Somerset House

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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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.

Secret 7”

  • 10 April — 3 May 2015 *on now

Secret 7”, the annual project that brings music and art together for a good cause, is returning for 2015 bigger and better than ever before. Taking place throughout April, the exhibition will be moving to a new home at Somerset House.

This year the charity is Nordoff Robbins, who are dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults through musical therapy.

As in previous years, the seven musicians represent a diverse range of styles and eras; from arguably the greatest living rock and Motown artists through to seminal British electronic pioneers via some of the most innovative and critically acclaimed contemporary acts around.

The concept is simple: each year Secret 7” take one iconic track from seven legendary musicians and press each one 100 times to vinyl.

Each record receives a one-of-a-kind sleeve, as designed by 700 creatives, from global high-profile artists to talented emerging designers. All are welcome to submit their designs.

The 700 records will then be displayed in a month-long exhibition at Somerset House, after which they go on sale for the uniform price of £50 on Monday, 4 May 2015. The only catch is that the buyer won’t know who the record is by, or who has designed the sleeve until they have parted with their cash. Therein lies the secret…

Website

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/secret-7

Photo London

  • 21 — 25 May 2015

Photo London is a unique photography event. It features a major international photography fair for up to 70 of the world’s leading photography galleries together with an innovative public programme supported by the LUMA Foundation.

The public programme opens up new audiences for photography, showcases emerging talent and promotes the concept of photography as an asset class.

Photo London showcases the broad range of photographic practice – from vintage to contemporary.

Website

http://photolondon.org

Unseen Waterloo, Somerset House, London

Unseen Waterloo - Photographs from the battlefield by Sam Faulkner

  • 12 June — 30 August 2015

Since 2009 Sam Faulkner has been travelling to the battlefields of Waterloo in Belgium to create a unique set of photographs that commemorate the 70,000 men who fell that day.

The exhibition will comprise over 80 life-sized photographs made in the actual fields where the battle was fought. The subjects are the characters created during the annual re-enactment of the battle.

A book will be published on 18th June 2015 to coincide with the exhibition. The book can be pre-ordered on the Unseen Waterloo website.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.unseenwaterloo.co.uk

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

  • 1 July — 13 December 2015

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

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival 2015

  • 23 April — 4 May 2015 *on now

Pick Me Up returns to Somerset House for its sixth year, featuring a fresh line-up of artists and designers bringing the best of new illustration, graphic design and related disciplines to inspire and delight. Vibrant, engaging and packed full of exciting things to see, do and buy, Pick Me Up 2015 will once again feature a whole host of different working processes and techniques ranging from traditional screen-printing to animation, risograph printing to paper craft.

Both emerging and established talent will set up interactive workspaces throughout Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries for the 12 days of the festival. Each representing a different form of graphic art, the studios will offer visitors plenty of opportunities to engage with the artists and designers directly, see work being made onsite, and even create their own work. The original pieces produced throughout the festival, plus limited edition prints and accessories, will be available for purchase with prices ranging between £5 and £200.

Admission

Day tickets £10.00, concessions £8.00
Early Bird Festival Pass £14.00 (until 31 March), normal price £17.50

Website

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/pick-me-up-2015

2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

  • 24 April — 10 May 2015 *on now

The Sony World Photography Awards are one of the world’s leading photography competitions, the exhibition showcases the winning and shortlisted photographers from submissions from across all disciplines, from fine art to photojournalism to lifestyle.

Recognising and rewarding the world’s best contemporary photography from the last year, the 2015 competition received the highest number of entries in its eight year history – 173,444 images from 171 countries.

Reflecting the very best international contemporary photography from the last year, the exhibition includes photographs to suit all tastes. Well-documented scenes are given a fresh look with ground-breaking photography styles and photographers of all abilities will be inspired to shoot their own view of the world.

Admission

Anytime Entry £8.50, Weekday Entry (10.00-16.00) £6.50
Concessions (weekdays only) £5.00
Two tickets (valid anytime) £16.00
Four tickets (valid anytime) £30.00

Website

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/2015-sony-world-photography-awards-exhibition

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.

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

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

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

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.

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