27th September 2017
Horniman Museum and Gardens set to open major new World Gallery

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is calling on the public to champion the launch of its World Gallery. Set to open in June 2018, the gallery will provide a first-class anthropology display exploring ‘what it means to be human’ with more than 3,000 fascinating objects that tell extraordinary stories – from ancient cultures to the present day.

The World Gallery will celebrate human creativity, imagination and adaptability. It shows some of the ways ordinary people from every continent live their lives, caring for each other and making their way in the world we all share; allowing visitors to reflect on their own lives, and what it means to be human. The gallery includes stories about contemporary peoples and shows some of the challenges they face today such as climate breakdown and migration.

The gallery was developed by the Horniman’s anthropology curators in collaboration with established community networks including local groups, arts organisations, community leaders, people from the communities that made and used many of the objects in the collections, and international museum and academic partners.

The project is part of the Horniman’s wider mission to encourage appreciation of the world, its peoples and their cultures, and its environments. In the 19th Century, Frederick Horniman’s vision for the museum was to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill.’ One hundred years later, the World Gallery will be an enriching and timely addition to our global capital, where over 300 languages are spoken and over a third of residents were born in another country.

The Horniman’s crowdfunding campaign during the next month gives the public the opportunity to be part of the project. From personalised poems by the Horniman’s walrus to private tours of the new gallery, a range of benefits will be available for those who donate by 31 October 2017 at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/worldgallery.

Janet Vitmayer, Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, says: ‘The opening of the World Gallery will put Anthropology back on centre stage at the Horniman. It will reconnect us with Frederick Horniman’s desire to share his excitement and enthusiasm for the way collections can open our minds to the many different ways people live their lives. The strength of our extraordinary collections lie in shining a light on these human stories across time and across continents. We are very grateful to all our wonderful partners who have invested in this project so far. I very much hope that our local community and friends further afield will join the crowdfunding campaign and also be part of the World Gallery.’

Robert Storrie, Keeper of Anthropology at the Horniman, says: ‘The World Gallery will display more than 3,000 objects from our collections, in a beautiful and joyful space that celebrates human creativity, imagination and adaptability. The displays will show how things connect people – practically and emotionally – as well as giving each of us a glimpse into other ways of understanding our world.’

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, says: ‘Already much-loved in South London, the Horniman has an incredible global story to tell. Thanks to National Lottery players this project will enable previously stored items from the Museum’s anthropology collections to be enjoyed for the first time and ensure that people – from our ancestors to today’s visitors – remain at its heart.’

For further information, please visit www.horniman.ac.uk/worldgallery | #WorldGallery | @HornimanMuseum


Image Credit: World Gallery aisle, planning and design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, photo courtesy of Horniman Museum and Gardens.