Three months to go!

This Saturday – 19 April – marks the three month countdown to our re-opening on 19 July.

While we’ve been busy updating on all the activity taking place behind the scenes here are our top five things to see when we re-open this summer.

First World War Galleries

Our new First World War Galleries will present the story of the war – how it started, why it continued and its global impact, through the lives and viewpoints of those who experienced it at the time. Drawing on our First World War collections – the richest and most comprehensive in the world – 1,300 objects including weapons, uniforms, diaries, letters and souvenirs will be on display alongside photographs, art and film – many of which have never been seen before.

One of the many objects on display will be our iconic Sopwith Camel bi-plane, which was previously on display in our atrium. Want to know how to move a Camel? Find out here.


A transformed Atrium

A model of our new atrium.

If you’ve visited us in the past you may remember our old atrium  Well, I was lucky enough to have a sneaky peek at the new atrium recently – and wow – it is a fantastic transformation that will look superb whilst introducing visitors to our collections and the stories they hold.

In the central space of our new atrium nine iconic objects will be on display. A Harrier, Spitfire and V2 rocket will be suspended from above and a T34 tank and Reuters LandRover damaged by a rocket attack in Gaza will be positioned on the new floor.  New terraces where more of our collections will be revealed will line the atrium.


Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War

© IWM ART 2243 Oppy Wood, 1917. Evening, by John Nash

This new exhibition, running from 19 July 2014 to 9 March 2015, will be the largest exhibition on British First World War art for nearly 100 years. Truth and Memory will explore the immediate impact and legacy of British art of the First World War, revealing how artists helped shape our perceptions of the conflict and warfare  itself.


IWM Contemporary: Mark Neville

Production still from ‘Backdrops’, 16mm film, 2011, Mark Neville.

The latest exhibition in our on-going IWM Contemporary programme will feature the work of artist Mark Neville. In 2010 Mark was commissioned by the gallery firstsite, in association with IWM, to spend time with 16 Air Assault Brigade on a tour of duty to Helmand Province in Afghanistan as they worked with Afghan Forces to regain control from the Taliban, and offer immediate reconstruction such as establishing schools.

During his two-month stay, Neville filmed and photographed British soldiers and Afghan civilians using a variety of innovative approaches including slow motion filming, and the use of a series of backdrops made with resonant images of past wars. Avoiding the conventions of media reporting, the work featured in IWM Contemporary: Mark Neville gives us an arrestingly direct and yet poetic view of British troops and the Afghan people they encountered.


Everything else!

Our permanent exhibitions and galleries such as A Family in Wartime, The Holocaust Exhibition, Secret War and The Lord Ashcroft Gallery will also be re-opening alongside our family exhibition Horrible Histories®: Spies so there will plenty to see and do. Did we mention there will also be a few new cafes and shops for you to enjoy? Not long to wait now – the countdown continues until 19 July 2014!


  1. Elizabeth Jones says: May 9, 20141:47 pm

    Please can you let us know how and when we can book tickets for the new exhibitions which will open on 19 July 2014

    • David says: May 12, 201411:52 am

      Hi Elizabeth,

      When we re-open on 19 July the new First World War Galleries and art exhibitions will be free and you will not need to book tickets. We do anticipate that in July and August the new First World War Galleries will be very busy – especially during the school holidays and at weekends – so I’d recommend planning to visit either later in the year or on weekday mornings or after 3pm. The galleries are permanent so you can always come back if you don’t get a chance to see them!

      You will be able to book tickets for our family exhibition – Horrible Histories: Spies – in advance at from late June onwards. As we get closer to 19 July we will update our website to help you plan your visit.

      Hope this helps, do let us know what you think of our new exhibitions and galleries!


      David – Marketing Officer

  2. paul mcloughlin says: May 28, 20148:19 am

    As I appreciate the centenary of the first world war and cannot wait til the museum is reopened. I would like to ask about the second world war galleries and will there b a replacement for the blitz experience..

    • David says: May 28, 20145:42 pm

      Hi Paul,

      Good question, glad to hear you’re excited about our imminent re-opening!

      When we re-open on 19 July the Second World War will be illustrated by iconic and personal objects on display in our new atrium. Level 1 of the transformed atrium space, called Turning Points: 1934 – 1945 will present key stories from the Second World War, such as the role of strategic bombing, the fronts in Russia and Africa and the D-Day landings, through curated displays using both large objects and other materials from our collections, including film and artworks.

      You’ll also be able to find out about the Second World War in our permanent galleries A Family in Wartime, The Holocaust Exhibition and The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes. The family exhibition Horrible Histories: Spies – which explores the world of spies during the Second World War – will also be open until January 2015.

      As we get closer to our re-opening on 19 July we will keep you updated on this blog, as well as on our website with information on all the upcoming exhibitions and events.

      Hope that you are able to visit us – do let us know what you think of the transformed IWM London!


      David, Marketing

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