Celts
art and identity

24 September 2015 –
31 January 2016

#Celts

Organised with
National Museums Scotland

Supported by

In memory of Melvin R Seiden
Sheila M Streek
Stephen and Julie Fitzgerald
Fund for the Future donors

Celts
art and identity

 

24 September 2015 – 31 January 2016

#Celts

Organised with
National Museums Scotland

Supported by

In memory of Melvin R Seiden
Sheila M Streek
Stephen and Julie Fitzgerald
Fund for the Future donors

★★★★★ 
‘a stupendous display of Celtic art’
The Guardian

★★★★ 
‘a visual feast that fires the imagination'
The Evening Standard

★★★★ 
‘a wealth of beautiful objects… the evolution of the art is fascinating'
Time Out

 

‘staggering… what the British Museum does best’
The Observer

★★★★ 
‘An array of extraordinary objects that will make you reflect on your own Celtic connections’
Daily Telegraph

‘fabulous… both visually seductive and intellectually complex’
The Spectator

 

This is the first major exhibition to examine the full history of Celtic art and identity, and is organised in partnership with National Museums Scotland. The story unfolds over 2,500 years, from the first recorded mention of ‘Celts’ to an exploration of contemporary Celtic influences. Discover how this identity has been revived and reinvented over the centuries, across Britain, Europe and beyond.

Many objects provide clues to and raise questions about Celtic identity. From the depths of the River Thames come magnificent Iron Age treasures such as the Waterloo helmet and Battersea shield. Roman jewellery, early medieval manuscripts and crosses, a Liberty tea set and even a modern football shirt tell a constantly evolving British and Irish story. Major loans, such as the spectacular Gundestrup cauldron, reveal profound cultural connections across Europe.

The fascinating art and history explored in the exhibition have deep resonances for those in Britain, Ireland and the global Celtic diaspora today, influencing everything from music and literature to sport and spirituality.

 


 

Membership

See the exhibition free as a Member

Tickets

Adults £16.50, under 16s free

Visiting

24 September 2015 –
31 January 2016

Opening times

Saturday – Thursday 10.00–17.30
Friday 10.00–20.30
Last entry 80 minutes before closing

Getting here

Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery (Room 30), British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Group visits

Special group rates available
Bookings +44 (0)20 7323 8181 tickets@britishmuseum.org

Access Facilities

 

 

 

Competition

To celebrate our partnership with National Museums Scotland, enter this exclusive competition to win a luxury weekend in Edinburgh, followed by a wild Scottish adventure for two with Aurora Expeditions!

Enter the competition

Behind the scenes

Ever wondered what an ancient Celtic war horn sounds like? Or how to wear an Iron Age torc that weighs over 1kg?

Come behind the scenes on a live Periscope tour and see some of these amazing objects up close with curators!

 

UK tour: Reflections on Celts

From Autumn 2015 to Autumn 2016, as part of the National Programme activity around the major Celts exhibition, the British Museum and National Museums Scotland will explore two Iron Age mirrors on a national Spotlight tour to museums across the UK.

Find out more

Images from top:
The Battersea shield. Iron Age, c. 350–50 BC. Found in the River Thames, London, England.
Horned helmet. Iron Age, 150-50 BC From the River Thames at Waterloo Bridge, London, England.
Slab of grey sandstone with a cross on one side. From Monifieth, Angus, Scotland, c. AD 800–900. National Museums Scotland.
Holcombe Mirror. Iron Age, c. 50 BC–AD 70.