Revamped Museum of the Home to reopen after three year closure
- Credit: The Geffrye, Museum of the Home/Jayne Lloyd
Hoxton's Museum of the Home will reopen in May after a three-year closure and £18.1 million renovation.
Delayed for a year by Covid, the reopening will reveal a new visitor entrance, cafe, library and learning pavilion alongside revamped galleries to house the collection of domestic artefacts spanning 400 years.
The historic site was previously known as The Geffrye Museum because it is based in 18th century almshouses built with funds from Sir Robert Geffrye. But they were sold to London County Council in 1911 and the collection - and charitable trust which runs it - has no connection to the merchant who made his money from the slave trade and colonial East India Company.
Part funded by a Heritage Lottery grant, the refurbishment creates 80 percent more exhibition space focusing on "diverse personal stories of home through the centuries which invite visitors to discover reveal and rethink what home means".
A programme of exhibitions, artist commissions, festivals, performances and events will explore social and personal stories around the theme of home including topical issues such as homelessness, immigration, mental health and the environment.
Director Sonia Solicari says: “Our doors have been closed for over three years - we can’t wait to throw them open and welcome everyone back. We hope visitors will be intrigued and inspired by the personal stories of home life which run through our reimagined galleries and programmes - from diverse contemporary and historical stories in the Home Galleries, to Stay Home, our
rapid-response collecting project documenting home life during lockdown, and Behind the Door, our pioneering partnership with the London Homeless Collective. In a year when many of our homes have morphed into places to work, learn and keep fit, debating, sharing and delving into ideas, feelings and personal experiences of home seems more relevant than ever.”
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The Grade 1 listed site opposite Hoxton Station, will also offer all year round access to the museum's grounds and Gardens Through Time which show how urban gardens have changed since the 17th Century.
As part of the refreshed Creative Learning Programme, the Young Producers initiative brings together young people from Hackney and Tower Hamlets with artists and curators - with the first project a spoken-word collaboration with the Poetry Society responding to the controversial decision to retain the statue of Sir Robert Geffrye on the building.
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