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Monday, 6 July 2015

#hipstermuseum - Museum of London Docklands

Oh dearest followers it's been far too long since we've done one of these. We know that its a very exciting time with McQueen still ruling the roost, slides at the Hayward and the RA's Summer Exhibition - but we like to take some time for our city's smaller and lesser known museums. For this hot July we've picked somewhere dark, atmospheric and by the water- its the Museum of London Docklands!

The MoLD might not at first seem like a good contender as a hipster museum - I mean really, would a hipster by caught dead in West India Quay? We think most people are probably scared off by the cross-City trek from Canada Water to this little gem tucked away in an 18th century warehouse on the other side of all the skyscrapers and commuters. In fact, our first impressions upon arriving were 1) this building is f**king awesome and 2) why is there no one here?

Well we would like to change that. You might maybe have the impression from the name that this is just a small, slightly sad out-posting of the big Museum of London near the Barbican. Not so. Not only is the museum absolutely enormous compared to what we were expecting (cafe, kids gallery, archival research centre and three floors packed full of exhibits), the exhibition design is absolutely GORGEOUS. They've got everything about docklands history from the Romans to the Blitz to more recent social history and the regeneration of the Isle of Dogs.

Museum of London has always been known for its innovative dense display - bringing together art, objects, archives and large-scale industrial pieces, and the MoLD does not disappoint. Add to that the atmospheric re-purposed hardwood floors and warehouse rafters and the effect is stunning. This isn't a museum purely for school groups, this is a museum for trendy openings! Parties! Weddings!

And if you weren't convinced to make the trip already, here are two more incentives. The first, is Sailor Town. Oh my god I love Sailor Town. We know its probably aimed at kids but we get so damn excited about re-created streets in museums - with their low lighting and sound effects. Is there anywhere more perfect for instagramming than the MoLD's recreated rough riverside town?

If you are of a more cultural persuasion, then you'll be excited to hear about the Dockland's new photographic exhibition- Soldiers and Suffragette's: The Photography of Christina Broom. Step into the world of the UK's first female press photographer and follow her work around London, particularly her postcard images of suffragette rallies and soldiers heading off to the First World War. Being a woman in a male-dominated field wasn't going to keep Christina Broom out of the action, and her badass-ness paid off, famously photographing the Royal Family.

So basically it's all happening at MoLD- so you'd better get down there before everyone else figures it out...

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