MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
If you have ever wanted to recreate the film Night at the Museum, which sees historical statues come alive, Museums at Night will be the closest you’ll get to it, says Sam Rogg
Museums at Night gives you the chance to see iconic venues, from The National Gallery to the Horniman Museum, in a different light.
See some of London’s best-loved heritage sites in a new light, literally, as Museums atNight (17-20 May) returns to the capital. During this biannual, four-day festival, many museums, galleries and cultural landmarks stay open late to let visitors delve deeper into fascinating subjects. Whether you are visiting alone or with friends or family, there’s a wide range of special events for people of all ages and interests, plus cocktails and entertainment – so you can certainly make a night of it.
Highlights include workshop Neuroscience – Why People Buy at the Museums of Brands, Packaging & Advertising (17 May); Vices and Virtues: Life Drawing in the Painted Hall at the
Old Royal Naval College, in which you can sketch ‘gods and goddesses’ to the sounds of atmospheric music (18 May); Victorian Variety, a night of folk music, craft beer and period entertainment, at Fulham Palace (18 May); music and dance in Rituals to Mould Her With at Handel & Hendrix (19 May); a celebration of all things gin at The Geffrye Museum (19 May); and a course on Michelangelo at The National Gallery (19 May).
Also at The National Gallery, you can immerse yourself in interactive workshops, live music and a ‘secret bar’ as part of the Renaissance Late event (19 May). Or why not let the Horniman Museum and Gardens entertain you with music, dance, film, tours and performances inspired by the building’s collections (18 May)? If you’re curious to see how British banknotes have changed over the decades, head to the Bank of England
Museum for a series of free special talks and object-handling sessions (19 May). And for something completely different, visit the
London Canal Museum, which will be lit with candles and fairy-lights (20 May).
If the idea of experiencing a candlelit museum intrigues you, head to Benjamin
Franklin House, the American founding father’s last remaining residence and a Grade I-listed Georgian townhouse. Admire it on a fascinating tour (18-19 May). In fact, we Brits love a candlelit tour so much that you’ll find similar events at cultural landmarks all year round, including Sir John Soane’s Museum‘ s candlelit late openings (first Tues of every month), and the ‘Silent Night’ immersive experiences at Dennis Severs’ House, home of the late American artist (most Mon, Wed and Fri). Booking is essential for all events. www.museumsatnight.org.uk
This image: The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College Below: Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising