Oriental Museum Durham University

Oriental Museum Durham University From Ancient Egypt to modern China, the Oriental Museum is devoted to the art and archaeology of Northern Africa and Asia
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From Ancient Egypt to modern China, we are the only museum in the North of England devoted entirely to the art and archaeology of the great cultures of Northern Africa and Asia. 'The Orient’ is not an area with defined geographical boundaries. The term can mean widely differing things to different people. In the case of the Oriental Museum, the definition is a wide one indeed, with the collections covering a huge area from North Africa to South East Asia. This is the legacy of the origins or the Oriental Museum in the teaching of oriental languages at Durham University.

Today is the Setsubun Festival in Japan. You may wish to celebrate the start of Spring by throwing roasted soybeans outs...
03/02/2020

Today is the Setsubun Festival in Japan. You may wish to celebrate the start of Spring by throwing roasted soybeans outside the door of your house, to chase out the oni (naughty ogres or spirits) or dress up like one!

#FolkloreThursday

Meet the team!We are a group of MA students here at Durham University currently working on a new exhibition opening at t...
02/02/2020

Meet the team!
We are a group of MA students here at Durham University currently working on a new exhibition opening at the Oriental Museum in June 2020! We’re very excited to show you what we’re creating – so watch this space…

Artefact of the Month for February -Celebrating Lunar New Year The mix of cultural influences in Korea is demonstrated i...
01/02/2020

Artefact of the Month for February -
Celebrating Lunar New Year
The mix of cultural influences in Korea is demonstrated in this espresso cup. The Korean design is based on traditional zodiac animals and is printed on an Italian-style cup. This 'rat' espresso cup is on display in our Korean Gallery.

#LunarNewYear2020
#YearoftheRat
#ceramics

Gong hei fat choy! Gong Xi Fa Cai! A happy and prosperous Lunar New Year of the Rat to everyone, from the Oriental Museu...
25/01/2020

Gong hei fat choy! Gong Xi Fa Cai!
A happy and prosperous Lunar New Year of the Rat to everyone, from the Oriental Museum!
#LunarNewYear2020
#LunarNewYear

Animals at the Museum!Indian Tiger This Indian painting of a tiger strolling through a lush landscape was produced in Ja...
19/01/2020

Animals at the Museum!
Indian Tiger
This Indian painting of a tiger strolling through a lush landscape was produced in Jaipur around 1850 CE and would have originally been part of a book. It now forms part of our collection of Indian paintings and is just as vibrant and eye catching as the day it was first painted.

Here's a sneak peek at our brand new cases for our Silk Roads gallery opening in May. The staff are very excited about t...
16/01/2020

Here's a sneak peek at our brand new cases for our Silk Roads gallery opening in May. The staff are very excited about them!

Our new temporary exhibition is open! Lunar New Year13 January 2020 - 16 February 2020Lunar New Year, called the Spring ...
13/01/2020

Our new temporary exhibition is open!
Lunar New Year
13 January 2020 - 16 February 2020

Lunar New Year, called the Spring Festival in China, is China's biggest and most important annual festival.
Lunar New Year is not just important in China, it is also celebrated in Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

In 2020, the first day of the New Year is Saturday 25th January. This will mark the beginning of the Year of the Rat.

Traditionally, celebrations begin up to three days before the New Year and last until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the New Year. This family-friendly exhibition explores some of the traditional celebrations linked to Lunar New Year.

Find out more when you join our special events:

25 January, 1-3pm Crowdcraft: Year of the Rat

Make Chinese lanterns and papercuts to decorate the Museum ready for our Lantern Festival.

8 February, 6-8pm Lantern Festival Late Night Opening

See the Museum lit by lanterns, try fantastic crafts, sample delicious New Year food and drink and listen to stories.
Booking for this event will open soon!

Cases have arrived!  We are offering free entry to visitors today and tomorrow, at the Oriental Museum, as the cases for...
09/01/2020

Cases have arrived!
We are offering free entry to visitors today and tomorrow, at the Oriental Museum, as the cases for our new Silk Roads gallery are installed.
Very exciting times!

Who can guess why we've changed our cover photo?!
06/01/2020

Who can guess why we've changed our cover photo?!

Why not give something creative a try this New Year?Interface Arts: Introduction to acrylic paintingSaturday, 18 January...
04/01/2020

Why not give something creative a try this New Year?

Interface Arts: Introduction to acrylic painting
Saturday, 18 January 2020, 14:00 to 16:00

Join us for a creative workshop with artist, Wendy Parkin.

You will be introduced to the basics of painting with acrylic paint on canvas, including blending colours and building perspective and texture, then go on to create your own artwork to take home.

£6 per person, payable upon booking. All materials included. No experience necessary.

Over 16s only.
For enquiries, please contact 0191 3345691 or email [email protected]

About the artist
Wendy’s work in oils and acrylics is mainly focussed on portraiture. She is a currently Chair of Interface Arts, a north-east collective of artists based in County Durham. Find out more about Interface arts.

it's our first day back in the New Year!
02/01/2020

it's our first day back in the New Year!

January's artefact of the month! The Ancient Egypt Egyptian New Year coincided with the beginning of the annual Nile flo...
02/01/2020

January's artefact of the month!
The Ancient Egypt Egyptian New Year coincided with the beginning of the annual Nile flood in late summer.
The transition from one year to the next was thought to be a time when chaos could emerge to threaten the correct order of life.
A number of rituals developed to help to ensure a smooth transition. It is thought that these vessels were used to collect water from the beginning of the flood to be kept for ritual use.
The inscription on the shoulders of the flask asks for New Year wishes to be granted to the owner by the gods Ptah and Sekhmet.

Time for music?  You can hear a selection of Korean music in our gallery. We open on the 2nd January. Here is a Korean d...
27/12/2019

Time for music? You can hear a selection of Korean music in our gallery. We open on the 2nd January.
Here is a Korean drum from our collection.

Traditionally, Korean drums like this Channgo are made by stretching the skin by foot, while people jump on it to soften and stretch the piece.
The skin on the right hand side of the Channgo is thicker to create a lower tone. The body of the drum is usually made from paulownia wood and the red and blue belts on the laces can be moved up or down to adjust the tone and pitch.
Changgo drums are used for all types of Korean music as well as for folk and shaman rituals. During the rituals the drum is struck with a mallet to produce a much louder sound.

Merry Christmas from all of the staff at the Oriental Museum!
24/12/2019

Merry Christmas from all of the staff at the Oriental Museum!

Here are some last minute gift ideas from the Oriental Museum's shop! We're open until 5pm todaySunday 12 -5 andMonday 1...
21/12/2019

Here are some last minute gift ideas from the Oriental Museum's shop!
We're open until 5pm today
Sunday 12 -5 and
Monday 10 until 5pm.
we reopen on the 2nd January at 10am

Nearly time for our Christmas break. The Oriental Museum's last opening day before the Christmas holidays is Monday 23rd...
19/12/2019

Nearly time for our Christmas break.
The Oriental Museum's last opening day before the Christmas holidays is Monday 23rd December.
Why not pop in for a calming hot chocolate and a look around the galleries?

We open again at 10am on Thursday 2nd January 2020.

Netsuke and Inro Collection - Netsuke are small, button like sculptures which can be made from metal, bone, wood, antler...
16/12/2019

Netsuke and Inro Collection -
Netsuke are small, button like sculptures which can be made from metal, bone, wood, antler or ivory.
Traditional Japanese clothing did not have pockets so men carried their personal belongings in small containers or bags called sagemono which hung from their obi belts by a cord. The netsuke were used to secure the cord of the sagemono and stop it slipping through the belt.
This small netsuke dating to around 1850 CE is in the form of a wasp and hive among chrysanthemums.
The wasp in Asian culture is associated with industriousness. The chrysanthemum or Kiku in Japanese is a symbol of longevity. Since its introduction to Japan during the Nara period (710 – 793 CE), the chrysanthemum has become the emblem of the Japanese imperial family and forms part of over 150 family crests. Today the 16 petal chrysanthemum is the symbol of Japan and is used by the Japanese government as a seal on official documents including passports.

'Pushing Paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now'. Opening February 29th 2020This will feature a British Museum tou...
14/12/2019
Oriental Museum : Event Details - Durham University

'Pushing Paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now'.
Opening February 29th 2020

This will feature a British Museum touring exhibition, illustrating how artists experiment with the power of paper to express their ideas pushing the medium in new directions.

Click on the lnk for more details!

A British Museum touring exhibition illustrating how artists experiment with the power of paper to express their ideas pushing the medium in new directions.

The museum profession is not always the most glamorous. Here is the team transferring our carving of Avalokiteshvara of ...
10/12/2019

The museum profession is not always the most glamorous. Here is the team transferring our carving of Avalokiteshvara of the Lion’s Roar (the bodhisattva of
compassion) very gingerly onto a trolley.

And ,,, finally In position!
Lovely new lighting will provide the final touch. Watch this space for the opening of the new Silk Roads gallery in May 2020. #silkroads

Our new Silk Roads gallery opens in May 2020. Come along to a fascinating talk by our Curator, on Wednesday 11th Decembe...
08/12/2019

Our new Silk Roads gallery opens in May 2020. Come along to a fascinating talk by our Curator, on Wednesday 11th December and learn about the process involved in creating this new gallery. All welcome.

In this talk, Curator Rachel Barclay, will offer a behind the scenes look at how the new gallery has been conceived and planned over a period of several years.
How are decisions made on the layout, themes and contents?
Who is involved and why? What are the practical implications of undertaking a large project like this while the museum is open and busy with visitors?
What has gone well? Where are the challenges?

#galleries #silkroad #orientalmuseumdurham

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!We have some great gift ideas in our museum shop.  Why not pop in for a look...
07/12/2019

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
We have some great gift ideas in our museum shop.
Why not pop in for a look?

December's artefact of the month-Ancient EgyptBes was one of the most important gods in Ancient Egypt. He was not a majo...
02/12/2019

December's artefact of the month-

Ancient Egypt
Bes was one of the most important gods in Ancient Egypt. He was not a major state god though, but a household god. Bes protected the home and particularly children. His image can be found on many household items including jars and jugs like this one.

We're looking forward to our family activity Saturday afternoon - Heroic HorsesSee the stunning Chinese horse model on d...
29/11/2019

We're looking forward to our family activity Saturday afternoon -
Heroic Horses
See the stunning Chinese horse model on display and make your own galloping horse puppet.
Activities run 1 until 3pm

Have fun at our FAMILY ACTIVITYAwesome EgyptiansCome and see the Ancient Egyptian jewellery on display and make your own...
22/11/2019

Have fun at our FAMILY ACTIVITY
Awesome Egyptians
Come and see the Ancient Egyptian jewellery on display and make your own Egyptian collar necklace.

Activities run 1 until 3pm

Netsuke and Inro collection for NovemberWe’ve been updating the displays in our Japan Gallery and for the first time you...
16/11/2019

Netsuke and Inro collection for November
We’ve been updating the displays in our Japan Gallery and for the first time you’ll be able to see this little ceramic netsuke.
This smiley little fella is Hotei the god of contentment and happiness. He is usually shown carrying or sitting on a large cloth sack. His sack is believed to be bottomless and filled with a never ending supply of food and drink which he uses to feed the poor and needy. The Japanese translation of his name literarily translates as ‘Cloth Sack’.

#netsuke #japan #japanese #japaneseart #japaneseculture #intricate #art #japanesecraft #traditionaljapan #buddhism #museums

Here are some photos from our Diwali celebration 2019!
16/11/2019

Here are some photos from our Diwali celebration 2019!

FAMILY ACTIVITYCelebrating FaithSaturday afternoon  16th Nov Chat to members of the local Muslim community and decorate ...
15/11/2019

FAMILY ACTIVITY
Celebrating Faith
Saturday afternoon 16th Nov
Chat to members of the local Muslim community and decorate an Islamic-style tile. Find out about the different religions of the world with our new gallery trail

A nativity runs 1 until 3pm

Theres a slight change to Saturday's Action Art's activity - 13:00 to 16:00Join us to celebrate creativity with an after...
13/11/2019

Theres a slight change to Saturday's Action Art's activity -

13:00 to 16:00
Join us to celebrate creativity with an afternoon of imaginative arts and crafts with artist / maker Marian Hernandez.

Drop in anytime (between 1 and 4pm) pay £5 and create your own piece of amazing art. You can choose from a range of materials including stamps and inks, to make hanging decorations and cards.

Action Art Event Saturday, 16 November, 13:00 to 16:00Join us to celebrate creativity with an afternoon of imaginative a...
11/11/2019

Action Art Event
Saturday, 16 November, 13:00 to 16:00

Join us to celebrate creativity with an afternoon of imaginative arts and crafts with artist / maker Marian Hernandez.

Drop in anytime, pay £5 and create your own piece of amazing art. You can choose from a range of materials including stamps and inks, origami earrings, or a clay teabowl.

Tell us what creativity means to you and contribute your own personal message to our Action Art wall.

Artworks and cards created by the Oriental Museum’s Creative Age group will also be available to purchase.

All money raised will help support Creative Age, an art group which supports the wellbeing of people living with dementia in Durham.

Suitable for all.

We've been very busy starting work on our new Silk Roads gallery!This week we removed all of the objects from the galler...
09/11/2019

We've been very busy starting work on our new Silk Roads gallery!

This week we removed all of the objects from the gallery and started stripping out the old maps and interpretation panels ready for the messy work beginning next week.
As the gallery progresses we'll keep you up-to-date with lots of behind the scenes pics and stories.

Our family activity Saturday afternoon is -Falling LeavesCelebrate autumn and make a wish under our community Banyan tre...
07/11/2019

Our family activity Saturday afternoon is -
Falling Leaves
Celebrate autumn and make a wish under our community Banyan tree then make your own leafy autumn creature from natural materials.

Drop in (any time between 1 and 3 pm) unless otherwise stated.
This activity is included in the Museum admission price and is generally suitable for children aged 5 to 11.
Children MUST be accompanied by an adult.

New Gallery coming soon in 2020!Our new Silk Roads gallery will open at the end of May 2020, transforming the top floor ...
04/11/2019

New Gallery coming soon in 2020!

Our new Silk Roads gallery will open at the end of May 2020, transforming the top floor of the museum. It will be an introductory gallery, bringing together works from across our collections to tell stories of trade, travel and exchange across the continent of Asia and into Europe, all the way to Durham.

Please bear with us as we transform the gallery and we look forward to welcoming you to the new Silk Roads gallery when it opens!

Artefact of the Month for NovemberBorn in Jordan in 1955 to Syrian and Palestinian parents, Rima Farah has developed a l...
03/11/2019

Artefact of the Month for November

Born in Jordan in 1955 to Syrian and Palestinian parents, Rima Farah has developed a long and distinguished career as both a solo and collaborative artist.

Following a 27 year collaboration with artist Kevin Jackson on the body of work now known as Farah-Jackson, Rima decided to go solo and explore her passion for Arabic calligraphy. In discussing her work she said: ‘I am passionate about the Arab world of the near east, its language, stories, religions, customs, historical figures…. stories that move me. The Arabic script in all its variations and historical context humbles me.’ Today her work can be found in the collections of the British Museum, the National Museum of Jordan and The Royal Collections of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE.

This vase entitled 'Blue & White II' is decorated with the letter ‘Alif’, the first letter in the alphabet in Maghribi script.

Half term fun at the Oriental Museum!
29/10/2019

Half term fun at the Oriental Museum!

Our 'Things from Home' exhibition closes 27th Oct.  The artist Katrin Moye explores the experiences of international stu...
25/10/2019

Our 'Things from Home' exhibition closes 27th Oct. The artist Katrin Moye explores the experiences of international students, when leaving home.
Find out the stories behind the objects she created. @dumuseums

#thingsfromhome

(image courtesy of Kasia Fiszer)

Head of Museums, Craig Barclay, travelled to Myanmar to install the exhibition and attend the opening with Prof Robin Co...
24/10/2019

Head of Museums, Craig Barclay, travelled to Myanmar to install the exhibition and attend the opening with Prof Robin Coningham, Durham University’s UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics.
The exhibition was created at the request of the Nepali Embassy in Myanmar to mark the state visit of the President of Nepal, the Right Honourable Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
President Bhandari opened the exhibition on 19th October.

Read more on our website news page -
https://www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum/visit/news/?itemno=40043

We're busy getting ready for Diwali! All are welcome to celebrate Diwali with us on 26 October.Find out how to book your...
23/10/2019

We're busy getting ready for Diwali!
All are welcome to celebrate Diwali with us on 26 October.
Find out how to book your tickets - https://t.co/6fQ5MAnf3p

#DiwaliFestival #crafts #India
#Diwali2019 #FestivalofLight

Our new Silk Roads gallery will open next May at the Oriental Museum. Would you like to contribute to the overall layout...
21/10/2019

Our new Silk Roads gallery will open next May at the Oriental Museum.
Would you like to contribute to the overall layout of the displays?
We are looking for help from a diverse group of volunteers to work with our staff.
Get in touch to volunteer👉 https://t.co/HNAVkqbjdq

Is that the time?  We're open early today and it's free entry!
19/10/2019

Is that the time? We're open early today and it's free entry!

Celebrate all things Japanese at the Teikyo Festival this Sat 19th October 10am-4pm, next door to the Oriental Museum! O...
18/10/2019

Celebrate all things Japanese at the Teikyo Festival this Sat 19th October 10am-4pm, next door to the Oriental Museum!
Our doors open at 10am with free entry, if you wish to pop in and enjoy our galleries and crafts.

#Japan
#origami
#calligraphy
#music

Book your tickets for Diwali and help celebrate the Hindu Festival of Lights with this special late night opening.Visito...
17/10/2019

Book your tickets for Diwali and help celebrate the Hindu Festival of Lights with this special late night opening.

Visitors can enjoy a spectacular shadow puppet show, traditional puja prayers to the goddess Lakshmi, food tasting, games, dancing and much more.

The Museum will be decorated in spectacular style with diyas, flowers and lanterns made by the community, and the first 100 children will receive a free flower garland.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/diwali-at-the-oriental-museum-2019-tickets-73551108345

Address

Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill Road
Durham
DH13TH

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 12:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

+441913345694

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Our Story

From Ancient Egypt to modern China, we are the only museum in the North of England devoted entirely to the art and archaeology of the great cultures of Northern Africa and Asia. 'The Orient’ is not an area with defined geographical boundaries. The term can mean widely differing things to different people. In the case of the Oriental Museum, the definition is a wide one indeed, with the collections covering a huge area from North Africa to South East Asia. This is the legacy of the origins of the Oriental Museum in the teaching of oriental languages at Durham University.

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Comments

I would miss my son! And my cats. #thingsfromhome
Where has this gorgeous museum been all my life? I visited today and was so charmed and impressed. Beautiful objects and thought-provoking descriptions. I will definitely be back.
We spent a wonderful afternoon here today. It's amazing how they manage to display so many engaging and beautiful exhibits into such a compact space. Especially good for children. Highly recommended. Read more on our food and travel blog : chocolatehunters
Visited today for the first time. Kids loved it. Some of the displays were beautiful.
Why not join us for a taste of Japan at the Chef's Academy (Rye Hill Campus) next week? Only £5 for an evening of Japanese food by DOJO restaurant, traditional music, games, arts & crafts. Limited tickets, so please call or email Beni now to book your ticket and avoid disappointment. Phone: 0191-226 6311 Email: [email protected]
Greetings . I present to you my page dedicated to NARBO MARTIVS ( Roman Narbonne , south of the France ) , NARBONENSIS capital's , second port in Occident after OSTIA and city among the top 20 according with the very famous Roman author AVSONIVS ( Ausone ) in ORDO VRBIVM NOBILIVM ( order of great noble cities ) : Narbo Martivs , première fille de Rome .
Had a wonderful time today
Great place to visit both entertaining and informative