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Tag "Crystal Palace"

A poster for Crystal Palace with the Great War Exhibition – Imperial War Museum which opened on 9 June 1920.

Plans to erect a replica of the Crystal Palace in south London have recently been unveiled, but how much do we know about the building’s use after the Great Exhibition of 1851?

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The Imperial War Museum, 1935 : Showing the main art gallery under construction. Image © IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 509)

As everyone gears up for our partial reopening of IWM London on 29 July, here is our short guide to museum openings of yesteryear.

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Moving a gun into the Imperial Institute in 1924

Moving a gun into the Imperial Institute in 1924. 275 loads of exhibits weighing approximately 800 tons were moved during this period, with only three instances of minor damage to objects reported.  IWM (Q 36932)

Museum objects are seldom static – displays, exhibitions and research material move around all the time.   Transforming IWM London is just the latest in a long series of major moves, from the move to Crystal Palace in 1920, to the opening of AirSpace at IWM Duxford in 2006.

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Crystal Palace

The army section display at Crystal Palace, 1920. Although the space was dramatic, the glass structure and four year lease meant it was unsuitable as a long term home for the Museum.

Welcome to the first in a series of blogs from the museum archive. With the transformation of IWM London now moving into  full swing, we thought it would be a good opportunity to tell you more about the history of the Lambeth Road building that our London branch has occupied for over 70 years.

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19th century print showing the exterior of the Bethlem Royal Hospital

19th century print showing the exterior of the Bethlem Royal Hospital © IWM (Q82924)

The National War Museum was founded in 1917 when the government decided that a museum should be set up to collect and display material related to the First World War, which was still being fought. Interest from the Dominion governments led to a change in name to Imperial War Museum. It was formally established by Act of Parliament in 1920.

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