British Museum – 2 new exhibitions open today

Two new exhibitions open today at the British Museum. And even better they are both FREE!

The first is Bonaparte and the British: prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon on show in Room 90.

James Gillray (1756-1815), The First Kiss in Ten Years!
Hand-coloured etching and aquatint, 1803

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo – the final undoing of brilliant French general and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) and this exhibition focuses on the printed propaganda, with works by James Gillray and George Cruikshank amongst many others, that either reviled or glorified Napoleon Bonaparte, on both sides of the English Channel. It explores how Bonaparte’s formidable career coincided with the peak of political satire as an art form. The exhibition begins with portraits of the handsome young general from the mid-1790s and ends with a cast of his death mask.

The second exhibition is Shifting patterns: Pacific barkcloth clothing on next door in room 91.
In the islands of the Pacific, cloth made from the inner bark of trees is a distinctive art tradition. This fascinating exhibition looks at the long history of barkcloth clothing and its ongoing relevance today.

Probably brought to the region at least 5,000 years ago by some of the first human settlers, its designs reflect the histories of each island group and the creativity of the makers. Spanning the region from New Guinea in the west to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the east, the exhibition shows a selection of 77 garments, headdresses, masks and body adornments from the Museum’s collection. Dating from the 1700s to 2014, the pieces on display include those worn as everyday items and also the ceremonial costumes linked to key life cycle events such as initiation and marriage.

Both exhibitions are on until 16th August 2015

British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1

MAP

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