At the front of the History of Science Museum and the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street, Oxford, sit 17 stone heads depicting bearded men, generally known as the Emperors' Heads.
What does the future hold for these Oxford icons?
We have been working with the University of Oxford's School of Geography and the Environment to explore the future of the Emperors' Heads. To open the discussion, temporary art installations were commissioned, following an open call to artists, with support from the Oxford University Diversity Fund.The new temporary heads were installed outside the Museum. Two of the heads have moved inside the Entrance Gallery, where they will be until 23 July. The Pink Head has moved into the Sheldonian yard until 21 July. Everyone is invited to come and view and contribute ideas on how we can diversify public sculpture to better represent people in today’s Oxford. The display ‘Oxford Stone Heads: History and Mysteries’ continues in the Weston Library until 21 July.
Clay heads: display and collection
Visitors to the Museum created a wonderful array of clay heads in response to the questions raised by this project. These are on display in the Basement Gallery until Sunday 21 July. Makers can collect their heads from the Entrance Gallery from 23 to 28 July.
Exploring the past
Scientists from the School of Geography and the Environment have been researching the history of the Emperors' Heads. They have explored archival records, hunted for missing heads and tested old stone to help with conservation work. You can find out more about the project on the School of Geography's website. Oxford’s Stone Heads: History and Mysteries is a display of this research that will be on show at the Weston Library from 4 May to 21 July 2019.