Visiting information

Open daily 10.00–17.30
Fridays 10.00–20.30

Closing starts from 17.20 (20.20 on Fridays)

Members do not need to book for our special exhibitions and just need to present their Membership cards at the exhibition entrance. If you need a temporary Membership card one can always be collected from the Membership Desk in the Great Court.

Please be aware that security searches are now taking place prior to entry to the Museum. The Museum will be working to minimise queues, but we advise that you factor this into your visit if planning to arrive at the Museum for a set time.  Members are reminded that their dedicated, free cloakroom is located just inside the King Edward entrance on Montague Place.

Members who are bringing luggage with them are encouraged to check the Museum’s cloakroom policies.


 Members' evening May 2016

During the opening and closing of our special exhibitions we expect higher numbers of visitors to attend at this time. If large numbers of Members are visiting either exhibition during any one time we may ask Members to collect a ticket to gain entry at a later time on the same day.

If you wish to visit at a particular time during these busy times and would like to be added to the guaranteed entry list for a specific time slot, please phone the Membership Office on +44 (0)20 7323 8195 at least one working day before your visit.  This system aims to ensure your experience of the exhibition is not compromised by over-crowding.

Please be aware that on Wednesday 2 November and Wednesday 7 December the exhibition Maggi Hambling – Touch: works on paper in Room 90, will be closed 13.15-14.00 due to the special event Maggi Hambling in conversation with James Cahill taking place. Should you wish to book tickets for this event please visit the events calendar page here or alternatively call the Box Office on 020 7323 8181.


Current and upcoming exhibitions

The BP exhibition

Sunken cities: Egypt's lost worlds

19 May – 27 November 2016

Submerged under the sea for over a thousand years, two lost cities of ancient Egypt were recently rediscovered. Their story is told for the first time in this blockbuster exhibition. Vanished beneath the waters of the Mediterranean, the lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus lay at the mouth of the Nile. Named after the Greek hero Heracles, Thonis-Heracleion was one of Egypt’s most important commercial centres for trade with the Mediterranean world and, with Canopus, was a major centre for the worship of the Egyptian gods. Their amazing discovery is transforming our understanding of the deep connections between the great ancient civilisations of Egypt and Greece.

Please be aware of the dates for the scheduled school’s mornings before visiting the exhibitions. Members are still permitted access to the exhibitions at this time but please note noise levels may be higher than usual. The dates for these sessions are as follows:

The BP exhibition Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost word: Tue 28 Jun, Thu 30 Jun, Mon 4 Jul,  Fri 8 Jul, Wed 21 Sep, Tue 27 Sep, Thu 29 Sep, Mon 3 Oct, Wed 5 Oct, Tue 11 Oct, Tue 18 Oct, Thu 3 – Fri 4 Nov, Mon 7 Nov

Ox-shaped snuffbox, late 1800s, from the South Africa exhibition

South Africa: the art of a nation

27 October 2016 – 26 February 2017

From the earliest examples of human curiosity and creativity to cutting-edge contemporary works, discover the fascinating history of South Africa through art. From rock art made by the country’s earliest peoples to works by South African artists at the forefront of contemporary art, the exhibition features beautiful and important works, which illustrate South Africa’s rich history. See magnificent examples of 19th-century black South African art, highly charged 20th-century works that responded to segregation and apartheid, and pieces that showcase the post-apartheid transformation of the nation since 1990.

The American Dream
pop to the present

9 March – 18 June 2017

The past six decades have been among the most dynamic and turbulent in US history, from JFK’s assassination, Apollo 11 and Vietnam to the AIDS crisis, racism and gender politics. Responding to the changing times, American artists produced prints unprecedented in their scale and ambition.

Starting with the explosion of pop art in the 1960s, the exhibition includes works by the most celebrated American artists. From Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu – all boldly experimented with printmaking. Experience this extraordinary history through their eyes.

This exhibition presents the Museum’s outstanding collection of modern and contemporary American prints for the first time. These will be shown with important works from museums and private collections around the world.