National Army Museum

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Following a three-year and £23 million refurbishment, the National Army museum will open for business on Thursday 30th March.
The bright new building will include over 2,500 objects in five permanent thematic galleries – Soldier, Army, Battle, Society and Insight – each providing a space to explore and discuss the army and its relevance to society in ways that we sometimes would not imagine from fashion and films to flood defences and, of course, conflict.

Opening Exhibition - War Paint: Brushes With Conflict (30 March - 19 November)
  • Over 130 paintings and objects explore the complex relationship between war and the men and women who map, record, celebrate and document it
  • Gerald Laing is a celebrated pop artist who became one of the most powerful anti-war painters of his time. His passionately felt stance against the Second Gulf War (Repetition, 2004-5) and the policy adopted by the West towards the Middle East were fuelled by his own experiences as a soldier
  • The exhibition will ask the question: In the age of photography, video footage, rolling news coverage and social media, what is needed from war art today?

The museum is a wonderful place and I heartily recommend a visit.
 

oldnotbold

War Hero
It will be interesting to see how the re-vamp turns out. Some of it looks quite good - opening up and less of a 1970s brutalist cave. On the other hand a mate who was a member of the NAM friends organisation indicates that it has been made more "relevant and national curriculum-friendly". I don't think he meant it as a compliment: a member of the IWM staff, speaking strictly Chatham House rules, described their revamp as a mess: I only hope NAM hasn't gone the same way.
 
I'd have to say that I hope it isn't like IWM North - an interesting building with some exhibits of conflict and military themes.

It's not so much that it doesn't supply any answers, it doesn't really ask any questions either. Really can't tell what it's trying to convey - or even if it's trying to convey any message at all.

Worth a visit though and I'd look forward to an opportunity to re visit NAM
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
Also, the Royal Navy Museum at 'The Historic Dockyard Portsmouth' is definitely worth a visit, it really is excellent, but you will need more than just a day. I stayed locally at The Royal Maritime Club, it is good value and very R Navy, the food is inexpensive and of a high standard rooms good at £65 per night all in, and no I don't work for them, I am just a very satisfied customer. .

The local pubs have lots of ex Navy with really good Banter, The Barman asked me if I was Ex Navy, when I said Army, a loud shout went up 'Pongos on Board!' then they bought me a beer!
 
Also, the Royal Navy Museum at 'The Historic Dockyard Portsmouth' is definitely worth a visit, it really is excellent, but you will need more than just a day. I stayed locally at The Royal Maritime Club, it is good value and very R Navy, the food is inexpensive and of a high standard rooms good at £65 per night all in, and no I don't work for them, I am just a very satisfied customer. .

The local pubs have lots of ex Navy with really good Banter, The Barman asked me if I was Ex Navy, when I said Army, a loud shout went up 'Pongos on Board!' then they bought me a beer!
Which pub was that? Must remember to Walt as a pongo when next visiting .pompey!
 

Durandal1

Old-Salt
I wasn't that interesting for a long time before the revamp. In the end it mostly consisted of video displays and large graphic boards with very few artifacts and weapons etc. to interest any military fan.
 

jim30

LE
The old NAM was frankly a bit shit. Lots of dusty cabinets and not particularly interesting displays and fairly user unfriendly. I loved it when I was 7, but when I popped back a few years ago I remember being very disappointed and feeling it was tired and showing its age. But I am fearful for what the revamp has done to it.

The IWM I now loathe and detest. A wonderful museum ruined.

The Science Museum used to have some excellent battleship models (like 6ft long ones) on the very top floor, which rarely saw anklebiters. Sadly I suspect they've long gone.

I can recommend the Wallace collection though -a free museum just off Oxord Street with a great art collection (their Canaletto's are superb), but the highlight is an incredible range of muskets, armour and swords from around the world. Well worth popping into, and it has a lovely café too, which is in the middle of the house (they've done a British Museum style glass roof). A hidden jewel in the heart of London.
 
Also, the Royal Navy Museum at 'The Historic Dockyard Portsmouth' is definitely worth a visit, it really is excellent, but you will need more than just a day. I stayed locally at The Royal Maritime Club, it is good value and very R Navy, the food is inexpensive and of a high standard rooms good at £65 per night all in, and no I don't work for them, I am just a very satisfied customer. .

The local pubs have lots of ex Navy with really good Banter, The Barman asked me if I was Ex Navy, when I said Army, a loud shout went up 'Pongos on Board!' then they bought me a beer!
I wouldn't normal recommend Gosport to anyone but the Submarine museum and Explosion are worth a mooch around, plenty of old salts around who know their stuff. The National Maritime at Greenwich is worth a gander though it can get really busy.
Models at the Science museum went a couple of years back. I would echo the Wallace Collection, for something similar try Somerset House.
 
Jim30, I think many of the science museums ship models went to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Unfortunately, they don't have so many on display as there used to be, but they do have the Vickers sales model of the George V battleship, which is huge, about 15ft long and thoroughly detailed.
 
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Truxx

LE
I could write you a book on the NAM and its shoddy treatment of the world-class military vehicle collection that used to be housed at Beverley and has not seen the light of day since it was taken on by the NAM. Apart from those items that have mysteriously ended up in private hands that is. Having changed hands for lots of money on the way. None of which has gone back to the taxpayer of course.

But I will spare you all that (unless anyone is genuinely interested) and instead invite anyone interested in jaw dropping examples of the modelmaker's skill and direct you to the mind boggling battleship models in the South Yorkshire transport Museum. Made in a garage by an ex matelot the biggest is about 18ft long, made from scratch and the detail is astonishing.

Apparently the chap makes one then gives it to the museum so he can clear his garage to start the next one!
 
To echo what was said about the Imperial War Museum, London.

Used to be fantastic, now very poor. I couldn't believe how much has disappeared and the guff that has replaced it.
 
Does the refurbished NAM still have the Waterloo diarama on display?
It was a great model to look at to understand the topography of the battlefield, which is essential in understanding the battle IMHO.
 
Does the refurbished NAM still have the Waterloo diarama on display?
It was a great model to look at to understand the topography of the battlefield, which is essential in understanding the battle IMHO.
The other Siborne model is still on display at Leeds Royal Armouries. I'd love to be able to compare them.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
Which pub was that? Must remember to Walt as a pongo when next visiting .pompey!
I have to check with a RN friend of mine, but it would be almost impossible for a Tar to walt as a decent Pongo!
 
What's so bad about the IWM now? I have never been but was planning to soon and that's putting me off.
 

HE117

LE
There is a disease that has been spreading across the museum sector for the past thirty years.. I call it "Artifartyitis" and it seems to have occurred because of long term infiltration of the museum curative community by rejects from the Pure Art fraternity..

Like the incursion of the Grey Squirrel forcing out the native Reds, these creatures are ravenous consumers of resources and displace the native historian breed by being more successful at screwing money out of the public budget. The fatal characteristic is however their hatred of anything real, preferring to spend money on grandiose stage management and artifice rather than simply showing the genuine article, properly annotated..

They believe that their audience is of a mental age of around six with the attention span of a gnat. I suspect most of their educational input is from the primary teaching sector, with a strong liberal, left wing perspective. They have little or no understanding of the history and context of the collections that have been entrusted to them by past generations, and are much happier, like the current breed of "happy clappy" Christians, to sweep away the artifacts of the past and create "artistic spaces" to then abandon as monuments to their own egos.!.

Kill all curators on sight... you know it makes sense! *

...and breathe!

*Legal Disclaimer - this is an example of "Sarcasm and Irony" and is not intended to be a serious suggestion.
 
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overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
To echo what was said about the Imperial War Museum, London.

Used to be fantastic, now very poor. I couldn't believe how much has disappeared and the guff that has replaced it.
The NAM started some years ago to use voluntary workers, this works fine if they are ex military and of mature age, but they were using young students, I have nothing against students, but some answers to my questions were very vague. Some time ago I offered the museum a full set of WW1 Docs, complete with a citation for an action by an Irish Guardsman at Ypres, they refused it by saying 'We have enough of that kind of item.'
I think the RN museum has it right, anyone visiting HMS Warrior, or the Submarine Museum at Gosport will be pleased with the volunteers there. They are great. Mostly Ex RN, Chatty humorous and knowledgeable.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
There is a disease that has been spreading across the museum sector for the past thirty years.. I call it "Artifartyitis" and it seems to have occurred because of long term infiltration of the museum curative community by rejects from the Pure Art fraternity..

Like the incursion of the Grey Squirrel forcing out the native Reds, these creatures are ravenous consumers of resources and displace the native historian breed by being more successful at screwing money out of the public budget. The fatal characteristic is however their hatred of anything real, preferring to spend money on grandiose stage management and artifice rather than simply showing the genuine article, properly annotated..

They believe that their audience is of a mental age of around six with the attention span of a gnat. I suspect most of their educational input is from the primary teaching sector, with a strong liberal, left wing perspective. They have little or no understanding of the history and context of the collections that have been entrusted to them by past generations, and are much happier, like the current generation of "happy clappy" Christians to sweep away the artifacts of the past and create "artistic spaces" to then abandon as monuments to their own egos.!.

Kill all curators on sight... you know it makes sense! *

...and breathe!

*Legal Disclaimer - this is an example of "Sarcasm and Irony" and is not intended to be a serious suggestion.
Take full Battery fire of 'Likes' you have it so dead right.
 

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