IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums)

IWM London © IWM
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IWM London tells the stories of those whose lives have been shaped by war through the depth, breadth and impact of our Galleries, displays and events. Our new First World War Galleries tell the story of the war – how it started, why it continued and its global impact – through the lives of those who experienced it.

Our dramatic new atrium – featuring iconic objects including a Harrier jet, Spitfire plane and V2 rocket – reveals how people’s lives have been affected by war and conflict from the First World War to the present day.

Explore stories and key moments from the Second World War in A Family in Wartime and The Holocaust. Discover stories of bravery in The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes and delve into the world of espionage in Secret War.

IWM is a member of the First World War Centenary Partnership, a network of organisations committed to the delivery of the First World War Centenary Programme: a global programme of events and activities inspiring young and old to remember the impact of the First World War on people and society today.

Find out more at www.1914.org

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Open daily, 1000-1800. Closed 24, 25 and 26 December

Admission charges

Admission free.

Getting there

Visiting us by London Underground
IWM London is a short walk from Lambeth North (10 mins), Waterloo (15 mins) and Elephant and Castle (15 mins) underground stations.

Visiting us by Bus
Local bus routes that stop near IWM London include 159, 360, 109, 344 and 360.

Visiting us by Train
IWM London is a short 15 minute walk from London Waterloo, Waterloo East, and Elephant and Castle rail stations.

Additional info

Wheelchair access to all areas and disabled toilets available on each floor.

20th Century Collections, include: Art, Documents, Film and Video Archive, Printed Books, Photograph Archive, Sound Archive, Exhibits and Firearms

Items from this collection

Collection details

Archives, Aviation, Coins and Medals, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Literature, Maritime, Personalities, Photography, Social History, Weapons and War

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

Holocaust Exhibition

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This highly-acclaimed permanent exhibition uses film, photographs and a large number of rare artefacts – many brought from Germany and Eastern Europe – to document the history of the Nazi persecution of the Jews and other groups before and during the Second World War.

The Exhibition features over 600 objects, from moving testimonies of survivors and a 13 metre long model depicting events at Auschwitz-Birkenau, through to the letters of an eight year old French Jewish boy who hid in an orphanage before his betrayal and deportation to Auschwitz.

Recommended for children aged 14 and above

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/the-holocaust-exhibition

photograph of the interior of iwm london's First World War galleries

First World War Galleries

  • 19 July 2014 — 31 December 2019 *on now

In the new First World War Galleries, made up of 14 areas, visitors will discover the story of the First World War, how it started, why it continued, how it was won and its global impact, through the lives of those who experienced it on the front line and the home front.

Drawing on our First World War collections – the richest and most comprehensive in the world – the Galleries will feature objects large and small, many of which have never been seen before from lucky charms made from shell fragments to iconic recruitment posters and huge ship models. Objects on show will include weapons and uniforms through to diaries, letters and souvenirs, which will sit alongside photographs, art and film.

Having considered some of the big questions and choices, ordinary and extraordinary, that the people of Britain and its former Empire had to face in this first ‘total war’, visitors will leave the Galleries with a new perspective on this landmark conflict.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/first-world-war-galleries

Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum London

The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes

  • 19 July 2014 — 31 December 2016 *on now

Visitors to the Lord Ashcroft Gallery’s Extraordinary Heroes exhibition can discover the personal stories behind each medal on display in a state-of-the-art space filled with interactive touch-screens, multimedia platforms and original interpretation.

The new gallery examines the concept of bravery and the personal stories behind the award of the medals. Alongside the precious medals are many objects on display for the first time as well as newly commissioned artwork, film and photography.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

Imperial War Museum London

Admission

Free

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/upload/package/181/index.html

Three soldiers walking with their backs to the camera

War Story: Afghanistan 2014

  • 23 October 2014 — 6 September 2015 *on now

This year marks the end of a 13 year period where British troops have been in a combat role in Afghanistan. Through the little known personal stories of those on the ground, IWM London’s new display War Story: Afghanistan 2014 provides a snapshot of this pivotal point in the country’s history.

The voices and experiences of British troops, members of the Afghan National Security Forces and UK government and NGO workers will give visitors an insight into the transition at this time in terms of security and development, highlighting how the future of Afghanistan is delicately poised.

War Story is supported by Boeing Defence UK Ltd, a subsidiary of The Boeing Company.

IWM Holocaust Exhibition

The Holocaust Exhibition

  • 1 December 2014 — 31 December 2015 *on now

Under the cover of the Second World War, for the first time in history, industrial methods were used for the mass extermination of a whole people. Men, women and children endured Nazi persecution and, in most cases, were killed as a result.

The Holocaust Exhibition traces the Nazi persecution and murder of Europe’s Jews from 1933 to 1945. Starting with the turbulent political scene in Europe immediately after the First World War, the exhibition looks at the rise of the Nazi party and how Europe-wide antisemitism made a fertile seedbed for Hitler's anti-Jewish beliefs.

It also covers the perversion of science to support Nazi race theory, the isolation of German Jews, the refugee crisis and the advent of so-called 'Euthanasia' policies in 1939.

Photographs, documents, newspapers, artefacts, posters and film track the history of this persecution and genocide with toys, diaries, photograph albums, storybooks and hand-made mementos revealing people’s efforts to survive. Testimonies from 18 survivors bring a moving and haunting perspective.

The Holocaust Exhibition is not recommended for children under the age of 14.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/the-holocaust-exhibition

Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

  • 5 March — 31 August 2015 *on now

Explore how fashion survived and even flourished under the strict rules of rationing during the Second World War in new and unexpected ways, in this major exhibition at IWM London.

Discover how men and women of Britain found new ways to dress, from adopting more casual styles to demonstrating amazing ingenuity in renovating, recycling and creating their own clothes. See uniforms and textiles from wartime Britain and discover the impact of the war on people’s lives – on what they wore, their sense of identity, and how they coped with the demands and deprivations of shortages and austerity.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Adults £10
Concessions £7
Children (15 and under) £5

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london/exhibitions

Visions of War Above and Below

  • 2 April 2015 — 25 September 2016 *on now

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries the development of flight and aerial warfare has informed and inspired new artistic perspectives.

Visions of War Above and Below shows a variety of imaginative responses to conflict, from surreal depictions of aircraft as creatures, to abstract views of bombing raids and detailed drawings of life in submarines. These artworks, spanning the First World War through to 21st century conflict, are brought together in order to present multiple viewpoints of war above and below.

Highlights from IWM’s art collection include Paul Nash’s Battle of Germany (1944) and Alison Wilding’s Drones drawings (2012), together with new additions to the collection on display for the first time. Among these is Bashar Alhroub’s Heavenly (2010), a video-work made entirely on a hand-held camera directed upwards as the artist walked through an abandoned market overlooked by Jewish settlements in Hebron in the West Bank.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london

Peter Kennard: Unofficial War Artist

  • 14 May 2015 — 30 May 2016

In the first major retrospective of his work, Peter Kennard: Unofficial War Artist examines the art and practice of arguably Britain’s most important political artist.

In a career spanning 50 years Peter Kennard’s imagery has become synonymous with political activism. Working outside of the established art system, his iconic artworks have come to represent the protest movement and have inspired many of today’s politically-minded artists including Mark Wallinger and Banksy.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london/exhibitions

IWM Contemporary: Imogen Stidworthy

  • 4 June — 6 September 2015

IWM London presents The Work v5, a sculptural sound installation by British artist Imogen Stidworthy.

This piece was developed through dialogue with two former British soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and the wife of one of the soldiers, who lives with the effects of war at home.

In The Work v5, Stidworthy uses the voice as a sculptural material, engrained with traces of experience.

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london

Lee Miller: A Woman’s War

  • 15 October 2015 — 31 January 2016

This major exhibition, presented by IWM London in collaboration with the Lee Miller
Archive, examines the impact of the Second World War on women’s lives as
portrayed in the photography of Lee Miller, one of the most important fe
male war photographers of the twentieth century. This will be the first exhibition to address Lee Miller’s vision of gender and will feature photographs, objects, art and personal ephemera, many of which have never been displayed before.

Lee Miller: A Woman’s War will also be accompanied by a major book, published by Thames & Hudson.

Website

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london/exhibitions

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.
British soldiers eating hot rations in the Ancre Valley during the Battle of the Somme, October 1916.

Lives of the First World War

  • 12 May 2014 — 31 December 2018 *on now

By the end of the centenary the project will have built the permanent digital memorial to more than 8 million men and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth and saved their stories for future generations.

Bringing together material from museums, libraries, archives and family collections from across the world together in one place, IWM needs your help to explore these documents, to link them together and to start telling the stories of those who served in uniform and worked on the home front.

Find out more about the project and how you can get involved here:

http://www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org/

Website

http://www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org/

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.

What was life like in the Second World War?

http://www.iwm.org.uk/upload/package/20/lifeinww2/index.htm

How Do We Remember? WebQuest

http://nmolp.iwm.org.uk/webquests/

What sort of things do we remember about the past? How do we capture these memories? This online activity encourages children to investigate the history of the Imperial War Museum and some of its artefacts, before recording a memory of their own in the form of a paper boat. The boats can come together in a classroom display.

How to obtain

Open the How Do We Remember? box, then click Start WebQuest.

Imperial War Museum WebQuests

http://nmolp.iwm.org.uk/webquests/

WebQuests are online activities for children, using the collections of nine national museums and galleries.

The Children's War WebQuest

http://nmolp.iwm.org.uk/webquests/

What were children's lives like in the Second World War? This online investigation uses the collections of the Imperial War Museum to help children imagine the daily life of a child on the Home Front, leading to a piece of creative writing.

How to obtain

Open the Children's War box, then click Start WebQuest.

Getting there

Visiting us by London Underground
IWM London is a short walk from Lambeth North (10 mins), Waterloo (15 mins) and Elephant and Castle (15 mins) underground stations.

Visiting us by Bus
Local bus routes that stop near IWM London include 159, 360, 109, 344 and 360.

Visiting us by Train
IWM London is a short 15 minute walk from London Waterloo, Waterloo East, and Elephant and Castle rail stations.

IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums)
Lambeth Road
London
Greater London
SE1 6HZ
England

Website

www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london

E-mail

General enquiries

mail@iwm.org.uk

Telephone

020 7416 5000

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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