What’s On!

Announcement comes after the German artist turned down proposals for his own museum in Cologne [...]
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
Source: ART NEWSPAPER
Recently I spoke about manga artist Tezuka Osamu’s life and work at a British Museum lunchtime lecture. One of the things I always bear in mind when speaking about this remarkable artist is that the scope of his work goes far beyond what can be summarised in an hour, even at breakneck speed. Another is that his story is, quite literally, as exciting, inspiring and sometimes hair-raising as any manga he ever wrote. From his tranquil middle-class childhood in a small town deep in the countryside near Osaka, through school bullying and first-hand experience of Japan’s increasing militarism, to post-war success as a teenage superstar and the endless battle to stay on top of the booming anime and manga markets he helped to shape. Tezuka’s life combined solid artistic achievement across a number of fields with self-curated celebrity. One of Tezuka’s most important roles in the history of manga – and in the revival of Japan’s media industry after it practically shutdown during the war – was acting as a bridge between the cosmopolitan, wide-ranging manga of the 1920s and early 1930s and its post-war revival. Many manga artists, writers and editors perished alongside their readers in the fire-bombings of Tokyo [...]
Fri, Aug 16, 2019
Source: British Museum Blog
The British Museum was founded in 1753 and the collection has grown exponentially over time. The way the Museum collects today is incredibly varied – objects sometimes enter the collection directly, in other instances they have passed through different owners, sometimes over a long period of time, before finally coming to the Museum. There are many ways in which objects have been collected in the past. For objects acquired in earlier centuries, catalogue records produced at the time do not always explain fully how the item left the place where it was made and used or outline all the stages of its journey to British Museum. Museum curators are currently actively researching different parts of the collection to address gaps in the record, particularly where collecting histories need to be better understood, so that they can be acknowledged and debated. The current Asahi Shimbun Displays Collecting histories: Solomon Islands in Room 3 is part of this wider initiative. A key part of this display explores how colonial collecting histories can be more effectively acknowledged and interpreted in future exhibitions and projects. The Solomon Islands display focuses on some of the different ways in which objects left the Pacific and came [...]
Fri, Aug 02, 2019
Source: British Museum Blog
African rock art Rock art is the practice of engraving, drawing, or painting images onto immovable rock surfaces, and is one of the oldest material forms of human expression in the world, dating back 30,000 years in Africa. Rock art researchers grapple with questions of what rock art means, what stories the images tell and how we can interpret and understand them. In some cases the meaning behind these enigmatic images is hard to interpret but sometimes they convey clear narratives and messages about people’s social lives. This scene has been variously interpreted as showing preparations for a wedding. Note the hairwashing scene top right. © TARA/David Coulson. The image below comes from the Acacus Mountains in Libya and shows an intimate moment between two people, an individual with an ornate hairstyle washing or attending to another’s hair. It is part of a larger scene interpreted as preparations for a wedding. This beautifully painted image depicts a personal and familiar moment that resonates. Figure on the left wears an ornate hairstyle and attends to the washing or preparation of another’s hair. © TARA/David Coulson. Another example from Game Pass Shelter in the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa, depicts an eland antelope with its [...]
Wed, Jul 24, 2019
Source: British Museum Blog
When I was a first-year history undergraduate, I came to the British Museum on a field trip. The Anglo-Saxon period was brand new to me at the time – the only reason I knew of ‘Sutton Hoo’ and its fame was because a helmet that had been found there was on the front of my textbook. What I saw that day changed the course of my life and set me on the path to becoming curator here at the Museum. But what is Sutton Hoo and why did it cast such a spell on me? Now is the perfect time to reflect on these questions, because this summer marks 80 years since this incredible discovery was first brought to light. The Sutton Hoo ship during excavation, 1939. The Sutton Hoo ship burial is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. In simple terms, it is the grave of a Very Important Person who died in the early seventh century, during the Anglo-Saxon period. This was a time before ‘England’ existed. Instead, there was a group of smaller warring kingdoms that would not coalesce into a single realm for another three centuries. An ancient kingdom Sutton Hoo lay within the kingdom [...]
Wed, Jul 24, 2019
Source: British Museum Blog


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