Imperial War Museum

Museums

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Elephant & Castle

  • Free
  • © Michelle Grant / Time Out

  • Ministry of Food poster © Imperial War Museum

  • © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

  • © Imperial War Museum

  • ©Michelle Grant / Time Out

  • © Roman Halter

© Michelle Grant / Time Out

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Venue details

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  • Address:

    Imperial War Museum Lambeth Rd
    London
    SE1 6HZ

  • Venue phone:

    020 7416 5000

  • Venue website:

    www.iwm.org.uk

  • Opening hours:

    Daily 10am-6pm (last admission 5.30pm)

  • Transport:

    Tube: Lambeth North

  • Price:

    Free

  • Map

    1. Imperial War Museum
      • Lambeth Rd
        London
        SE1 6HZ
      • 020 7416 5000
      • www.iwm.org.uk
      • 51.496009,-0.108328

What's on at Imperial War Museum

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Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

Things to do

Rationing didn't only mean a dowdy dinner table – World War II's austerity measures affected clothing too, leaving the British public to adapt their fashions accordingly. Clearly the make-do-and-mend attitude was especially effective when it came to what...

Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style
  1. Thu Mar 5 – Mon Aug 31
  2. Imperial War Museum
  3. £10, £7 concs, £5 under-16s
More info

IWM Contemporary: Hew Locke

Things to do

  • Free

The Imperial War Museum's latest contemporary show will explore the subject of naval power through new and existing works by Hew Locke, including a large scale cord and bead wall drawing, a transformed ship model and a painted photograph of HMS Belfast....

  1. Thu Feb 19 – Mon May 4
  2. Imperial War Museum
  3. Free
More info

IWM Contemporary: Imogen Stidworthy

Things to do

  • Free

British artist Imogen Stidworthy exhibits a sculptural sound installation based on the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Stidworthy interviewed two former British soldiers who suffer from the condition, as well as the wife of one of the soldiers,...

  1. Thu Jun 4 – Sun Sep 6
  2. Imperial War Museum
  3. Free
More info

Peter Kennard: Unofficial War Artist

Things to do

  • Free

A look at the work of one of Britain's most important political artists, this exhibition is the first major retrospective of Peter Kennard's 50-year career. Learn more about the motivations and methods behind his iconic artworks and how key images are...

  1. Thu May 14 – Mon May 30 2016
  2. Imperial War Museum
  3. Free
More info

Print it: Truth and Memory

Things to do

  • Free

Families can create prints inspired by the Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War exhibition at these half term workshops. Initial drawings can be transferred into prints to take away and keep. Hour-long workshops run twice daily at 11.30am...

Print it: Truth and Memory
  1. Sat Feb 14 – Sun Feb 22
  2. Imperial War Museum
  3. Free
More info

Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War

Art, Things to do

  • Rating: 5/5
  • Free

The war was just too big, confided Eric Kennington after he had completed his masterpiece ‘The Kensingtons at Laventie’ in 1915, one of the first things you’ll see in the ‘Memory’ section of this captivating two-part show. The authorities had hoped that...

Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War
  1. Until Sun Mar 8
  2. Imperial War Museum
  3. Free
More info

Visions of War Above and Below

Things to do

  • Free

The development of flight and aerial warfare provided a new perspective for artists. The works in this exhibition span a timeline from World War I to twenty-first century conflicts and encompass surreal depictions of aircraft as creatures, abstract views...

  1. Thu Apr 2 – Fri Sep 25
  2. Imperial War Museum
  3. Free
More info

War Story: Afghanistan 2014

Military and maritime, Things to do

  • Free

The latest War Story display focusses on the withdrawal of British combat forces from Afghanistan in 2014 after 13 years of involvement, and the implications faced by both sides. The moving display presents the voices of people who have experienced the...

War Story: Afghanistan 2014
  1. Until Sun Sep 6
  2. Imperial War Museum
  3. Free
More info

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|10
8 people listening
Abe C

The refurbishment is poor, and the new curation pretty awful too - a superb museum has been seriously undone.

The museum formerly had light galleries either side, lit from the ceiling mainly by daylight, and large terraces in front of the main stairs at the end of the hall, which had space for exhibits and for visitors to look out at aeroplanes from both wars and a V2, and down onto the main floor where there were tanks from both wars and a WW1 era bus for driving soldiers to the front.

Now the roof is obscured and everything is artificially lit.  The main floor has been lowered to basement level by excavating, and two new steel staircases have been added, one at the terraces end in front of the terraces, and the other at the main door end.  These stairs do not easily allow visitors to look out over the hall, whilst at the terrace end they obscure the view from the terraces too.  The P51 and all WW1 planes are gone.  A huge Harrier jump jet occupies most space, and is too big to view.  You can no longer view from the earlier small terrace at the front end - it has been removed.  The WW1 tank and bus are gone (why, especially in the centenary of WW1's outbreak?!?) and the main hall accommodates many fewer exhibits.

The sides of the halls have inexplicably had clunky great columns added, from which peer the snout of a desert landrover and the front of a Dunkirk jolly boat (why? We can't see them well, and they're made to look ridiculous.)

Many of the exhibits are big glass cases rearranged in GCSE History manner.  For example a map of the North Sea, a tiny model of a surface vessel, and a piece of tailplane from a shot down Heinkel.  Why?  Can't we think for ourselves?

The lighting is harsh, shadowed and disagreeable compared with its earlier, pleasant arrangement.


This museum is still worth visiting but there is no getting away from it - the museum has been badly damaged at vast public expense (I read £40m,) and is a shadow of its former self.  Fosters Architects should be absolutely ashamed - their work fails practically (the absurd, unneeded stairs, cluttering and obscuring, and the removal of daylight,) and stylistically (Fosters should have thought hard about the skill of their predecessors and the need to make any stylistic change whatsoever.)


Laurence Butler

To put it simply, to visit the Imperial War Museum is a must for every single person on the planet! At the very least a compulsory trip should be available for every British school child.

Kristina

This is definitely my favorite museum in London, to come alone or to bring a date or a family member. The exhibition on Holocaust has left a lasting impression and the general variety of themes exhibited really taught me a lot that afternoon. Cannot wait to see what's new next time I visit!

PS

Still love going here after first being taken on a school trip.

Lyndon

Excellent museum with no queues! I took two children 11 and 13 and they loved it.

ayla

I love the war museum - it is definitely my all time favourite in London. It not only is interesting but gets you involved too and the 'old' feel it has to it makes it even better. The smell of the war musuem is one never to forget either...

Mr D Foster

I would wait until the refurbishments are finished, all the big things are gone from the main attrium and the down stairs is closed. The holocoust exhibition is excellent and the medals gallery in the loft are both excellent. My previous visit would have been 5 star, but my kids were disappionted by the missing stuff.

Nathan

Amazing for anyone with the slightest hint of interest in WWI & II. The cannons and shells out front are enough to make it worth stopping by. Also has a memorable section dedicated to the Holocaust. "The Blitz Experience" is a bit dated, but the museum would be fine without it. Couldn't of been happier to spend about 4 hours there.