Celts at The British Museum
I've been heading over to the museum just as it opens each day, to avoid the large crowds which have been coming to see Celts: Art and Identity. I tried one afternoon, but it was impossible to see some of the smaller pieces up close. In the morning, it is been wonderful -and I've been able to stay almost 2 hours making some sketches, reading, comparing objects, and thinking through some ideas that they are starting to inspire. I've added a few of my sketches here. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed within this exhibition. The catalog, however, is extraordinary, with excellent essays and lots of great photography.
I attended two lectures, both featuring curator and Iron Age scholar Julia Farley. The second lecture also highlighted some work by famous Brit anthropologist, professor and author Alice Roberts. The two have slightly variant theories about the Celts and what makes something Celtic. The exhibit itself takes a stand on this. There is a continuous implication that the Celts are linked far more closely by technology, ideas, art and languages than they are by blood. The identity aspect of the exhibition traces the Celtic revival and offers a nod towards the role of art and poetry in politics.
There is lots to mull over and discuss, and some worthy pubs in which to do so. A shoutout here to the new favorite, The Bricklayers Arms. Other close by discoveries were a remarkable art supply store right near the hotel, and the storied Hobgoblin Music. Stacked with instruments, all focus on folk and traditional music.
Tomorrow the grand finale of the trip- Members Night - during which members stay late at the Museum, hear presentations, music and enjoy specialized tours.
See you all back in Rhode Island soon! Laura T