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
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
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
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.
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!