News / Art

Horniman Museum to launch new gallery exhibiting 3,000 objects of cultural history


The Horniman Museum and Garden is set to launch the World Gallery in 2018 – a £3.3million Heritage Lottery Fund supported project that will “transform the Horniman’s iconic South Galleries into a world-class anthropology gallery”.

The gallery will exhibit more than 3,000 objects that tell the stories of ancient cultures to the present day, allowing visitors to reflect on their own lives and what it means to be human. Capturing life from the Americas, Africa, Oceania, Europe and Asia, the gallery will “present many firsts for an anthropology gallery anywhere in the UK”, as a result of the curators’ fieldwork.

The project is part of the Horniman’s wider mission to “encourage appreciation of the world, its people and their cultures, and its environments”. The opening hopes to bring opportunity to the already diverse community there by celebrating the world’s cultures.

Exhibits and stories set to be told in the new gallery include; The Living and the Dead, an exhibit of paper offerings revealing a change in Chinese culture, Protection which explores the making and usage of charms to protect us and Climate Change and Tradition, a display which takes us to the Pacific ocean and showcases models of traditional canoes.

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 way of understanding our world.”

The Horniman museum has launched a crowdfunding campaign, which will provide opportunities to the public to be a part of the project. From personalised poems by the Horniman’s walrus to private tours of the new gallery, a variety of benefits are on offer to those who donate by 31 October 2017.


The South Gallery under construction [circa 1900]


The South Hall displays [20th Century]