The accompanying title to the Museum exhibition Celts:art and identity, which was held from 24 September 2014 to 31 January 2015.
A beautifully illustrated study of the Celtic arts - exploring the style, development and revival – and the relationship between art objects and identity, covering 2,500 years of history.
The real and imagined legacy of the ancient Celts has shaped modern identities across the British Isles and retains a powerful hold over the popular imagination. Furthermore, Celtic art is one of Europe’s great artistic traditions, with the skills of Celtic craftspeople standing alongside the best of the ancient and medieval worlds.
Recent research and new archaeological discoveries are continuing to transform our understanding of the idea of the Celts – a subject involving much controversy and academic debate since the late 1990s. The authors explore how the Celts have been defined differently from ancient times to the modern day, by people with different perspectives and agendas.
Over 250 remarkable objects have been selected from the collections of the British Museum, National Museums Scotland and other key European museums to illustrate the narrative, and highlight the artistic accomplishments of craftspeople through the centuries. Here are iconic, intricately decorated masterpieces as well as less well-known fixtures and fittings; items of warfare and adornment; the ceremonial and the utilitarian.
Hardback version is available for sale.
More about the authors
Julia Farley is the curator of the European Iron Age collections at the British Museum. Fraser Hunter is principal curator of the Iron Age and Roman collections at National Museums Scotland.