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South Africa

British Museum, London

NOW CLOSED

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 art.

In this exhibition a diverse range of art from across the ages tells a story that stretches back 100,000 years. From rock art made by the country’s earliest peoples to works by South African artists at the forefront of contemporary art, the exhibition features beautiful and important objects, which illustrate South Africa’s rich history. Read more.

Read our interview with exhibitor Mary Sibande here.

Preview the exhibition below | The top five exhibitions opening this week

Xhosa Snuffbox in the shape of an ox (late 19th century), South Africa. © The Trustees of the British Museum

xhosa-snuffbox Xhosa Snuffbox in the shape of an ox (late 19th century), South Africa. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Coldstream Stone (c. 7000 BC). © Iziko Museums of South Africa, Social History Collections, Cape Cod

Coldstream-stone (c. 7000 BC). © Iziko Museums of South Africa, Social History Collections, Cape Cod

BMW Art Car 12 (1991), Esther Mahlangu. © The artist. Photo © BMW Group Archives

BMW Art Car 12 (1991), Esther Mahlangu. © The artist. Photo © BMW Group Archives

The Creation of the Sun (2015), Jeni Couzyn (artistic director), Sandra Sweers (lead artist), a collaborative piece from Bethesda Arts Centre. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

The Creation of the Sun (2015), Jeni Couzyn (artistic director), Sandra Sweers (lead artist), a collaborative piece from Bethesda Arts Centre. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Potent Fields (2002), Karel Nel. © The artist. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Potent Fields (2002), Karel Nel. © The artist. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Transitions (1994), Willie Bester. © The artist

Transitions (1994), Willie Bester. © The artist

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