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New Exhibitions

All of our exhibitions are free. Exhibitions at Islington Museum and Local History Centre are listed below.

Our events and children's events are listed separately and the Islington events diary also provides details of all council events.  

Beastly Islington - animals in the borough since the 17th century

Friday 20 June – Tuesday 30 September 2014

Venue: Islington Museum
Admission: Free

Islington Museum is hosting an exhibition exploring the experiences of animals in the borough from the 17th century to the present day. 'Beastly Islington' combines artefacts, first-hand accounts and images to bring to life the smells and sounds of an area of north London, where circuses came to town and animal baiting was rife.

Islington has always attracted crowds for leisure pursuits with its theatres, exhibitions and sporting events. Animal performances at Sadler’s Wells Theatre were once a highlight, while bloodthirsty entertainment could be found nearby at the infamous bull and bear baiting venue 'Hockley in the Hole' in Clerkenwell.

The fate of animals on their way to Smithfield and Metropolitan Cattle markets will be explored, as well as the varied livestock enterprises in the area.  

The fascinating papers of the Islington Literary and Scientific Society will highlight the importance of animals in scientific discovery and learning.

A collection of unusual and unique items will be on display ranging from prizes for Crufts dog show to colourful posters enticing audiences to the exotic animal shows at the Royal Agricultural Hall. One of the exhibits is a charming chimpanzee skeleton from the Horniman Museum collections.

A recurring theme is the exploitation of animals due to early religious principles, financial gain and ignorance of their needs. Campaigns and legislation for animal rights will also feature. 

Visit 'Beastly Islington' and city life will never seem the same again! 

A series of evening talks and family activities will accompany the exhibition.


Living Africa: Through the art of its children

Friday 17 October - Tuesday 18 November 2014

Venue: Islington Museum
Admission: Free

To commemorate Black History Month 2014, Islington Museum and the London International Gallery of Children’s Art (LIGCA) present a vibrant and colourful collection of children’s art from the African continent. 'Living Africa' is a celebration of Africa: its people, landscape, wildlife, culture and traditions.

The exhibition features children’s works from four countries, Gambia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, collected by LIGCA over more than a decade. This offers a unique opportunity for the visitor to ‘live’ Africa through the eyes of its children, highlighting their insightful and unbiased account of everyday life in their land.

Founded in 1993, the London International Gallery of Children’s Arts is a registered charity devoted to encouraging the creativity of children, as well as promoting international understanding through cultural exchange. As an entirely volunteer-based organisation, LIGCA is proud of its rich tradition in honouring the artistic creativity of children, and takes pride in exhibiting a small sample of the art that has previously been shared with thousands of visitors to London and beyond.


From East to West: Chinese life in London since 1900

Friday 5 December 2014 - Saturday 26 February 2015

Venue: Islington Museum
Admission: Free

Explore the life experiences of Chinese people in London from 1900 to the present day in this new and fascinating exhibition at Islington Museum.

'From East to West' takes the visitor on a journey of discovery and reveals how Chinese culture in the capital has developed and prospered throughout the 20th century and beyond.

A series of workshops and activities will accompany the exhibition, which is part of the British Chinese Workforce Heritage project run by Ming-Ai (London) Institute.

Details of workshops and actvitied will be posted on our What's On page when confirmed.