Dan Snow’s History Hit Live: Curating China and South Asia

Dan Snow’s History Hit Live: Curating China and South Asia

Friday 1 December 2017, 18.30-20.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

TV historian Dan Snow joins curators from the British Museum's Department of Asia to discuss the process, challenges and object choices involved in curating the newly refurbished Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia (Room 33), and how they distilled some of the most historical important regions on earth into one free permanent gallery. 


Exploring LGBTQ histories at the British Museum

Exploring LGBTQ histories at the British Museum

Thursday 22 February 2018, 15.00 - 17.00
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Join curators from the British Museum as they explore LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) histories, experiences and lives by examining objects from the collection. This event may include visits to the Museum’s galleries. It is part of OUTing the Past the National Festival of LGBT History and LGBT History Month. 


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. 


Members Exclusive Lecture - Transforming a gallery: the major refurbishment of Room 33

Members Exclusive Lecture - Transforming a gallery: the major refurbishment of Room 33

Monday 27 November 2017
18.30 – 20.00
BP Lecture Theatre

Room 33 has just gone through a major two-year refurbishment and will now be renamed the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia.

Jane Portal, Keeper of the Department of Asia, and Project Manager Jonathan Lubikowski will take you through the exciting process of renovating and transforming this major gallery, looking at the challenges presented by both the building itself and how best to preserve and display this incredible collection.

The newly refurbished gallery will present the histories of China and South Asia, showcasing new acquisitions and new material from the collection and bringing the stories of these fascinating regions up to the present.

 


Members' early morning viewing of Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond

Members' early morning viewing of Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond

Saturday 04 November 2017
09.00-09.50
Room 35

Members can book to visit Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond before normal opening hours to learn how objects can reveal 40,000 years of religious belief, and the significance of believing in societies all around the world.

All Members will need to book in advance of their visit for early morning views of the exhibition (please note, this does not apply to visiting during normal opening hours). The timings indicate available slots for accessing the early morning viewing. Members will be able to remain in the exhibition for as long as they like.

 


Members' early morning viewing of the BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

Members' early morning viewing of the BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

Saturday 04 November 2017
09.00-09.50
Room 30

Members can book to visit The BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia before normal opening hours and discover the story of how these nomadic tribes and masters of mounted warfare roamed the vast open plains of Siberia. All Members will need to book in advance of their visit for early morning views of the exhibition (please note, this does not apply to visiting during normal opening hours). The timings indicate available slots for accessing the early morning viewing. Members will be able to remain in the exhibition for as long as they like.
Free for members but must be pre-booked. 


Members' lecture - Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-François Champollion

Members' lecture - Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-François Champollion

Monday 29 January 2018
18.30 – 20.00
BP Lecture Theatre

Decoding the Egyptian hieroglyphs two centuries ago doubled the historical time- span: from 600 BC to 3000 BC. The person responsible for this breakthrough, beginning with the Rosetta Stone, was Jean-François Champollion: an impoverished, arrogant and brilliant child of the French Revolution. By turns a teenage professor of ancient history, a supporter of Napoleon, an exile, a fanatical decipherer, a daring explorer of buried Egyptian tombs, the Egyptian curator at the Louvre Museum and the world's first professor of Egyptology, Champollion lived life to the full but drove himself into an early grave. Andrew Robinson, author of Champollion’s first English biography plus a biography of his polymathic English rival, the physician Thomas Young, brings to life Champollion the man, his setbacks and his ultimate triumph.

Includes a complimentary drink.

 


Members’ late night viewing of the BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

Members’ late night viewing of the BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

Monday 06 November 2017
18.00-19.30
Room 30

The Members-only late night viewing of The BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia will allow Members to discover the story of how these nomadic tribes and masters of mounted warfare roamed the vast open plains of Siberia. All Members will need to book in advance of their visit for exclusive late night viewings of the exhibition (please note, this does not apply to visiting during normal opening hours). You are welcome to wait in the Museum until your timeslot. The Members’ Room will not be open for the duration of the evening and will close at 17.30. However, you can wait in the Great Court or visit the Great Court Café
Free for members but must be pre-booked. 


Members’ lecture - The Museum under the microscope: Scientific research at the British Museum

Members’ lecture - The Museum under the microscope: Scientific research at the British Museum

Monday 22 January 2018
18.30 – 20.00
BP Lecture Theatre

There is a long and distinguished history of scientific research at the British Museum. The Department of Scientific Research works alongside Conservation and all Curatorial departments to help preserve the collection, to undertake new scientific investigation and to disseminate findings to other scholars and to the wider public. This presentation reviews the spectacular new research findings, the development of new laboratory facilities in the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre that have taken place in 2017 as well as highlighting the activities of the staff group who have made this happen. Carl demonstrates that scientific research is vital to the future of the Museum and signals some of the new directions, opportunities and challenges that 2018 may bring.

Includes a complimentary drink.

 


Memories of Partition

Memories of Partition

Sunday 3 December 2017, 15.00-16.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

2017 marks 70 years since the independence of India and the creation of modern Pakistan. The events of 1947 are an important part of the cultural memory of the faith communities that were fractured, yet stories of altruism, bravery and courage have often been underrepresented.

70 years on, this event will explore memories of the once-united community and ask how we can work to build bridges and develop lasting intercommunity relations, both within the South Asian Diaspora and in the subcontinent.

The Grand Trunk Project has been developed in partnership with faith leaders, community activists and facilitated by the Faiths Forum for London. Seeking inspiration from the ancient and unifying Grand Trunk Road which runs across the subcontinent, the project aims to build common ground and open up a much needed dialogue.

This event will explore crucial stories of coexistence and the importance of developing lasting relationships across diverse faith communities through a programme of performance, poetry, discussion and film.

Presented in collaboration with The Grand Trunk Project. 


Music and art: how cultures speak to the present day

Music and art: how cultures speak to the present day

Saturday 25 November 2017, 16.30-17.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking advised

How do cultures carry the past into the present? Music is vividly brought to life each time it is performed, but don’t all cultural artefacts share a similar potential to communicate – if only we can make them speak?

In this discussion, a panel of speakers will trace the different journeys music and art take. Is there an analogy between the rhythmic pattern of a Bach Gloria and African drumming? Are the temple sculptures of the Parthenon intended to move the viewer in the way sacred music does?

The wider debate will look at the shifting meanings of culture. How is the European tradition changing as the centres of world power evolve? Globalisation has increased our knowledge of other cultures, bringing conflict but also new possibilities for compassion, understanding and peace.

The panel includes:
• Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum
• Daniel Kühnel, Artistic Director of the Festival
• Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God and other works
• Ian Jenkins, Senior Curator in the Department of Greece and Rome 


Music from Korea

Music from Korea

Friday 19 January 2018, 18.00 - 19.00
Room 67
Free, booking essential

An evening of enchanting Korean music, performed by Korean musicians against the backdrop of the beautiful Korean Gallery (Room 67), complete with a replica scholar's study (sarangbang).

Supported by the Korea Foundation. 


The Crick Crack Club presents The fate we bring ourselves: Greek myths unleashed

The Crick Crack Club presents The fate we bring ourselves: Greek myths unleashed

Sunday 11 February 2018, 14.30 - 17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£10, Members/concessions £8

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 performance storyteller Ben Haggarty at his most alarming, as he presents three remixed, extended and explicit Greek myths. Expect the wild exploits of Zeus, twice-born gods, formidable goddesses and some nasty clashes between naive mortals and uppity deities.

These are stories which you thought you knew – but here, thanks to extensive research and Ben's 30 years of reading between the lines of world mythology, you will find them conjecturally restored, live and direct, to their terrifying and truly awesome glory.

Enjoy world-class storytelling that is dark, magical and provocative.

'Bloody brilliant!' Time Out

'A tour-de-force of storytelling' Remote Goat

'Storytelling genius' Brighton Fringe

Suitable for ages 16+

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 was apprenticed as an image-maker with Welfare State. He is a much sought after teacher and director of storytellers and artistic director of the legendary Crick Crack Club. He is Honorary Professor of Storytelling at the Arts University of Berlin (UDK). Find out more at benhaggarty.com 


The Crick Crack Club presents the Ramayana

The Crick Crack Club presents the Ramayana

Sunday 10 December 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.

Deep in the forest, Rama and Sita live in exile, eyes watch their every move, and the universe shimmers with illusion. When Sita is kidnapped by the ten-headed demon king, Rama needs all the help he can get. Who better to have on your side than a shape-shifting monkey?

But there’s only one thing worse than a bloodthirsty demon, and that’s his big brother. As Rama lies helpless on the battlefield, it’s time for Sita’s little-known story to unfold...

Storyteller Emily Hennessey and virtuoso sitar player Sheema Mukherjee conjure up a vivid, wild and beguiling world in this retelling of the much-loved Indian epic.

Emily Hennessey has worked and travelled extensively in India, which kindled in her a great love of Hindu mythology. She has travelled over 10,000 miles across India, has lived and worked with a yak-herding family on the Tibetan plateau, studied Kathakali dance-drama in Kerala and spent several months at the Kattaikkuttu School in Tamil Nadu, learning from the children who perform stories from the Mahabharata through music, dance and song. While studying Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Kent, she met storyteller Dr Vayu Naidu, completed a storytelling apprenticeship with her, and later trained with Ben Haggarty. She's also trained with Indian Pandvani performer Ritu Verma. Emily has toured in India with the British Council and performed at the Delhi Storytelling Festival. Emily is a key member of the Pandvani108 ensemble. Sheema Mukherjee absorbed North Indian classical music and the western tradition side by side, studying sitar and Indian classical music under the tutelage of her uncle, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, and then with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Brought up between Britain and India, she has a rich background to draw on in her own compositions and collaborations. Today she is an established sitar player and composer, a regular in Transglobal Underground playing sitar and electric bass, a key member in The Imagined Village project, and a collaborator with internationally renowned artists from many genres. Sheema has collaborated with Courtney Pine, Sir John Tavener, Martin Carthy, Bobby McFerrin, Boris Grebenshikov, Natacha Atlas, Noel Gallagher and Cornershop, Mercan Dede, and Bulgarian folk singer Yanka Rupkina. She has toured the world widely and key performances include The World Music Festival (Chicago), Montreux Jazz Festival, supporting Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (1998), and the Olympics Arts Festival for Sydney 2000. She also makes regular appearances at WOMAD (UK). 


The power of belief: can religion be separated from politics?

The power of belief: can religion be separated from politics?

Friday 12 January 2018, 18.30-20.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£10, Members/concessions £8

Mahatma Gandhi said, 'Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.'

This panel discussion will interrogate this notion, with reference to 40,000 years of religious history, Enlightenment ideals of secular governance, and a forward-facing look at how global politics might evolve to better serve humans' spiritual needs.

Chaired by BBC religious affairs correspondent Martin Bashir, panellists include Professor of Social Anthropology at LSE Mukulika Banerjee, Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford Diarmaid MacCulloch, and Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman.

Presented in collaboration with FT Weekend and the British Academy. 


The science of belief: Colin Blakemore and Tom McLeish in conversation

The science of belief: Colin Blakemore and Tom McLeish in conversation

Friday 26 January 2018, 18.30-19.45
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

Humans, through time and across the world, have consistently expressed patterns of believing and belonging through shared narrative and practice.

In this discussion, chaired by award-winning journalist, writer and BBC broadcaster Samira Ahmed, scientists Colin Blakemore and Tom McLeish examine how the cognitive impetus that drove the emergence of science might be considered to be the same impetus that fostered religion and other metaphysical beliefs.

They will discuss how science is itself at the heart of being human, and can be traced back through art, philosophy and ancient stories, including those in religious traditions.

Presented in collaboration with the Royal Society.

Tom McLeish is Professor of Physics at Durham University, Fellow of the Royal Society and Vice-President of Science at the Institute of Physics. In his acclaimed 2014 book Faith and Wisdom in Science, he argued for science to be reassimilated into the interconnected whole of human activity, including our need for religion.

Sir Colin Blakemore FMedSci FRS is Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. He was formerly Chief Executive of the British Medical Research Council. His work as a neurobiologist has contributed to our understanding of vision, and how the brain develops and adapts. He was influential in demonstrating ‘neural plasticity’ – how brain cells reorganise themselves in response to the environment after birth and even in adulthood. 


Young Friends Sleepover: medicine though time

Young Friends Sleepover: medicine though time

21-22 October 2017, 18.00 - 09.00
Registration in Room 4
£45.00
Young Friends can come to an exciting sleepover on the theme of medicine through time. Through craft workshops, participatory activities and storytelling sessions, Young Friends and their guests will learn how medicine has changed through history as a result of science, war, and belief systems across different cultures. Explore the British Museum at night and discover how the practice of medicine has changed through history.

Do the roaring lion pose or curl like a cat to find out how yoga first began – and how it has influenced the way we exercise today. Make a body part (ew!) and offer it at the altar of the god Asclepius in the ancient Greek galleries. Listen to stories of horrible healing from the Middle Ages, and diagnose our Renaissance victim's disgusting disease!

At the end of the evening Young Friends and their guests will spend the night sleeping in the Egyptian and Assyrian galleries surrounded by kings and gods from the ancient world. In the morning there will be breakfast and a chance to visit the BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia.