The British Museum has announced its schedule of special exhibitions and traveling shows for 2013 and the first one, Ice Age art: arrival of the modern mind, running from February 7 to May 26, looks like the year's first blockbuster. The museum has gathered masterpieces of Ice Age sculpture, ceramics, drawing and personal ornament from all over Europe, together for the first time in one exhibition. The objects, all of which are at least 20,000 years old, include the oldest known ceramic figures and the oldest known portraits and figurative pieces in the world.
As amazing as the objects are, however, what sets this exhibition apart is that, for the first time, they will be presented as works of art rather than archaeology. In announcing the exhibition, curator Jill Cook said, "All art is the product of the remarkable structure and organisation of the modern brain. By looking at the oldest European sculptures and drawings we are looking at the deep history of how our brains began to store, transform and communicate ideas as visual images. The exhibition will show that we can recognize and appreciate these images. Even if their messages and intentions are lost to us the skill and artistry will still astonish the viewer."
Among the objects that will be on view is a 26,000 year old ceramic figure of a woman from Brno in Czech Republic, one of the oldest ceramic figures in the world. Also included is a 23,000 year old, abstract mammoth ivory figure from Lespugue, France, that inspired Picasso.
If you're planning on visiting the UK in 2013, you might want to put this on your schedule. Meanwhile, though, if you can't wait until February, or you are looking for something cool - and free - to do between the holidays, why not check what's on at the British Museum right now, starting with 10 of my favorite things:
- Ten Treasures of the British Museum
- The British Museum and the V&A, Two of London's Best Free Museums
- Your Guide to the Best Free Museums All Over the UK
Courtesy of the British Museum