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What Is the Brunei Gallery?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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The Brunei Gallery is a British museum that highlights the history and artwork of Asia, Africa, and Middle Eastern nations. The gallery is managed by the School of Oriental and African Studies, which is located nearby. Admission to the gallery is free, and the facility is within close proximity to many other poplar British museums.

Brunei is a tiny country located on the island of Borneo in the Pacific Ocean. In 1995, the School of Oriental and African Studies established the Brunei Gallery in collaboration with the Sultan of Brunei, who funded the gallery. In 2001, a Japanese roof garden was added to the existing exhibit space at the gallery.

Displays at the Brunei Gallery are divided among a series of temporary or traveling exhibitions and one permanent display. The permanent exhibit includes artifacts from the gallery's extensive collection of artwork and historic objects. Objects in the collection include paintings and tapestries from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, along with archaeological finds from these regions. These pieces are housed in the Foyle Special Collections room, and are rotated often to keep visitors coming back.

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Special exhibits at the Brunei Gallery celebrate the people and culture of these regions from historical times through the present day. Displays may focus on works from a particular region, or paintings created by a celebrated African or Asian artist. Many of these exhibits also focus on the political and social issues of these regions, and how they impact others across the globe.

During a special display of Japanese works in 2001, the Brunei Gallery added a rooftop rock garden. Visitors can take in sculptures and water displays, as well as plants and other attractions on the roof. The Japanese roof garden is also seen as a place of stillness, where guests can escape from the noise and confusion of the busy streets below.

Part of the appeal of the Brunei Gallery lies in its location. It is situated along London's Museum Mile, which is home to 13 popular museums and galleries. The Brunei Gallery is just a few minutes away from the British Museum, making it a convenient stop for the many visitors to this top attraction. Along the Museum Mile, visitors can also explore the London Transport Museum and the Charles Dickens Museum. Many of these museums and galleries are free, and each offers a unique set of exhibits related to art, history, and society.

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