My Top Picks for London Museums

It was hard to pick and choose since there are so many fabulous museums. First off, I should mention that I have an interest in medicine, the occult, witchcraft, and oddities. That is part of the reason I went to the old operating theater.

1. The Old Operating Theater

The Old Operating Theater is dated to 1822 and it was housed within the attic of an 18th century church. The attic was used once by apothecaries to store herbs from which to make medicines.

2. The TATE Modern

An important destination for all contemporary art-lovers, as well as architecture and design fans. The building itself it quiet spectacular. An old factory has been transformed into two wings connected by a center bridge. The two sections are called The Boiler House and The Switch House. The Boiler House has art from 1900 to present day. The Switch House has art from 1960 to present day. The special exhibit at the time in the Switch House focused on artwork that explores the relationship between art and the environment around it called Between Object and Architecture.

There was also an exhibit called The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from The Sir Elton John Collection.  I did not see either of those exhibits as they required purchasing a ticket. Instead, I saw all the free exhibitions in the Boiler House, which was Materials and Objects, Media Networks, Louise Bourgeois Artist Room, Living Cities, and their new acquisitions area. I especially loved the works by Nam June Paik, Yutaka Takanashi, and the Feminism and Media collection in the Media Networks exhibit. View my curated collection in the gallery below:

Artwork by Barbara Kruger: Who Owns What?

3. The National Portrait Gallery

I'd read about their high tea and decided to go for their artistic take on the afternoon tradition and then check out the new and permanent exhibits. Their menu sparked my interest as it was a theme of Picasso's Blue and Red periods. I totally misunderstood the dress code for high tea so I showed up in formal attire and was extremely overdressed. There were tons of people there in regular street clothes. Oh well, I'll know next time! Chalk this first time up to experience. The view from the 5th floor restaurant is fantastic. You look over the domed rooftops of the theaters in Leicester Square, the London Eye, and the Thames in the distance. While we were there we saw the Black Chronicles exhibit and the Primary Collection: 

"The Primary Collection contains more than 11,000 portraits. Of these about 4,000 are paintings, sculptures and miniatures, approaching 60% of which are regularly displayed, with the intention to show a further selection. In addition, there are almost 7,000 light-sensitive works on paper, shown on a rotating basis of about 300 items a year to avoid excessive light exposure and thus to minimise deterioration and fading."
Travel, ArtJuanita Fralin