Exhibitions to visit online

With most galleries and museums now closed due to coronavirus, many are upping their online content, and in some cases you can virtually visit the exhibitions. If you’re looking for inspiration, and you would normally visit a gallery or museum, try out some of these exhibitions you can either see the whole exhibition, or parts of, online:

On Being Present, Recovering Blackness in the Uffizi Gallery Florence (part of Black History Month Florence)

Mamma Andersson, David Zwirner

Painting by Numbers, The Works of Ferdinand Bauer. An interesting digital experiment, bringing together online nearly 300 original works by the botanical artist. You can investigate through data visualisation and mapping Bauer’s ability to retain colours in his mind.

Heritage at Risk, exploring natural and man-made threats to cultural heritage

Léon Spilliaert at Royal Academy

Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Catharsis,  Serpentine Gallery

Raphael, Scuderie del Quirinale Rome. ‘Once in a lifetime’ show closed due to coronavirus, some images online here:

Ceramic Art London

Psychedelic video by NOWNESS with Somerset House, to mark the opening of their ‘Mushrooms’ exhibition.

South London Gallery, Bloomberg Contemporaries

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room, Broad museum Los Angeles, through instagram

Vivian Suter, Camden Arts Centre

Frida Kahlo on Google Arts and Culture

If you’re still not satisfied, you can visit 500 worldwide galleries online with Google Arts and Culture…..


Raphael, The Alba Madonna, (image in public domain)














previous related posts:

Time to vote!

Frida Kahlo resouces




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Lightboxes and Lettering exhibition and display

Just up the road from our Aldgate campus, Bow Arts Nunnery Gallery has an exhibition on about the history of east London’s print industry. ‘Lightboxes and Lettering‘ tells the story of the print industry across the 20th century, focusing on the east London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest. The exhibition includes historic photographs and printed items as well as print workers’ memories, told through a new collection of oral histories.

A series of events accompanies the exhibition, where you can learn more about the techniques or companies involved.

If you are interested in letterpress, typography, litho printing or the printing industry or  just the history of the local area, this is a great exhibition to visit. It is on until the 29th March 2020.

Aldgate Library  has a display up on the printing industry to celebrate this fascinating exhibition in our local area.

Printing display in Aldgate Library, photo © London Met


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Martin Parr photobooks collection

A bit late for the Show and tell, which is happening this afternoon, but there will still be time to see the display of the Martin Parr Photobook Collection at Late at Tate this evening, in the Reading Rooms at Tate Britain!

The Martin Parr Photobook Collection is a collection of over 12000 photobooks collected by Martin Parr from around the world, focussing on documentary photography and propaganda materials. The collection has recently been acquired by Tate and catalogued by Tate Library and Archive. After today’s events, you will be able to search the collection on Tate Library catalogue and will be accessible for use in the Tate Britain Reading Rooms.

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British and Irish Furniture Makers Online workshop 3rd Feb


British and Irish Furniture Makers Online (BIFMO) is a free open access online resource of thousands of biographical notes of furniture makers nationwide from 1640 onwards.

They are  collaborating with  Layers of London (a website recording the rich layers of London Heritage) to make information about furniture makers accessible alongside their maps. On the 3rd of February there will be a free workshop for volunteers to sign up and help gather information about furniture makers in London and create records for a new collection.

There are 2 workshops to sign up for , one in the afternoon and one in the evening, and they take place at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London.



Related previous posts:


50 years:  London College of Furniture Symposium



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Time to vote!

With the election fast approaching, we have put up a display in Aldgate library tying in Art and Politics (a vast subject!).

Did you know Parliament has its own art collection?  It is jointly owned by the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Some of the art works can be seen during tours of Parliament, however some are in areas not accessible to the public, but can be viewed in virtual tours on the website.  There are also some online exhibitions, including one on Elections & Voting, which has some information about ‘New Dawn’ a contemporary sculpture by Mary Branson commemorating the long campaign that led to some women getting the vote in 1918, and all women in 1928.

The People’s History Museum in Manchester  is the national museum of democracy, and you can find more information and objects related to voting here. Many objects can be found online, by searching their online collection, for example a quick keyword search under ‘democracy’ brings up over 230 items to explore, including political tokens, photographs, badges, leaflets and more.

Not forgetting of course, our own TUC (Trades Union Congress) Library, part of the Special Collections, which is the major research library for the study of trade unions, collective bargaining and labour history.

Art and Politics display at Aldgate Library












Previous related posts

Russian Revolution


John Berger


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Sound archives and exhibitions

South London Gallery: Her Noise

Currently on display at the South London Gallery is a selection of items from the ‘Her Noise’ archive, which is held at London College of Communication as part of their Archives and Special Collections. Her Noise is an investigation into music and sound histories in relation to gender, initiated by Lina Dzuverovic and Anne Hilde Neset in 2001. In 2005 they curated a show which included international artists who used sound, part of which took place at the South London Gallery.

More information about the exhibition here.

Whitechapel Gallery: Sense Sound/Sound Sense

The Whitechapel Gallery’s Archive space is currently showing an exhibition of how artists in the Fluxus movement used music and sound. The items from this display are from the Luigi Bonotto collection in Italy, a vast collection of documents and artworks from the Fluxus movement and more. Much of it can be viewed online, so is worth exploring itself.

Other Useful archives

British Library Sounds

BBC Sound Effects Archive

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay







Previous related posts:

Sound effects

‘Reel to Real’ archival sound project

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Bummock- Artists in Archives

Bummock refers to the unseen part of an Iceberg, and artists Andrew Bracey Danica Maier and Lucy Renton have been rummaging, exploring and making in unseen parts of the Lace Archive, Nottingham over the last couple of years. This is part of a wider project to create artistic responses to unseen parts of archives, which you can read about here.

The resulting artworks are on display at the Constance Howard Gallery, Deptford Town Hall, part of Goldsmiths University of London, alongside items chosen by the artists from the Goldsmiths Textiles Collections.

The opening reception is tonight (Friday 22nd November) 5-8pm, and will feature a live clarinet performance, and the opportunity to buy the corresponding publication at a discounted rate.

Before that, from 4-5 pm, the three artists will  discuss their project.

Further information about the exhibition is here.

If Lace is your things, Aldgate library holds copies of ‘Lace: the magazine and newsletter of the Lace Guild’  from 1970-2017.

Lace journal in Aldgate Library

















Previous related posts:

The South London Gallery Archive

Daylighting event at the Wellcome Collection

London Met Libraries now on Copac

Artists and Archives talk


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Youth Culture

To coincide with the launch of an online archive of over 16000 images of youth culture by the Museum of Youth Culture in partnership with Google Arts and Culture, we have put together a display in Aldgate Library on this subject, using items from the libraries collections.

You can also search Bridgeman Education through the library catalogue for images of many subjects, including youth culture.

Youth Culture Display Aldgate Library










Other useful links

Submit your own images to the Museum of Youth Culture

Saatchi Gallery Rave exhibition

Guardian article on artists and clubbing

UCLA Punk Archive

Previous related posts

Pop Culture – Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive (no longer active, now the museum of youth culture?)


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Creating timelines

Some time ago we posted an article on creating online timelines using a tool called Dipty, which allowed you to create, embed and share free image, video and audio timelines online. This was a very useful tool for teaching and students projects. It has since come to our attention that despite millions of users, this tool no longer exists. However, this article lists some alternatives, and discusses the reasons why Dipty is no more. Thank you to the author for getting in touch and providing such a useful list.

Related articles

Timeline of Art History

Culture Grid: scholarly images & audio


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Zine collections

As July is International Zine Month, it’s the perfect time to mention that the Tate Library is about to launch its zine collection, with a special event on Friday August 2nd, 12 -2pm. The Tate Library has been collecting zines for some time, as part of it’s artists’ book  collection, but it  is now being launched as its own distinct collection, to help raise the profile of these mostly self published documents. Everyone is welcome to the launch, which will include a show and tell introducing the collection, and a talk from zine artist Soofiya.

According to the British Library, which also have an extensive zine collection, zines (short for fanzine) ‘..were a form of independent personal publishing before the existence of websites, weblogs and myspace. Zines are not reliant on any publisher or mainstream distributor, not motivated by profit and not filtered through an editorial or regulatory board. In fact zines are less regulated and censored than many of their digital counterparts and are therefore an ideal space for free, uninhibited expression. Zines can be dedicated to any imaginable point of view, idea, phenomenon or thing.’

Other places with prominent zine collections include:

LCC (University of the Arts)

Glasgow School of Art

The National Poetry Library

List of zine collections on City University blog

See also:

Zine librarians interest group

Our own artists’ book collection and TUC collection in the Special Collection also has some zines. Contact  specialcollections@londonmet.ac.uk for further information.

Previous related posts:

Daylighting event at Wellcome Collection 

The Power of Print

zines and small publishers fair

a selection of zines. Image by Teknad

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