Thursday 4 December 2014, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Andrea Mantegna’s painting of the Adoration of the Magi features a bowl confirmed to be from the imperial factory at Jingdezhen, made in the Yongle period (1403–1424). Ming porcelain did appear in Europe in the early 15th century but it was very rare – perhaps Mantegna’s patron owned an example. Caroline Campbell, Curator of Italian paintings before 1500, National Gallery, London, discusses the painting and how it is a window on a world of extraordinary connections.
Friday 12 December 2014, 14.00-15.00 Room 95 Free, booking essential
Mary Ginsberg, British Museum, introduces examples of work from contemporary Chinese printmakers who take inspiration from traditional Ming styles and techniques, and compares these with examples of prints from the late Ming dynasty.
Thursday 30 October 2014, 13.30 (DA) Friday 28 November 2014, 13.30 (DA) Thursday 29 January 2015, 13.30 (JT) Friday 20 February 2015, 13.30 (DA) BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Exhibition Curators John Taylor (JT) and Daniel Antoine (DA) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. The event on 30 Oct will have live speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Exhibition Curators Barrie Cook (BC) and Clarissa von Spee (CvS) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. The event on 1 Dec will have speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Curators Jessica Harrison-Hall (JHH), Yu-Ping Luk (YPL) and Craig Clunas (CC) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. The event on 11 Dec will have speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Friday 30 January 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
There are two items in the Museum's ancient Egyptian collection that are associated with alleged curses. EA22542, an Egyptian coffin lid, part of the collection since 1889, has been the source of numerous stories of curse, malignant influence and haunting. The cartonnage mask donated in 1885 (EA24402) also comes with an extraordinary back story. Roger Luckhurst, Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck College, University of London, will explore the true and fateful history of the 'cursed' Victorian gentlemen, Thomas Douglas Murray and Walter Herbert Ingram, who donated these items. The stories of these men were well known in Edwardian London. Although they have been largely forgotten, these thrilling tales formed the basis for all the 'curse of the mummy' stories that followed.
Culture, Beliefs and Commercial Dealings in Ancient Sidon
Joint BM/PEF – Evans Memorial Lecture
Thursday 4 December 2014, 16.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free – booking essential
Claude Doumet Serhal, British Museum
The British Museum in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities of Lebanon has been excavating in Sidon for the past 15 years. This city state, 30km south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, was one of the most important ancient Canaanite and Phoenician coastal cities. However, like other places in modern Lebanon, most of what we knew of its history until now came from contemporary Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Greek records. Events of ritual activity that involve shared food and drink consumption can be identified in Middle Bronze Age Sidon from funerary assemblages as well as from “ritual breakage and burning” of pottery. Prestige items and ritual paraphernalia are also found in the Late Bronze Age reinforcing the Sidon excavation as a reference site for substantiating Middle Bronze Age communal feasts, a fundamental aspect of Levantine archaeology. An important network of maritime traffic with Sidon started in the third millennium BC which then progressed, from as early as the 12th dynasty, through the exchange of Egyptian, Cypriot and Aegean pottery. In the Late Bronze Age, the elites from Sidon exclusively obtained open vessels linked to ceremonial and ritual activities. The Tawosret vessel is one of the first of these dedicated items to illustrate an aspect of international communications not directly linked to religion or trade. All of the above irrefutably adds to a better understanding and a broadening of our knowledge of Levantine archaeology.
Thursday 19 February 2015, 16.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Bezalel Porten, Hebrew University, discusses a Jewish military colony at Aswan when Persia ruled the Middle East from India to Kush. Their daily life was richly documented on ostraca and papyrus, all written in Aramaic, the lingua franca back to the days of the Assyrian Empire. When the Persian Empire gave way to the rule of the Macedonians commerce continued unabated and chits continued to be written. The only thing that changed was the name of the ruler at the beginning of the text.
A Palestine Exploration Fund/British Museum lecture.
Friday 16 January 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
The late 18th and early 19th centuries formed a crucial period in German literature, giving birth to the Sturm und Drang movement, Weimar Classicism and Romanticism. This panel discussion will explore the central figure of this period – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and his unique role at the centre of literary developments and in the birth of a national romanticism. The collected tales of the Brothers Grimm will also be examined as popular folk tales that spoke to a nascent nationalism in the early 19th century. Chaired by Angus Nicholls, Queen Mary University, and featuring novelist A S Byatt, Katrin Kohl, University of Oxford, Nicholas Boyle, University of Cambridge, and W Daniel Wilson, Royal Holloway, University of London.
Friday 28 November 2014, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
25 years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall transformed Germany, Europe and the world. Historian and author Timothy Garton Ash, who lived behind the Berlin Wall and wrote about his experience of being spied on by the Stasi, asks whether we should look at today’s Germany with fear or hope. He examines what kind of country is it now, asks whether the cultural and the political are still divorced, and whether can Germany lead the European Union.
Friday 16 January 2014, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews, explores the origins of one of Germany’s most seismic contributions to world culture – the Protestant Reformation. He examines how much the Reformation and the spread of Martin Luther’s ideas were the product of the new technologies of which Luther proved such a master.
Friday 23 January 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
After 1945 Jews in Germany faced difficult and complex relations with the idea of Germany. Despite this, Jews continued to live in the country. Daniel Wildmann, Deputy Director, Leo Baeck Institute London, and Senior Lecturer in History, Queen Mary, University of London, considers what shaped the political and personal relationships between Jews and Germans in western Germany between 1945 and 1989, and the cultural impact of the massive Russian-Jewish immigration on German Jewry after 1989.
Thursday 15 January 2015, 16.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Hisham Khatib, former Minister of Energy for Jordan, explores the history of westerners’ observations of the Holy Land through his own remarkable collection of manuscripts, paintings, photographs and maps, which tell a story of a lasting fascination and a quest for understanding.
This lecture is organised by the Palestine Exploration Fund, British Museum, Council for British Research in the Levant and British Foundation for the Study of Arabia.
Monday 8 December 2014, 19.00-20.00 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
Philippe de Montebello and Martin Gayford discuss the pleasures and pitfalls of 'truly looking' at works of art in the context of museums.
Philippe de Montebello is the former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Martin Gayford is the author of numerous acclaimed books on art. The speakers will be signing copies of their new book, Rendez-vous with Art, following the event.
Please note: the Museum closes at 17.30 and re-entry for this event will be from 18.30. Please have your booking information to hand at the Museum's Main entrance at this time.
This event was originally to have included British Museum Director Neil MacGregor. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, he is now unable to attend.
Friday 27 February 2015, 18.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free booking essential
The city of Aphrodisias in western modern Turkey had a prosperous late antiquity in which its old statues and buildings were carefully maintained and reconfigured. This classical-looking late antique cityscape is superbly preserved, and its striking remains are essentially those of a successful provincial capital of the 5th century AD. RRR Smith, Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art, Oxford University, presents a number of recently studied and some newly excavated examples of sculpture and architecture.
Friday 16 January 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Bernhard Rieger, University College London, examines the history of the Volkswagen Beetle. Although it was commissioned by Adolf Hitler as a small, inexpensive family car for Nazi Germany, the Beetle became a global icon. Its success hinged on its ability to capture the imaginations of people across nations and cultures. In West Germany, it became the undisputed symbol of the post-war economic miracle and helped propel the country into the age of mass motorisation.