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The Natural History Museum to re-open Wednesday 5 August 2020

 

Following an almost five-month long closure, the longest period since the second world war, the Natural History Museum is throwing open the doors to its world-famous building in South Kensington from Wednesday 5 August. The Museum will initially re-open on Wednesdays to Sundays only and from 11am to 6pm (last entry at 5pm).

New measures will be in place to ensure staff and visitors can have a safe and enjoyable experience. To help manage the number of people in the Museum at any one time, capacity will be significantly reduced. It will be essential to book a free timed ticket in advance online at nhm.ac.uk or by phone. Museum Members and Patrons will have priority booking 48 hours before it opens to the public; they will also benefit from fast-track entry.

The vast majority of the Museum’s galleries will be open alongside its five-acre gardens. Strolls, picnicking, exploring pondlife and wildlife watching are all encouraged. Food and drink will be available to purchase either as takeaways or to enjoy at socially distanced seating. Transactions will be contactless where possible, but cash will be accepted.

The Museum’s popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is planned to open in October with brand new winning images to captivate audiences. The Museum’s Ice Rink is set to also open in October with new measures in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for skaters.

The major new exhibition, Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, the result of a creative partnership between the Museum, the BBC and Warner Bros. will continue to be created on-site with the aim of welcoming guests to experience it this winter; more news on an opening date will be shared imminently.

Both the Museum’s main entrance on Cromwell Road and its Exhibition Road entrances will be open.

Invitation to local community groups

In recognition that many of our local audiences will have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19 we will be reaching out and working with local community organisations who are supporting families and young people who live in the surrounding boroughs to extend a special and exclusive visit offer.

Safety First
The Museum has achieved Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard by demonstrating adherence to the respective Government and public health guidance and the implementation of new safety measures.

Limiting visitor numbers will allow visitors to keep a safe distance from people who are not in the same household. Friendly and trained staff will be on hand to support visitors to have a great time and stay safe.

Hands-free hand sanitiser will be available at all entrances, cafes, shops, toilets, lifts and in the largest gallery spaces. Multiple toilet facilities across the site will be open with clear 2-metre queuing signage in place.

Acrylic protection panels will be in place in cafes, shops, visitor information and ticketing stations and staff who are not based behind these will be issued with face coverings.

We are recommending that all visitors wear a face covering during their visit and this will be made clear at the point of booking a timeslot. Additional reusable and washable face coverings will be available for purchase in the shops.

The vast majority of galleries will be open. Visitors will be able to plan their visit in advance with new online itineraries.

Lifts will be available for anyone with access needs and cloakroom facilities will be limited initially to large luggage items.

South Kensington site to open Wednesday 5 August – Wednesdays to Sundays, 11am-6pm

The Natural History Museum at Tring to open Wednesday 5 August – seven days a week

Admission remains free. To ensure a safe experience it is essential for visitors to book a timed slot online at nhm.ac.uk

The Natural History Museum at Tring
The Museum at Tring will also re-open on Wednesday 5 August, seven days a week: Free admission tickets will need to be booked in advance online. With numbers strictly capped to a very low capacity, visitors will be able to freely explore the Museum as they choose or follow the self-guided tours and activity trails. The majority of our permanent galleries will be open; the temporary exhibition space and the Rothschild Room will be closed initially as social distancing is harder to maintain in these areas.

The Digital Museum

For those unable to visit the Museum buildings just yet, digital offerings allows visitors to browse millions of specimens from the collection, take a virtual tour, participate in citizen science and access learning resources online.

Highlights include: an interactive experience about Hope the blue whale; audio guides narrated by Sir David Attenborough; activity ideas to try at home or in local outdoor spaces and the popular Nature Live Online interactive discussions featuring topical content with scientists and cutting-edge research.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the National History Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

New Version of British Museum online collection covers over 4 million objects

The Lewis Chessmen. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum has overhauled its online collection database, allowing over 4 million objects to be seen by people anywhere in the world. This new version of the online database officially called the British Museum Collection Online has been unveiled earlier than planned so that people who are currently under lockdown measures due to Covid-19 can enjoy the treasures from one of the world’s great collections from the comfort of their own home.

This is the biggest update the Museum’s Collection Online has seen since being first created in 2007. It is now fully responsive, making it accessible on mobile and tablets alongside desktop browsers for the first time. The user experience has been completely overhauled, with more intuitive and powerful search technology that is easier to use and more accurate. The whole portal has also been given a major on-screen redesign.

Screenshots of Collection Online search results. © The Trustees of the British Museum

There are nearly 4.5 million objects available to be enjoyed, with 1.9 million images. The new database sees 280,000 new object photographs and 85,000 new object records published for the very first time, many of them acquisitions the Museum has made in recent years, including 73 portraits by Damian Hirst, a previously lost watercolour by Rossetti, and a stunning 3,000-year-old Bronze age pendant.

The Death of Breuze Sans Pitié by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The majority of the 1.9 million object images are available for anyone to use for free under a Creative Commons 4.0 license. Users no longer need to register to use these photographs, and can now download them directly to their devices, making it easier and quicker to access them for non-commercial activities such as sharing on social media.

A metope sculpture from the Parthenon frieze showing a mythical battle between a Centaur and a Lapith. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum’s collection is one of the biggest in the world: over half is now available to see online, making it one of the most expansive online museum collection databases from any global museum.

A relief plaque made of brass cast, part of the Benin Bronzes. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Collection Online includes the Museum’s most famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, the artefacts of Sutton Hoo, the Cyrus Cylinder, the Parthenon Sculptures, and the Benin Bronzes.

But it also provides access to other parts of the museum collection, such as the entire collection of objects the Museum holds from Ancient Egypt, every item from Australia, over 750,000 prints by artists such as Rembrandt, William Hogarth and Kara Walker, over 50,000 English coins from the medieval period to the Tudors, and important sculpture from Ancient Greece and Rome.

Screenshots of Collection Online search results. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Object records include physical descriptions, information on materials, display and acquisition history, dimensions, previous owners and curatorial comments. Work is continuing to ensure this information is included as fully as possible on every object in the collection and to add new photographs.

Screenshots of Collection Online search results. © The Trustees of the British Museum

A major new addition is the ability to see object images up close, using zoom technology from the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). This allows the fast, rich zoom and panning of images so viewers can see objects on a level of detail inaccessible to the naked eye. This will be available on a select number of key objects from today, including the Rapa Nui sculpture Hoa Hakananai’a and the Admonitions Scroll made in China over 1600 years ago. The number will then grow to thousands over the coming weeks.

The new online collection also sees an expansion of object records written in Chinese. All 1700 pieces in the Sir Percival David Collection of Chinese ceramics now have records in both English and Chinese. The Sir Percival David Collection has some of the finest Chinese ceramics in the world, and they are on long term loan to the British Museum from the Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art.

The relaunch of the online collection comes as the British Museum sees a massive surge in traffic to its website as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and people having to stay at home. In the 28 days since the closure of the Museum on Wednesday 18 March 2020, britishmuseum.org had 1,495,336 users, and 1,848,421 visits/sessions. This was 120% up and 99% up respectively on the same period in 2019.

For more information, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

The Nation’s Gallery, in the nation’s homes : National Gallery Online

Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, Combing the Hair (‘La Coiffure’), about 1896 © The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery is bringing its pictures into our homes in a major new digital programme.

Inspired by the legacy of the Myra Hess concerts, which took place at the Gallery during the Second World War, the programme produced entirely from home across its social media, website and emails celebrates the creative possibilities of staying in and the ways that art can help mental wellbeing during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Gallery serves a digital audience of over 10 million people every year, with a digital reach of hundreds of millions of people. After record increases in visits to some of its online content of over 2,000% on last year, following closure of its Trafalgar Square site, the Gallery’s new digital programme looks at the different ways people can look at, use and respond to art wherever they are. Through this digital initiative the Gallery will be open 24/7 with free art for everyone online.

In A curated look, staff give talks on the Gallery’s pictures from their living rooms; the first inspires people to look at the way artists have painted what is around them indoors. Dr Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, the Gallery’s Associate Curator of Paintings 1600-1800, talks about paintings from the Gallery’s collection that celebrate domestic activities such as playing music and card games. Among the works Dr Whitlum-Cooper discusses are Chardin’s The House of Cards, Manet’s Eva Gonzalès, Degas’s Combing the Hair (‘La Coiffure’) and Vermeer’s Young Woman Standing at a Virginal.

Johannes Vermeer, A Young Woman standing at a Virginal, about 1670-2 © The National Gallery, London

As many people under lockdown are finding comfort in nature around their homes and in their gardens, another upcoming episode in the series looks at three expansive rural landscapes in the collection that take us from morning to night. As well as Rubens’s A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning and Corot’s The Four Times of Day; Night this talk includes that most treasured evocation of the British countryside, Constable’s The Hay Wain.

A series of online tutorials on ‘slow looking’ develops the Gallery’s mindfulness programme by showing online visitors how to look at pictures in depth and explore hidden details. The first of these asks us to take a closer, slower look at Turner’s Rain Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway.

In Make and create, viewers are given suggestions and instructions for making and creating artworks at home, inspired by the collection. In the first episode, families are shown how to use their old newspapers and magazines to create a collage inspired by Rousseau’s painting of a tiger prowling in the undergrowth, Surprised! In an upcoming episode, one of the Gallery’s most popular paintings, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, is the starting point to explore four fun drawing techniques for people to try at home.

The Google virtual tour of the Gallery is up 642% on the period prior to the Government’s instructions to stay at home, an increase of 3,046% on the same time last year. The Gallery’s collection pages (where you can zoom into paintings in detail and read about them in depth) have received 58% more views than the previous period (1 March 2020 -18 March 2020) and 10% more than this time last year.

Jean-Siméon Chardin, The House of Cards (Portrait of Jean-Alexandre Le Noir), about 1740-1 © The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery has a strong digital presence across its website and social media channels. All of the Gallery’s collection is represented online with a dedicated webpage, zoomable image, key facts and description

Some of the collection is also on other platforms that bring together many other cultural institutions such as Art UK and Google Arts & Culture.

The Gallery produces a wealth of digital content; behind the scenes videos, serialised content, Facebook and You Tube Lives. Plus, there is a large back catalogue on our YouTube channel of lectures, talks and events.

Recent available content to help people explore art while self-isolating

Titian

Titian Facebook live:
Making the Titian frames for the exhibition: https://youtu.be/yBpqBIMyDSw

Symbols and themes series

Eight female artists from the collection
Love and punishment, the meaning of arrows in art
How to spot saints in paintings:
The meaning of birds in paintings

Behind the scenes series

Behind the scenes playlist
Latest video – retouching Charles I portrait

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Head of a Laughing Child: Rare London Sculpture displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A have announced it has acquired a previously unknown porcelain sculpture Head of a Laughing Child (about 1746–49) after its chance discovery at a French flea market eight years ago. Following extensive research, the V&A revealed that the sculpture was almost certainly cast from an original clay model made by the renowned French-born sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac, who was active in London in the 1740s. The sculpture is now on display in the museum’s British Galleries, alongside some of the earliest examples of English porcelain.

Detailed research has confirmed it was made at London’s Chelsea porcelain factory, England’s first major porcelain factory established in 1743. The sculpture’s glassy body and glaze, as well as the surface pitting, are typical of the early experimental period at the Chelsea porcelain factory.

Roubiliac was the creator of the original model for Head of a Laughing Child. Roubiliac was a friend of Nicholas Sprimont, the owner and founder of the Chelsea porcelain factory, and evidence suggests Roubiliac considered using Chelsea porcelain for a major sculptural commission in the first few months of the factory’s opening. Additionally, the quality of modelling and the style of the Head, which combines Italianate, French and German influences, all point to Roubiliac as the author of the work. This is supported by documentary evidence revealing Roublilac’s roots and training in both France and Dresden, where he acquired extensive knowledge of Ancient Roman and Baroque sculpture.

Roubiliac would have sculpted the head in clay approximately 20 per cent bigger than the resulting porcelain figure. From this model, multi-part plaster moulds were taken at the Chelsea porcelain factory and then used to cast several versions of the head in porcelain. These were then carefully dried in a process that saw them shrink considerably. The porcelain heads were then glazed and fired at a high temperature.

Only one other porcelain example of Roubiliac’s Head of a Laughing Child is known to exist. Discovered in 1938, it has been in the Ashmolean Museum’s collection since 1965. The Ashmolean sculpture is decorated with polychrome enamel, unlike the V&A’s monochrome white example. In 2012 the two Heads were brought together for comparison, when experts from across the world confirmed that they were both cast from the same mould at the Chelsea porcelain factory. The plain white sculpture is more aesthetically pleasing, and its firing seems to have been more successful than that of the polychrome version.

The sculpture is displayed alongside Roubiliac’s porcelain figure of the painter William Hogarth’s infamous dog, Trump.

The V&A Ceramics collection encompasses the history of fine ceramic production from 2500 BC to the present day, with strengths in international contemporary studio ceramics, European porcelain and pottery from 1500 onwards, and ceramics from China, Japan and the Middle East.

For more information, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Museum of London displays a Rare Silver Plate owned by Samuel Pepys

(c) Museum of London

The Museum of London has acquired and is displaying an extremely rare silver plate, originally owned by Samuel Pepys. The silver plate, with knife and fork scratch marks offers a fascinating link to the life and times of Samuel Pepys, the naval administrator and famous diarist.

(c) Museum of London

The rim of the plate is engraved with the coat of arms of the Pepys family, and the underside has London hallmarks. Also on the plate’s underside are the date letter for 1681/2 and the maker’s mark ‘MK in a lozenge’ indicating that it was made in the workshop of Mary King in Foster Lane: just five minutes’ walk from the Museum of London. There’s a much later scratched inscription, reading: ‘date 1681’.

(c) Museum of London

Very little 17th century silver survives because it was often refashioned or melted down. This plate is one of just three surviving items of silver known to have belonged to Pepys. The other two are now in the United States of America.

(c) Museum of London

Samuel Pepys was born in London in 1633 and began work at the Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board 1660. In the same year, Pepys started to write his famous diary that became an important chronicle of London social life and current affairs in a time of considerable turmoil. Pepys was an avid collector of books, prints, silver, household-furnishings, ship-models and curiosities. As his wealth increased, so did his collection of silver plate which was considered an investment and a sign of wealth and status.

In 1666, Pepys placed an order with the Goldsmith Sir Robert Vyner for twelve plates increasing his stock of plates to thirty overall. However in September of the same year Pepys sent his money and plates off for safe keeping due to the Great Fire of London ‘About four o’clock in the morning, my Lady Batten sent me a cart to carry away all my money, and plate, and best things, to Sir W. Rider’s at Bednall-greene….His house full of goods, and much of Sir W. Batten’s and Sir W. Pen’s I am eased at my heart to have my treasure so well secured.

(c) Museum of London

Pepys enjoyed showing of his silver, in 1667 Pepys wrote: I home and there find all things in good readiness for a good dinner … we had, with my wife and I, twelve at table; and a very good and pleasant company, and a most neat and excellent, but dear dinner; but Lord, to see with what envy they looked upon all my fine plate was pleasant, for I made the best show I could, to let them understand me and my condition.

You can see Samuel Pepys’s silver plate on display in the Museum of London’s War, Plague and Fire gallery.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

RA Festival of Ideas at the Royal Academy from 2nd to 6th May 2019

The RA Festival of Ideas returns to the Royal Academy of Arts which brings together a variety of fascinating people in art, literature, film, design, dance and music for five days of discussion, debate and creative thinking in the Royal Academy’s Benjamin West Lecture Theatre.

The festival is rooted in the Royal Academy’s heritage of rigorous debate and will explore culture, creativity and critical thinking through a series of interviews, conversations and panel discussions, as well as classes in the RA’s historic Life Room.

Thursday 2 May

Grayson Perry RA, one of Britain’s best-known contemporary artists, talks art, sex and creativity with psychotherapist Philippa Perry. Chaired by Tim Marlow, Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Arts. Accompanied by British Sign Language interpretation. (7pm)

Friday 3 May

Award-winning director Ken Loach talks to writer and critic Francine Stock about his 50-year career in film and the reactions his work has provoked, particularly in Britain. (12:30pm)

World renowned designer Sir Paul Smith discusses how the world constantly inspires him, leading him to look for ideas in everything from the mundane to the extraordinary. (2.30pm)

Recently appointed Artistic Director of the Young Vic theatre, Kwame Kwei-Armah talks to writer and broadcaster Sarah Crompton about his lifelong passion for theatre and the joys and challenges of opening it up to wider audiences. (6.30pm)

Having composed his first song at the age of 9, Neil Tennant, the singing half of Pet Shop Boys speaks to BBC Radio 4 presenter John Wilson about pop, poetry and the art of song writing. (8.30pm)

Saturday 4 May

In Rewriting the past: Sarah Dunant and Kate Mosse, two of the UK’s best-selling historical novelists, talk to the writer and broadcaster Alex Clark about their different approaches to exploring the past, and what the genre can reveal that eludes historians. Accompanied by British Sign Language and Stagetext interpretation. (1.30pm)

Celebrating the 250th anniversary of the RA Schools, Life drawing at the RA invites participants to follow in the footsteps of generations of artists in a life drawing class in the RA’s historic Life Room, led by an expert tutor. (2.30pm)

Posy Simmonds, one of the UK’s most famous female cartoonist, reveals her penchant for difficult and dangerous women and why she loves poking fun at the middle classes. In conversation with journalist Claire Armitstead. (3.30pm)

The Turner prize nominated artists, identical twin sisters Jane and Louise Wilson RA discuss their fascination with politics, surveillance and conflict and the challenges of working together. Chaired by the Artistic Director of the RA, Tim Marlow. (5.30pm)

Sunday 5 May

In a provocative lecture entitled How the education system is crushing creativity, author, poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen argues that the education system is strangling the arts. Accompanied by British Sign Language and Stagetext interpretation. (12.30pm)

The British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, author of The Bastard of Istanbul and Three Daughters of Eve, talks to BBC presenter Razia Iqbal about gender, politics and identity in her work. (2.30pm)

Future of Feminism: Yomi Adegoke, Laura Bates, Candice Carty-Williams and Natalie Hayne presents a panel discussion with four leading feminists looking at what it means to be a woman in 2019, the era of Trump and #MeToo, and how they see the future of feminism. Chaired by the author and broadcaster Bidisha. (4.30pm)

Monday 6 May

Poet, playwright, broadcaster and educator Lemn Sissay MBE talks to writer and critic Alex Clark about how poetry saved his life and why language has the power to transform society. (11am)

Clio Barnard, the award-winning film maker behind The Arbor, talks to writer and broadcaster Matthew Sweet about the social and political inspiration behind her work. (1pm)

Hofesh Shechter, the internationally-acclaimed dancer, choreographer and composer, reflects on how it feels to be an artist in a highly politicised world, with writer and broadcaster Sarah Crompton. (3pm)

Having made seven films about lesser-known artists for the BBC, Michael Palin, the award-winning actor, writer, comedian and presenter speaks to broadcaster Martha Kearney about falling in love with painting and why he thinks it works so well on the small screen. (5.30pm)

Family Events

Friday 3 May

Dame Jacqueline Wilson, one of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors, reveals the secrets behind creating her most memorable characters and why she’ll never stop writing, in conversation with BBC Arts Correspondent Rebecca Jones. (4.30pm)

Saturday 4 May

In The art of children’s illustration, talented storytellers and illustrators Cressida Cowell and Chris Riddell discuss the art of marrying words and pictures and treat audiences to live drawing on stage. (11am)

In the workshop How to train your dragon, audiences are invited to draw real life chameleons, geckos and bearded dragon lizards, inspired by the fantastical worlds of Chris Riddell and Cressida Cowell, led by Wild Life Drawing. (12.30pm and 3.15pm)

Sunday 5 May

In Designing a best-selling children’s book, author, illustrator and Waterstones Children’s Laureate Lauren Child and designer David Mackintosh reveal how they go about forming their popular creations. (10.30am)

A Family illustration workshop explores the art of illustration, as visitors learn about the techniques of Lauren Child and David Mackintosh, the team who bring Charlie and Lola to life, led by illustrator and educator Julie Vermeille. (12pm and 2.30pm)

Monday 6 May

Professional comic book artist Kev F. Sutherland, who writes and draws for The Beano, Doctor Who and Marvel comics, leads a Comic Art Masterclass, where participants can make a comic of their own (10am and 1.30pm)

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

‘Lost’ Portrait of Charles Dickens goes on display at the Charles Dickens Museum – 2 to 7 April 2019

A recently discovered portrait of Charles Dickens by Margaret Gillies is to be displayed at the Charles Dickens Museum. The ‘lost portrait’ of Charles Dickens was discovered in an auction of household goods in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 2017. Last year, the painting arrived at the Philip Mould & Co Gallery in London and, following conservation and provenance research, was confirmed to be the portrait of Charles Dickens painted by Margaret Gillies over six sittings in 1843, when Dickens was 31 years old and writing A Christmas Carol.

Gillies’ portrait was exhibited at the 1844 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and quickly became the defining image of Dickens. On seeing the portrait, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning said it “has the dust and mud of humanity about him, notwithstanding those eagle eyes”. However, in 1886, Gillies noted that she had ‘lost sight of the portrait itself’. It remained lost until the South African auction and undisplayed until its unveiling at Mould & Co last year.

The Museum is campaigning to raise the funds to secure the future of the painting and bring it permanently to Doughty Street. It has already raised £65,000 of the £180,000 needed to purchase the portrait.

Address: Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Review : Museum of London Docklands in West India Docks

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Museum of London Docklands is a museum in West India Docks which tells the history of the River Thames and the growth of Docklands.

The museum opened in 2003 in grade I listed early-19th century Georgian warehouses built in 1802 on the side of West India Docks near to the Canary Wharf financial district. Much of the museum’s collection is from the Museum of London and archives of the Port of London Authority,

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The museum includes series of multimedia presentations including videos and houses a large collection of historical artifacts, models, and pictures in a number of galleries. The museum also has a dedicated children’s gallery called Mudlarks, bookshop and cafe.

The museum through a series of permanent galleries tells the story of how the Docklands were created and how they have changed.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The gallery entitled No.1 Warehouse explores the museum building itself which was originally No. 1 Warehouse of the West India Docks. Opened in 1802, the West India Docks were London’s first enclosed dock system.The gallery illustrates how London’s historic docks and warehouses operated.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Trade Expansion (1600-1800) and London, Sugar & Slavery (1600 – today) galleries consider the effect of global trade and some of its consequences.

City and River (1800-1840), The early 19th century brought great change to London’s river and port. The huge docks complex was just one aspect of the development. New bridges spanned the Thames and the Thames tunnel was completed.

The ever popular Sailortown (1840-1850) gallery recreates the atmosphere of Sailortown, the London district, close to the river and docks, centred around Wapping, Shadwell and Ratcliffe.

The First Port of Empire (1840-1880) and Warehouse of the World (1880-1939) galleries illustrate how London and the docks became the centre of world trade.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Docklands at War (1939-1945) shows how important the docks were for the war effort and how they became a prime target for enemy bombers.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The New Port, New City gallery (1945 – present) recounts the ups and downs of London’s upriver docks after the war culminating in their closure from the 1960s through to the early 1980s. It also shows how Docklands became the site of Europe’s largest regeneration project which was to divide government and local communities.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Museum of London Docklands is a fascinating free museum in a historic building which tells the remakable story of London’s Docklands. Located near to the Canary Wharf financial district, it is an ideal oportunity to discover how the area became the centre for world trade before it became a centre for finance.

Location : Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Review: Bank of England Museum

The Bank of England stands behind high walls in the City of London and is often ignored by visitors, however it has a fascinating history. The Bank of England has played a unique role in British history for over 300 years, it is the central bank of the United Kingdom which was established in 1694. The bank also plays an important role in setting monetary policy and has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales and regulates the issue of banknotes by banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

To find out more about the bank, visitors can enter The Bank of England Museum which has a selection of displays and exhibits which cover the history of the Bank, its buildings, and the role the bank has played more than 300 years.

The first room is The Stock Office which is a reconstruction of one of the bank’s eighteenth-century offices built by Sir John Soane, who was the Bank’s architect from 1788 to 1833.

Displays show how the bank is involved in monetary policy, tries to ensure financial stability by identifying and monitoring risks in the financial system and looks at the Bank of England’s architecture from Sir John Soane to Herbert Baker who rebuilt and expanded the Bank in the 1930s. The current bank building has seven floors above ground and three floors below.

The next section entitled The Early Years 1694 – 1800 explores the first 100 or so years of the Bank of England. The bank was created as a response to the need to raise money at the time of war with France. The Bank was located in rented buildings for its first 40 years, but moved to Threadneedle Street in 1734.

One of the oldest pieces of furniture in the Bank, dating from approximately 1700 is a great iron chest that was the forerunners of modern safes. Visitors can also see a £1 million pound note used for internal accounting in the 18th century. It was in the 18th century that The Bank of England’s got its famous nickname, ‘The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’, which originated from a 1797 cartoon by the satirist James Gillray.

The centre of the museum is the The Rotunda which features displays for the period 1800 to 1946. The statues around the Rotunda, called caryatids, were original features of Sir John Soane’s bank. They were salvaged for use in the new building.

The bank played an important role during the interwar years, managing the country’s gold and foreign exchange reserves and operating monetary policy, this was formalised when the bank was nationalised in 1946.

A remarkable little known fact is that The Bank of England stores around 400,000 gold bars in its vaults. The gold stored in the vaults doesn’t actually belong to the Bank of England. Instead, the Bank stores gold on behalf of the UK Treasury, other governments and central banks around the world, and many other financial institutions.

If you have ever wondered what it is like to handle genuine bar of gold, you can with a bar weighing 13kg (28lb) available for visitors to lift up in a small box.

The Banknote Gallery looks at the origins of paper money in ancient China and how banknotes have changed from the seventeenth century to the present day. The problem with forgeries is discussed and you can look at the complex designs that make modern banknotes more difficult to counterfeit. There is a section on the cutting-edge technology used to create the Bank of England’s newest polymer banknotes.

As well as the permanent displays, the museum has a series of temporary exhibitions taking place throughout the year.

The Bank of England Museum is located within the Bank of England itself and is a fascinating look at this often mysterious institution. The museum is relatively small but full of interesting exhibits which provide some background to the role of the bank in the past and in the modern world.

Admission is free, but all visitors will need to go through airport style security to enter the museum, the museum entrance is on Bartholomew Lane.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Bank of England website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
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Review: National Maritime Museum in Greenwich

The National Maritime Museum is located within the historic buildings that form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and is run by Royal Museums Greenwich which comprises of the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House.

Greenwich has been the home to a naval-based art gallery since the early 1800s, however the idea for a National Maritime Museum goes back to the 1920s, when a public appeal was launched to develop a ‘national naval and nautical museum’. Sir James Caird purchased the A.G.H. Macpherson Collection of over 11,000 maritime prints, along with ship models and many other items, to help begin the Museum’s collection.

Over a decade later, the National Maritime Museum was opened by King George VI in 1937 and now holds some of the most important items in the world on the history of Britain at sea, including maritime art, cartography, manuscripts, official public records, ship models and plans. In the last ten years, more gallery spaces have been added and a new library and archive has been developed.

Highlights of the ground level area are the remarkable collection of figureheads from the late 17th century until the early 20th century, the stern gallery of HMS Implacable, a full size Type-23 frigate propeller and the lavish 20 metre The state barge built for Frederick, Prince of Wales and launched in 1732.

On the ground level is the Jutland 1916 gallery which was opened to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the largest sea battle of the First World War.

Also on this level is J.M.W. Turner’s largest painting of The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, which is one of the highlights of the museums art collection and the Voyagers gallery which tells the story of Britain and the sea and Maritime London.

Moving up to other levels, there are series of galleries and displays including the Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery which explores the life and times of great British hero Horatio Nelson and the history of the Royal Navy and British people from 1688–1815. One of the highlights is the actual uniform Admiral Nelson was wearing when he was fatally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Visitors can find out about Britain’s maritime trade with Asia in the Traders: the East India Company and Asia gallery and find a moments peace in the beautiful Baltic Exchange Memorial Glass gallery which commemorates World War I dead.

The museum has opened four new galleries from September 2018, Tudor and Stuart Seafarers uncovers stories of adventure and piracy, ambition and greed. Polar Worlds discover the challenges of extreme environments. From Arctic and Antarctic exploration to the impact of climate change on human lives. Pacific Encounters voyage to the world’s largest ocean and hear hidden histories of exploration and exploitation. Sea Things explores more personal connections with the sea with a series of personal stories.

The museum attracts many children and families with its AHOY! children’s gallery and you can enjoy food and drink in the Parkside Café and Terrace which features the popular Yinka Shonibare’s replica of Nelson’s HMS Victory in a bottle.

The National Maritime Museum is one of the top free museums in London and is often visited by those who wish to explore the many delights of historic Greenwich. The museum has in recent years worked to show their remarkable objects in a way that they illustrate particular stories and events. This very popular museum has been innovative in the way it uses historical objects and multimedia to tell the fascinating story of Britain’s maritime past.

For more information and tickets, visit the National Maritime Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here