Grayson Perry 
The Tomb of 
the Unknown 

6 October 2011 – 26 February 2012 
Exhibition closed

Supported by

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Grayson Perry curates an installation of his new works alongside objects made by unknown men and women throughout history from the British Museum’s collection.

He’ll take you to an afterlife conjured from his imaginary world, exploring a range of themes connected with notions of craftsmanship and sacred journeys – from shamanism, magic and holy relics to motorbikes, identity and contemporary culture.

Vases covered in witty captions, elaborate tapestries and the centrepiece, a richly decorated cast iron coffin-ship, will be displayed alongside objects from the past two million years of culture and civilisation. From the first great invention, the hand axe, to a Hello Kitty pilgrim hand-towel, you will discover a reality that is old and new, poetic and factual, and funny as well as grim.

‘This is a memorial to all the anonymous craftsmen that over the centuries have fashioned the manmade wonders of the world…
The craftsman’s anonymity I find especially resonant in an age of the celebrity artist.’

Grayson Perry RA, Turner Prize winner


Grayson Perry (b. 1960), The Rosetta Vase, 2011. © Grayson Perry. Courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, London.


Exhibition blog 

Read all the posts about the Grayson Perry exhibition on the British Museum blog.

Alan Measles 

Follow @Alan_Measles, Grayson’s childhood teddy bear and god of his imaginary world,
on Twitter.

Exhibition catalogue, £25 

Drawing on the themes of pilgrimage, shamanism and tomb guardians, Grayson
Perry takes the reader on a journey to an imaginary afterlife.

About Grayson Perry 

Read more about the artist.