Friday 26 June 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
This discussion will reflect on the rediscovery of classical Greek art in the 18th century and how this influenced both the cultural and political landscape of Western Europe. Features Matthew Bell, King’s College London, Katherine Harloe, University of Reading,Athena Leoussi, University of Reading, and author and historian Dominic Selwood.
Thursday 4 June 2015, 13.30 BP Theatre Free booking essential
Catharine Edwards, Birkbeck College, University of London, looks at Roman admiration for Greek statuary. Although some Romans were highly critical of the seductive effect these works might have on Roman morals, Greek forms served as models for some kinds of Roman portrait, especially the heroic ruler.
Wukun Wanambi is a contemporary Aboriginal Australian artist from northeastern Arnhem Land, whose art is highly innovative within a traditional framework. Wukun makes hollow log works known today as memorial poles, painted with clan designs, and a selection of these are on display in Room 3 from 12 March to 17 May. His work relates to a specific sacred place, Trial Bay in Arnhem Land, and the ancestral stories related to it, but it is also intended to communicate aspects of the Aboriginal worldview. This talk explores some of the levels on which Wukun’s work operates.
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.
Friday 17 April, 13.30 (IJ) Thursday 23 April, 13.30 (CF) Friday 8 May, 13.30 (IJ) Thursday 18 June, 13.30 (CF) BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Exhibition Curators Ian Jenkins (IJ) and Celeste Farge (GF) give a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art.The event on 18 June will have speech-to-text transcription for deaf and hard of hearing people.
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.
Thursday 14 May 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Herakles is the ultimate Greek hero, the strongman monster slayer par excellence. In modern popular culture this fundamental characterisation is conveyed via the modern medium of a particular body type, exemplified by a succession of bodybuilders cast in the role, from Steve Reeves and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Lou Ferrigno and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. In this lecture, Emma Stafford, University of Leeds, asks if such an image does justice to the ancient Greek hero.
In this lecture, Sarah Longair, British Museum, will discuss how artists and photographers in the 19th and early 20th centuries attempted to capture the character of the Indian Ocean. Using images from the British Museum and other collections, she will trace how different people – sailors, merchants, travellers, administrators and inhabitants – interpreted and recorded their view of the Indian Ocean’s coastlines and seascapes.
Friday 19 June 2015 , 18.30-19.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £2
Award-winning historian and writer, Andrew Roberts, talks on Napoleon: military genius, astute leader of men, and one of the world’s greatest soldier-statesmen. Roberts’ Napoleon the Great is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. Roberts shares some of his research for the book that took him to fifty-three of Napoleon’s sixty battle sites and even included the long boat trip to St. Helena, the site of Napoleon’s final exile and death.
Friday 27 March 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members/concessions £3
The Sutton Hoo ship burial is one of the best-known and researched discoveries of the Anglo-Saxon Age–but it still has more stories to tell. On the first anniversary of the reopening of Room 41, the Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock Gallery of Sutton Hoo and Europe AD 300–1100, Curator Sue Brunning presents some newer insights into this spectacular assemblage, and what she hopes to explore next.
Friday 29 May 2015, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5.00, Members/concessions £3
Greek ideas of beauty have profoundly influenced Western art and how we think about ourselves today. This panel discussion will consider Greek perceptions of beauty, and how ideas have changed, from Greek sculpture’s impact on art in the 19th century to recent neurological insights into how the brain generates experiences of beauty. Chaired by Charlotte Higgins, Chief Arts Writer at The Guardian, and featuring Michael Squire, King’s College London, Elizabeth Prettejohn, University of York, Jeremy Tanner, UCL, and Semir Zeki, UCL.
Thursday 12 March 2015, 16.00-17.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Early 19th-century explorers of south-western Palestine concluded that the environs of Wadi el-Hesi had been a productive agrarian region for millennia, but the coming of Islam was seen as the event that ended this sedentary life and initiated a millennium of a semi-nomadic lifestyle that was still practised as they explored the region. With this perspective, 19th-century scholars sought to identify biblical sites, but by the start of the 21st century not a single site in the Hesi region could be identified as a specific biblical town or village and many scholars questioned whether the region was even within the borders of Judah. This was a significant shift in scholarly interpretation from a century earlier. The agricultural nature of the region, however, remained unquestioned. Now, a recent reconsideration of the Hesi region’s archaeological record suggests that it was not farmland tilled by sedentary villagers as earlier scholars thought and the identity of one of the political entities controlling Tell el-Hesi could have been Judah.
Organised jointly by the British Museum, Palestine Exploration Fund and the Anglo-Israel Archaeology Society.
Thursday 16 April 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Carrie Vout, University of Cambridge, discusses the ways in which Greek sculpture and painting did not just represent the male body but defined what it was to be a man. She considers the abundance of sexual imagery in the ancient Greek world and asks if these images were seductive, shocking or humorous, and whether they were they about sex or love. She examines how the body was regarded in art, and what this tells us about ancient attitudes to religion, politics, sex and gender.
Thursday 11 June 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free booking essential
The Munich Doryphorus is a bronze reconstruction of Polyclitus’ lost ‘Spear-bearer’, made in Munich from Roman copies between 1910 and 1921. Rolf Michael Schneider, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, will explore the bronze’s place in ancient art and its particular reception in Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany after the First and Second World Wars.
Thursday 9 April 2015, 16.00-17.00 BP Lecture Theatre Free booking essential
A rare group of enigmatic stone masks from the Judean hills and desert are the oldest human portraits known to us, sketching the cultural and spiritual world of the people who lived in this region 9,000 years ago. The masks were subjected to scientific examinations, together with a mask-like stone item from a private collection, and three masks from the Israel Museum. The results of this study enabled for the first time the examination of yet another mask, known since 1881 and reportedly from er-Ram north of Jerusalem, which has been housed since the turn of the twentieth century in the Palestine Exploration Fund, London. The purpose of the study was twofold: to verify the authenticity of the unprovenanced masks, and, if they were deemed authentic – to investigate their possible provenances through detailed analysis of the patina and sediments attached to them, which may be presumed to derive from their sites of discovery and dating. With Yuval Goren, Tel Aviv University. This lecture is jointly organised by the British Museum and the Palestine Exploration Fund.
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.
Thursday 30 April 2015, 13.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free booking required
The first Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, never met his great military rival Napoleon Bonaparte, but his relationship with France began when, as a 16-year-old, he enrolled at the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Anger. His brother Henry and sister Anne were captured by the French in 1794 and remained imprisoned in the country throughout the height of the terror. His admiration for the French survived his campaigns in the Peninsular War and Waterloo. Lady Jane Wellesley, writer and descendant of the Iron Duke, explores his complex relationship with the country from his early years to his death at Walmer Castle on the Kent coast.