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Ice Age Art Exhibition at the British Museum

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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An exhibition 40,000 years in the making
british museum, ice age exhibit, bison
Bison sculpted from mammoth ivory. Found at Zaraysk, Russia, about 20,000 years old. Zaraysk Museum of Art and History. Dr Sergey Lev.

Ever since there has been man, there has been art. Today we have all sorts of utensils and gizmos to help us paint, sculpt, and craft, so it is no wonder we are able to create fantastic pieces of art. But back in pre-historic times, their tools were much less sophisticated and the quality of the art was solely determined by the skill of the artist. And back then, the tools you did have couldn't be bought in town, you had to make them yourself; not only did you have to be the artist, but also the craftsman, and engineer. Despite these limitations, much of work is as stunning, sturdy, and beautiful as modern art today - if not more so. They were true artisans.

Between the 7th February - 26th May, you can discover the masterpieces of the last Ice Age at the British Museum, which is running the exhibit Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind. You will see art made by Europeans who live between ten and forty thousand years ago.

The exhibition includes sculptures made from mammoth ivory & reindeer antlers, and paintings which explore artists' experiments with perspective, scale, volume, light, and movement.

They will be presented alongside modern works by Henry Moore, Mondrian and Matisse to illustrate how the fundamental human desire to communicate and understand our place in the world is timeless and universal.

british museum, ice age art

Tickets are 10 , but there will also be dozens of other free and paid for events coinciding with the exhibition, including an Ice Age Sleepover on the 16th February for 35, a Flint Knapping Workshop on the 16th March for 20, and a double bill of the films The Caves of Lascaux and Days Long Gone on the 12th April for 3. For a full listing of events, and how to book, you can see here.
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Why? Interesting day out
When: 7th Feb - 26th May
Phone: 44 (0)20 7323 8181
Where: British Museum
Cost: 10
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