Friends of the Museum Events Programme

Former Director Michael O’Hanlon with Friends' Patrons Penelope Lively and Philip Pullman, © Studio Edmark

Friends Magazine

On 1 October 2016 issue 85 of the FPRM Magazine received first prize in the British Association of Friends of Museums' publication awards for Museums with between 250 and 750 Friends.  This follows awards for 2005, 2008 and 2013 and an honourable mention for the 30th Anniversary edition, issue 81 in 2015. 

Download issues 8182838485868788 and 89 here. The new edition of the magazine (issue 90, Autumn/Winter 2017) is on sale in the Museum shop at £1.

Details on how to become a Friend

Supporting the Friends - donation form (pdf)

Wednesday 17 January, 18.30

How does one become a shaman, against one's own will, in a world of today? Based on a series of encounters with novice Kham Magar shamans in Nepal, Dr Ina Zharkevich (Research Fellow, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford) explores the limits of human volition and the power of the 'invisible' realm in making people follow a career of a shaman - a predicament one cannot escape when one is called by the spirit of the deceased ancestral shaman.

Wednesday 24 January, 18.30

Bring a textile item with personal significance to you to share with Friends. You should know something of the history of the item and the method of its creation. Enquiries, including suggestions of items you are considering bringing to: (Illustration is detail of sleeve of blouse embroidered on parachute silk by Gillian Morriss-Kay's grandmother after WW1.) Free with shared supper. Limited to 20 Friends.

Wednesday 21 February, 18.30

Hugh Kennedy, Professor of Arabic at SOAS, chronicles the rich history of the caliphate, from the death of Muhammad to the present, drawing on his recently published book.

Saturday 10 March, 10.00 - 16.00

A perennially sell-out event in the Friends' events programme, the Kenneth Kirkwood Day features lectures from different academic perspectives and from different cultures around a topical theme. Buffet lunch included. Themes from past years have included ' Altered States of Consciousness' and 'Perceptions of Gender'. The 2018 theme will be announced shortly and bookings can be made from January 2018.

Wednesday 21 March, 18.30

Kirsty Norman, Principal Consultant at the Centre of Applied Archaeology, UCL, will talk about the hundreds of 'Diaoliu' in southern Guangdong, describing their history and future. 'Diaoliu' are flamboyant, western-influenced houses and towers build by émigrés in the 19th and early 20th centuries as protection against bandits. Four Diaoliu groups have been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

Wednesday 6 June

Viticulture is the fastest growing agricultural sector in the UK as a result of the changing climate and increasing appreciation of English wines. The Friends will visit this 16-acre vineyard, established in the 1980s, meeting at the vineyard for a guided tour and nature walk to the nearby River Thames. This will be followed by a 1 hour tutored tasting of five wines from the vineyard and a presentation on winemaking techniques. Optional ploughman's lunch with English cheeses. Booking details will be available in Spring 2018.

Wednesday 13 June, 18.30

Humans have been creating figurative art for at least 40,000 years. Professor Gillian Morriss-Kay, Chairman of the Friends of the Pitt Rivers Museum, will present ideas about the evolutionary changes in perception that led to the origin and flowering of this aspect of human behaviour and will consider its practical significance.