Curator's introduction to South Africa: the art of a nation

Curator's introduction to South Africa: the art of a nation

Thursday 10 November 2016,13.30 (JG)
Thursday 1 December 2016,13.30 (CS)
Thursday 19 January 2017,13.30 (JG)
Thursday 9 February 2017, 13.30 (CS)
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Exhibition Curator's John Giblin (JG) and Christopher Spring (CS) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition South Africa: the art of a nation


Fritz Lang and the life of crime

Fritz Lang and the life of crime

Friday 24 February 2017, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

In M, The Big Heat and Dr Mabuse movies, Fritz Lang memorably conjures up three crime worlds: those of the psychopath killer, the mobster and the evil mastermind. But to Lang, the 'life of crime' seems to be a sort of pun. Michael Wood, professor of comparative literature at Princeton, and author of books on Hitchcock, Nabokov, Yeats and Buñuel, explores how lively crime can be, and how cinema contributes to that effect.

In collaboration with the London Review of Books
Information: lrb.co.uk/winterlectures 


Istanbul: the world's desire

Istanbul: the world's desire

Friday 27 January 2017, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

For the past decade, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes has been researching the life and the history of one of the greatest cities on earth – Istanbul. Following the publication of her newest book, Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities, she illuminates the latest archaeological discoveries that allowed her to explore Istanbul's fascinating prehistoric roots and chart the story of a city across six millennia – a city whose influence is racing up the contemporary political agenda 


New light on the palace of the Kings of Israel

New light on the palace of the Kings of Israel

Thursday 9 March 2017, 16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

A lecture by Rupert Chapman, formerly British Museum.

The biblical account tells us that in the early 9th century BC Omri, King of Israel, bought land on which to found a new capital for his new kingdom. Archaeology has revealed that this hill had previously been used for agriculture, including probably the growing of grapes and olives. Two major excavations have been carried out on the site, involving the two most noted field archaeologists and stratigraphic analysts who have ever worked in the Levant, George Andrew Reisner and Kathleen Mary Kenyon. Their work has produced a wealth of evidence about what is one of the most important archaeological sites in the southern Levant, making it the most extensively excavated royal centre of any period in the region, yet in many respects it is still one of the least known sites.

In this talk, Rupert Chapman will introduce the site, beginning with the construction of the great royal compound, which included the palace itself and an enormous parade ground, and examine the expansion of the great platform on which the palace stood, which took place shortly after the initial construction, looking at why that expansion was necessary. He will then examine the palace itself, with the first attempted reconstruction of what it looked like, and finish by looking at the evidence for the life of the building, when it was finally destroyed, and why. Lecture organised jointly by the Palestine Exploration Fund and the Anglo-Israel Archaeology Society. 


Rediscovering Carthage: Europeans, Tunisians, and the hunt for antiquities

Rediscovering Carthage: Europeans, Tunisians, and the hunt for antiquities

Friday 3 February 2017, 18.00 - 19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

A lecture by Dr Ridha Moumni, Curator, Institut de Recherches sur le Maghreb Contemporain (IRMC-Tunis), presented with the Embassy of Tunisia in London. In the 19th century, the first collections of antiquities were established in Tunisia. 50 years after Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt had ignited interest in the remains of northern Africa and the Middle East, ancient Carthage became a major field of competition between European archaeologists. International traders, diplomats and scholars acquired most of the archaeological material then available from the site. Important Punic and Roman discoveries enriched the collections of the Louvre and the British Museum. During these years, the foreigners’ hunt for prized objects awakened a taste for antiquities also in the local ruling class, who became ever more aware of the significance and prestige of their ancient cultural heritage. The lecture will be followed by a reception, thanks to the generous support of the Tunisian Embassy. 


Romance and connoisseurship: the Wallace and Frick Collections and the British Museum

Romance and connoisseurship: the Wallace and Frick Collections and the British Museum

Thursday 23 February 2017, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free,booking required

Hilary Williams, British Museum, discusses a gilded age in the history of connoisseurship.
The Wallace Collection, amassed by Sir Richard and Lady Wallace, opened as a public institution in 1897. Shortly after, it was visited by the American Henry Clay Frick. He was inspired to create another such collection of quality, The Frick Collection, New York, using the good services and inside knowledge of the Wallaces' Private Secretary and Trustee Sir John Murray Scott. Fascinating connections and connoisseurship of this era link with the Rothschild property at Waddesdon Manor, the Sackvilles of Knole, American banker and art collector J P Morgan, art historian Bernard Berenson and influential art dealer Lord Duveen, who funded the British Museum gallery in which the Parthenon sculptures are displayed. 


The Mildenhall Treasure: fine dining in Roman Britain

The Mildenhall Treasure: fine dining in Roman Britain

Thursday 2 February 2017, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Richard Hobbs, British Museum, will present new research on the Mildenhall Treasure, one of the Museum's most iconic groups of objects. After the lecture, he will be signing copies of his new book The Mildenhall Treasure: Late Roman Silver Plate from East Anglia. 


The Roman elite in ancient Pompeii: private benefactors and public gratitude

The Roman elite in ancient Pompeii: private benefactors and public gratitude

Friday 17 February 2017, 18.00-19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

In this lecture, using evidence from Pompeii, Professor Mario Torelli, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, will show how the funding of public works secured advancement in the ancient world.

Success in high public office in the Roman world was often achieved through the funding of public works. In return benefactors received a variety of special honours and distinctions, including honorary statues, and ultimately grand funerals and elaborate tombs.

In the late Republican and early imperial periods, prior to the centralisation of executive and fiscal powers in the emperor, finance to build temples and other public works was raised through donations from members of the senatorial aristocracy in Rome and by the wealthy elite in the rest of Italy and in the provinces. These donations could secure the prestige and electoral success essential for the ruling classes to secure high public office. 


The archaeology of precolonial art in southern Africa

The archaeology of precolonial art in southern Africa

Saturday 28 January 2017, 13.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking required

Southern Africa has produced the oldest evidence for art on the continent and boasts one of the largest and best understood traditions of hunter-gatherer rock art in the world. It is also home to a rich heritage of other forms of art in clay, metal, basketry and other media. Informed by what anthropology can tell us about their meaning, Peter Mitchell, University of Oxford, explores some of these traditions as they are represented in the region's archaeological record. 


The last London

The last London

Friday 10 February 2017, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

‘But sometimes,’ Don DeLillo wrote, ‘the street spills over me, too much to absorb, and I have to stop thinking and keep walking’. Iain Sinclair, author of Lights Out for the Territory, Downriver and Ghost Milk, considers an old city stretched to the point of erasure, and a walker disappearing into the labyrinth of his own footprints.

In collaboration with the London Review of Books
Information: lrb.co.uk/winterlectures 


The visible dead: dolmen tombs and the landscape in the Bronze Age Levant

The visible dead: dolmen tombs and the landscape in the Bronze Age Levant

Thursday 6 April 2017, 16.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

A lecture by James Fraser, Project Curator for the Ancient Levant at the British Museum. Megalithic dolmen tombs are some of the most striking features in the archaeological landscape of the southern Levant. Yet their visibility has made them an easy target for tomb robbers over the last 5,000 years. Consequently, archaeologists have struggled to place these mysterious monuments into their true cultural contexts. This lecture presents the results of recent fieldwork investigating a dolmen cemetery in Jordan. This fieldwork underscores a new theory that proposes that highly visible dolmen tombs helped reconfigure the ways in which people engaged with the landscape in the 4th millennium BC, a time when the region’s earliest civilisations developed a new urban way of life. 


Women in power

Women in power

Friday 3 March 2017, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and author of SPQR, The Parthenon, and Pompeii, looks at the image and reality of women in power, from the myth of matriarchy to Theresa May. What has been so ‘funny’ about the idea of women being in charge? What does ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ really mean?

In collaboration with the London Review of Books
Information: lrb.co.uk/winterlectures