IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums)

IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums)
Lambeth Road
Greater London




General enquiries



020 7416 5000


020 7416 5374

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.
IWM London © IWM
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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:


Opening hours

Open daily, 10.00-18.00

Closed 24 - 26 December, 6 January - 19 July 2014

Admission charges


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, 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



Horrible Histories: Spies

  • 19 July 2014 — 4 January 2015 *on now

Uncover the deadly world of spies at this major interactive exhibition for families. Horrible Histories®: Spies brings the horrible history of Second World War spies and their secret schemes to life, based on Terry Deary’s book from the bestselling Horrible Histories series.

Find out which sneaky spies told the biggest lies, how exploding rats were used to sabotage German factories, and what secret agents carried in their suitcases (apart from their socks!). From exploding camel poo to irritating itching powder, this exhibition reveals the terrible tricks, traps and techniques used by spies to make secret war on the enemy – all the gore and more!

Set out on your own spy mission through the exhibition. Follow the trail to collect stamps to see what’s in a clever spy’s kit and keep your wits about you as you test your undercover skills including using devious disguises, sniffing out invisible ink and cracking cunning codes. See objects used by Second World War spies and discover the stories of the real wartime Super Spies before finding out if you’ve got what it takes to join their ruthless ranks.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children


Adult - £6.20
Child (4-15) - £3.30
Concessions - £4.40
Family of 3 - £12.25
Family of 4 - £15.60
Family of 5 - £19

Book online to save 10%



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



Oppy Wood, 1917, Evening by John Nash (1918)

Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War

  • 19 July 2014 — 8 March 2015 *on now

Truth and Memory will be the largest exhibition and first major retrospective of British First World War art for almost 100 years and will include work by some of Britain’s most important artists of the twentieth century. Using artworks drawn mainly from IWM’s national collection, this exhibition will assess the immediate impact and enduring legacy of British art of the First World War.

Truth will explore how artists encountering the front lines experimented with new forms of art to capture the totally unfamiliar experience of the First World War. Through the work of CRW Nevinson, Paul Nash and William Orpen, amongst others, the exhibition will consider British artists’ quest for an authentic or ‘truthful’ representation of modern war.

Memory will move on to look at works produced at the end of the war and in its immediate aftermath, exploring the ambitious plans of Lord Beaverbrook’s British War Memorials Committee and the Imperial War Museum to build an artistic record of the nation’s war. Key commissioned paintings, such as Wyndham Lewis’s A Battery Shelled, will be displayed alongside important sculptural works like Jacob Epstein’s The Tin Hat and Eric Kennington’s studies for his Soissons Memorial to the Missing.



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


Imperial War Museum London





Decoy gun

IWM Contemporary: Jane and Louise Wilson

  • 15 October 2014 — 11 January 2015 *on now

The premiere of Undead Sun, a significant new video installation by Turner Prize-nominated artists Jane and Louise Wilson. The work was commissioned to mark the Centenary of the First World War and explores perspectives on visibility, technology and the reconstruction of narratives during that time.

During the First World War, the advent of aerial warfare and surveillance triggered rapid advance in optics and other technological innovation. Alongside these, new counter-measures in the arts of concealment and camouflage emerged.

Alluding to the threat of exposure from above, Undead Sun investigates ideas of vision, viewpoints and the visible. Consequently it also highlights the hidden and the concealed. The film itself is presented within a specially constructed architectural setting, in which the viewer’s own lines of sight are directed, and partially obstructed by screens of gauze.

This is the first iteration of an unfolding project, commissioned in partnership by Film and Video Umbrella, IWM, MIMA, Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Art Gallery for the Centenary of the First World War. With special thanks to Artliner.

Supported using public funding from Arts Council England.



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+



IWM Contemporary: Hew Locke

  • 19 February — 4 May 2015

The latest show in our IWM Contemporary programme features new and existing works by artist Hew Locke, exploring and interrogating naval power. The exercise of control over sea highways which fuel trade, travel and cultural exchange, continues to define power relations between countries.

The show will feature a large scale cord and bead wall drawing created especially for the exhibition, a transformed ship model and a unique painted photograph of HMS Belfast, the Second World War cruiser on the Thames which is part of the IWM museum family.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

  • 5 March — 31 August 2015

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


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



Visions of War Above and Below

  • 2 April 2015 — 25 September 2016

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



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



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.



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:




Jane and Louise Wilson

Artists Talk: Jane and Louise Wilson

  • 10 January 2015 2:30-3:30pm

Turner prize-nominated artists Jane and Louise Wilson discuss the influences on their new video installation Undead Sun, commissioned to mark the centenary of the First World War. The artists will talk about their research at IWM and other sources of inspiration, while locating the work in the context of their wider practice.


Adult £7; Concession £5; IWM Member £5



FWW Centenary Partnership Day Wales

  • 22 — 23 January 2015 10am-4pm

IWM and the Welsh Government would like to invite you to a Centenary Partnership event:

Thursday 22 January 10 am – 4pm
Welsh Government Office, Llandudno Junction
Friday 23 January 10 am – 4pm
Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay

The morning sessions will consist of talks from:

Gina Koutsika – Imperial War Museums
Dr Dafydd Roberts - National Slate Museum, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Berian Elias & community group - Peoples Collection Wales
Linda Tomos – CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales
Naomi Jones - Snowdonia National Park Authority (to talk about Hedd Wyn, Yr Ysgwrn and Y Gadair Ddu)
Dr Kevin Mason - Bodelwyddan Castle Trust (to talk about the Christmas Truce exhibition)
Anne Pedley - Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum (to talk about Gallipoli projects)
Shirley Williams - Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum (to talk about the Faces of the FWW project)

Cardiff Bay:
Gina Koutsika – Imperial War Museums
Lesley-Anne Kerr – CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales
Ffion Fielding – Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Hazel Thomas & community group - Peoples Collection Wales
Professor Christopher Williams - JM Staniforth cartoons project
Rachel Silverson - Firing Line Museum and Cardiff community FWW group
Philip Davies - Mametz Wood Memorial

• Update participants with information to support their First World War Centenary plans.
• Enable participants to gain an overview of centenary activity shaping up across Wales.
• Evaluate and reflect upon practice so far.
• Inform and shape future or on-going projects.
• Encourage and reflect upon partnership working, enabling honest and open discussion.

To mark the First World War Centenary, over 3,300 organisations from 52 countries have joined the FWW Centenary Partnership, led by IWM and engaged the public in commemorations through thousands of educational activities.

For more information on the FWW Centenary Partnership, please go to www.1914.org/partnership

Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 is the official programme to mark the centenary of the First World War in Wales, working in partnership with organisations across Wales and beyond:

To book a place, please email extranet1914@iwm.org.uk with your preferred location, name, organisation and any dietary requirements or access needs you might have.

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis, with places available for 2 delegates per organisation.

Please note that delegates’ names and e-mail addresses will be circulated after the meeting to encourage Partnership working. Please indicate in your RSVP if you do not wish your email address to be circulated. There may also be photography on the day

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


  • Welsh
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.

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.

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.

What was life like in the Second World War?