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Museum of the Living Room?

Formerly known as the Geffrye Museum, this museum is located in old East End almshouses founded by... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
989pezza
,
Oxford, United Kingdom
Enjoyed our visit

Really enjoyed our visit. Interesting perspectives of the home it's contents and the people that... read more

Reviewed 24 October 2021
VegetarianDiner2014
,
United Kingdom
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Reviewed 26 April 2017

This is an unique experience, a museum dedicated to interior design of middle class dwellings, mock-ups of living rooms from past centuries, all set in London. One learns a lot about everyday living and architecture. All set in a former pensioners almshouse with its own history, plus lovely gardens.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank Thomas V
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 April 2017

The museum is an excellent place to visit, giving a look into the progression, or otherwise, of the design and decor of living rooms through the 'ages'!
The gardens at the back of the museum are matched to the rooms and the era - a very clever ploy. The gardens themselves are well designed and well stocked. I thought the the green greenhouse was especially worthy of note.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank TheCiotog
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 24 April 2017

The Geffrye museum is an attractive 17th century former alms building, set off the leafy Kingsland Road, with a formal garden to the front and a 'physick' garden, filled with herbs, and a Kate Mallone, ceramic pineapple fountain to the left of the site. Once inside, you step from room to room, each designated with a particular chronological flow by century, laid out and decorated in the 'typical' style of the period, with an often bitty use of detail. Stopping in each room, one is cordoned off from the furnishings by a rope and there are explanatory information boards (now a bit worn and tatty), which outline the history of the epoch with regard to interior decor and design. One could be forgiven for thinking that one is stepping through a series of prop rooms for a film set rather than visiting a museum. Attention to detail is sometimes quite good but the rooms do not feel authentic. Instead, they are simulacra - representations of a style and era. The fact that the rooms do not change very often (I have been visiting the museum since the late 1980s) is a testament to its lack of imagination and inspiration. Curators could add new objets d'art, different paintings, rotate the ornaments and taxidermy, introduce piped music from the period, evoking much more of an authentic atmosphere, flavour and feeling - like the hugely more successful Museum of London at Docklands. However, the rooms are static and each take just a few minutes to view, invite little curiosity from the visitor, and have the appearance of being a bit tired and out of date. Museum visitors want more than this, these days. They want to be genuinely surprised and fascinated by the originality and inventiveness of the displays, they want to be left asking for more. This museum fails to address this on a massive scale. Whilst there are other exhibitions and displays elsewhere within the museum, I would conjecture that there are hundreds (or thousands) of wonderful objects that are just sitting in storage which never get seen or rotated. One wonders why the museum has changed so little in 25 years with regard to this? Is it managerial complacency and lack of imagination? Could it be a complete lack of vision for the future of the museum? Perhaps the art curator supremos are just waiting for their tidy little pensions to come into effect and thus, biding their time? There are few surprises and no 'wow' factors at the Geffrye Museum. My comments and observations will probably go unheeded and life will trundle on in the same lack lustre vein ad infinitum. The museum is seldom busy. On the last count I noted just 6 people and most of them were using the pleasant cafe, which is situated at the far right of the site, in the new extension. This is a shame, much could be done to revamp this unusual building and to revivify its exhibits rather than just leave it to gather dust. What has happened to the amazing wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities that once adorned the 18th century room? Presumably these extremely interesting items have been removed and sit in boxes in a storage room? Why? This was one of the most fascinating displays in the museum - under who's authority was it removed? These are the sort of questions the visitor will be asking when they leave the Geffrye Museum. Put them into a letter, make the people in charge of the museum (who are probably very handsomely salaried) actually do some useful work and read your views, prompt them with your intelligent thoughts to review the status quo. Thank you.

Date of experience: September 2016
Thank baroquenroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 15 April 2017

Family recommended a visit to the Geffrye Museum and we weren't disappointed. Each room is presented perfectly; it really is like taking a walk through history.

Would recommend renting an audio guide.

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank Isaac G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 April 2017

We were alerted to this museum by a television programme and took the opportunity to explore on our last visit to London. Really easy to get to on tube and bus. A fascinating look at the development of the home and home life and how it changed from 1600 to present day. Self guided tour with plenty of artifacts. Great cafe, reviewed separately.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank BeeGee45
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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