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What's On

Featured exhibitions

Friday, February 1, 2019 - Monday, September 16, 2019

Historically, the Cham people enjoyed a rich culture, their territory including several kingdoms in what is today Central and Southern Vietnam. However, the Champa Kingdoms began disintegrating following decisive defeats by the Vietnamese in the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, starting a pattern of migration and flux that is still going on today.

Friday, February 1, 2019 - Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Art Studio is a Sunderland-based mental health charity that provides support to improve the lives of members through art.


Family activity
Friday, February 22, 2019

Children with autism, learning or sensory impairments and their families can take part in our quiet-time craft activities. See a real 5,000 year old pot on display and make your own pot from clay. No booking required.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A special touch tour event for visitors with visual impairments and their families.

Family activity
Saturday, March 2, 2019

See our complete set of traditional Hina Matsuri dolls, only displayed for a short time each year, in the run up to the Hina Matsuri, and create your own Emperor and Empress dolls to take home.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

An illustrated talk by Professor Keith Pratt. This lecture is hosted by the Friends of the Oriental Museum, as part of the 2018/19 series.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Join us for a fascinating workshop by printmaker John Grey.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Lecture by Cedric Gobeil, Director General of the Egypt Exploration Society. Cédric Gobeil has been the Director of the Egypt Exploration Society since 2016. He previously worked for the French Archaeological Institute in Cairo as archaeologist with responsibility for the site of Deir el Medina. He will direct new work for the EES in Sudan at one of the southernmost Egyptian outposts in Sudan.

Family activity
Saturday, March 23, 2019

Welcome the spring season to Durham with a special Holi Festival!

Family activity
Friday, April 12, 2019

Children with autism, learning or sensory impairments and their families can take part in our quiet time craft activities. See a beautiful Indian shell on display and make a painted shell decoration. 10am to midday.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Come and enjoy a creative weaving workshop led by expert weaver Susan J Foulkes.

CBeebies Teacup Travels

Drop in to the Oriental Museum to see up close the real artefact that inspired Charlotte’s adventure in “Teacup Travels”; the exciting second series has just started on CBeebies (December 2016).

Teacup Travels is a treasure trove of epic adventure stories, which inspires audiences up and down the country by opening the door to ancient worlds and civilizations to young viewers. Each 15 minute episode revolves around Great Aunt Lizzie telling her fictional adventures in Ancient Greece, Edo Japan, the Viking Lands and the Mayan Empire and each story features a replica of an ancient artefact from a museum somewhere in the UK.

In series two, Great Aunt Lizzie’s magical stories are told to her niece Charlotte, and we are introduced to Lokesh, Charlotte’s cousin, who, whilst cradling a warming drink in one of Great Aunt Lizzie’s special teacups, are transported back through time to ancient lands, where the story begins.

The Oriental Museum’s curator Rachel Barclay, worked with the makers of Teacup Travels (Plum Films) to recreate the Inro and Netsuke from Edo Japan. Painstakingly re-made by Plum Films’ highly experienced and skilled prop- maker, the episodes were inspired by objects from the collection at the Oriental Museum. The tv production team has been truthful to the original artefacts, ensuring that they look the part through a detailed process of recording how the items were found, the state they were in, how they were originally used so that the replicas in the series are used properly by the cast.

Children can enjoy our Teacups Travel trail around our galleries, and become explorers just like Charlotte and Lokesh, having fun trying to find our objects from both Series 1 and Series 2.

You can find out more about the series at the CBeebies website where you can also download a printable Teacup Travels museum map which features an introduction to all of the artefacts featured in the series.

December 2016

February 2019

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Nike Swoosh by Chinese sculptor Li Lihong in our MacDonald Gallery.