Top Museums In London
One reason we all love travelling to new places is to learn about the rich culture and history, and that’s why museums are always a must-do no matter where you go! London has many famous museums, 3 of which appeared on Art Newspaper’s Top 10 Art Museum Attendance 2015 list. Where do we love going to get a big boost of knowledge around London? Read our list below and find out!
The V&A’s little sibling in Bethnal Green is home to one of the world’s largest collections of historic children’s toys and games, ornate dolls houses, and period costume pieces. If you want to relive your childhood or see how your parents and grandparents lived theirs, then this is the place to be, as the museum has been collecting rare objects since 1872. From teddy bears of the 1700’s to 80’s vintage action figures, this place is enough to take you down memory lane. Some exhibitions on at the moment are ‘Clangers, Bagpuss & Co’ telling the stories of the characters alongside behind the scenes features of Smallfilms’s beloved 1950’s puppets.
If you’re a fan of traditional English interiors, then the Geffrye Museum is right up your street (and it’s quite literally up our street as it’s only a 5-minute walk from the hostel)! Each of the 11 rooms in the museum represents the main living space used by a family, spanning from the 1600’s to present day. The museum is a great place to get lost in another time period, playing pretend has never been so fun! Each room shows how British style has changed over the years, reflecting changes in society, style and the wider world. The gardens are also perfect for a stroll in the sunshine, with each garden inspired by Shoreditch’s history as a horticultural society. Don’t miss ‘The Aylesbury Estate as Home’ exhibition, exploring the huge modernist high-rise estate in South London as a home to thousands of working class residents, from its idealistic beginnings in the 60’s to its notorious rise through the decades and current demolition.
The British Museum is one of the world’s most renowned museums, with an attendance of just under 7 million in 2015. What makes this museum so special? Well it was the first national museum to be open to the public anywhere in the world, and that was way back in 1759! Plus, it was, and always has been, free to enter so that any ‘studious and curious persons’ (that means you!) can enter. The British Museum carries out research and conservation daily, reflected in its breath-taking array of historical artefacts and treasures. From ancient Iran to Roman Britain, the displays are vast and awe-inspiring, with special exhibitions dedicated to specific works of art and collections, such as ‘Krishna in the garden of Assam: the cultural context of Indian textile’. On Friday’s, the museum is open late until 20:30, with special events, lectures, performances and music, related to current exhibitions.
The Tate Modern Britain’s home to modern art, featuring whimsical and challenging art from the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Guerrilla Girls and Jeff Koons. The building itself is an architectural marvel, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of Battersea Power Station. In 2015, it attracted just under 5 million visitors from around the world, solidifying itself as one of Britain’s top art galleries for specific movements such as Surrealism, Minimalism, and Pop-Art. This summer will see exhibitions from American modernism icon Georgia O’Keefe and video and installation artist, Mona Hatoum.
If you head further South West to Kensington, you’ll find the V&A, perfect for fashion, architecture and textile fans, the Natural History Museum, perfect for dinosaur and wildlife fans, and the Science Museum, perfect for basically being a big kid! Other honourable mentions include Somerset House and the Saatchi Gallery.