Last week I found myself with a spare afternoon and decided to pop to Greenwich to visit a museum I’ve wanted to see for ages. The Fan Museum is housed in a beautiful Georgian terraced house on a quiet street in the heart of historic Greenwich. It is home to a vast array of historical fans and has regularly changing exhibitions. The fans date from as early as the 11th Century.
As someone who is absolutely obsessed with Georgian buildings, I really loved the building itself, it was a fantastic setting to show of all the beautiful fans. The displays are all housed in elegant cabinets which fit beautifully with the interiors. On the ground floor is a permanent display which explains the different styles of fans as well as how they are made and which materials were commonly used. It was really interesting to see materials such as ivory and tortoiseshell, which are now protected and can’t be used anymore.
On the first floor up a gorgeous staircase the latest temporary exhibition is displayed. The current exhibition which runs until the end of December is called Vision of Beauty. The fans on display dating from the 17th century onwards show the changing aesthetic of beauty through the artwork on the fans. From ancient mythology to beautiful art deco era beauties, the real beauty is in the fans themselves. I was amazed at all the detail and intricate embellishments. I absolutely loved the whole exhibition. I was also so impressed with the way everything was displayed and lit.
At the back of the building the museum owners have built an orangery in keeping with the rest of the building, the perfect place for an afternoon tea. Sadly the tea room was closed when I visited as it wasn’t a particularly busy time of day, so it might be worth checking opening times before visiting. I did manage to get a picture of the beautiful painted walls through a window though.
I’d definitely recommend a visit to The Fan Museum for fashion and art lovers alike. It’s definitely worth taking a day trip to the area as there are so many other great places to see in Greenwich including The Cutty Sark, The Royal Observatory and The National Maritime Museum to name a few. The museum is also a short walk from Greenwich Market which is the perfect place for a little vintage shopping.
Here are some pictures I took of some of my favourite fans from the exhibition…
The Fan Museum
12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8ER
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm Sunday: 12-5pm
For more information visit The Fan Museum Website.