Whaling boat on the ocean among floating ice.

Past exhibition

22 October 2020 – 21 February 2021

Room 30

The Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery

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From ancient mammoth ivory sculpture to modern refitted snow mobiles, the objects in this immersive exhibition revealed the creativity and resourcefulness of Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic.

Developed in collaboration with Arctic communities, the exhibition celebrated the ingenuity and resilience of Arctic Peoples throughout history. It told the powerful story of respectful relationships with icy worlds and how Arctic Peoples have harnessed the weather and climate to thrive.

The dramatic loss of ice and erratic weather caused by climate change are putting unprecedented pressure on Arctic Peoples, testing their adaptive capacities and threatening their way of life.

What happens in the Arctic will affect us all and this exhibition provided a timely reminder of what the world can learn from its people.

Long ago people knew something was going to happen to this earth. How they knew it, I don't know. An Elder mentioned in the 1940s that this climate is going to change. They meant climate change.

– Martha Snowshoe, Teetl'it Gwich'in

Take a 360° virtual tour of Arctic

Specially curated to bring our five-star exhibition online, enjoy a self-guided 360° virtual tour of Arctic: culture and climate. With interactive features, you’ll enjoy a rich and immersive experience – uncovering the incredible story of Arctic Peoples throughout history.

Journey through the entire exhibition or take a tour of the exhibition highlights.

Curators' tour of the Citi exhibition 'Arctic: culture and climate'

Curators' tour of the Citi exhibition 'Arctic: culture and climate'


Inside the exhibition

Panoramic shot of entrance to Arctic exhibition with visitors looking at displays of clothing.
Visitors looking at clothing on display in the Citi exhibition 'Arctic: culture and climate'.

Exhibition supporters

Lead supporter

City bank logo

We believe that by understanding the past, we all have the opportunity to define the future. No one brings the past to life like the British Museum, whose permanent collection is one of the finest in existence, spanning two million years of human history. With the Citi exhibition Arctic: culture and climate the Museum used its collection to ‎demonstrate how human resilience and ingenuity have helped the inhabitants of the Arctic region to survive and thrive. However, the exhibition also highlighted the challenge that we all face with the changing climate. 

It is a challenge that we must all address and, as a global bank, we play an essential role in financing a sustainable economy. We are committed to financing and facilitating clean energy, infrastructure and technology projects that support environmental solutions and reduce the impacts of climate change, on rich and diverse communities such as those that inhabit the circumpolar Arctic. 

Supported by

Julie and Stephen Fitzgerald

Julie Fitzgerald and Stephen Fitzgerald AO are proud to support the Citi exhibition Arctic: culture and climate, which celebrated the rich and diverse cultural legacy of the Arctic people.

‘We were interested in the innovative and creative ways that Arctic people have adapted to varied climates and frozen weather conditions for nearly 30,000 years, and we wanted to help shed light on these amazing histories. The changing climate is an issue close to our hearts, and we are thrilled to be a part of this exhibition.’

Julie and Stephen are longstanding supporters of the British Museum's work, including recent exhibitions Reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific Perspectives and Desire, Love, Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories. Their charitable work covers a wide range of causes, including Stephen’s role as a Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Supported by

AKO Foundation logo

AKO Foundation was set up in 2013 by Nicolai Tangen, CEO and Founder of AKO Capital, a native Norwegian who lives in the UK. Funded with a total of more than £300 million, the Foundation supports initiatives within the arts, education and climate. AKO Foundation has already undertaken a range of exciting projects with the British Museum. In 2019, the Foundation supported the exhibition Edvard Munch: love and angst and in 2020, was the sole supporter of the library of exile installation by Edmund de Waal. AKO Foundation is also instrumental in establishing the new Kunstsilo Museum in Kristiansand, Norway, which will house the largest collection of modernist Nordic art.

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