The Museums and Galleries of London
This is one of our favourite courses as it explores some of London's many Museums and Galleries.
London has an incredible variety of Museums and the course is designed to introduce a cross-section of them to road scholar travellers. The course will include information on the origins of London's Museums, and aspects of their management and display philosophy. Guided tours will be given where appropriate.
The British Museum was London's first museum and also the world's first National Museum. Perhaps surprisingly it was funded by an 18th Century state-sponsored Lottery! It was formed from the collection of Sir Hans Sloane stored in his house in Chelsea, which when transferred to Montague House in Bloomsbury formed the core of the three branches of the British Museum: the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Mankind.
Many of the other great London Museums were founded at the height of the British Empire, The magnificence of these foundations give an insight into the power, influence and self-confidence of 19th Century Britain. A feature of the course will be an examination of the circumstances of the foundation of the great collection of Museums in South Kensington by Prince Albert. We will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum - perhaps the world's greatest Decorative Art's Museum, and the Natural History Museum - a veritable Cathedral of Science.
As representatives of London's smaller Museum's we will visit Sir John Soane's atmospheric house; and Lord Leighton's magnificent House Beautiful. On Sunday there will be an excursion to Hampstead with its many literary and artistic connections. We will visit Kenwood House an Adam Stately Home with an excellent art Collection, and lovely garden. We also visitthe National Gallery, and the Museum of London - perhaps two of the best visitor experiences in London.
The course will normally be given by Kevin Flude, the course directory. Kevin has worked at the Museum of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum and is currently Director of the Old Operating Theatre Museum.
One of his articles is available to download at www.chr.org.uk/anddidthosefeet.htm
Links to London Museums can be found on the South London Museum's Web site that Kevin compiled:
- Road Scholar