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.
Monday 2 November 2015, 10.30-11.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking required
Jago Cooper, Curator of the Americas, British Museum, sets the scene and describes the context of this Mexican festival. This lecture opens the study day Understanding the Day of the Dead Supported by BP. In association with the Government of Mexico as part of 2015: Year of Mexico in the UK.
Monday 2 November 2015, 12.15-13.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking required
Indigenous communities in southern Mexico share a worldview wherein ancestors have a prominent role in social relationships and human action. Here, people live in constant and effective communication with their deceased elders, who sometimes behave as oracles warning of possible dangers to come. In this talk, Dr Araceli Rojas Martinez Gracida, Leiden University, will share some aspects of the realm of ancestors and their veneration among the Mixe of Oaxaca, including the extensive celebrations of Day of the Dead or Todos Santos.
This lecture is a part of the study day Understanding the Day of the Dead. Supported by BP. In association with the Government of Mexico as part of 2015: Year of Mexico in the UK.
Monday 2 November 2015, 11.00-11.45 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking required
The Aztecs had a practical idea of the afterlife as being determined by the manner of a person’s death. As such, there were three places inhabited by the dead. In this talk Dr Elizabeth Baquedano, UCL Institute of Archaeology, examines and evaluates both the historical and archaeological record, including recent finds, revealing how some ancient ideas and practices are still prevalent in present-day Mexico.
This lecture is a part of the study day Understanding the Day of the Dead.
Supported by BP. In association with the Government of Mexico as part of 2015: Year of Mexico in the UK.
Friday 13 November 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Golf took off in post-war Japan and was chronicled in manga. Angus Lockyer, SOAS, reveals how golf and manga have served each other, through boom, bubble and lost decades, documenting the slow transformation of Japanese society.
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.
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.
Friday 4 December 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
The Museum’s new gallery for the Waddesdon Bequest reinterprets this significant collection for the 21st century. It also evokes the qualities of the great Schatzkammer (treasure house) collections of the Renaissance courts in Europe, which inspired Baron Ferdinand Rothschild’s collection. Tom Fotheringham, project architect at Stanton Williams, discusses the thinking behind their contemporary design of Room 2a.
Thursday 1 October 2015, 13.30 (JF) Thursday 12 November 2015, 13.30 (RW) Thursday 10 December 2015, 13.30 (JF) Thursday 21 January 2016, 13.30 (RW) BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Exhibition Curators Julia Farley (JF) and Rosie Weetch (RW) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. Please note the event on 12 November will have live speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Friday 6 November 2015, 15.00 (EOC) Friday 8 January 2016, 13.30 (AM) Friday 29 January, 13.30 (EOC) BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Exhibition Curators Elisabeth O'Connell (EOC) and Amandine Merat (AM) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition. Please note the event on 29 January will have live speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Friday 6 November 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
Karen Armstrong, British Museum Trustee and world-renowned commentator on religious affairs, explores interreligious relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the first millennium AD. Positioning Egypt as a leader and pioneer in the region up to the present, she conveys how its population creatively challenged the frontiers that traditionally separated humanity from the divine. She also investigates how Egypt became a frontier zone between and within these faiths in a way that presaged some of our current problems.
Monday 30 November 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking required
In the course of human evolution when did a preoccupation with supernatural powers begin and how did it develop into religious practices? Jill Cook, British Museum, looks at evidence from our deep past over 100,000 years and suggests that religious experience is closely connected to the development of the modern human brain. Sign interpreted.
Thursday 12 November 2015, 16.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking required
The Khirbat al-Mafjar Archaeological Project was initiated to achieve better understanding of ‘Hisham’s Palace’ (dated to the Umayyad period, 8th century) within the context of its cultural landscape and historical environment in particular and the phenomenon of the Umayyad palaces in the Levant in general. Five seasons of landscape archaeological survey and excavations (2010–2014) have revealed a large enclosure wall surrounding extensive fertile lands, two major aqueducts with two monumental bridges, a large reservoir and a water mill. Mahmoud Hawari, British Museum, explains how these finds begin to give context to Hisham’s Palace. These features were part of a uniform Umayyad work of the first half of the 8th century contemporary with the construction of the palatial complex. The overall results of the fieldwork, which is the only source of information available, have changed our perception of Hisham’s Palace.
Monday 2 November 2015, 15.15-16.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking required
Jago Cooper and Laura Osorio Sunnocks, British Museum, talk to acclaimed Mexican artist Demián Flores about his series De/construcción de Una Nación (2012) and the Museum’s recent acquisition of Santa Sangre from the series.
This lecture is a part of the study day Understanding the Day of the Dead
Supported by BP. In association with the Government of Mexico as part of 2015: Year of Mexico in the UK.
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.
David Pearce will discuss rock art in South Africa and his work as the Director of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. This lecture is part of the African Rock Art Image Project lecture series, supported by the Arcadia Fund, and will be available for live streaming via Periscope. For more information, visit britishmuseum.org/africanrockart
Friday 13 November 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
Shen Kuiyi, Professor of Asian Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the University of California San Diego, chairs a conversation with artists Qu Leilei and Ma Desheng, members of the Stars who formed China's first avant-garde art group with Ai Weiwei. Part of Asian Art in London Week.
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.
Friday 27 November 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking required
Jean-François Champollion’s translation of the Rosetta Stone hieroglyphs in 1822 heralded a breakthrough in the race between scholars to understand the ancient Egyptian language. In this lecture Curator Ilona Regulski, British Museum, reveals what the Stone’s scripts tell us about the multicultural society in which it was carved and Yves Champollion reflects upon his great-great uncle’s groundbreaking research. Organised in association with CenTraS @UCL and the London Regional Group of the ITI.
Thursday 3 December 2015, 16.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking required
The British Museum has been excavating in the Jordan Valley and in Oman for close to three decades. The evidence uncovered has given us a window into the ways of life experienced by ordinary people. Although we may often assume that for Bronze Age people, domestication of plants and animals and a growing mastery in metal-working have fostered organised societies in which agricultural surplus and industrial production might enable active trade, no two regions are the same and the influence of the surrounding environment is paramount. In this lecture, Caroline Cartwright, British Museum, illustrates how Bronze Age peoples in two very different geographical regions have capitalised on their local environments and resources.
Dr Pacradooni Kaloost Vartan was the son of an Armenian tailor, born in Constantinople in 1835. He became a leading medical pioneer and the founding father of the Nazareth Hospital, an institution which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2012. In this lecture, Malcolm Billings, formerly of the BBC World Service, tells the life story of this remarkable man, charting his career from interpreter with the British Army during the Crimean War to medical student in Edinburgh, and finally as a missionary and qualified surgeon and physician in Palestine.
This lecture is organised jointly by the British Museum's Middle East Department, the Palestine Exploration Fund and the Council for British Research in the Levant.
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.
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