Twenty Bridges

By beatrice behlen on 20 May 2015
Twenty Bridges video displayed on the LED ellipse

Richard Müller (centre) checking Twenty Bridges in the Museum’s Sackler Hall before the launch.

In spring 2015 the museum invited students at the Slade School of Fine Art to respond to the theme of City Now, City Future. The proposal of Canadian artist Richard Müller was selected. His video installation for the museum’s Sackler Hall, Twenty Bridges, presents an apocalyptic and at the same time playful vision of a future London consumed by the Thames. Submerged in the river, objects from London’s history mix with the debris of contemporary London life as the water reduces everything to flotsam. Read the full postRead the full post

Time for a reshuffle… Playing cards in the collection

By sarah madden, blog editor on 11 May 2015


Card games have long been a traditional pastime of Londoners, and as our collection demonstrates, they often serve as a window into a particular period of history. In the spirit of today’s ‘reshuffle’, here are some of the card games and game inspired objects on display or in the archives at the Museum of London.
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Women swimming the Thames

By caitlin davies, author on 6 May 2015
Members of the Surrey  Ladies  Swimming Club

Members of the Surrey Ladies Swimming Club, courtesy of Ian Gordon

‘Swimming is the best sport in the world for women,’ so wrote legendary open-water swimmer Annette Kellerman in 1918. Thirteen years earlier, in the summer of 1905, she had arrived in the UK from Australia to make her international debut in the River Thames, covering thirteen miles from Putney to Blackwell. Read the full postRead the full post

Calling all Thames swimmers!

By jen kavanagh, senior curator of contemporary history on 5 May 2015

Swimwear from 1963

When you cross a bridge over the magnificent Thames, or hop on a boat and sail past London’s Docks, has it ever crossed your mind that the city’s famous river would make a nice spot for a swim? It certainly hadn’t mine, until I met Caitlin Davies earlier this year and learned all about the amazing history of wild swimming in the River Thames. For centuries the river has been a place for bathing, and in recent years has become a hot spot for outdoor swimming once again. Read the full postRead the full post

London Dust Q+A: Artist Rut Blees Luxemburg

By sarah madden, blog editor on 1 May 2015
Artist, Rut Blees Luxemburg, outside her Shoreditch studio

Artist, Rut Blees Luxemburg, outside her Shoreditch studio

Born in Trier, Germany, and a graduate of the London College of Printing, Rut Blees Luxemburg’s work has been described as ominous and disconcerting, using large-format analogue photographs to capture a transient and sometimes disenchanting city. Ahead of London Dust, a small exhibition of her photography and film, opening at the Museum of London on 1 May 2015, we asked her a few questions about her work and the role London plays in its creation. Read the full postRead the full post

London Dust: Rut Blees Luxemburg

By francis marshall on 29 Apr 2015
Rut Blees Luxemburg’s at her home in Shoreditch

Rut Blees Luxemburg’s at her studio in Shoreditch

Earlier this year, we acquired two works by one of London’s leading photographers, Rut Blees Luxemburg. They’re from her series London Dust, which takes an oblique look at the redevelopment of the City. The new acquisitions, plus a number of other works from the series, will be on display at the Museum of London from 1 May.

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Happy St George’s Day

By adam corsini on 23 Apr 2015

Happy St George’s Day one and all!



St George’s story goes back to the Roman period and although his birth year is much disputed, most agree that his death occurred on this day, 23rd April, in AD303. But it’s the Medieval period when we start to see the saint’s image depicted on objects in our collection. Check out these 14th Century floor tiles found at Temple Church,Fleet street. Read the full postRead the full post

A dress for spring

By beatrice behlen on 16 Apr 2015

I have been putting off publishing this entry as it contains too many known unknowns for my liking. But I have already spent too many hours on Ancestry and I am hoping that you will be able to solve some of the mysteries surrounding the object below.

Detail of fancy dress outfit

The bodice can currently be seen in Show Space a new (small) exhibition area we opened just before Easter. Show Space consists of three mannequin-height cases which can be (relatively) easily configured to hold different types and sizes of objects. We want to react more quickly to what’s happening in London, to bring out objects that have a good story but don’t fit into forthcoming exhibitions and generally to experiment a little. There is also a screen for film and other digital ‘stuff’ and a player for gems from our Oral History Collection (or sounds, or music). Read the full postRead the full post

A brief history of Smithfield

By alex werner, head of history collections on 26 Mar 2015

Painting of 'A Bird's Eye View of Smithfield Market taken from the Bear and Ragged Staff'

Smithfield is one of London’s special places. Its lanes, alleys and courts on the edge of the market still follow a medieval street plan. Smithfield has its own distinctive character and feel. The bumarees or market porters with their white coats and hats, often smeared with blood, mingle with office and hospital workers. It is a locality at work both day and night. In the evenings, crowds spill out from the pubs and bars, while drivers park lorries laden with meat ready for the early morning market. Read the full postRead the full post