Dis­cover one of Lon­don’s hid­den gems, in­clud­ing The Car­toon Mu­seum, Leighton House and the Mu­seum of Brands, Pack­ag­ing & Ad­ver­tis­ing.

While Lon­don leads the way with block­buster ex­hi­bi­tions, Sam Rogg dis­cov­ers that niche venues such as The Car­toon Mu­seum and the Mu­seum of Brands, Pack­ag­ing & Ad­ver­tis­ing are well worth a visit, too

Where London - - Contents -

It’s no se­cret that Lon­don is home to some of the big­gest and best mu­se­ums in the world, from The Bri­tish Mu­seum to The Na­tional Gallery. But some­times it’s nice to es­cape the crowds and head to one of Lon­don’s smaller trea­sure troves. Take a trip down mem­ory lane at the Mu­seum of Brands, Pack­ag­ing &

Ad­ver­tis­ing (p. 34), not far from the fa­mous Por­to­bello Road Mar­ket. It might seem like a rather un­usual sub­ject for a mu­seum, but few things evoke more nos­tal­gia in us than the sight of a poster, ad­vert, fad or fash­ion from our younger years. In­side you’ll find more than 12,000 orig­i­nal items in­clud­ing Rimmel cos­met­ics from the 1890s, World War I OXO (stock) cubes and a 1970s Chop­per bike, plus a ‘time tun­nel’ of con­sumer cul­ture, from the Vic­to­rian era up to to­day.

If you’re cu­ri­ous to see what hap­pens when a wealthy 19th-cen­tury artist is left to cre­ate his own ‘pri­vate palace of art’, then step in­side

Leighton House (p. 34) in Hol­land Park. This pur­pose-built for­mer home and studio for Lord Leighton is a work of art in it­self; in­side you’ll find a stun­ning col­lec­tion of his works plus the strik­ing Arab Hall filled with his mag­nif­i­cent as­sort­ment of 16th-cen­tury tiles. Flam­ing June: The Mak­ing of an Icon( to 2 Apr) marks the re­turn of Leighton’s most fa­mous work from Puerto Rico and is well worth a look.

Named af­ter its Vic­to­rian founder, the phar­ma­cist Sir Henry Well­come, whose pas­sion for medicine led him to col­lect more than a mil­lion ob­jects, the Well­come

Col­lec­tion (p. 36) is a cu­ri­ous at­trac­tion. Ex­plore the his­tory of medicine and its im­pact on our lives through ex­hibits span­ning six cen­turies. High­lights in­clude a Peru­vian mummy and a robot used in the Hu­man Genome Project. Mak­ing-Na­ture (to 21 May) looks at how we see an­i­mals and Bed­lam: The Asylum and Be­yond( to 15 Jan) ex­plores how men­tal ill­ness has been shaped over the cen­turies, with some in­ter­est­ing in­sights into what the fu­ture might hold.

Blooms­bury’s The Car­toon Mu­seum (p. 33) is home to Bri­tish car­toon and comic art from the 18th cen­tury to the present day. Don’t let its small size de­ceive you – in­side you’ll find more than 6,000 books and comics, a per­ma­nent col­lec­tion with ex­am­ples of the golden age of car­i­ca­ture, plus Pic­tures­from Punch (to 22 Jan), an ex­hi­bi­tion of draw­ings from the iconic mag­a­zine.

Good things come in small pack­ages, too!

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Clock­wise from this im­age: Well­come Col­lec­tion; the Arab Hall at Leighton House; the Mu­seum of Brands, Pack­ag­ing & Ad­ver­tis­ing Be­low: Flam­ingJune at Leighton House

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