Reimagining a Tahitian mourning costume
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

The World Exists To Be Put On A Postcard
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.

An introduction to Manga
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.

Ian Hislop’s objecting objects
17 September 2018

The Private Eye editor talks about a handful of favourite objects from his new exhibition.

Mummies and log houses of the dead: Scythian life and death
2 December 2017

Bioarchaeologist Eileen Murphy explains how examining the human remains from burials can help us to understand more about the Scythians.

Under the microscope: the Oxus treasure and Scythian gold
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.

10 things you might not have known about Rodin
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.

Darius, Herodotus and the Scythians
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.

Horses: a Scythian’s best friend
4 October 2017

Project Curator Chloe Leighton is given full rein to reveal how important horses were to the Scythians’ way of life.

The British Museum Membercast: Behind the scenes
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.

Dan Snow meets the Scythians
27 September 2017

Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow takes us behind the scenes of the Museum’s latest exhibition.

How we brought the Scythians to London
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.

Drawn together: how the Museum’s collection inspires students
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.

Scythians, ice mummies and burial mounds
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.

The power of patronage at the Great Shrine of Amaravati
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.

Hokusai in the world, then and now
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.

Postcards from Aden
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.

Be bold: LGBTQ histories
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.

A question of interpretation
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.

Dead Reckoning: an installation for Refugee Week
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.

Not fade away: preventive conservation on Hokusai prints
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.

The technique of making a good impression
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.

Pay attention
5 June 2017

With the exhibition The American Dream: pop to the present approaching its final few weeks, Susan Tallman tells us why it is time to pay attention. 

What do nomads leave behind?
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…

Stories for equality
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.

Hokusai: old master
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.

Ali’s Boat: a story of migration
21 April 2017

Ali’s Boat by Sadik Kwaish Alfraji tells a personal story of exile and migration. Venetia Porter and Holly Wright discuss how this artwork became part of The Asahi Shimbun Display Moving stories: three journeys.

You’ve been framed
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.

Step back in time
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.

British Museum presents: Hokusai – coming to a cinema near you this summer
22 March 2017

Coming to a cinema near you this summer, the British Museum brings the works of Hokusai to the big screen.

LGBTQ badges in the British Museum
27 February 2017

With the exhibition Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories soon to open at the British Museum, Keeper Philip Attwood takes a look at the Museum’s collection of lesbian and gay badges.

The British Museum’s list of 15 things you should know about Andy Warhol
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’.

Invention and reinvention: Bonnie Greer’s reflections on the American Dream
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?

South Africa: an exhibition of two halves?
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.

New exhibition announced – Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave
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.

A journey with Oxford’s Hindu community
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.

Object Journeys
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.

A medieval alchemical book reveals new secrets
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.

How do you put on a torc?
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? 

Copts of the Nile: the Coptic community in Egypt today
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.

‘Wayfinding’: The Bridget Riley Art Foundation and Central Saint Martins at the British Museum
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.

Conserving Dürer’s Triumphal Arch: a moving experience
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. 

The shock of the nude
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.

Loan of a Parthenon sculpture to the Hermitage
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. 

Barlach’s hovering angel travels to London
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.   

Käthe Kollwitz, a Berlin story
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.

The Holy Roman Empire: from Charlemagne to Napoleon
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. 

Conserving the pottery, terracotta and tablets from Ur
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. 

Tattoos in ancient Egypt and Sudan
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. 

The sinking of the Lusitania: medals as war propaganda
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.

Viking women, warriors, and valkyries
19 April 2014

Judith Jesch, Professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham discusses viking women, warriors and Valkyries.

The Viking way of death
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.

The lives of others in runic inscriptions
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.

The Vikings are here…
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.

Vikings in Russia
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.

The Vikings are coming…
31 January 2014

At over 37 metres long, Roskilde 6, the highlight of the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend  is the longest Viking ship ever discovered. Tom Williams talks us through the challenges of installation of this nature. 

A loan from Berlin: a lion from Babylon
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.

From Parthian chicken to flat breads: experimenting with a Roman oven
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.

AD 79 in HD: broadcasting Pompeii Live
14 June 2013

Tim Plyming, gives you a preview of what to expect from the live screening of Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum coming to cinemas across the UK to bring you a ‘private view’ experience of the museum’s latest exhibition. 

Herculaneum: the unknown city
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. 

Telling the human story of Pompeii and Herculaneum
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.

Pompeii and Herculaneum: two ordinary cities with an extraordinary story
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

Horses and human history
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.

What is the role and value of crafts today?
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.

What is a Book of the Dead?
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.