Museums – late night special
‘Museums at night’ will be bringing special events to London next week. Not only are museums going to be opening late on Friday 14th, they’ll also be hosting activities ranging from music to sleepovers, from lectures to workshops.
There’s a talk at the Horniman Museum about Shiva and Kali, the Indian goddess of death and destruction, featuring a statue of Kali dancing on Shiva’s body. Having a taste for the gruesome, I might try to get along to this – Kali is quite striking with her necklace of skulls ! Booking is vital, as for many of these events.
The National Portrait Gallery will feature ‘India noir’, to go with its exhibition of Indian portraits from the Mughal courts, with a range of activities including DJing and art workshops.
Candlelit tours of the Soane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields look huge fun. I love this museum, and it’s just the kind of place for candlelight – full of strange objects, hidden corners, and dramatic vistas. Booking is essential.
Perhaps most unusual is a sleepover in the underground shelter that housed the Cabinet War Rooms – with bingo and tiddlywinks games to entertain, and wartime propaganda films being shown, plus breakfast in the morning. Adults only at this one (that means over 16).
I’ve got one quibble with the Museums Night in London, though. When I went to the event in Paris, a lot of the events were free. Quite a number of the events in London are paid for – and some, like the candlelit tours of the Horniman (£20) and Cabinet War Rooms sleepover (£45) are quite expensive, though definitely special enough to be worth the money. It seems rather a pity that there aren’t more free events in the list – since this is such a great opportunity to get people who don’t normally visit museums to step inside one for a change.
Photo by Vintagedept on flickr