The Citi exhibition, Feminine power: the divine to the demonic, invites the whole family to explore and embrace their inner and outer feminine power.
Our special exhibition looks at female spiritual beings across different cultures and throughout time. Kids go free.
We've teamed up with children's book publisher Nosy Crow to release 'Goddess', an enlightening book that explores 50 important goddesses, many of whom feature in Feminine power.
An introduction to Goddess by author Janina Ramirez
I'm Janina Ramirez, historian, documentary maker and writer. I'm so excited to share my latest children's book, Goddess, with you, in one of my favourite places on earth – the British Museum. Writing this book was an incredible journey which took me across time and the globe in search of stories about female figures who have inspired belief. But it's not just classical goddesses in togas (although those also have some unexpected aspects!). Here are a few you might not expect.
The mischievous and malevolent witch of Russian folklore. Baba Yaga lives in a house that spins around on chicken legs and she flies about in a pestle and mortar. When she is on your side she can be helpful, but most of the time she will probably gobble you up!
Hindu goddess of time, creation and destruction. Kali burst out of the head of the goddess Durga when she lost control on the battlefield. She is an unstoppable force, who licked up the blood of demons to stop them multiplying. Kali can be overwhelmed with passion, and nearly killed her partner Shiva by dancing uncontrollably on his chest.
This widow-witch has her roots in a real Balinese woman who lived over a thousand years ago, but her legend has developed some terrifying aspects. Rangda is chief among the Layak, who are nightmarish creatures that tear their head and entrails from their bodies at night in search of children to devour. But she provides harmony alongside the gentle god Barong – day and night, light and darkness, happiness and sorrow.
In the West African Yoruba religion, Oshun is the most important orisha or spirit as she controls the life-giving waters. As a river can flood, destroy, create and regenerate, Oshun represents all these qualities. She carries a fan to symbolise the cooling power of her water, but also a cutlass to show that she will fight to protect her people.
See the Goddesses with your own eyes in the special exhibition
Many of the divine figures featured in Goddess appear in the Feminine power exhibition. Come face to face with the likes of Venus, Athena, Kali and Pele with sculptures, shields, masks, paintings and other objects from the ancient world to today.
Beautiful? Creative? Ferocious? This exhibition highlights the many faces of feminine power – and its seismic influence throughout time.
The Citi exhibition Feminine power: the divine to the demonic runs until 25 September 2022. Under 16s go free.