Experience museums after dark this May

Museums at NightThere’s something magical about entering a museum after nightfall – the usual exhibits take on shadowy countenances and it really feels like anything could happen.

If you’ve never experienced this for yourself, take advantage of the annual Museums at Night late night festival of art, culture and heritage. This year it will take place over three nights from Thursday 16 till Saturday 18 May.

Hundreds of museums, art galleries and heritage spaces all over the UK will be putting on a fantastic mix of after-hours entertainment, from spoken word and literary events, to live music, sleepovers in palaces and the chance to see beautiful historic houses aglow with candlelight.The festival ties in with the European event La Nuit des Musées. Ten of the UK’s leading contemporary artists, including Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gavin Turk, Mat Collishaw and sculptor and installation artist Richard Wentworth have confirmed they’ll be putting on unique Museums at Night events.

Oh, and Lauren Laverne is the Ambassador for Museums at Night, and says: “We all know British culture is rich and diverse, but how exciting to experience this in a new way – at nighttime, when lights go down and our imaginations are in charge!”

Nicely put.

4) Faience shabti figure of Pharaoh Seti I 1294 - 1279 BC, Tomb of Pharaoh Sety I, © Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum

© Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum

Museums at Night highlights will include

  • Music, dance and art:  Bristol Museum and Art gallery will host an evening of Egyptian-themed encounters on Thursday 16 May, with real scarab beetles, Arabic music and dance performances, plus a ‘magic carpet’ participatory experience created by artist Gavin Turk. There are plenty of other Bristol late night cultural happenings too.
  • Fashion: London, Fashion and Textile Museum invite you to an evening tour of the forthcoming Kaffe Fassett exhibition, A Life In Colour, which celebrates the work of one of the great practitioners of contemporary craft. There will also be a special Museums at Night talk from textile and interior designer Sue Timney.
  • Port Eliot House at Night – experience over 1000 years of history by candlelight. Explore the treasures of the Eliot family. Gaze at the exquisite collection of furniture and masterpieces by Reynolds, Van Dyck and Lenkiewicz.
  • Contemporary Art with rAndom International – following their immersive installation Rain Room at the Barbican, rAndom International will be putting on a live art event with installation, music and storytelling inspired by at the Horniman Museum, London, and its natural history collection.
  • There will be sleepovers at London’s Kensington Palace and Surrey’s  Hampton Court.
  • Cockles and Mussels at Museum of London – from oysters and scallops to roll-mops and jellied eels, join urban sociologist Dr Alex Rhys-Taylor for a mouthwatering journey through the history of British seafood, plus pop up fish restaurants and live music curated by Mercury Music Prize nominated artist Sam Lee and the Nest Collective.
  • Cocktails and Chaos at Coleton Fishacre – head to Kingswear Devon for a 1920s themed evening of glamour and intrigue with a murder mystery, vintage cocktails and canapés, in the Art Deco surroundings of a home once owned by the D’Oyle Carte family.
  • Culture Crawls will take place in Newcastlele, Liverpool, Bath, oxford, Grimsby, Norwich and other cities and towns across the UK.

Click here for full listings for Museums at Night.

Leave a Reply