British Museum

The British MuseumBritish Museum PressBrit. Mus.British Museum PublicationsBritishBritish National MuseumThe British Museum PressBritish Museum CatalogueDepartment of Prints and DrawingsLondon
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture.wikipedia
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Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury, London(St George) Bloomsbury90 Great Russell Street
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture.
Bloomsbury is home of the British Museum, the largest museum in the United Kingdom, and numerous educational institutions, including the University College London, the University of London, the New College of the Humanities, the University of Law, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and many others.

British Museum Reading Room

Reading RoomRound Reading RoomBML
In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997.
The British Museum Reading Room, situated in the centre of the Great Court of the British Museum, used to be the main reading room of the British Library.

British Library

The British LibraryBLBritish Museum Library
In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997.
Prior to 1973, the Library was part of the British Museum.

London

London, EnglandLondon, United KingdomLondon, UK
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture.
These include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres.

Royal manuscripts, British Library

Old Royal LibraryRoyal manuscriptsRoyal
They were joined in 1757 by the "Old Royal Library", now the Royal manuscripts, assembled by various British monarchs.
The Royal manuscripts are one of the "closed collections" of the British Library (i.e. historic collections to which new material is no longer added), consisting of some 2,000 manuscripts collected by the sovereigns of England in the "Old Royal Library" and given to the British Museum by George II in 1757.

List of largest art museums

largestlargest art museums largest
Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire.

Robert Smirke (architect)

Robert SmirkeSir Robert SmirkeSmirke
The neoclassical architect, Sir Robert Smirke, was asked to draw up plans for an eastern extension to the museum "... for the reception of the Royal Library, and a Picture Gallery over it ..." By 1959 the Coins and Medals office suite, completely destroyed during the war, was rebuilt and re-opened, attention turned towards the gallery work with new tastes in design leading to the remodelling of Robert Smirke's Classical and Near Eastern galleries.
As architect to the Board of Works, he designed several major public buildings, including the main block and facade of the British Museum.

Natural History Museum, London

Natural History MuseumBritish Museum of Natural HistoryBritish Museum (Natural History)
Its expansion over the following 250 years was largely a result of expanding British colonisation and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881.
Although commonly referred to as the Natural History Museum, it was officially known as British Museum (Natural History) until 1992, despite legal separation from the British Museum itself in 1963.

National Gallery

National Gallery, LondonThe National GalleryNational Gallery of London
However, following the founding of the National Gallery, London in 1824, the proposed Picture Gallery was no longer needed, and the space on the upper floor was given over to the Natural history collections.
It is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode

Cracherode
The bequest of a collection of books, engraved gems, coins, prints and drawings by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode in 1800 did much to raise the museum's reputation; but Montagu House became increasingly crowded and decrepit and it was apparent that it would be unable to cope with further expansion.
Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (1730–1799) was an English book and old master print collector, and a major benefactor of the British Museum.

King's Library

Bib. Reg.Enlightenment GalleryKing's Library Tower
In 1823, King George IV gave the King's Library assembled by George III, and Parliament gave the right to a copy of every book published in the country, thereby ensuring that the museum's library would expand indefinitely.
It was housed in a specially built gallery in the British Museum from 1827 to 1997 and now forms part of the British Library.

Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin

Lord ElginEarl of ElginThe Earl of Elgin
In 1806, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799 to 1803 removed the large collection of marble sculptures from the Parthenon, on the Acropolis in Athens and transferred them to the UK.
Elgin's removal of the sculptures and the legality of his actions are the subject of dispute between the international community and the British Museum.

Rosetta Stone

Decree of Memphis (Ptolemy V)an ancient stone slab of the same namedecree
After the defeat of the French campaign in the Battle of the Nile, in 1801, the British Museum acquired more Egyptian sculptures and in 1802 King George III presented the Rosetta Stone – key to the deciphering of hieroglyphs.
It has been on public display at the British Museum almost continuously since 1802 and is the most visited object there.

Montagu House, Bloomsbury

Montagu HouseMontague HouseMontagu House in Bloomsbury
It first opened to the public in 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building.
Montagu House (sometimes spelled "Montague") was a late 17th-century mansion in Great Russell Street in the Bloomsbury district of London, which became the first home of the British Museum.

Anthony Panizzi

Antonio PanizziA PanizziPanizzi
Roughly contemporary with the construction of the new building was the career of a man sometimes called the "second founder" of the British Museum, the Italian librarian Anthony Panizzi.
He was the Principal Librarian (i.e. head) of the British Museum from 1856 to 1866.

Ashurbanipal

AssurbanipalAssur-bani-palAššur-bāni-apli
Of particular interest to curators was the eventual discovery of Ashurbanipal's great library of cuneiform tablets, which helped to make the museum a focus for Assyrian studies.
This collection, known as the Library of Ashurbanipal, is now in the British Museum, which also holds the famous Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal set of Assyrian palace reliefs.

Waddesdon Bequest

In 1898 Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild bequeathed the Waddesdon Bequest, the glittering contents from his New Smoking Room at Waddesdon Manor.
In 1898, Baron Ferdinand Rothschild bequeathed to the British Museum as the Waddesdon Bequest the contents from his New Smoking Room at Waddesdon Manor.

Augustus Wollaston Franks

Augustus FranksA. W. FranksSir Augustus Wollaston Franks
Until the mid-19th century, the museum's collections were relatively circumscribed but, in 1851, with the appointment to the staff of Augustus Wollaston Franks to curate the collections, the museum began for the first time to collect British and European medieval antiquities, prehistory, branching out into Asia and diversifying its holdings of ethnography. In 1897 the death of the great collector and curator, A. W. Franks, was followed by an immense bequest of 3,300 finger rings, 153 drinking vessels, 512 pieces of continental porcelain, 1,500 netsuke, 850 inro, over 30,000 bookplates and miscellaneous items of jewellery and plate, among them the Oxus Treasure.
Franks was described by Marjorie Caygill, historian of the British Museum, as "arguably the most important collector in the history of the British Museum, and one of the greatest collectors of his age".

Holy Thorn Reliquary

This consisted of almost 300 pieces of objets d'art et de vertu which included exquisite examples of jewellery, plate, enamel, carvings, glass and maiolica, among them the Holy Thorn Reliquary, probably created in the 1390s in Paris for John, Duke of Berry.
The reliquary was bequeathed to the British Museum in 1898 by Ferdinand de Rothschild as part of the Waddesdon Bequest.

Oxus Treasure

In 1897 the death of the great collector and curator, A. W. Franks, was followed by an immense bequest of 3,300 finger rings, 153 drinking vessels, 512 pieces of continental porcelain, 1,500 netsuke, 850 inro, over 30,000 bookplates and miscellaneous items of jewellery and plate, among them the Oxus Treasure.
The British Museum now has nearly all the surviving metalwork, with one of the pair of griffin-headed bracelets on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and displays them in Room 52.

Sutton Hoo

Mound 17Sutton Hoo burialSutton Hoo ship-burial
Gold, silver and garnet grave goods from the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo (1939) and late Roman silver tableware from Mildenhall, Suffolk (1946).
One cemetery contained an undisturbed ship-burial, including a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts of outstanding art-historical and archaeological significance, most of which are now in the British Museum in London.

British Museum Department of Coins and Medals

Department of Coins and MedalsBritish Museum Dept of Coins and Medalscoin collection
By 1959 the Coins and Medals office suite, completely destroyed during the war, was rebuilt and re-opened, attention turned towards the gallery work with new tastes in design leading to the remodelling of Robert Smirke's Classical and Near Eastern galleries.
The British Museum Department of Coins and Medals is a department of the British Museum involving the collection, research and exhibition of numismatics, and comprising the largest library of numismatic artefacts in the United Kingdom, including almost one million coins, medals, tokens and other related objects.

Pottery of ancient Greece

ancient Greek potteryGreek vase paintingGreek pottery
The predominance of natural history, books and manuscripts began to lessen when in 1772 the museum acquired for £8,410 its first significant antiquities in Sir William Hamilton's "first" collection of Greek vases.
Winckelmann's Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums of 1764 first refuted the Etruscan origin of what we now know to be Greek pottery yet Sir William Hamilton's two collections, one lost at sea the other now in the British Museum, were still published as "Etruscan vases"; it would take until 1837 with Stackelberg's Gräber der Hellenen to conclusively end the controversy.

T. E. Lawrence

Lawrence of ArabiaT.E. LawrenceT E Lawrence
Emil Torday collected in Central Africa, Aurel Stein in Central Asia, D.G. Hogarth, Leonard Woolley and T. E. Lawrence excavated at Carchemish.
Between 1910 and 1914, he worked as an archaeologist for the British Museum, chiefly at Carchemish in Ottoman Syria.

Daniel Solander

Sol.SolanderDr Daniel Solander
In 1763, the trustees of the British Museum, under the influence of Peter Collinson and William Watson, employed the former student of Carl Linnaeus, Daniel Solander to reclassify the natural history collection according to the Linnaean system, thereby making the Museum a public centre of learning accessible to the full range of European natural historians.
In February 1763, he began cataloguing the natural history collections of the British Museum, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June the following year.