15 years of the Great Court: the architect's view

15 years of the Great Court: the architect's view

Friday 18 September 2015, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

Architect Spencer de Grey, Professor of Architecture at the Royal College of Art and Associate of Foster and Partners, discusses the development and concepts of building the British Museum's spectacular Great Court, for which he was lead architect. Part of Architecture Week. 


80,000 years of rock art production in southern Africa

80,000 years of rock art production in southern Africa

Monday 21 September 2015, 14.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Benjamin Smith, University of Western Australia, explores the evidence for the origins of art and spirituality in southern Africa around 80,000 years ago. He follows the story of our understanding of the meaning of southern African rock art from earliest times up until the last painters less than 100 years ago. This lecture is part of the African Rock Art Image Project, supported by the Arcadia Fund. For more information, visit britishmuseum.org/africanrockart  


A reassessment of PEF explorations in Jerusalem by Wilson and Warren

A reassessment of PEF explorations in Jerusalem by Wilson and Warren

Thursday 17 September 2015, 16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

The pioneering archaeological and survey work of Charles Wilson and Charles Warren for the Palestine Exploration Fund in the 1860s revealed Jerusalem's ancient landscape, archaeology and architecture to the world as never before. For the first time, the intricate story of Jerusalem's distant past could begin to be understood, thanks to their precise, perceptive and dedicated hard work, which was also often hair-raisingly dangerous. Thanks also to their excellent reporting and recording, the subsequent study of Jerusalem had a firm foundation upon which to build. In this lecture, Shimon Gibson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will draw on his extensive knowledge of the PEF's work and their archives in London, and on his own experience of 20 years excavating and exploring in and around Jerusalem.  


Africa's response to epidemic threats

Africa's response to epidemic threats

Friday 2 October 2015, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5.00, members/concessions £3.00

Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, explores the epidemic threats that Africa has faced in recent times, particularly looking at HIV/AIDS and the recent Ebola outbreak. He considers how the worldwide community and Africa responded, where we are now, lessons learnt and the future. In particular he will emphasise the relationship between culture, development and health in Africa. 


An Englishman, a Frenchman and a watchman: the cross-border life of Robert Lenoir (1898–1979)

An Englishman, a Frenchman and a watchman: the cross-border life of Robert Lenoir (1898–1979)

Thursday 19 November 2015, 17.30 for 18.00 lecture
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Born in France, trained in Switzerland, but naturalised as British, Robert Lenoir offered a nexus between competing horological communities compelled by circumstance and personal ties to collaborate closely.

British imports of Swiss parts, raw materials, machine tools, patterns, jigs, techniques, sometimes even the skilled technicians themselves, all colour the story of this remarkable man – trainee watchmaker, Great War combatant, motor accessory salesman, chief technical officer, and pivotal figure in post-Second War British watchmaking. Using newly discovered material, James Nye charts the biography of this remarkable man against a context of 20th-century conflict.

The lecture will be followed by a reception in the theatre foyer.  


Cabinets of curiosity in English and Irish country houses

Cabinets of curiosity in English and Irish country houses

Friday 23 October 2015, 18.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, reveals the extraordinary world of collectors of curious objects and how this fashion developed throughout the 17th to 20th centuries in England and Ireland. 


Camden: the first 50 years

Camden: the first 50 years

Thursday 24 September 2015, 13.30
Stevenson Lecture theatre
Free, booking required

Senior archivist Tudor Allen highlights key events in the history of the London Borough of Camden from its creation in 1965 to the present. Part of Camden50, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of Camden Council: http://camden50.co.uk/events/camden-the-first-50-years/ 


Celtic Revival art

Celtic Revival art

Thursday 3 December 2015, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Frances Fowle, Curator, National Galleries of Scotland, considers and illustrates the development, forms and context of the revival of interest in Celtic art in the 19th century. 


Celtic art in the Iron Age

Celtic art in the Iron Age

Thursday 15 October 2015, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Professor Chris Gosden, University of Oxford, discusses the role, development and context of Celtic art during the Iron Age. 


Celtic art in the Roman period

Celtic art in the Roman period

Saturday 7 November 2015, 13.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Fraser Hunter, principal curator of Iron Age and Roman collections at National Museum of Scotland, discusses the archaeology, role, context and development of Celtic art in Roman Britain. BSL interpreted. 


Curator's introduction to Celts: art and identity

Curator's introduction to Celts: art and identity

Various dates, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Exhibition Curator Julia Farley gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. 


Curator's introduction to Drawing in silver and gold

Curator's introduction to Drawing in silver and gold

Various dates

BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Hugo Chapman, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition Drawing in silver and gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns


Curator's introduction to the Waddesdon Bequest

Curator's introduction to the Waddesdon Bequest

Friday 18 September 2015, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Dora Thornton, Curator of the Waddesdon Bequest, gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to this new gallery. 


Drawing in silver and gold: a living tradition

Drawing in silver and gold: a living tradition

Thursday 24 September 2015, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

This panel discussion traces how metal point became established as a preferred means of drawing in Europe before chalk replaced it around 1550, and explores the breadth of artistic creation which the technique has inspired. Chaired by Curator An Van Camp and featuring Hugo Chapman, Keeper of Print and Drawings at the British Museum, Curator Giulia Bartrum, British Museum, conservator Kim Schenck and artist Philippa Abrahams. 


Early medieval Celtic art

Early medieval Celtic art

Thursday 26 November 2015, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Curator Martin Goldberg, National Museum of Scotland, discusses the role, development and context of early medieval Celtic art. 


Grayson Perry: downloading from your head

Grayson Perry: downloading from your head

Saturday 24 October 2015, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free booking required

Artist and British Museum Trustee Grayson Perry RA talks about how he takes an idea from a glimmer to the gallery, wrestling the original inspiration into a finished piece. 


In the footsteps of a pioneer archaeologist in Palestine: 100 years after Mackenzie

In the footsteps of a pioneer archaeologist in Palestine: 100 years after Mackenzie

Thursday 1 October 2015, 16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

In 1911 the Palestine Exploration Fund sent archaeologist Duncan Mackenzie to excavate Beth-Shemesh – a biblical town on the border between Philistia and Judah – in order to determine who the mysterious Philistines that migrated to Canaan in the 12th century BC were, and where they came from. His pioneering investigation yielded sharp observations concerning not only the 'Philistine question' but other important issues of the archaeology in the southern Levant. 100 years later, Mackenzie's work at Tel Beth-Shemesh is supplemented by renewed excavations at the site since 1990 on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University. The new excavations have yielded a series of outstanding finds, from a hidden section of the Bronze Age city-gate to the destruction of the town by the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib in 701 BC, and much more.In this lecture, Shlomo Bunimovitz and Zvi Lederman, Tel Aviv University, discuss these important finds, and give a fair assessment of Mackenzie's achievements. Though challenging some of his interpretations, the assessment proves Mackenzie's work at Beth-Shemesh to have been outstanding for its time, and pays tribute to this somewhat forgotten pioneer archaeologist of the ancient Near East. 


Politics and nationalism in the Celtic nations

Politics and nationalism in the Celtic nations

Friday 27 November 2015, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, £3 Members/concessions

From the rise of the Irish Party in the 19th century to the Scottish vote for independence earlier this year, nationalism among the so-called ‘Celtic fringe’ nations has led to fundamental shifts across the UK political landscape. This panel discussion explores the roots, development and manifestations of nationalism in the Celtic world, discussing the rise of the SNP, the growth of Plaid Cymru and Mebyon Kernow, and the possible futures that lie ahead for these regions in the context of the UK as a whole. Chaired by Fergal Keane, BBC, and featuring Neal Ascherson, UCL, Murray Pittock, University of Glasgow, John Hutchinson, LSE, and Garry Tregidga, University of Exeter.  


The National Eisteddfod of Wales: a cultural celebration 1176-2015

The National Eisteddfod of Wales: a cultural celebration 1176-2015

Friday 15 January 2016, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Welsh poet and academic Christine James is the current Archdruid of Wales, the first woman to hold the title. Join her as she discusses the history of the National Eisteddfod of Wales and its place in Welsh identity from its ‘prototype’ in 1176 through to the present day. Particular attention will be paid to the festival’s association with the Gorsedd of Bards of the Island of Britain – the colourful, romantic creation of academic Iolo Morganwg – which was first held on Primrose Hill in London in 1792. 


Waddesdon Manor: a Rothschild creation

Waddesdon Manor: a Rothschild creation

Friday 23 October 2015, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Pippa Shirley, Head of Collections and Gardens at Waddesdon Manor, offers a fascinating account of the Manor with a focus upon its founders the Rothschild family, the formation of their magnificent collections and legacy. 


Wanassa, Kypris, Aphrodite! The Great Goddess of Cyprus

Wanassa, Kypris, Aphrodite! The Great Goddess of Cyprus

Friday 16 October 2015, 19.00
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

According to Greek mythology, the goddess Aphrodite was born in the sea off the coast of Cyprus. In collaboration with the Cultural Section of Cyprus High Commission in London, the Department of Greece and Rome present the UK premiere of Wanassa, Kypris, Aphrodite! The Great Goddess of Cyprus, a documentary exploring the complex origins and nature of the cult of Aphrodite in Cyprus. Cypriot artist George Petrou will present recent video and photographic work inspired by the myth of the birth of Aphrodite and its impact on beauty, desire and love across time, space and civilisations.
Director: Stavros Papageorghiou
Cyprus, 2015, 60 mins