Horniman Museum and Gardens

A photograph showing the Horniman Museum
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The Horniman has a unique range of exhibitions, events and activities which illustrate the cultural and natural world. Our collections of anthropology, natural history and musical instruments provide the inspiration for our programme of permanent and temporary exhibitions and events and activities. A full range of events and activities take place for different audiences including storytelling and art and craft sessions for children, and courses and workshops for adults.

This museum has Designated Collections of national importance.

Venue Type:

Museum, Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

Open daily: 1030-1730

Admission charges

Free admissiont to Museum & Gardens.
Charge for Aquarium and some temporary exhibitions and events.

Additional info

Our library is open to the public by appointment only.

The Ethnography and Music collections are Designated Collections of national importance.

The Museum holds in total some 350,000 objects and related items. The Horniman has three main collections, World Cultures (Ethnography) comprising 80,000 objects, Natural History with 250,000 specimens, and Music with over 7,000 instruments plus 1,000 archive documents. There is also a parallel education handling collection which has over 3,700 objects drawn from all three main disciplines and a library collection with texts and related items covering the main collection areas.

The Museum also has an active collecting policy with regular fieldwork to acquire new objects and to find out more about existing ones carried out by curators. Over 90% of the collections of Ethnography and Music have been acquired since the original bequest by Frederick Horniman in 1901. Most objects not currently on display are held in storage at the Museum's Study Collection Centre in Greenwich, while the Museum also loans objects to other institutions for exhibitions.

Collection details

World Cultures, Weapons and War, Social History, Science and Technology, Photography, Performing Arts, Natural Sciences, Music, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of musical instrument

Music Gallery

  • 1 January 2014 — 1 January 2016 *on now

Over 1300 instruments from the Horniman's internationally renowned collection can be seen in the Music Gallery. Its breathtaking display spans a wide range of instruments from around the world, making up the largest number on display in the UK.

The gallery also features short films linking instruments on display to the cultures and contexts in which they are played around the world.

Interactive sound tables offer the chance to listen to the sounds of your favourite instruments, and make some new discoveries, while the Hands On Space allows everyone the chance to make some music of their own.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/displays/music-gallery#image-1

At Home with Music

  • 1 July 2014 — 31 December 2015 *on now

Visit our new permanent display of keyboard instruments. This display explores domestic keyboards from the past five centuries that were brought into homes from parlours to palaces and brings together highlights of the keyboard instrument collections from the Horniman and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The display includes organs, harpsichords, pianos and clavichords and features rare and beautiful instruments.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/displays/music-gallery#image-3

Revisiting Romania: Dress and Identity

  • 4 October 2014 — 6 September 2015 *on now

Exploring how Romanian folk art has been used to express social and political ideas within the village and on the national and international stage.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions

photograph of romanian waistcoat

Revisiting Romania

  • 4 October 2014 — 6 September 2015 *on now

An exhibition exploring how Romanian folk art has been used to express social and political ideas within the village and on the national and international stage.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/upcoming-exhibitions/revisiting-romania-dress-and-identity#image-0

Plantastic

  • 14 February — 1 November 2015 *on now

Explore the wonderful world of plants on a massive scale. From giant seeds and exploding cucumbers to sun-seeking flowers and a huge crawl- through root system, Plantastic's interactive exhibits and games will bring visitors up close to all kinds of fantastic plant life revealing how plants are essential for life on Earth.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/upcoming-exhibitions/plantastic#image-0

Plantastic Gardens

  • 30 May — 1 November 2015 *on now

Join us in our three themed 'pop-up' gardens – Anatomy of a Flower, Sunseekers and Planting for Pollinators – in the Horniman Museum and Gardens.
Designed by Head of Horticulture Wes Shaw and his team, the pop-up gardens will use bespoke planting to explore the themes of the Horniman's Plantastic exhibition.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/upcoming-exhibitions/plantastic-gardens#image-0

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.

Up the Garden Path with Miss Horniman

  • 28 August 2015 11:30am-12:15pm, 1:15-2pm, 3-3:45pm
  • 31 August 2015 11:30am-12:15pm, 1:15-2pm, 3-3:45pm

Discover the stories and secrets of the Horniman Gardens with Miss Horniman on this storytelling tour.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/up-the-garden-path-with-miss-horniman-986

Hands on Family Workshops

  • 6 June — 29 August 2015 *on now

Touch real museum objects and discover them with your family in these popular themed sessions for all families.

Sessions run at 11:45 and 13:00.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/hands-on-family-workshops-993

Art Makers

  • From 6 June 2015
  • 6 June — 29 August 2015 *on now

Have fun with different art techniques to create something fabulous to take home inspired by the Horniman's collections or seasonal celebrations. Different themes each week, check the website for more details.

Sessions run at 13:30 and 14:30.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/art-makers-1001

A World of Stories

  • 7 June — 30 August 2015 *on now

Our popular storytellers bring the Horniman's collections and Gardens alive with enchanting stories from around the world.

Sessions run at 14:00 and 15:15.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/a-world-of-stories-970

Family Art Fun

  • 21 July — 31 August 2015 *on now

Join us every Monday, Tuesday and Friday for free and fabulous Horniman craft activities inspired by Africa and our temporary family exhibition Plantastic.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Nature Notebooks

  • 30 July 2015 11am-3pm
  • 6 August 2015 11am-3pm
  • 13 August 2015 11am-3pm
  • 20 August 2015 11am-3pm
  • 27 August 2015 11am-3pm

Make your very own Nature Notebook and use it to explore our Gardens and record the things you find with our staff. Suitable for families with children aged 3+

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/nature-notebooks-1041

Nature Explorers- Pond Dipping

  • 30 July 2015 11am-3pm
  • 6 August 2015 11am-3pm
  • 13 August 2015 11am-3pm
  • 27 — 28 August 2015 11am-3pm

Try your hand at pond dipping in our Nature Trail Pond and discover a spring environment bursting with life on the Nature Trail. All equipment is provided. This activity is not suitable for prams or pushchairs. Please dress for the weather. An alternative indoor event will be run in the event of very bad weather. Suitable for families with children aged 5+.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/nature-explorers-pond-dipping-1043

Take a Tour with Mr Horniman

  • 7 August 2015 11:30am-12:15pm, 1:15-2pm, 3-3:45pm

Mr Horniman has stepped out of his time machine in his top hat and tails to give you a special tour of his museum!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/calendar/date/2015-02-20/interval/0

Nature Explorers- Minibeast Safari

  • 3 August 2015 11am-4pm
  • 10 August 2015 11am-4pm
  • 17 August 2015 11am-4pm
  • 24 August 2015 11am-4pm

A fun family session exploring the summer environment in the Nature Trail's meadow and log pile habitats. Search for creepy crawlies, bugs and other insects! Not accessible for prams or pushchairs. Suitable for ages 3+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/nature-explorers-minibeast-safari-1039

Big Wednesday: African Summer

  • 29 July 2015 11am-3:30pm *on now

Join us for a day of activities inspired by Africa's many different countries and its Diaspora. Experience different dance, drumming, singing and music performances inspired by traditions from all around Africa. Discover Dance Hall to Beatbox and Afro Beat to Lindy Hop

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/big-wednesdays-african-summer

Nature Trail Discovery

  • 29 July 2015 2-3:30pm *on now
  • 5 August 2015 2-3:30pm
  • 12 August 2015 2-3:30pm
  • 19 August 2015 2-3:30pm
  • 26 August 2015 2-3:30pm

Discover the oldest Nature Trail in London which is carefully managed to encourage wildlife and includes pond, meadow and log pile habitats. The half mile Horniman Nature Trail occupies a stretch of the original Crystal Palace and South London Junction Railway. This activity is not suitable for prams or pushchairs. Children must be aged 3+ and accompanies by an adult.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/nature-trail-discovery-1042

Jazz Picnics: Dele Sosimi Quartet

  • 30 July 2015 6:30-8pm

Back by popular demand! Chill out to special concerts on the Bandstand set against a backdrop of incredible views over London. This year, our Jazz picnic series explores the mesmerising sounds of African Jazz, from Afro blues to Afro beat. Dele Sosimi Quartet
Grab your dancing shoes and join the UK's multiple award winning Afrobeat ambassador Dele Sosimi. Dele's music is a blend of comples funk groover, Nigerian traditional music (including hi-life), African percussion underpinning the Jazz horns and solos from other instruments, as well as rhythmical singing.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Sunday Bandstand Concert: Karama

  • 2 August 2015 3-5pm

Our popular Sunday afternoon Bandstand concerts are back this year celebrating African music from Morocco to Gambia. Karama fuse tradition with modernity, finding inspiration from the ecstatic Gnawa, North African and classical Arabic music. Their music wonders brilliantly through diverse sonic landscapes, superbly funky and beautifully melodic.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Big Wednesdays: Play Day

  • 5 August 2015 11am-3:30pm

Join us for a day of our most popular Horniman summer activities for Play Day 2015! Watch Punch and Judy, see Jambs Owls, play giant board games, take part in art and craft and explore our wildlife garden.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/big-wednesdays-play-day

African Late

  • 6 August 2015 6:30-9:30pm

A night of performances celebrating contemporary artists from all around Africa and the African Diaspora. Encounter a dance battle between contemporary dance styles, try some Kizomba or Afrobeat steps, watch films and documentaries by young African filmmakers, listen to live music, see how our African collections have inspired contemporary artists and discover street performances, installations, tours, food and more. This event is part of Bloom Festival and organised in partnership with the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD).

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Sunday Bandstand Concert: Kasai Masai

  • 9 August 2015 3-5pm

Our popular Sunday afternoon Bandstand concerts are back this year celebrating African music from Morocco to Gambia. Kasai Masai perform Congolese ancestral music with an urban twist, combining percussion, chanting and the Congolese folk guitar with saxophone and an MC - essential urban grooves from Kinshasa.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Explore Africa for Adults: Colours from South Africa

  • 11 August 2015 2-2:45pm

Join Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp, Curator of Anthropology, and discover a magnificent collection of colourful Xhosa and Zulu beadwork. Learn more about the importance of beadwork in weaving relationships in colonial south Africa and how its role has now changed to become representative of new post-apartheid 'rainbow nation'.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Explore Africa for Families: Colours from South Africa

  • 11 August 2015 2-2:45pm

Join Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp, Curator of Anthropology, and learn about the way we associate different colours with different emotions and powers, and discover how the Xhosa and Zulu beadwork from South Africa was used to convey special messages between sweethearts.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Big Wednesdays: African Summer

  • 12 August 2015 11am-3:30pm
  • 19 August 2015 11am-3:30pm

Join us for a day of activities inspired by Africa's many different countries and its Diaspora. Experience different dance, drumming, singing and music performances inspired by traditions from all around Africa. Discover Dance Hall to Beatbox and Afro Beat to Lindy Hop

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/big-wednesdays-african-summer

Cordelia's Windrush Stories

  • 14 August 2015 11:30am-12:15pm, 1:15-2pm, 3-3:45pm

Let Cordelia, a passenger on the Empire Windrush which sailed from Jamaica in 1948, take you on a tour of the Horniman and hear of her search for her brother and a new life in South London.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/cordelias-windrush-stories

Sunday Bandstand Concert: Kakatsitsi

  • 16 August 2015 3-5pm

Our popular Sunday afternoon Bandstand concerts are back this year celebrating African music from Morocco to Gambia. One of Africa's leading traditional drumming groups, Kakatsitsi perform rhythms and chants from a variety of West African cultures in a modern funky style.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Explore Africa for Adults: Congolese myths and stories

  • 18 August 2015 3:30-4:15pm

Meet the Congo Great Lakes Initiative group and find out about the Horniman's collaboration with members of the Democratic Republic of Congo Diaspora and their work on reinterpreting our Congolese collections.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Explore Africa for Families: Congolese myths and stories

  • 18 August 2015 2-2:45pm

Discover exciting objects from the Democratic Republic of Congo and learn about stories from the Kasai region about how the Central African Rainforest was created.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Family Bat Walk

  • 21 August 2015 7-9pm

Join our resident bat expert Rhianna Dix for a family friendly bat walk using real bat detectors to find bats in Horniman Gardens. See a bat skeleton up close and learn how to identify different types of bat. Bat costumes encouraged!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/family-bat-walk-1034

The Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole

  • 21 August 2015 11:30am-12:15pm, 1:15-2pm, 3-3:45pm

Let 1800s war nurse Mary Seacole take you on a tour of the Horniman to tell her amazing story and show you the Museum and Gardens.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/the-wonderful-adventures-of-mrs-seacole-in-many-lands-1035

Sunday Bandstand Concert: Manding Sabu

  • 23 August 2015 3-5pm

Our popular Sunday afternoon Bandstand concerts are back this year celebrating African music from Morocco to Gambia. Join Jally Kebba Susso's manding Sabu, an international band combining the history-rich, melodious sound of the Mandinka kora (West African harp) with powerful party smashing groover drawing on reggae, afrobeat, rock, funk and blues.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Explore Africa: Hear it Live!

  • 25 August 2015 2-2:45pm

Have you ever heard a xylophone from Western African or seen a thumb piano? Join Zimbabwean musician Kudaushe Matimba and watch him play his marimba and mbira.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Bat Walk

  • 28 August 2015 7-9pm

Our Horniman bat expert, Rhianna Dix, will give a short introduction to bats. This will be followed by a bat survey using really bat detectors to find out what species might be living in and around the Horniman gardens. This event is part of International Bat Night organised by EUROBATS to celebrate and encourage the conservation of bat species across the world.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/adult-bat-walk-1033

Africarnival!

  • 30 August 2015 12-6pm

Join us for an afternoon of extravagant concerts, dance and carnival performances in the gardens to celebrate the end of our African Summer. The programme will include specially commissioned carnival parades, live music from across the African continent, pop-up performances, workshops, food and more.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.horniman.ac.uk

Horniman Museum and Gardens
100 London Road
Forest Hill
London
Greater London
SE23 3PQ
England

Website

www.horniman.ac.uk

E-mail

enquiry@horniman.ac.uk

Telephone

020 8699 1872

Fax

020 8291 5506

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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