The face of a bronze statue with wide blue eyes.

Exhibition info

#FemininePowerExhibition

19 May – 25 September 2022

Daily: 10.00–17.00 (Fridays 20.30)
See full opening hours

Room 35

The Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery
Find Room 35

Tickets

Adults from £15, Members and under 16s free.
See ticket information

Not a Member?

Join now for free entry to exhibitions.

The first exhibition of its kind, Feminine power takes a cross-cultural look at the profound influence of female spiritual beings within global religion and faith.

Explore the significant role that goddesses, demons, witches, spirits and saints have played – and continue to play – in shaping our understanding of the world.

How do different traditions view femininity? How has female authority been perceived in ancient cultures? For insights, the exhibition looks to divine and demonic figures feared and revered for over 5,000 years. From wisdom, passion and desire, to war, justice and mercy, the diverse expression of female spiritual powers around the world prompts us to reflect on how we perceive femininity and gender identity today.

Worship of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, reveals how her destructive capacity is venerated alongside her ability to create. The Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion, who transcends gender and is visualised in male form in Tibet and female in China and Japan, uncovers the importance of gender fluidity in some spiritual traditions. And the terrifying Hindu goddess Kali, depicted in art carrying a severed head and bloodied sword, is honoured as the Great Mother and liberator from fear and ignorance.

Enhanced by engagement with contemporary worshippers, faith communities and insights from high-profile collaborators Bonnie Greer, Mary Beard, Elizabeth Day, Rabia Siddique and Deborah Frances-White, the exhibition considers the influence of female spiritual power and what femininity means today. 

Bringing together sculptures, sacred objects and artworks from the ancient world to today, and from six continents, the exhibition highlights the many faces of feminine power – ferocious, beautiful, creative or hell-bent – and its seismic influence throughout time.

Reviews

Ticket information

Members

Members don't need to book to visit the Citi exhibition Feminine power: the divine to the demonic. Please show your Membership card to gain entry. If you're visiting before your Membership card arrives, bring your Membership purchase confirmation email to the Membership Desk in the Great Court on the day of your visit. We'll then issue a temporary card to access your on-site benefits.

Please see our Visiting as a Member page for more information on visiting the Museum.

Schools

Schools exclusive morning views

Enjoy the exhibition with your students aged 12–18 (KS3– KS5) at special times dedicated exclusively to schools:

  • Tuesday 14 June 2022, 10.00–12.00
  • Monday 20 June 2022, 10.00–12.00
  • Wednesday 29 June 2022,  10.00–12.00
  • Wednesday 6 July 2022, 10.00–12.00

These sessions are free but booking is essential, please call: +44 (0)20 7323 8181.

A limited number of school spaces are also available to book to visit alongside the general public. These spaces are free but booking is essential, please call: +44 (0)20 7323 8181.

Exhibition supporter

Supported by

City bank logo

We believe that by understanding the past, we all have the opportunity to define the future. In the Citi exhibition Feminine power, the Museum uses its collection, along with some spectacular loans, to create a thought-provoking look at the diversity of representations and complex meanings of the divine female over time.

As a global bank, our mission is to serve as a trusted partner to our clients by responsibly providing financial services that enable growth and economic progress. Success in our mission is only possible if we can continue to foster a culture of equality and inclusion that enables and encourages diversity of thinking.