The Imperial War Museum was huge, as you may have gathered from my pictures and post the last time around. I’m picking up where I left off yesterday talking about my field trip to the museum.
The section that we specifically looked at for class as the Peace and Security section which was more or less a collection of war artifacts from 1945 up until 2014. Some notable pieces that I enjoyed were an old nuclear bomb capsule, a segment on the Berlin Wall including another part of the wall itself, a piece called Sectarian Armour by John Kindness speaking to the fighting in Northern Ireland among other pieces.
After that section we went to look at Kennard’s exhibition of his war protest art pieces which were really quite arresting. Much of his work was disturbed in a way, it makes sense considering that war isn’t fun and games by any means. Kennard’s exhibition of art was very powerful, he depicted US and British scenes.
The other section that we looked at was Turning Points: 1934-1945. Old-Fredd was in that section and I was really interested by the story behind that although I can’t recall all of it now (That’s what google is for isn’t it?). There were a number of other items in this section of course, a replica of a ship, a small boat used to ferry men in wartime, and a few human torpedoes used to bomb ships.
The other section that I wandered into on my own was the Family in Wartime section. While there, I met a man named Brian Bass who lived through the London blitz. He was 7 I believe when he and his sister were evacuated to the coastline per their parents wishes. Evacuation wasn’t mandatory but taking in children when they got to wherever was. He recalled stories of children being treated exceptionally well and others who were abused. I had neve quite heard of this part of the evacuation story before and it was really quite fun to talk to him and hear what he had to say!
The last section, the place where I spent the most time was the Holocaust exhibition. For those of you who don’t know, I am very much so interested in the Holocaust and the personal narratives that come from it. I always wonder how something this disturbing and terrible could have happened in the first place. I take my time when it comes to museums and I definitely went extra slowly through this portion as I wanted to read every tid bit offered.
Again, as a free museum in London, I highly recommend visiting it. It does become quite inundated with children and families after opening probably around 12pm or so but it is well worth the time and perhaps patience to walk around some children. The exhibits here were excellent. The only part that I was a little iffy on was that there was a chunk of the Twin Towers. It seemed a bit out of place, yet with Britain and the US being such close allies it could stand to reason that they were using it in a few ways. Namely the first being a memorial in a sense, as the towers falling did claim lives of Americans as well as non-Americans, second a teaching piece and third perhaps a political statement as almost a kind of solidarity in the aftermath.
Join me again as I chronicle my time here in London!
P.S. The cakes and pastries at the cafe are pretty darn good!