Exhibition: Buddhism

This exhibition runs from Fri, 25th Oct 2019 to Tue, 25th Feb 2020. See all dates

This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: £14

Explore the origins, philosophy and contemporary relevance of Buddhism, from its beginnings in India in the 6th century BC to having 1 billion followers worldwide today

Featuring rare treasures from the British Library’s collection, including colourful scrolls, unique cosmologies, lavishly painted manuscripts and temple banners, and bejewelled books spanning 2,000 years and 20 countries, this exhibition highlights the outstanding aesthetic beauty of Buddhist manuscripts and printed works in the largest display of its kind ever held at the Library.

Through sacred scriptures written on tree bark, palm leaves, ivory and gold to exquisite silk scrolls of major Sutras, follow the life of Buddha and his many incarnations, and discover how Buddhism was pivotal in developing writing and printing techniques to transmit stories and ideas across Asia.

Contemporary art, calming ambient film and audio, and ritual objects provide a window onto everyday life in Buddhist communities, allowing you to understand current customs and beliefs, gain insight into meditative practices and the Buddhist concepts of compassion and loving-kindness, and even experience the feeling of stepping into a monastic library.

Before you leave, reflect on how knowledge and values have been shared over the centuries despite the diversity of Buddhist cultures around the world, examine the enduring iconography of Buddha and consider what it means to be Buddhist today.

Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


The British Library,

96 Euston Road, London,

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