Imperial War Museum, London   Leave a comment

Imperial War Museum Berlin Wall segment

Section of the Berlin Wall

 

A short walk from either Lambeth North or Elephant & Castle tube station you’ll find the Imperial War Museum London.  This was our first visit and we had overload after two exhibits but there are 5 floors of things to explore.

Imperial War Museum

We started with “A Family in Wartime” which focuses on the Allpresses, a large family which experienced almost every aspect of home front life. They had a bomb shelter in the garden (a similar one of which you can enter), two of the kids were young enough for evacuation to the North, daughters the right age for “Utility Knickers” (“One Yank and They’re Off!”).

Imperial War Museum guns

There were several wireless sets on which you could tune in entertainment and news programmes from various years of the war near exhibits of the family’s actual household goods. We thought we had rushed through but found that nearly two hours had passed by the time we emerged in the main halls again.

Imperial War Museum main hall 2

That’s a V1 flying at you and a V2 pointing skyward

 

You can take photographs in a lot of the building but in the special exhibit, “Truth and Memory,” in which art from World War 1 was hung, not so much. Here, I have lifted photos of a couple of examples of realism in the exhibit from the web.

Truth and Memory IWM 2

The kids give the sense of scale, but there’s another 1/3 wider and taller to this work

 

The huge painting, “Gassed,” is by John Singer Sargent who I always knew from pictures of society ladies. Eric Kennington (who impressed me more with his modernist sculptures) painted the other one, but my favourites were the modernist works (Paul Nash, William Orpen, Austin Spare, Gilbert Rogers, and Percy Wyndham Lewis in the paintings; Eric Kennington and Charles Sargent Jagger in sculpture).  William Orpen is one of the stranger characters represented and his work was some of the most interesting.

Truth and Memory IWM 1 (Crop)

It is a very depressing exhibit, as well, and along with the visual exhaustion I found myself in an emotional funk that forced me to rush through an exhibit on espionage (we’ll come back to this house) to get outside for a bit of air.

Imperial War Museum main hall 1

The place is rammed with engineering delights and horrors

 

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Posted January 12, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Tourism

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