As well as theatres, I also frequently visit London’s many museums in normal times. They are starting to re-open, along with galleries. However, some are only partial re-openings (the British Museum is only opening their ground floor, for example) and there is a trend to force visitors to take pre-determined routes around the displays, and discouragement from going back to see something from earlier on your route. For this reason I’ve not yet visited any of the larger institutions.
But I’ve been meaning to visit the Garden Museum for a while. I saw that they have a temporary exhibition (until the 20th of September) about Derek Jarman’s garden at Dungeness which also includes some of his art works. It’s a teeny tiny museum, so if it’s open at all it’s all open. Hurrah!
The Jarman exhibition, which is small but well put together, is very good and worth a visit on its own. Alas, no copy of Sebastiane playing on a continuous loop, but I imagine that the museum’s landlord, the Diocese of Southwark, would disapprove. The rest of the museum, their permanent collection and displays, left me a bit cold. I’m not really a gardener though – I like gardens but don’t enjoy gardening – so maybe I’m not their audience. They do have a small but interesting collection of historical tools, especially mechanical improvements to simple hand tools such as multi-bladed trimmers.
The building itself is a fairly uninteresting mostly mid-19th century church, deconsecrated in the 1970s. It has one interesting feature, an immersion font set in the floor. It is apparently one of only two such beasts in Anglican churches in England, as most Anglicans baptise with a mere sprinkling.