Imperial War Museum London | IWM
The Imperial War Museum London is a British museum of modern history, focusing on conflicts and paying a special attention to people’s experience of war and wartime life.
Building and site
The museum, now part of the IWM UK network, was founded in 1917 to celebrate the British effort during the Great War and was originally housed in the famous Crystal Palace, built for the first World Fair in 1851; in 1936 it was relocated to its current home in the former Bethlem Royal Hospital in Lambeth, Central London.
In 2014, the museum underwent a major renovation, designed by Foster + Partners and Casson Mann architects.
What to see at the IWM London
The permanent exhibition of the Imperial War Museum London is currently divided into 10 chronological galleries, from the First World War up to present-day conflicts and, as anticipated, pays a special attention to the stories, voices, and personal experience of the persons directly involved in a war.
The exhibition presents rare artifacts, dioramas, models, artworks, photographs, audiovisuals, original documents and interactive exhibits, capable to involve the visitor in a rich, articulated, and impressive contemporary experience.
A famous installation, entitled Witnesses to War, composed of large original artifacts, including a Spitfire aircraft, a V2 rocket, and a T-34 Russian tank, arranged so that they seem to float in the air, is located in the museum’s Atrium.
The museum organizes special exhibitions, guided tours, and educational programs, particularly suited to children and schools.
The Imperial War Museum London’s building, fully accessible to people with disabilities, includes a cafe, and a gift shop.
Photos: by Greg Smith; courtesy of Imperial War Museum; 1 and banner by Richard Ash, courtesy of Imperial War Museum; 2 and 3 courtesy of Casson Mann
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The new Atrium installation and World War One Gallery by Casson Mann at the Imperial War Museum London, opened on July 2014 and a preview of the WW2 gallery
The IWM North in Manchester is a museum focused on the history of conflicts and their impact on people. Its iconic building was designed by Daniel Libeskind
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