Imperial War Museum Highlights

Open every day from 10am-6pm, the Imperial War Museum offers free admission to exhibits that tell the history of war and conflict from World War I to the present day.


Filled with artifacts, photographs, letters, war propoganda, and much more, the Imperial War Museum is an exceptional resource that recounts history and its impact on shaping culture. This makes it a frequent educational visit for students of all ages (I went to this museum for my literature class) as well as for anyone interested in learning more about the conflicts that were instrumental in bringing us to the present day.

There are currently two permanent exhibitions and three temporary ones.


The Battle of the Somme

The First World War Galleries cover everything from the Battle of the Somme to the century that followed it. Memorabilia is displayed in a way that allows the voices of the people who lived during that time speak, transporting visitors back to the time when there was international conflict of an unprecedented magnitude. Most striking for me was walking through a to-scale model of a trench, complete with sound effects such as shooting, from which I was able to experience the physical act of walking through a trench. I also found posters with propoganda from both Allies and Axis countries to be very interesting in that they employed very similar methods to try to mobilize their people.

The other permanent exhibition is The Holocaust Exhibition, which covers the time between 1933 and 1945. This exhibition draws heavily from personal stories found in letters, diaries, photographs, and objects that people kept with them in this devastating period of history.


Edmund Clark: War of Terror exhibition. Abu Salim prison, Libya

Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies creates a comprehensive picture of how war movies were made, from conception and inspiration to production. This exhibition includes film clips, costumes, scripts, and more, taking viewers behind the scenes and providing historical and informational context on films that have, themselves, become artifacts in a sense. This exhibition is on until 8 Jan 2017.

Displayed until 19 Mar 2017, IWM Contemporary: Mahwish Chishty is a collection of art from the artist from which the exhibition takes its name. It is her first UK exhibition, and it brings together Pakistani folk art patterns and military drone silhouettes to illustrate how the two have come together as drones have integrated themselves as part of life in Pakistan.

The last exhibition is Edmund Clark: War on Terror and is an exploration of governments’ roles in shielding their citizens from terrorism. It studies how states use their power to control what kind of information is available to the public as well as what kinds of methods are used to keep their citizens safe. Clark is an artist-photographer, and the exhibition showcases photographs and documents as well as sound, moving images, and multi-media installations.

ADDRESS: IWM London, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ

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