Sunday 4 December 2016

British Museum - What's on in December

A cool yule
It’s December and the Museum is starting to feel festive! The tree is up in the Grenville Room, our shops are full of winter wonders, and the mince pies are piled high in the cafés. Our five-star South African art exhibition takes centre stage during the holiday period – don’t forget you (or a lucky gift recipient) can get year-round free entry to our special exhibitions with Membership.
Aside from the variety of exhibitions and free displays, check out behind-the-scenes tourskids’ workshopsgallery talks and much more. Remember, if you’re visiting over the holidays, the Museum is closed on 24, 25 & 26 December and 1 January.

Until 26 Feb 2017
★★★★★ ‘dazzling... a journey to the heart of our common humanity’ The Guardian
★★★★ ‘magic... powerful’ Evening Standard
★★★★ ‘fantastic’ Londonist
Discover the history of South Africa through 100,000 years of art, from some of the earliest examples of creativity to cutting-edge contemporary works. See the history of a nation from a new perspective and celebrate the diverse art created by the many people who have helped shape South Africa’s story.
Explore more through related events including lectures and films.
Sponsored by Betsy and Jack Ryan
Logistics partner IAG Cargo
As a new chapter of American history begins, we are preparing to explore the country’s recent past in our next major exhibition. Presenting for the first time the Museum’s outstanding collection of modern and contemporary American prints, it will trace the creative momentum of a superpower through six extraordinarily dynamic and turbulent decades.
This thought-provoking work (left) is by Kara Walker, whose art explores themes of race and identity in the USA. Find out more about her work in this Tumblr post.
9 March – 18 June 2017
Sponsored by Morgan Stanley
Supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art

Until 29 Jan 2017
A stunning display of Southeast Asian puppets from the collection.
Until 29 Jan 2017
Over 40 rarely seen works on paper that trace contemporary artist Hambling’s engagement with drawing throughout her career to date.
Until 29 Jan 2017
See over 65 portraits by French artists spanning four centuries, including many never previously exhibited.
The Asahi Shimbun Displays
15 Dec 2016 – 19 Feb 2017
Come face to face with the oldest portrait in the Museum – a human skull that was decorated with plaster about 9,500 years ago.
Supported by The Asahi Shimbun
Until 2 Apr 2017
A display of works by Iranian artists including Bahman Mohassess, Parviz Tanavoli and Mitra Tabrizian.
Until 7 May 2017
Featuring coins that were defaced to condemn the memory of Roman emperors or undermine living ones.
Supported by Stephen and Julie Fitzgerald
Research funded by The Leverhulme Trust
Thu 8 Dec, 13.30
Discover the story of Britannia’s place in the Roman Empire and the conniving and ambitious characters who shaped it.
Free, booking essential
Fri 6 Jan, 18.30
In this landmark film, the first for, about and by black South Africans, a local gangster must choose between personal gain and a united stance against the apartheid system gripping his country.
£3, Members/concessions £2
Thu 12 Jan, 16.00
Come and enjoy a taste of Somali culture with a day full of family fun, including workshops, storytelling, poetry, music and more.
Free, booking essential
Fri 13 Jan, 18.30
This panel discussion celebrates and explores the life, character and enduring legacy of the South African leader.
£5, Members/concessions £3
Thu 19 Jan, 13.30
Exhibition Curator John Giblin gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to this special exhibition.
Free, booking essential
Thousands of archaeological objects are discovered in Britain every year, many by members of the public. The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is a vast database which records finds in England and Wales – an important educational and research resource.
In 2015, over 82,000 archaeological finds were recorded with the PAS, bringing the total to date to over 1.2 million. One of the most spectacular finds was this hoard found in Watlington, Oxfordshire, which featured 200 Anglo-Saxon pennies and silver fragments.
Set someone special on a journey through human history with the gift of Membership. With 12 months of free unlimited entry to exhibitions, it’s an inspired Christmas gift that lasts all year.
Orders received by 17.00 on 13 December 2016 for UK addresses will be delivered in time for Christmas. Please see the Membership FAQs for full details of Christmas Gift Membership delivery.
There are a few more days to get gifts at the online shop with guaranteed UK delivery by Christmas! Stock up on stocking fillers, grab great gifts, and please the whole family this Christmas.
For 2017, take a look at the shop’s range of calendars and diaries. The classic black British Museum diary and planner are back for another year, as are a wide range of diaries and wall calendars inspired by art both within the Museum’s collection and around the world.