Panel discussion
The role of the ancient in inspiring the modern

Friday 8 June 2018,
18.30–19.45
BP Lecture Theatre
Tickets £5
Members/Concessions £3

Phone +44 (0)20 7323 8181
Ticket Desk in Great Court

Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch

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The birth of ‘modern art’ over 150 years ago was considered revolutionary at the time, but it was largely inspired by objects of traditional and ancient design.

Rodin was particularly influenced by the art of ancient Greece, Henry Moore took inspiration from ancient Toltec-Mayan sculpture, and Modigliani was inspired by the ancient Khmers of Cambodia. Among many influences, Picasso was inspired by the art of the ancient African kingdom of Benin, and Barbara Hepworth credited her own love of sculpture to seeing a slideshow of ancient Egyptian sculpture at school.

This panel discussion will explore the role of the ancient in the creation of the new. Practising contemporary artists will discuss their work with reference to ancient objects and cultures represented in the British Museum which have inspired them.

Chaired by Exhibition Curator Ian Jenkins, the panel includes artist, British Museum Trustee and UAL Chancellor Grayson Perry, Professor Liz Prettejohn, University of York, author of The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture: Greek Sculpture and Modern Art from Winckelmann to Picasso, sculptor Daniel Silver, and acclaimed Nigerian artist Sokari Douglas Camp CBE.


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Grayson Perry. Photo: Benedict Johnson