Museums At Night throws open the doors to some of the capital’s most important – and mysterious – museums, galleries and heritage sites with a series of very special night-time openings and evening events. The series aims to enliven our humdrum expectations by revealing museums and historic spaces in new and exciting ways. The nationwide series spring into life on Thursday 13th May and features a vast program of special openings across London over the course of the following week. Highlights include an imaginary voyage to Iceland at the William Morris Gallery, a European Literature Night at the British Museum, candle lit architectural tours at Benjamin Franklin House and a gruesome talk about ‘the men who supplied the dissecting rooms of London from the graves of the city’ at the Old Operating Theatre Museum. Museums At Night presents a truly unique program of one-off openings and events that will cast new light on your favourite museums and could very well reveal a hidden gem on your doorstep.
Visions of War Above and Below is the Imperial War Museum’s expansive examination of war in the air, as depicted by artists. Spanning the twentieth and early twenty-first century, during which time air bound warfare has dominated the story of modern conflict, this fascinating exhibition explores a variety of responses to the phenomenon of war in the skies by assembling works like Paul Nash’s Battle of Germany and Allison Wilding’s recent Drones drawings. Encompassing everything from the surreal to the abstract, Visions of War Above and Below is a powerful exploration of conflict as viewed through a kaleidoscope of disparate artistic lenses. The exhibition presents nearly a century of thought-provoking perspectives, taking in a timespan that covers the emergence of aerial warfare during the First World War right up to contemporary viewpoints such as Bashar Alhroub’s ‘Heavenly’, which was created on a handheld camera in Hebron and makes it’s first appearance in Visions of War Above and Below.
There are few better areas to enjoy an evening out with a distinctly historic flavour than London’s Midtown. The area, which encompasses Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles, is prized for it’s rich cultural heritage and much of that history is inextricably intertwined with the many pubs that have played host to great writers, artists and intellectuals over the years, many of whom did a good proportion of their thinking with a pint glass in close attendance. The area still boasts a higher concentration of pubs than anywhere else in the world, making it the perfect location for a pub tour. Which is where the Toast of History Pub Tour comes in. For two nights only (Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 12th November) four of Midtown’s most historic and atmospheric pubs are offering visitors a chance to step back in time and enjoy a theatrical recreation of the bygone nights in the pubs of London. The tour takes in The Old Red Lion pub on High Holborn, where the bodies of Oliver Cromwell, John Bradshaw and Sir Henry Ireton are held, The White Hart on Drury Lane, The Ship Tavern on Lincoln’s Inns Fields and The Enterprise on Red Lion Street.
This sleepover event at the Natural History museum promises to be a veritable feast of art, music, science, and cinema in London’s celebrated home of the dinosaurs. The night kicks off at 8.30pm with a delicious three course dinner, and this will be followed by a diverse programme of activities that carries right through until a full hot breakfast is served in the morning. Attractions at Dino Snores for Grown-Ups include a science show featuring gruesome forensics and the sex lives of insects, thrilling exhibitions on the topics of Mammoths and a million year-history of the British Isles, stand-up comedy and live music, an unusual midnight feast with edible insect tasting, a dinosaur drawing class, and a dinner quiz with big prizes. For those of you who want to get some shut-eye, you can camp out underneath the huge Diplodocus skeleton in Hintze Hall, or for the night owls among you, there will be an all-night monster movie marathon featuring the best cinematic examples of nature gone wild. For more information about where to find local London hotels, and information about how to buy tickets, please see below.