Horniman Museum London
Exhibits and Grounds

The Horniman Museum London is jam packed with fantastic museum exhibits and really does contains one of London museums most special collections. From the natural world and mans social history through to many objects from cultures from all over the world.

This page highlights some of the museums galleries and exhibits and is designed to give you a real feel for the museum and what you will see there.

The Gardens

At the time of my visit the Gardens were undergoing a major redesign and so unfortunately a lot of the garden was fenced off and there were lots of scaffolding around etc.

Unfortunately I was unable to keep these works out of the picture, but I hope they give you an idea of just how beautiful the gardens are and what a fantastic view you get of the City.

The garden will be finish in Spring 2012.

The Buildings

The exterior of the building is the home to a rather marvelous Mosaic which depicts the neo-classical design "Humanity in the house of circumstance".

The gates at either end are birth and death, and the figures represent Arts, Poetry, Music, Endurance, Humanity, Love, Hope, Charity, Wisdom, Meditation, and Resignation.

The Alaskan totem pole which stands at the entrance of the museum was carved by Nathan Jackson at the Museum of Mankind in 1985.

The Totem pole is 20 feet tall and is carved from red cedar. An eagle tops the top of the Pole and is Nathan Jackson's clan crest, beneath it are carved a girl with a bag and a grizzly bear. This is depicting a North American legend about a girl who married a bear.

The Horniman Museum London Conservatory is a beautiful construction.

It sits alongside the Cafe and is used as an over flow for people to eat their picnics and Bourget food.

It is also used for School trips and for hiring out for special events such as wedding receptions and parties.

The cafe

Museum cafes are normally a rather expensive affair and I often choose to take a packed lunch with me and only buy tea and coffee from the cafes. But I am here to tell you that the Horniman Museum London cafe is one of the best and affordable i have ever come across.

The quality and the choice of food was also really rather good too. The quiche I bought for lunch was so large that I shared it with my partner; it tasted homemade and didn't cost the earth either. So I would definitely recommend the cafe to anyone who visits the museum.

Brunch Cost Around £7

Lunch Cost around £8

The Centenary Gallery

These pictures give you an idea of the diverse items you will find in this gallery. We have a torture chair, a butterfly collection and golden budda. The gallery also contains things like Indian head dresses and a large statue of Karli the Hindu god of Death.

This was one of the quietest and darkest rooms in the Museum which made it quite eerie and exciting at the same time.

Natural History Gallery

The natural History gallery really does have to be seen to be believed. It contains thousands of animal and human specimens both in skeleton form, pickled in jars or stuffed.

They are also as you can seen displayed in the original Victorian display cases which really gives the museum an authentic feel and helps you to understand the era these objects were collected in.

African Gallery

In the African Gallery you can see not only colourful painted masks and spears but also Egyptian mummies and Haitian vodou displays.

The image above is looking down from the gallery into the African room. As you can see this part of the Horniman museum London is contemporary in its design which differs from the original display layout seen in the other gallery.

The picture on the right shows the largest African mask on display in the UK it is called the Igbo Ijele.

Music Gallery

The music gallery of the Horniman museum London was a complete surprise to me. I hadn't expected to see such a different kind of display within this particular museum. It didn't seem to fit alongside the other collections.

Having said this I'm not sure that it matters much. the collection itself is stunning and every musical instrument you can think of must be here.

It is also a very interactive area and very much up to date with technology. there is a interactive oval table which helps you to identify all the instruments in the display as well as side rooms where you can play the instruments yourself. During my visit there was lots of drumming going on from a group of people at the far end of the gallery. Rather than being annoying, which sometimes drumming can be, it helped to bring the collection alive and to be honest instruments are to be herd rather than just stared at aren’t they?

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