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The British Museum Lectures

Our British Museum Lectures series is a rich and collaborative programme of events with British Museum curators across our four bookshops, each accompanying a magnificent new exhibition in London. This is the British Museum - brought to your doorstep!

This exhibition at the British Museum is running between 2nd May - 28th July 24.

Tracing the final 30 years of Michelangelo's career, curator Sarah Vowles examines how the great master used art and faith to explore the common human experience of ageing in a rapidly changing world.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance.

He was not the isolated, tortured genius of artistic myth, but a man who maintained a close circle of friends and associates into old age. He developed collaborative working relationships with younger artists, thereby maintaining his fame and reputation even as he aged, relinquishing the hardest physical work to others.

Alongside his major commissions he created deeply personal drawings - revisiting earlier compositions to explore intensely moving Crucifixions that served as spiritual meditations on Christ's death and offered the hope of salvation for an elderly man facing the end of his own long life. His late drawings offer a powerful insight into his psychology, reflecting his Catholic faith, his commanding intellectual engagement, and his hope for eternal life.

Sarah Vowles is Smirnov Family Curator of Italian and French Prints and Drawings and curator of the exhibition Michelangelo: the last decades, opening in May 2024 at the British Museum.

Salon Culture in Japan: making art, 1750 - 1900.

Bath - Wednesday 4th September, 7pm at the bookshop, York Street

Salon Culture is the first book to celebrate the British Museum’s rich collection of technically sophisticated artworks created as part of Japanese cultural salons in the late 18th and 19th centuries, featuring lively figures in daily life and festivals, elegant birds and flowers, ferocious animals, and lyrical landscapes.

We will be joined by Akiko Yano, Mitsubishi Corporation Curator and Rosina Buckland, Curator of the British Museum's Japanese Collections.

Catherine Daunt is Hamish Parker Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the British Museum. She joins us to talk on the upcoming major forthcoming British Museum exhibition she is curating for the British Museum Picasso: printmaker, opening in November 2024.

Picasso was one of the most creative and experimental talents ever to explore the medium of print. This book charts his career as a printmaker, which was characterised by close collaboration with skilled printers, through which extraordinary artworks were produced.

Previous British Museum Lectures

Legion: life in the Roman army

Bath - 26th February 2024, 7:30pm at St Swithin's Church NOW PAST

Edinburgh - Friday 19th April, 7:30pm at Greenside Church NOW PAST

Ely - Monday 29th April, 7:30pm at The Lighthouse Auditorium NOW PAST

The Legion exhibition is running at the British Museum from the 1st February-23rd June 24.

Richard Abdy, curator of Legion, comes to Bath, Ely and Edinburgh to talk about the extraordinary new British Museum exhibition – and what life was like in the Roman army.

The scale and organisation of the Roman army was unprecedented in the ancient Western world. This book tells the story of everyday aspects of the army in the heyday of the Roman Empire – from life in a tent to the food soldiers consumed – and explains its hierarchy, roles, equipment and place in a vast multi-ethnic society divided between citizens and subjects.

Abdy has been a curator of Roman coins at the British Museum for many years, with particular interest in the middle and later imperial periods of the Roman Empire.