The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History

Museums , Art and design Hackney
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(14 user reviews)
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Situated between Vyner Street and the Andrews Road gallery enclave, this Mare Street curiosity shop is both on the art circuit and determinedly off any beaten track. Peek through the windows and you’ll see a world in which velvet-cloaked Victorians, or perhaps The Mighty Boosh, might reside. Entering the shop, which is also the spiritual home of the esoterically minded Last Tuesday Society, reveals a wunderkammer of shells, skulls, taxidermy specimens and assorted oddities. Art gets a designated space in the first-floor gallery but, unsurprisingly, shows tend towards the eerily surreal.

Venue name: The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History
Contact:
Address: 11 Mare St
London
E8 4RP
Opening hours: Wed-Fri noon-10.30pm; Sat, Sun 10am-10.30pm
Transport: Tube: Bethnal Green
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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:12
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|14
3 people listening
anna a

an old aunt's attic meets a wunderkammer meets a dive bar. can't help loving the place. sip tolerable cocktails, look at curious (or plainly incredible) items on display, and listen to the conversations sparked by the most outrageous items. my idea of a museum: the one you can visit while drinking your pint.

anna a

an old aunt's attic meets a wunderkammer meets a dive bar. can't help loving the place. sip tolerable cocktails, look at curious (or plainly incredible) items on display, and listen to the conversations sparked by the most outrageous items. my idea of a museum: the one you can visit while drinking your pint.

Kritt N
Tastemaker

If there was an award for "Most Quirky Museum in London", then the Viktor Wynd Museum would win hands down. I can't recall another place that is this quirky. And I love it.


Located not too far from Cambridge Heath station and walking distance from Bethnal Green station if you insist on using the Tube, the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is a tiny one. The Viktor Wynd establishment is two floors and to enter the museum, you’re gonna have to descend down a narrow a narrow, spiral staircase to enter the museum.


Once you’re in the museum, you’ll feel like like you’ve just walked into a horror film. It’s filled with the most bizarre things you can imagine from the almost normal tiny pocket guide book to gentlemanly etiquette to a cut-off lock to David Bowie’s mullet. Quirky, but trust me that is just the start. There are some shocking things in here (in a good way) which makes this museum so fascinating.


It’s a bit like walking into famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren’s room of Possessed Artefacts. If you’ve seen the movie The Conjuring, you’ll know what I’m on about.


Sadly, it isn’t free: there is a £5 entry fee but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much plus you get a free guide book thrown in with the price and a cup tea to sooth your slightly fractured nerves when you come back up. Also, the museum is absolutely tiny so you could really “do” the museum in a matter of minutes. But every inch is packed with stuff and it’s worth spending a minute or two looking at them. This might take you a while.


It’s quirky it’s dark, it’s macabre, but a truly unique experience, a visit to the Viktor Wynd museum is definitely worth checking out.


If it sounds a little too much for you, then why not come anyway and try some of their cocktails? The ground floor is also a small cocktail bar with two rooms and even an outside drinking area big enough to fit 10 people. The cocktails looks very decent and when the sun goes down, I imagine creates very intimate atmosphere.

Nicole
tastemaker

My sister and I finally come here last week, after months of wanting to visit this so called hidden gem! The bar upstairs is an excellent place to come for a drink after work and is in the perfect location right next to the canal’s main restaurants. The cocktails were delicious and the service was great. The museum itself is…odd to say the least (especially after a few drinks!) and definitely one of a kind. I have never visited anywhere else quite like it. It cost £4 to go in and you are allowed to take your drinks with you. The little collection of weird and wonderful things left us in fits of giggles and amusement. We had a truly unique experience which I would encourage others to try!

Adrian H
Tastemaker

Viktor Wynd’s approach has been described as “all-encompassing” and it’s certainly true that his museum is stuffed with anything and everything that has attracted him. Like an eccentric, moustache-twirling, Victorian magpie, Wynd has gathered unexpected treasures to his labyrinthine basement nest and the results amuse, bemuse, shock and wonder visitors.


It’s not just a display of eclectic curiosities either – The Last Tuesday Society also plays host to talks, lectures, salons, gatherings, taxidermy workshops and free-roaming reptiles. There is a tiny café offering stimulating refreshments before or after your visit, where you can sip coffee with a stately fez-wearing taxidermy lioness, or peruse the cabinets offering crow skulls and Wynd’s own artwork for sale.


The museum’s website states that it wishes not to educate “but to subvert” and, having experienced its myriad charms, I can testify to this notion.

Neil K
Tastemaker

I live close by and have watched this place grow from humble origins to what it is now yet it still feels like it's been here forever, which is also what you'd assume on a first time visit. In terms of what it sets out to be, an old style curiosity shop you couldn't get a more authentic experience, it is most certainly the real deal. Everything you have heard about it is undoubtedly true and the newly installed upstairs bar only adds to the experience for a post gawp glug. Can't recommend it enough to the sort of people who like this sort of thing it's gold dust!

stephen h

This is as friendly a place for a drink and a chat as you'll find anywhere. The host, Victor himself, creates the atmosphere and the members/customers keep this going. The museum is strange, bizarre even, particularly after a drink or two! The range of special events is interesting. It's not a huge space so be sure to get in early for the events. The area it's in is also interesting.

Victoria Z

Truly a unique experience, nothing says oddities like the namesake - i adore this little corner of the abnormal :)

John T

A one-of-a-kind museum, artistic hub and testament that the strange and bizarre is a fascinating place to visit.

Diane G

The most extraordinary place in London. As an artist, I have spent many hours downstairs drawing from the vast eclectic collection of ephemera. The cocktails are delicious too. If you haven't been, what are you waiting for?

Kay

So happy that this is my local bar - every third Friday night you can experience live animals downstairs in the Museum of Curiosities (including live lizards, a snake, a millipede and a tarantula)