Take a look at our past exhibitions and enjoy the articles, videos and photo galleries still available to view online.
2020 Free exhibitions and displays
Edmund de Waal: library of exile
Created as a 'space to sit and read and be', library of exile is an installation by British artist and writer, Edmund de Waal, housing more than 2,000 books in translation, written by exiled authors.
Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman
Grayson Perry's playful memorial to the unnamed craftsmen and women who made some of the wonders of history.
Geoffrey Clarke: a sculptor's studio
This display celebrated a bequest of works from the studio of the prolific post-war sculptor, Geoffrey Clarke RA (1924–2014).
Piranesi drawings: visions of antiquity
Step back in time with this landmark display of drawings by Neoclassicist printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
French Impressions: prints from Manet to Cézanne
Explore the flourishing Impressionist print movement of late 19th century France.
Living with art: Picasso to Celmins
Spanning almost one hundred years of modern art, this display showcased Alexander Walker's collection of contemporary prints and drawings.
2019 Free exhibitions and displays
Disposable? Rubbish and us
This exhibition considered the historical creation of single-use and repurposed objects.
Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies
A masterpiece of early Chinese figure painting, from the fifth to seventh century AD, displayed annually at the British Museum.
Currency in crisis: German emergency money 1914–1924
This exhibition revealed how this temporary currency responded to a national crisis with designs commenting on society and politics.
Nara: sacred images from early Japan
This exhibition featured treasures from the great temples and shrines of Nara, and Hōryūji, one of Japan's oldest Buddhist temples.
Sir Stamford Raffles: collecting in Southeast Asia 1811–1824
An exhibition of the rich variety of objects from Java and Sumatra collected by Sir Stamford Raffles.
Portrait of the artist: Käthe Kollwitz
This show celebrated the humanity and enduring impact of one of the most influential 20th-century printmakers.
Pushing paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now
Celebrating the power of contemporary drawing, this display explored how artists have pushed the boundaries of the medium. It's now on tour.
John Christian: collecting the last Romantics
A display of works collected by the art historian and curator who contributed to understanding of Pre-Raphaelite and late Victorian art.
At home: Royal etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
This collection of rare etchings made by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of family life revealed that the royal couple were talented artists – and more affectionate parents than often thought.
Woven in hair: a recent gift of hairwork jewellery
Uncovered: the surprising beauty of jewellery made from human hair and the intimate meaning such pieces had for those who wore them, as friendship, sentimental or memorial tokens.
Yinka Shonibare: Cowboy Angels
In these artworks, Shonibare combines imagery of angels, representations of African masks, cowboy tropes of the American West, and his signature waxprint fabrics.
Collecting histories: Solomon Islands
The artefacts and historical photographs in this display were selected to explain how colonial relationships contributed to the collections of the British Museum.
Playing with money: currency and games
This exhibition looked at how modern board games, educational toys, gambling and role-playing games reflect, inform and shape our understanding of economics and money.
The world exists to be put on a postcard: artists' postcards from 1960 to now
Discovered: both the politics and playfulness of a unique collection of 300 postcards gifted to the British Museum.
Rembrandt: thinking on paper
Comprising 65 prints and drawings, this stunning exhibition highlighted Rembrandt's technical and creative ingenuity on paper.
2018 Free exhibitions and displays
Reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific perspectives
This exhibition explored the work of contemporary Pacific artists, alongside objects collected on the voyages themselves.
No man's land
This display presented ancient and modern perspectives and attitudes towards the territories, landscapes and man-made borders of the Middle East.
Witnesses: émigré medallists in Britain
This exhibition featured a range of medals spanning six centuries, many of which document important historical events and famous figures.
New acquisitions: Gozzoli to Kara Walker
This exhibition highlighted a selection of diverse prints and drawings purchased, donated or bequeathed to the Museum.