Imperial War Museum London
Imperial War Museum
020 7416 5000
020 7416 5374
Please Note: From 2 January 2013 IWM London will be temporarily closed for six months until July 2013. This is to enable the museum to safely and securely deliver the most disruptive construction works for our ambitious project to transform IWM London.
During the period of temporary closure IWM’s four other branches – Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast in London, IWM Duxford and IWM North – will remain open.
In July 2013 IWM London will be partially re-opening with a major new family exhibition Horrible Histories®: Spies, an autumn programme of new art and photography displays including works that have never been on display before, as well as our permanent art galleries, The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes, The Holocaust Exhibition, Secret War, A Family in Wartime and our Explore History Centre.
In summer 2014, after a year of continued transformation and development, the museum will fully re-open with the launch of brand new First World War Galleries to mark the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War, a new Atrium as well as new shops and a park-side café.
To find out more visit iwm.org.uk
IWM London is the national museum of the experiences of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since 1914.
IWM is the museum of everyone’s story: the history of modern war and people’s experience of war and wartime life in Britain and the Commonwealth. It is an educational and historical institution responsible for archives, collections and sites of outstanding national importance.
IWM London houses exhibits from photographs to personal letters, covering conflicts since the First World War; they include film and sound recordings, and some of the 20th century's best-known paintings. Visitors can explore many exhibitions and displays, including a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Holocaust and a changing programme of special temporary exhibitions.
Open daily, 10.00-18.00
Closed 24-26 December
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
Archives, Aviation, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Film and Media, Fine Art, Industry, Land Transport, Literature, Maritime, Personalities, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War
Architecture of War
This exhibition will explore how modern war has influenced and impacted on the spaces people inhabit, by bringing together a selection of art from IWM’s collection from the First World War to present day. Highlights include works by William Orpen, Ronald Searle, William Scott and Langlands and Bell
- Any age
Architecture of War
Through IWM’s art collection, Architecture of War presents artists’ responses to the impact of warfare on landscape and environments.
The selection spans almost a century of British art, from the First World War to the present day, and explores themes such as construction, destruction, cities and interiors.
Some artworks show the united purpose of humans and machines in factories, others show tension in divided cities. Many artists have used ruined buildings to symbolise the effects of warfare on people. Others show the claustrophobic conditions of control rooms and shelters.
Architecture of War displays oil paintings, prints, sketches, drawings, watercolours and photographs by artists including William Orpen, Ronald Searle, William Scott and Langlands and Bell.
Horrible Histories: Spies
IWM London’s new major family exhibition is based on the popular children's book series written by Terry Deary, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013. Visitors will be immersed into the world of Second World War spy-craft, including codes and cyphers, disguises, camouflage, forgeries and gadgets
- Any age
IWM Contemporary: Omer Fast
Omer Fast is the first artist to feature in our new IWM Contemporary programme, presenting the London premiere of his film 5,000 Feet is the Best.
This 30-minute filmwork, based on interviews with a former drone operator in Las Vegas, details the operator’s experiences guiding the unmanned planes to fire at targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
However, as the film progresses unsettling flashbacks and re-imagined scenarios expose the psychological impact of his experiences. As the narrative becomes increasingly disorientating, time and place become confused and questions are raised about the division between truth and memory, reality and fiction.
5,000 Feet is the Best offers a subtle exploration of how the use of drones is rapidly changing the politics, ethics and personal experience of contemporary conflict.
IWM Contemporary is a new programme of exhibitions and events by leading artists and photographers whose work is a response to war and conflict. Upcoming exhibitions include IWM Contemporary: Mike Moore and Lee Craker which will feature their contrasting styles in photographing US and UK soldiers in Iraq from 1991 – 2012.
Omer Fast: Five Thousand Feet is the Best
The London premier of Omer Fast's celebrated film in which the artist interviews drone operators in a Las Vegas hotel about their experiences flying predator drones over Afghanistan and Pakistan. As the film progresses the narrative becomes increasingly disorientating, time and place become confused and questions are raised about the nature of contemporary warfare
- Any age
Crimes against humanity
A specially-commissioned 30-minute film is the central element of this exhibition which examines the theme of genocide and ethnic conflict - looking at some of the common features shared by the horrendous bloodshed in Armenia, Nazi-occupied Europe, Cambodia, East Timor, Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere.
Horrible Histories with Terry Deary
Join Horrible Histories ® author Terry Deary and delve into the most foul facts, dreadful details and strange stories that make his bestselling books so appealing.
Terry will be taking part in a book signing after the first event. Copies of the latest Horrible Histories titles will be available from our shop.
Sessions start at noon and 3pm.
From Page to Stage with Horrible Histories: Spies
Help create a sneaky spy scene with the theatre company behind the Horrible Histories ® live shows. The Birmingham Stage Company, whose latest Barmy Britain show launches in the West End this autumn, will be swapping bonkers Britons for sneaky spies in this interactive event. This is your chance to become an actor in the deadly world of spies and find out what perils and pitfalls await you as a secret, sly and shifty spy!
Martin Brown Draws Horrible Histories
Noon and 3pm
Horrible Histories® artist Martin Brown shares his top tips for bringing the curious characters from the best-selling series to life.
There will also be a chance for all budding artists to meet Martin and get him to sign your copy of the Spies handbook after the event. Books will be available to purchase from our shop.
How Do We Remember? WebQuest
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
WebQuests are online activities for children, using the collections of nine national museums and galleries.
Mend, Make or Spend?
The Children's War WebQuest
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.