The British Museum: South Africa: the art of a nation

From some of the earliest examples of human creativity to cutting-edge contemporary works, discover the fascinating history of South Africa through 100,000 years of art.

South Africa: the art of a nation
27 October 2016 – 27 February 2017
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Sponsored by Betsy and Jack Ryan
Logistics partner IAG Cargo

Objects featured:
The Coldstream Stone, c. 7000 BC. © Iziko Museums of South Africa, Social History Collections, Cape Town.

Gold rhino. From Mapungubwe, capital of the first kingdom in southern Africa, c. AD 1220–1290. Department of UP Arts, University of Pretoria.

The Zaamenkomst Panel. Detail of rock art depicting San|Bushmen running between eland. Made before 1900. Iziko Museums of South Africa, Social History Collections and SARADA. Photo: Neil Rusch.

Jeni Couzyn (artistic director), Sandra Sweers (lead artist), The Creation of the Sun. A collaborative piece from Bethesda Arts Centre, textile, 2015. © The Bethesda Foundation Limited.

Ox-shaped snuffbox, late 1800s.

Mary Sibande (b. 1982), A Reversed Retrogress: Scene 1 (The Purple Shall Govern). Mixed media, 2013. © Mary Sibande. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery MOMO.

Nelson Mandela badge. UK, c. 1984.

Esther Mahlangu (b. 1935), BMW Art Car 12, 1991. © Esther Mahlangu. Photo © BMW Group Archives.