Imperial War Museum

Museums, Military and maritime
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Imperial War Museum
© Michelle Grant

Located in the stately 1815 building that once housed the Bethlem Royal Hospital for the insane (aka Bedlam), IWM London holds an important collection of twentieth-century art, much of it officially commissioned during WWI and WWII, examples of the machinery of war, official communications, manuscripts of war literature and other, more personal artefacts from the conflicts of the twentieth century. 'Crimes Against Humanity' is a harrowing 30-minute film about genocide and ethnic conflict in Armenia, Nazi-occupied Europe, Cambodia, East Timor, Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere (not recommended for under-16s). 'The Holocaust Exhibition' is a permanent exhibition that uses artefacts, film, documents, photographs and survivors' testimony to bear witness to the Nazi persecution of the Jews and other groups before and during WWII (not recommended for under-14s). The family exhibition 'A Family in Wartime' tells the story of how ordinary people braved the challenges of life at home during WWII through the eyes of the Allpress family, who lived in Stockwell, London. Visitors can explore the inside of an Anderson shelter and walk through a re-created 1940s house interior, and there are hands-on features on gas attacks, air raid precautions and wartime entertainment. 'Breakthrough' is a major re-hang of the Imperial War Museum's collection of British art, incorporating official and non-official war art from both World Wars as well as contemporary pieces.

Please note: the museum will be closed from Jan 2, 2013 until July 2013 to allow for the transformation of its WWI galleries in time for the centenary of the Great War in 2014.


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