Germany: Memories of a Nation with Neil MacGregor
BY spectator events
November 10, 2014
Emmanuel Centre, London SW1P 3DW
Neil MacGregor, director, British Museum
In this major talk looking back from the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, Neil MacGregor gave a talk on his new book Germany: Memories of a Nation, which explored 600 years of the country's history using objects, art, historical texts, landmarks and literature to explore Germany's rich cultural history and try to understand how its past has shaped modern Europe.
From the Brandenburg Gate to Bavarian bratwurst and the Gutenberg Bible, via Volkswagen engineering, fairy tales and degenerate pottery, the talk examined some of the key moments that have defined Germany’s past, its great, world-changing achievements and the catastrophes of the 20th century, and explored the profound influence that Germany’s history, culture and inventiveness have had across Europe.
Neil MacGregor has been director of the British Museum since August 2002. He studied at Oxford and the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, before going to the Courtauld Institute of Art in London to study 17th and 19th-century art. He was for six years a lecturer in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading and a part-time lecturer at the Courtauld. In 1982 he became editor of the arts periodical, The Burlington Magazine. He became director of the National Gallery in 1987.
Neil sits on the board of the National Theatre, London and the International Advisory Board of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. In 2010 the British Museum and the BBC worked together on a project telling A History of the World in 100 objects. Neil’s latest book, Shakespeare’s Restless World, based on the acclaimed BBC radio series of the same name, was published in September 2012.