Action = life: art, medicine and HIV/AIDS in the USA

Action = life: art, medicine and HIV/AIDS in the USA

Saturday 3 June 2017, 15.00 - 16.15
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Physician and artist Dr Eric Avery, whose work is included in the exhibition The American Dream: pop to the present, argues that desperate diagnoses call for desperate beauty.

In conversation with Professor John Howard, King’s College London, Avery will discuss growing up gay in small-town Texas, treating early HIV/AIDS patients outside metropolitan centres, providing end-of-life psychiatric care, and making emotive politicised art as a desperate measure in Reagan’s America. 


British Museum presents Hokusai

British Museum presents Hokusai

Sunday 4 June 2017, 15.00-16.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£12.50, Members/concessions £10.00

This fascinating new cinema event is a groundbreaking documentary made to accompany the exhibition Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave.

Filmed in Japan, France and the UK, the film focuses on Hokusai’s work, life and times in the highly developed urban culture of Edo (modern Tokyo) in the early 1800s.

Using extraordinary close-ups and groundbreaking ultra HD 8K video technology, Hokusai’s paintings and prints are examined by world experts including Exhibition Curator Tim Clark and Roger Keyes, whose 90-volume catalogue raisonné is being digitised.

Hokusai spent his life celebrating and studying our common humanity as well as exploring the natural and spiritual worlds, using the famous volcano Mount Fuji as a talisman of immortality. He knew much tragedy, was once struck by lightning and lived for years in poverty, but never gave up his constant search for perfection in his art.

As Japan emerged from isolation, Hokusai found recognition in the west. The Great Wave and other works changed modern art, inspiring artists from Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso to Hockney and Baselitz. Hokusai is the only artist with an emoji, the father of manga, and still a vital inspiration to artists today.

The screening will be followed by an exclusive Q&A with Producer Patricia Wheatley, Head of Broadcast at the British Museum, and Exhibition Curator Tim Clark.

Presented in collaboration with Japan House. 


Collecting modern Egypt

Collecting modern Egypt

Friday 5 May 2017, 18.30-20.00
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
£5,Members/concessions £3

The Modern Egypt Project at the British Museum brings the Museum's collection of Egyptian objects into the 21st century.

The project responds to critical debates within museums regarding the inclusion of objects from recent histories in places often represented within museum spaces with ancient or traditional objects.

In this talk, Project Curator Mohamed Elshahed will introduce the project, showcase some of the objects and discuss the project's historical and theoretical significance in the contexts of the British Museum and Egypt's current museum institutions.

The talk will be followed by a general discussion and brief responses by historian Hussein Omar, University of Oxford, and Danah Abdulla, design lecturer at London College of Communication, University of the Arts. 


Group Booking

Group Booking

Every day
Enter through King Edward entrance on Montague Place
Free, booking essential

Due to the significant increase in tour group visitors and to make the visitor experience pleasant for all visitors, it has become necessary for all tour groups to book their visit to the museum at least seven days in advance.

If bookings are not made in advance, groups may be denied immediate entry to the museum.

All tour groups must enter the museum using the King Edward entrance on Montague Place. This entrance provides space for group visits and dedicated coach parking.

Please be advised that if you wish to avoid the busiest times for tour group visits, you should not book for the 10:00, 14:00, or 15:00 time slots.

During the booking process please specify the number in your group and also if the majority of your visit will involve any one area of the Museum's collection. If you will be visiting many areas of the Museum but not one specific area in depth please put your group number in the 'General admission' category during the booking process.

If the people in your group are aged under 18, please use this ticket category regardless of area visited. If you are a UK school and are looking to make use of the Ford Centre for Young Visitors or book any of our workshops/galleries please do not book in via this link but visit the 'Learning' section of the website for further booking information

If any of your group have specific access needs please see the 'Visiting' section of the Museum's website for more information on all facilities available. This is also where you will find details of our full Visitor Regulations. 


Highlights Tour: around the world in 90 minutes

Highlights Tour: around the world in 90 minutes

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11.30 and 14.00 Tours meet at the Information Desk £12 per person

Explore the British Museum’s most famous treasures with an illuminating 90-minute guided tour. Discover the Rosetta Stone, the Lewis Chessmen and the Parthenon sculptures, as well as some lesser-known but fascinating objects, with expert guidance that will take you to the heart of the Museum’s collection.

This tour is designed for an adult audience and is not recommended for children under the age of 12. Please note that the tour will visit a number of galleries on different floors of the Museum and involves a considerable amount of walking. 


LGBTQ objects of desire

LGBTQ objects of desire

Friday 19 May 2017, 19.00 - 20.00
Information Desk
Free, booking advised

Gender fluidity and same-sex desire have always existed, in all times and in all places. This tour explores a 'great unrecorded history' through British Museum objects. 


Music of the British landscape 1850–1950

Music of the British landscape 1850–1950

Friday 19 May 2017, 18.30 - 19.45
Room 90
Free, booking advised

A special performance by students of the Royal Academy of Music, inspired by the exhibition Places of the mind: British watercolour landscapes 1850–1950


Old masters: creativity and the ageing brain

Old masters: creativity and the ageing brain

Friday 30 June 2017, 18.30-20.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

Hokusai passed away at the age of 89 with some of his best work created in his later years. Michelangelo lived and practised until the age of 89, Monet until 86, O’Keefe 98, Louise Bourgeois 99 and Titian 86. Case histories such as this point in one direction – the extraordinary flowering of artistic genius in old age.

Drilling down into the subjects of lifelong creative endeavour, the neuroplasticity of the older brain and the correlation between ageing and heightened risk-taking, this panel discussion explores ageing and creativity across global art history, as well as the enduring example of Katsushika Hokusai, the self-declared 'old man, crazy to paint'.

Chaired by Dame Joan Bakewell, the panel includes writer and art critic Martin Gayford, Professor of Neuroscience Lorraine Tylor, and Angus Lockyer, SOAS and Assistant Curator of the exhibition Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave. 


Spectator breakfast view: The American Dream

Spectator breakfast view: The American Dream

Saturday 27 May 2017, 08:30
British Museum
£25 per person

Join us for a special breakfast event in partnership with The Spectator, including a private view of the acclaimed exhibition The American Dream: pop to the present. Entering the Museum before it opens to the public, guests will enjoy a light breakfast of pastries, yogurt, granola and fresh fruit salad in the spectacular setting of the Great Court Restaurant. After an introductory talk from the exhibition curator, guests will have exclusive access to the exhibition to explore six extraordinary decades of American history, seen through the eyes of its greatest artists.

‘Astonishing gives exhilarating light and air not just to Warhol and Lichtenstein, but also to every great name in pop art ’ The Spectator

Exhibition sponsored by Morgan Stanley.
Supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art. 


The Crick Crack Club presents Mr Sandmann: bringer of dreams and nightmares

The Crick Crack Club presents Mr Sandmann: bringer of dreams and nightmares

Sunday 14 May 2017, 14.30-17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£8, Members/concessions £6

Myths retold is a series of performances of some of the greatest stories in the world, presented in collaboration with the Crick Crack Club. Enter a flickering cave of wonder for a wild exploration of epic and myth.

Join acclaimed performance storyteller Ben Haggarty as he embarks on a twisted homage to Americana and the pop culture of the 50s, 60s and 70s, in search for the truth behind the Chordettes hit Mr Sandman.In a dark and unsettling performance, where Marilyn Monroe is a target in a shooting gallery, and the moon landing is more than a sideshow, the truth behind Warhol’s Silver Dream Factory is gradually revealed.

This arcane mash-up of urban legends, fairytales and the founding myth of Judeo-Christian culture won Fringe First Award for Best Spoken Word at the Brighton Festival in 2013.

'It's not all fairy godmothers and happy endings, you know. Haggarty has created an intense and alarming performance... Screw up your courage and go.' Erica Wagner, The Times

‘2 hours of storytelling genius. Often beautiful, sometimes frightening, Sandmann is wonderful and wondrous.' Fringe Review

Suitable for ages 18+

Ben Haggarty is one of the world's leading contemporary storytellers, renowned for his passionate and physical performances. He tours widely, has been a guest artist in over 100 international storytelling festivals in 25 countries and was for ten years the official storyteller with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Ben trained in mime, and in theatre direction at East 15, and is a much sought after teacher and director of storytellers. He is artistic director of the legendary Crick Crack Club and Honorary Professor of Storytelling at the Arts University of Berlin (UDK). Find out more at benhaggarty.com 


The Crick Crack Club presents The Son of the Buffalo Woman

The Crick Crack Club presents The Son of the Buffalo Woman

Sunday 11 June 2017, 14.30-17.15
BP Lecture Theatre
£8, Members/concessions £6

Myths retold is a series of performances of some of the greatest stories in the world, presented in collaboration with the Crick Crack Club. Enter a flickering cave of wonder for a wild exploration of epic and myth.

Hunters, kings and women of power become entangled in prophecy, mythology, shame, pride and insult in one of the most exciting birth-of-a-hero tales in the world – The Birth of Sundiata Keita, legendary founder of the great Malian Empire of West Africa.

Internationally acclaimed storyteller Jan Blake and long-term collaborator drummer John Predare bring an epic performance to the British Museum. This inspiring tale reaches across the centuries, from its origins in medieval Africa to the conflicts in our own time when its telling is forbidden. Expect an exhilarating collision of wild song and heroic story.

Powerful and bold, Jan Blake is the Queen of Afro-Caribbean Storytelling. An outstanding storyteller, she performs in theatres and festivals the length and breadth of Europe. Jan was born in Manchester to Jamaican parents. Inspired by recordings of 'Miss Lou' (Louise Bennett) she came to telling stories in 1986, and rapidly gained an international reputation for witty and exhilarating performances. Specialising in folktales from West Africa, North Africa, the Arab world and the Caribbean, her repertoire is full of tales of powerful women and her versions of Ananse’s exploits are definitive. In 2004 Jan took the American National Storytelling Festival at Jonesborough, Tennessee by storm and in 2011 she was awarded the Thüringe Märchen Preis for devoting her life to this art form.

‘One of the world’s greatest storytellers.’ André Naffis-Sahely 


The man who collected the world: Hans Sloane and the origins of the British Museum

The man who collected the world: Hans Sloane and the origins of the British Museum

Monday 12 June 2017
18.30 – 20.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Historian James Delbourgo discusses his new biography of Hans Sloane, Collecting the World, the first in over 60 years. In it, he traces how Sloane's pursuit of 'universal knowledge' led to the world's first national public encyclopaedic museum through a life of collecting that spanned the British Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Includes a complimentary drink. 


Young Friends' sleepover Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

Young Friends' sleepover Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

22-23 July 2017, 18.15 - 09.00
Registration in Room 4
£45.00

Discover the amazing culture of Japan through craft, storytelling and interactive activities. Spend the night sleeping in the Egyptian and Assyrian galleries surrounded by gods and kings. Then enjoy breakfast in the Great Court before visiting the exhibition before it opens to the public the following morning.
Young Friends Only. Tickets £45. Booking required. 


Young Friends' sleepover Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

Young Friends' sleepover Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

24-25 June 2017, 18.15 - 09.00
Registration in Room 4
£45.00

Discover the amazing culture of Japan through craft, storytelling and interactive activities. Spend the night sleeping in the Egyptian and Assyrian galleries surrounded by gods and kings. Then enjoy breakfast in the Great Court before visiting the exhibition before it opens to the public the following morning.
Young Friends Only. Tickets £45. Booking required.