In Summer 2020, the Museum of the Home
(formerly the Geffrye Museum of the Home) will open following an £18.1 million redevelopment revealing fascinating new permanent displays and beautiful exhibition and event spaces. The Museums unique Collection will present previously unseen and iconic objects that bring to life both the extraordinary and everyday experiences of home from 1600 to the present day.
The relaunched Museum will celebrate the heritage and beauty of the 300-year-old Geffrye almshouses and gardens. Visitors will be able to discover more about their history and the stories of the people who once lived in them.
Alongside this physical transformation, the Museum will reopen with a refreshed identity as the Museum of the Home - created by cultural brand consultancy dn&co - signalling an evolution in focus from the historical to include more contemporary and diverse perspectives.
More broadly, through a wide-ranging programme of festivals, talks, events, performances, exhibitions and collaborations, the Museum will respond to national and global narratives about themes relating to home including topical and urgent issues such as homelessness, immigration, mental health, and the environment. The reimagined Museum will provide a space for visitors to consider the ways we have lived in the past in order to explore creative ideas about new ways of living and looking at the world.
Placing the human viewpoint and personal stories at the heart of its programme, the Museum of the Home will work in collaboration with external groups, including the local community in east London, to create a more modern, accurate and inclusive understanding of contemporary living.
Sonia Solicari, Director, Museum of the Home, says: I cant wait to welcome visitors, old and new, next summer to explore the Museum of the Home and to celebrate this new chapter in the Museums history. Our new displays, spaces and stories will be a starting point for ideas and conversation about what home means. I hope every visitor will feel at home here and be able to relate their own experiences and ideas of home to the stories we share.
Expanded buildings and new spaces
The renovation of the original Grade-1 listed Geffrye Almshouses and the development of new spaces, masterminded by Wright & Wright Architects, will create double the space for exhibitions, events and collections. The redevelopment will include:
● A new entrance directly opposite Hoxton Station, a street-facing café with terrace and much improved visitor reception and facilities
● A new Learning Pavilion and Studio which will allow more people of all ages and abilities to take part in the Museums award-winning learning programme and activities
● Direct, all-year-round access to the Gardens Through Time and a brand new eco-friendly roof garden
● A new Collections Library overlooking the front gardens which will open up public access to the Museums extensive archive and collections for the first time
New exhibition spaces will be created in the lower ground floor of the almshouses. Named the Home Galleries, they will run the full length of the building, providing part of the 80% additional space to exhibit the Collection. The permanent thematic displays will explore peoples everyday experiences of home life over the past 400 years, weaving together historical and contemporary narratives about the home and exploring diverse, thought-provoking and personal stories.
The displays will include archival photographs, textiles, furniture, hand-crafted objects, massproduced artefacts, prints, film, audio recordings, historical catalogues, contemporary photography, and much more. Themes will encompass diverse cultures and religions, styles and aesthetic tastes, domestic gender roles, homelessness and migration, house work and entertainment, as well as remarkable tales of love and loss that span the centuries.
The new Home Galleries will showcase works and projects including:
● The Museums Documenting Homes Collection, which comprises stories, interviews and photographs that record home circumstances over the past 100 years
● Shelf Life - a new film revealing how our homes reflect our identity, created in collaboration with the Museums Faith & Culture Forum
● In the Garden - a photographic series of older Hackney residents by Sophie Verhagen that serve as a reminder of the love, reward and frustration gardens can create
● Love & Loss - exploring the relationships that shape our sense of belonging, through historic paintings and contemporary photographs
The Museum will relaunch with a reinvigorated focus on contemporary programming, partnering with a diverse range of emerging and established artists, designers and performers to create new and unique works that reflect the theme of home.
The first commission of Summer 2020 will be an immersive sound installation by internationally renowned writer Maria Fusco which will respond to objects in the new Home Galleries and explore ideas of materiality and absence.