusses the delicate operation of dismantling such an exhibition.
20 February 2015
Ian Jenkins, Exhibition Curator, at the British Museum is currently working on Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art. In this blog Ian discusses the role of nudity and the male body in Ancient Greek society as an expression of social, moral and political values.
5 December 2014
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, the British Museum loaned the sculpture of the river-god Ilissos from the West pediment of the Parthenon. Neil MacGregor, Director of The British Museum shares some of the history of the long standing friendship between the first great museums of the European Enlightenment.
6 November 2014
Clarissa von Spee explains the significance of German expressionist sculptor Ernst Barlach’s most important work, Der Schwebende (The Hovering), and how the work managed to survive the First World War. On display as part of the exhibition Germany: memories of a nation, 16 October 2014 to 25 January 2015.
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.
21 August 2014
Duygu Camurcuoglu is working on the Ur digitisation project. In this blog Duygu introduces us to the project and describes what her role entails.
26 June 2014
Due to the nature of human remains from ancient Egypt and Nubia, evidence for tattooing is scarce. However in the Ancient lives, new discoveries exhibition, one of the mummies on display is so well preserved the British Museum has located a tattoo and other marks on her skin. Marie Vandenbeusch discusses the significance of this discovery.
7 May 2014
As a reaction to the sinking of RMS Lusitania by torpedo on 7 May 1915, German artist Karl Goetz produced the Lusitania medal satirising the subject. Henry Flynn explains the symbolism behind the medal which will be on display in The other side of the medal: how Germany saw the First World War.
19 April 2014
Judith Jesch, Professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham discusses viking women, warriors and Valkyries.
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.
4 April 2014
Martin Findell is a Research Associate at the University of Leicester. He is particularly interested in the problems of understanding the relationship between spelling and sound change in the early Germanic languages, and in the uses and abuses of runes in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In this blog Martin discusses some of the runic writing on display in Vikings: life and legend.
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.
19 December 2013
The Department of the Middle East have been preparing to display a panel showing a pacing, roaring lion that was once was part of King Nebuchadnezzar II’s throne room in his palace in the ancient city of Babylon, Iraq. Alexandra Fletcher explains how the panel has been pieced together to be displayed for the very first time in London.
30 July 2013
In the next blog by Sally Grainger, chef and author of The Classical Cookbook, Sally experiments with cooking in replica of a clibanus oven.
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.
28 March 2013
Many of the objects in the Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition help tell extraordinarily human stories of the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum. In this blog, Vanessa Baldwin describes some of her favourites.
20 September 2012
David Prudames discusses what we can learn about Roman civilastion from the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum featured in the exhibition Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum
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.
17 August 2011
With Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman opening in two months, the British Museum has asked contributors from the craft world to share their thoughts on the importance of craft today. First up is Teleri Lloyd-Jones is Assistant Editor of Crafts Magazine. Crafts is an editorially independent bi-monthly magazine published by the Crafts Council, the national development agency for contemporary craft in the UK.
22 September 2010
John Taylor is the curator of the ‘Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead‘ exhibition, a hugely popular programme that opened at the British Museum in November, 2010. In this article he expands on one of the most popular and fascinating objects to have appeared: The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.