Islington museum

Current exhibitions

Find out about our latest free exhibitions and displays

Banners for Spain

Fighting the Spanish Civil War in London

Dates: Friday 5 May to Saturday 8 July 2017

Opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10am - 5pm. Wednesday and Sunday: closed

Admission: Free

Venue details: Information on visiting the venue

The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) was sparked by a military coup led by General Franco against Spain’s elected government. Britain decided on ‘non-intervention’ in the war, but people from across the world joined the International Brigades to fight the fascist-backed rebels.

In Britain an ‘Aid Spain’ movement sprang up to raise funds for food and medical supplies and to help refugees fleeing the war. This exhibition showcases six newly conserved banners for Aid Spain, artefacts from the Marx Memorial Library’s archives and stories of the Islington International Brigaders. 

Banner for spain image

Up Against It: Islington 1967

Dates: Saturday 22 July to Saturday 21 October 2017

Opening timesMonday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10am - 5pm. Wednesday and Sunday: closed

Admission: Free

Venue details: Information on visiting the venue

1967: Up Against It’ explores the impact of the Sexual Offences Act (1967) passed on 27 July that year, and the 50th anniversary of the deaths of the borough’s most (in)famous gay couple, Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, on 9 August.

Through the stories of well-known and some not so well-known gay men living in Islington before and after the act, this exhibition seeks to reflect the experience of men who could not declare their love freely and the difference the 1967 act made to them. Stories featured include those of Oscar Wilde, imprisoned at Holloway and Pentonville prisons, and record producer Joe Meek whose life, like Orton and Halliwell’s, also ended in tragic circumstances.

Collaged public library book covers created by Orton and Halliwell, a Halliwell collage and his newly acquired ‘World of Cats’ screen will be on display together for the first time. The exhibition further asks whether the sixth-month sentence the couple received for theft and malicious damage in 1962 was, as Orton asserted, “because we were queers.”

Up against it image




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