When considering a rainy-day tour of some of the city’s ancient artefacts, East London may not spring to mind. However, with over ten unique and sometimes bizarre institutions, and more to come, perhaps it’s time we added an educational merit to its many accolades.
A staple in any wide-eyed art student’s calendar is the pilgrimage to the Fournier Street residence of the renowned Gilbert and George for the chance to glance at the post-humanism Avante Garde duo in their natural environment. With a catalogue of work spanning 70 years, the pair have recently announced the opening of a museum of work documenting their rise since the psychedelic 60s. The Gilbert and George Centre is due to open with its inaugural exhibition ‘THE PARADISICAL PICTURES’ on 1st April 2023.
The Gilbert and George Centre will be located at 5a Heneage Street, London. E1 5LJ
One of the most notable is the V&A’s sister institution, The Museum of Childhood. It opened in 1872 as the Bethnal Green Museum and transformed in 1920 into the space we know today. The museum has been a long-time favourite for children and adults alike. In 2019, planning permission was granted to refresh the space and rebrand to the all-new ‘Young V&A. With a focus on early learning and interactive exhibits, the grand opening is set to lead the pack of ‘ones to watch’ in July 2023.
The Young V&A will be located at Nant Street, London E2 9PA.
The final of the newcomers is the long-awaited expansion of Lewisham’s Migration Museum. Founded almost twenty years ago by former British Immigration Minister Barbara Roche, the museum curates many exhibits and workshops for the local community. Intending to move into the City/East in 2025, it’s certainly a heavy hitter in the culture to come.
The Museum currently operates from Lewisham Shopping Centre (Entrance in Central Square), SE13 7HB and is set to move to its permanent home at 65 Crutched Friars, E1 in 2025.
If you’re in need of a speedy hit of vintage delights, we’ve rounded up some of the best to peruse in your lunch break.
The Museum of the Home, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA.
Formerly the Geffrye Museum, The Museum of the Home reopened in 2019 and is located within former Alms Houses built in 1714. Aside from the historical and beautiful venue, the museum offers a wide array of exhibits and events that highlight life at home through the ages.
The Viktor Wynd Museum Of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, 11 Mare Street London E8 4RP
A veritable extravaganza for the curious and kooky, including exhibits of shrunken heads, and taxidermy aplenty. The working cocktail bar serves historically accurate Absinthe and hosts a range of evening talks and classes.
Barts Pathology Museum, 3rd Floor Robin Brook Centre, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London EC1A 7BE
Located in the grounds of St Bartholomews Hospital, Barts owns almost 5000 medical specimens including a cervical vertebra from a judicial hanging and a bound foot dating from 1862. The venue also hosts regular events and workshops, including taxidermy classes. Not for the faint of heart!
Jack The Ripper Museum, 12 Cable Street, London, England. E1 8JG.
Delving into the unsavoury and infamous crimes of the East End’s most famous resident, the museum holds a host of items including newspapers of the time, sketches and recreations of the grisly locations.
Gilbert and George (c) 2007 Dario Taraborelli
The Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch (c) 2008 Heather Cowper
Exterior Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Hackney, E8 (c) 2016 Ewan Munro from London, UK
Interior Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Hackney, E8 (c) 2016 Jwslubbock
Monkey-musicians. V&A Museum of Childhood (Bethnal Green, London) (c) 2012 Scott Wylie