Museum of the Home announces temporary gallery closure to introduce new stories to Rooms Through Time galleries
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Museum of the Home announces temporary gallery closure to introduce new stories to Rooms Through Time galleries
In 2024, Museum of the Home’s world-renowned Rooms Through Time galleries will have a major overhaul, revealing new stories that represent the many communities surrounding the Museum.

LONDON.- Museum of the Home’s world-renowned Rooms Through Time galleries will have a major overhaul, revealing new stories that represent the many communities surrounding the Museum. The Real Rooms project will commence construction from Sunday 7th January 2024 and will put personal stories and lived experiences at the heart of the new displays in the Branson Coates wing. The wing will re-open in mid-summer 2024.

The project will tackle the imbalance in representation within Museum of the Home’s Rooms Through Time, fulfilling its vision to better reveal and rethink the ways we live, in order to live better together. Real Rooms will be more inclusive of the complex histories of migration and identity that have shaped modern Britain from 1870 to the present. The Rooms Through Time galleries exploring home from 1630 to 1830 will remain open.

Museum of the Home's four new rooms will include a Jewish tenement from 1911, reflecting the Rothschild Buildings, the bedroom of an Irish couple in the 1950s as they get ready for a night out, and a British-Vietnamese contemporary kitchen complete with the smells, sounds, and textures that make this dynamic community feel at home. A new Future Room will imaginatively explore what real peoples’ homes might look like amid challenges such as climate change, social inequality, and technological advances, with interactive artefacts creating a dynamic and evolving space.

These rooms will join the existing 1870s room, which takes in the history of Indian travelling Ayahs, and will display Rebecca Solomon’s ‘A Young Teacher’ jointly acquired by Museum of the Home and Tate in Summer 2023. The 1976 room co-curated with Dr Michael McMillan will be re-contextualised, with music, food, and family at the forefront and a new interactive garden display. The 1998 room will be transformed to tell the story of LGBTQ+ renters in a shared ex- council building from the early 2000s, showing how home can become a safe space where gender, sexuality and creativity can be expressed.

This object-rich gallery will allow Museum of the Home to display newly acquired objects. The Museum will expand the concept of what a period room can do, making the histories they tell more engaging and accessible to visitors. By representing diverse stories, visitors from many different backgrounds will see their history on display, many for the first time.

Danielle Patten, Director: Creative Programmes and Collections, comments, Real Rooms centres diverse, thought-provoking and personal stories of home and demonstrates Museum of the Home’s continued commitment to honouring the lived experiences of the communities it serves.

Real Rooms will bring new narratives to the galleries, reflected in reconfigured wall and floor treatments to extend beyond barriers, offer windows to widen perspectives and blur thresholds so visitors can step into bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and dwellings for a more immersive and intimate experience. The ‘lived-in’ feel will take inspiration from oral histories and experiences of communities. Displays will bring in design and architectural elements to enable exploration and learning for everyone. Child-focused interpretation and an emphasis on interactive and experiential history will ensure that all audiences will be able to discover something new. Many of the Real Rooms’ stories will be hyper-local, reflecting the diverse lived experiences of communities that have called Hackney and East London home over the centuries.

Real Rooms have been researched and created by Museum of the Home using co-creative and co-curatorial methods with communities shaping how their histories are told. Local communities have been involved at every stage of the process, ensuring their stories are told in a way that is authentic and meaningful.

The Branson Coates wing of the Museum will close on Sunday 7th January 2024. The Rooms Through Time galleries which explore home from 1630 to 1830 will remain open.

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