The exhibition features world history as told by the art in the collection of the British museum. The show opened with two seriously beautiful hand axes between 1.6-1.4 million years old.
The exhibition then makes its way into ancient Egyptian civilization where I was happy to see the museum had sent one of their mummies though without her beaded net covering. A very attractive Ptolemaic coffin was present, well only the lid but impressive none the less.
Funny my friend Bruce noticed that in a separate display a pair of mummy or coffin eyes that appeared to be mounted improperly. They were mounted with the inner eye on the outsides, I have to wonder if my friend was the only one who noticed!
Another very attractive Roman period Mummy portrait is also in the show but although he is a handsome man he is not the lovely lady who caused such a stir at the Royal British Columbia museums last show of objects from the British museum in 2004 called "Eternal Egypt".
Truly the Benin brass plaques are outstanding and one of the highlights of the show along with the inscribed large clay tablet from the 7th century bc library of the Mesopotamian King Ashurbanipal which was stunning.
The ossuary was very informative particularly around its large size and the gold death mask for its small delicate features. The two mosque glass lamps created in 1350-5 ad are the stars for me of the Islamic art though the illuminations are lovely.
In the European gallery's the two shields are terrific as are the six gold bracelets known as the Morvah hoard. In the Greco-Roman gallery the outstanding piece for me was the inscribed Corinthian helmet dedicated to the God Zues at Olympia while the red drinking cup with the ladies of the evening was lovely while quite humorous. Yes it is true the little Lewis chessmen are wonderful including the Bishop and his friends all little masterpieces and a sight to see while the colossal wooden head of Buddha was powerful.
I loved the birdman boulder from Easter island an artifact I have seen many times but it looks different in reality as it is very textural within the stone. Moreover it seems we might have drifted away as by the time we came to the Modern world the one hour thirty minute show had turned into three hours and we closed the place in haste though I did admire the Gainsborough and the Picasso on my way out.
The exhibition was a terrific affordable way for a couple of friends to spend an afternoon hanging out.