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Porcelain sculpture of a figure with eighteen arms, seated on a ornately decorated base. - click to view larger image
Figure of Guanyin, China

Feared and Revered: Feminine Power through the Ages celebrated the power and diversity of female spiritual beings in cultural traditions and beliefs across the globe.

This exhibition from the British Museum explored how goddesses, demons, witches, spirits and saints have shaped our understanding of the world.

Feminine power through the ages

Through universal themes of creation, passion, war, justice and mercy, Feared and Revered highlighted the many faces of feminine power – ferocious, beautiful, creative or hell-bent – and its profound influence through the ages.

Feared and Revered showcased more than 160 objects from the British Museum’s exceptional collection, spanning six continents and 5,000 years, from 2800 BCE to the present day.

The exhibition presented a fascinating range of monumental sculpture, sacred artefacts and contemporary artworks, alongside Australian Indigenous representations of female ancestral figures and popular culture embodiments of the divine.

Explore stories

Yawkyawk sculptures

See our collection of Yawkyawk sculptures, depicting young female Ancestral Beings from Western Arnhem Land.

Buy Feminine Power publication

Discover fascinating insights into different cultures and beliefs and a discussion of contemporary feminism.

Feared and Revered was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 8 December 2022 to 27 August 2023.

The presentation of Feared and Revered: Feminine Power through the Ages was a collaboration between the British Museum and the National Museum of Australia.

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