Somerset House

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Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. During summer months a 'grove' of 55 fountains dance in the courtyard, and in winter you can skate on London's favourite outdoor ice rink. Somerset House also hosts open-air concerts and films, contemporary art and design exhibitions, family workshops and free guided tours of spaces usually hidden to visitors.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Heritage site, Historic house or home

See also

Opening hours

Embankment level 10.00-18.00

The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court 07.30-23.00

River Terrace & Seamen's Hall 08.00-23.00

Embankment Galleries (during exhibitions) 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.30)

Admission charges

Entrance to Somerset House is free.
There is a charge for some temporary exhibitions please see www.somersethouse.org.uk for further details

Getting there

The nearest mainline rail stations are:
Charing Cross, Waterloo and Blackfriars.

The nearest underground stations are:
Temple, Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment.

Buses servicing the Strand include numbers 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 77a, 91 and 176, while the River Bus Service can be taken to Embankment and Savoy piers.

Pedestrian access to Somerset House is available from Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge (via a new footbridge link) or from the Strand.

Additional info

Smoking
Smoking is not permitted inside the buildings. Smoking is permitted on the River Terrace and in The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court.

Photography
Non-commercial photography is welcomed in most parts of Somerset House except, for reasons of copyright, in the Seamen's Hall and the King's Barge House. The use of tripods is not permitted for safety reasons. Visitors wishing to take non-flash photography at The Courtauld Gallery should enquire at the admissions desk. Unauthorised wedding photography is not permitted.

Fountains
The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court is at the heart of Somerset House - a dignified courtyard with a mischievous streak.
The array of jets dance in an orchestrated sequence, with added coloured lighting at night - a refreshing surprise on a warm summer day.
To confirm you can see the fountain displays on your visit please call
020 7845 4600.

Collection details

Social History, Photography, Maritime, Fine Art, Design, Decorative and Applied Art, Architecture

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

The Jam: About the Young Idea

  • 26 June — 27 September 2015 *on now

Exhibition now extended until 27 September 2015

This summer, Somerset House, in collaboration with Nice Time Inc Productions, is proud to present The Jam: About the Young Idea. With unprecedented access to The Jam’s archive, Somerset House will curate the first comprehensive exhibition about the extraordinary band whose music immortalised life for Britain’s disenchanted youth during the late 70s and early 80s. Through unseen material and fan memorabilia, the exhibition will chart the trio’s journey from Sheerwater Secondary Modern in Woking to superstardom, kick-started by the release of their debut hit single ‘In The City’, whose lyrics are referenced in the exhibition’s title, and ended six years later with 18 consecutive UK top 40 singles and over 14 million global album sales.

For the very first time, all three members of the band – Paul Weller, Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton – the Weller family and music archivist Den Davis have opened up their archives, especially for the show. The collection, which is curated by frontman Paul’s sister and former head of The Jam’s fan club Nicky Weller, Tory Turk and Russell Reader with additional advice from DJ Gary Crowley, includes hand written lyrics, original stage outfits, personal photographs and footage, unreleased music videos, early scrapbooks, letters and postcards, posters and fanzines, and the band’s instruments. The exhibition, designed in reference to album artworks and featuring original graphics from celebrated artist Anthony Burrill, will provide a unique and personal insight into the band’s trailblazing life and the retrospect legacy The Jam left on music, style, politics and culture.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Exhibition Ticket £9.50, concessions £7.00
Exhibition Ticket & CD Package £17.50, concessions £15.00

Website

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/the-jam-about-the-young-idea

Art, Identity, Migration: 100 Years of Ben Uri in London 1915–2015

  • 1 July — 13 December 2015 *on now

To celebrate Ben Uri's foundation in 1915, this unique exhibition exploring the experience of identity and migration during the last century, also offers a rare chance to view many masterpieces from the museum's collection.

Encompassing paintings, work on paper, sculpture, new media and archival pieces, the exhibition will explore related issues of historical and contemporary displacement and migration.

It will include not only world-class works by artists such as Auerbach, Chagall and Soutine, but also important examples of fine work by lesser-known emigrés who were not so fortunate in their careers for a variety of reasons often related to their migration and for whom Ben Uri provided an important exhibition platform.

Suitable for

Website

http://www.benuri.org.uk/public/?centenary-countdown-at-ben-uri

photograph of sculpture comprising 7 stacked balls in varying colours and sizes

Shared

  • 10 — 13 September 2015

Macmillan Cancer Support and De’Longhi are delighted to present SHARED, a four day exhibition taking place at Somerset House.

View an eclectic mix of high profile contemporary artwork in the beautiful West Wing of one of London’s most iconic buildings.

SHARED remoulds the basic principle of art ownership where over 10 international artists have come together to create artworks that will be sold off in parts - offering visitors the privilege of owning one original piece of a major artwork by a famous artist.

Proceeds from all sales will help Macmillan Cancer Support ensure no one faces cancer alone.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/get-involved/fundraising-events/event-detail/514/macmillande’longhiartauction

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

A Victorian Excursion – History workshop for KS1 or KS2

This lively lesson based in the Gilbert Collection looks at the Victorian fashion for European travel. After an imaginary journey, the children will ‘arrive in Italy’ where they can wander amongst the Gilbert Collection’s unique display of micromosaic pictures, jewellery and furniture and ‘select a
souvenir’ to sketch for those back home.
This workshop is available at either 10.30am
or 1.30pm and includes entrance to the
Gilbert Collection.
Cost £30.00 plus VAT per class.

How to obtain

For further information or to book a session please call the Education Department on 020 7420 9406

A Box Full of Stories for KS1 and KS2 to support the Literacy Hour

This workshop uses the Gilbert Collection’s
outstanding collection of sparkling gold
boxes to extend literacy skills. Using drama
games and descriptive exercises, the
children create their own stories and art
work inspired by the gold box collection.
This workshop is available on Thursdays at either 10.30am
or 1.30pm and includes entrance to the
Gilbert Collection.
Cost £30.00 plus VAT per class.

How to obtain

For further information or to book a session please call the Education Department on 020 7420 9406

A Very Grand Tour for KS1 or KS2

Embark on a tour of the Gilbert Collection
with our eighteenth century aristocrat the
Marquis di Macaroni. Listen to his tales of
European travel in the past and marvel at the
exotic objects in the Gilbert Collection. This
workshop can be used to support work on
leisure, transport and clothing in the past.
This tour is available on Fridays at either
10.30am or at 1.30pm and includes
entrance into the Gilbert Collection.
Cost £30.00 plus VAT per class.

How to obtain

Call the Education Department on 020 7420 9406 for more information or to make a booking

Britain 1750-1900 – Tour of Somerset House

As home of the British Navy, Somerset House
had a vital role in this period. This tour
provides a unique insight in to the role of a
key government institution at this time of
great social, political and economic change.
This tour is available at either 10.30am
or 1.30am.
Cost £30.00 plus VAT per class.

How to obtain

For further information or to book a session please call the Education Department on 0207 420 9406

Cabinet of Curiosities – Art Workshop for KS1 or KS2

This workshop uses the amazing objects in
the Gilbert Collection to inspire the children
to create their own ‘cabinet of curiosities’.
A tour of the Gilbert Collection is the
stimulus for 3D and collage work resulting in
the creation of a replica 17th century
collector’s cabinet.
This all day workshop starting at 10.30am
includes entrance to the Gilbert Collection.
Cost £45.00 plus VAT per class.

How to obtain

For further information or to book a session please call the Education Department on 020 7420 9406

Investigating the Tudors – History workshop for KS2

This session based around the spectacular
Gilbert Collection encourages the interactive
use of historical sources to investigate life in
Tudor times and develops skills of historical
enquiry. Children will have opportunities to
create their own art work and learn about
Elizabethan banqueting; the session draws
on the rich history of Somerset House and
includes a teachers’ follow up pack.
This workshop is available at either 10.30am
or 1.30pm and includes entrance into the
Gilbert Collection.
Cost £30.00 plus VAT per class.

How to obtain

For further information or to make a booking please call 020 7420 9406

Getting there

The nearest mainline rail stations are:
Charing Cross, Waterloo and Blackfriars.

The nearest underground stations are:
Temple, Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment.

Buses servicing the Strand include numbers 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 77a, 91 and 176, while the River Bus Service can be taken to Embankment and Savoy piers.

Pedestrian access to Somerset House is available from Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge (via a new footbridge link) or from the Strand.

Somerset House
Strand
London
Greater London
WC2R 1LA
England

Website

www.somersethouse.org.uk

E-mail

info@somersethouse.org.uk

Telephone

020 7845 4600

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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