A speaker addresses a seated audience in Room 33 at the British Museum.

Patrons' events

Patrons have access to an exclusive programme of events.

These events offer the opportunity to experience the Museum in new, exclusive, and exciting ways. Go behind the scenes, learn from our experts, and get closer to the collection.

Patrons' exclusive events include:

  • Curator-led tours of exhibitions and galleries
  • Regular early morning views of exhibitions
  • Study room visits and behind-the-scenes tours
  • Patrons' Open House
  • Patrons' previews of exhibitions and new galleries
  • Tailored Museum experiences
  • Patrons can attend a range of membership events, other bespoke events offerings and access exclusive Members' content.

Past Patrons' events

As part of the Patrons programme, we curate an annual calendar of inspiring and exclusive events highlighting the Museum's recent work and the impact Patrons' support makes. 

Join us at exhibition and display openings and previews alongside curators. Attend our annual events including Patrons' Open House and the Director's Dinner*. Another highlight is our international travel programme*, where we visit some of the world's great cultural and historical locations. 

*Please note that Godman Circle Patrons don’t receive an invitation to the Director's Dinner or access to our international travel programme.

Find out more about our past Patrons' events programme:

Past Patrons' events

Guests seated for dinner in the Great Court at the British Museum.

Director's Dinner 2023

In 2023, Museum Director Hartwig Fisher was delighted to welcome long-term supporters and new friends to a dinner celebrating the Museum’s achievements from the previous year. Held in the splendour of the Great Court, guests had the opportunity to hear from Museum staff about the work taking place behind the scenes and to see a selection of objects up close.

© Lucy Williams Photography

Visitor standing to one side of a central display case looking at a large monochromatic map on display within.

The Citi exhibition 'China's hidden century' Patrons' preview

During a special evening, Patrons were invited to view the five-star Citi exhibition China's hidden century before it opened. In a global first, this exhibition reveals the resilience and innovation of 19th-century China. Patrons were some of the first to view the exhibition and had the opportunity to speak with the curators Jessica Harrison-Hall and Wenyuan Xin.

Group of people stood in the Mexico gallery between collection objects and large sculptures.

Patrons' tours of the Americas galleries 2023

Patrons joined the Head of the Americas, Danny Zborover, and the Americas Curator Rose Taylor for a fascinating insight into the Americas collection. As an exclusive out-of-hours tour, Patrons enjoyed highlights of the mesmerising material worlds on display from across the Enlightenment, Living and Dying, North America and Mexico galleries. This tour offered a chance to get closer to the collection, including viewing the incredible Nuttall-Tonindeye codex. Danny and Rose touched upon their own research projects alongside showcasing indigenous voices throughout and sharing insights into the longer-term vision for the galleries.

A group of tourists standing at the bottom of a pyramid in Egypt.

Egypt Patrons' trip 2022

In 2022, Patrons had the opportunity to join Museum staff in Egypt, in the first such trip to the country. The trip included visiting British Museum programmes in Egypt, such as that at the site of El Kab. They were joined by Marcel Maree – trip leader and Museum Curator: Egyptian Art, Sculpture – who has led the Museum's archaeological fieldwork into 17–16th century BC rock tombs for a number of years here. 

During the trip, Patrons also had a special private tour of the Giza plateau at dawn, with a private visit to the interior of the Great Pyramid in Cairo. In Luxor, the Patrons received exclusive access to the city’s most important historical sites, including the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple. They then boarded a private boat for a four-night trip down the Nile, concluding in Aswan, stopping to visit important historical and cultural sites along the way.

Patrons grouped around a large exhibition case featuring an ornate folding screen.

Patrons' Open House 2022

Held annually, Patrons experience the magical atmosphere of the Museum after hours at our Patrons' Open House. At this special annual event, Patrons and their guests enjoy a series of talks from experts across the Museum. They also get the opportunity to speak with curators, meet fellow supporters and get closer to objects from the collection.

© Lucy Williams Photography

Contact the Patrons office

Email: patrons@britishmuseum.org
Phone: +44 (0)20 7323 8134

Opening times
Monday–Friday: 10.00–16.00
Closed: weekends and bank holidays