The Fan Museum

The Fan Museum The Fan Museum is the first and only museum in the UK devoted in its entirety to all aspects of the ancient art and craft of the fan
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The museum owes its existence to the vision of Hélène Alexander and her late husband, A.V (Dicky) Alexander. When the museum opened its doors to the public back in 1991, the Alexander’s had already been working on the project for some five years. Hélène, over a prolonged period, had amassed an internationally significant collection of fans, fan leaves and associated literature (now numbering over 4000 objects) and the founding of The Fan Museum reflected her desire to promote, conserve, and display fans to a wide audience. In the intermittent years, the museum has staged over sixty temporary exhibitions covering a diverse range of themes: from “Children in Fans” through to “Imperial Fans from The Hermitage”, visitors to the Greenwich based museum have been treated to exhibitions of great depth and artistic merit.

The Fan Museum's cover photo
06/11/2019

The Fan Museum's cover photo

Wishing all our followers a suitably spooky Halloween!
31/10/2019

Wishing all our followers a suitably spooky Halloween!

Great interview with our curator, Jacob Moss.
10/10/2019
MY LIFE IN ART: ARTS SOCIETY LECTURER JACOB MOSS | The Arts Society

Great interview with our curator, Jacob Moss.

Jacob Moss is curator at The Fan Museum, London, where he has worked for almost a decade following the completion of a master’s degree in fashion curation at London College of Fashion. He became an Arts Society Lecturer earlier this year. 

Martin Randall Travel
08/10/2019

Martin Randall Travel

The latest in our highly successful series of symposia focuses on the era of George III, the Regency and George IV. In a programme that aims to capture the essence of the age, leading scholars will give a series talks encompassing history, art, architecture and social mores.

One of the talks is given by fashion curator Jacob Moss, Curator of The Fan Museum in Greenwich, as he explores the impact of Classical culture – art, architecture, mythology etc. – on fan design.

The discussions promise to add colour, breadth and detail to our understanding of Hanoverian Britain.

'The Later Georgians: Britain 1760–1830 - A weekend symposium in Taunton' (13–15 March 2020): www.martinrandall.com/later-georgians

We're delighted to announce the opening of our newly installed Autumn/Winter 2019 displays. Showcasing the Museum's extr...
02/10/2019

We're delighted to announce the opening of our newly installed Autumn/Winter 2019 displays. Showcasing the Museum's extraordinary collections, we've selected a broad range of fans representative of different periods and cultures. Visit now and enjoy this dazzling display of artistry and craftsmanship: https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions

This morning, The Fan Museum’s Assistant Curator Scott William Schiavone was on-site at Mudec, Museo della Culture, in M...
23/09/2019

This morning, The Fan Museum’s Assistant Curator Scott William Schiavone was on-site at Mudec, Museo della Culture, in Milan, installing 2 objects from the museum’s vast collection.
“Landscape in Martinique”, a fan shaped painting by Paul Gauguin ca.1887 and a Japanese made for export fan ca.1890 will be on display in Mudec’s upcoming exhibition “IMPRESSIONS OF EAST: Art and collecting between Europe and Japan”.
The exhibition opens from 01st October 2019 to 02nd February 2020.
#exhibition #thefanmuseum #impressionism #handfan

The Association of Dress Historians
15/09/2019
The Association of Dress Historians

The Association of Dress Historians

ADH MEMBERS' EVENT: Special curators’ tour at The Fan Museum, London, 12:30pm–3:30pm, Thursday, 24 October 2019, £12 per person. Tickets include entry to the museum, the guided curators’ tour of the museum with access into the museum’s storage facility, and Cream Tea in The Orangery. Tickets to this event are limited and must be purchased online, here:

Among the numerous projects the Museum is currently engaged in, photographing a selection of our finest treasures is res...
20/08/2019

Among the numerous projects the Museum is currently engaged in, photographing a selection of our finest treasures is resulting in the production of some wonderful imagery, much of which captures in rich detail the intricate workmanship of the artists and craftspeople responsible for producing these complex articles.

This particular mid-eighteenth century example combines beautifully worked mother of pearl sticks and guards and a double paper leaf painted on the obverse with a trompe l’œil ribbon of Valenciennes (?) lace and interlinking scenes of peasants carousing within a tavern setting.

Probably derived from a genre painting by David Teniers the Younger (Flemish, 1610–1690), at first glance the scene could be interpreted as one of innocent merriment but instead functions as a moralistic warning against excessive alcohol consumption! The composition includes several visual devices also present in works by the abovementioned artist: the owl, blind by day, represents the foolish behaviour of the inebriated figures. Tacked to the tavern wall, a sheet carries a Man’s profile – a form of autograph favoured by Teniers and other 17th Century genre painters. Could this ‘portrait’ record a likeness of the fan painter himself? A tantalizing thought.....

On this day in 1965 cigarette advertising was banned on TV in the UK. During the 1920s and 1930s cigarette companies fre...
01/08/2019

On this day in 1965 cigarette advertising was banned on TV in the UK. During the 1920s and 1930s cigarette companies freely advertised their brands on folding fans, the imagery unashamedly linking smoking with glamour and sophistication.

'He collected the kitsch, curious, naïve and exemplary', said Mme Lévy when asked about her father's collection of fans....
22/07/2019

'He collected the kitsch, curious, naïve and exemplary', said Mme Lévy when asked about her father's collection of fans. His broad-reaching tastes are well-represented in our summer exhibit, 'The Man with the Carnation'.

Join us on Monday 24 June when Bonham's Deputy Chairman, Colin Sheaf presents 'Chinese Art for Western Interiors', an il...
20/06/2019

Join us on Monday 24 June when Bonham's Deputy Chairman, Colin Sheaf presents 'Chinese Art for Western Interiors', an illustrated lecture which touches upon a number of themes linked to our summer exhibition, 'The Man with the Carnation'.

Mr Sheaf, a close friend and associate of M. Lévy, contributed a fascinating article to the exhibition catalogue (available to purchase via our online gift shop) and his presentation is not to be missed.

Tickets are limited to 30 places with boking made via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-fan-museum-15648193926

One of the highlights of our summer exhibition is a fan decorated by Gustave Doré (1832-1883). Celebrated for his fantas...
03/06/2019

One of the highlights of our summer exhibition is a fan decorated by Gustave Doré (1832-1883). Celebrated for his fantastical illustrations of Dante's Inferno, Doré inscribes the leaf with a theatrical scene in which demons do battle with angels - an allegory of good triumphing over evil. See this and other masterpieces in 'The Man with the Carnation'. Opens tomorrow!

"The intention was that my collection should be off the beaten track" said Gérard Lévy about his eclectic fan collection...
31/05/2019

"The intention was that my collection should be off the beaten track" said Gérard Lévy about his eclectic fan collection. See for yourself when 'The Man with the Carnation' opens on Tuesday 04 June 2019.

The Fan Museum’s Curator joins The Arts Society Directory of Lecturers...We are delighted to announce that Jacob Moss ha...
08/05/2019
The Arts Society

The Fan Museum’s Curator joins The Arts Society Directory of Lecturers...

We are delighted to announce that Jacob Moss has been successful in his application to become an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS).

Jacob is the only speaker listed within the Directory as offering fan-themed talks and is looking forward to travelling the UK, promoting The Fan Museum and educating TAS audiences on the various aspects of the history of fans and craft of fan making.

Jacob remarked: “At the recent TAS Directory Day at Westminster Central Hall, I joined 120+ speakers, each allotted just two minutes to publicise their subject and lectures to an audience of 700+ TAS programme secretaries. Although the experience was somewhat daunting, I was pleasantly surprised with the volume of interest. Most of the programme secretaries I spoke with had little idea that fans have such a rich and fascinating history.”

Visit The Arts Society website to find out more about their events and education programmes: https://theartssociety.org

Become part of our network of over 90,000 people worldwide - brought together through a shared curiosity for the arts and our artistic heritage. The Arts Society offers enjoyable opportunities to discover and support the arts of yesterday, today and tomorrow, wherever you are. Our events provide wel...

Join us on Monday 01 April when Daphne Joynes gives a fascinating talk on her ancestor and former resident of 12 Crooms ...
15/03/2019
”In Celebration!’ – Admiral Sir William Parker of Crooms Hill | The Fan Museum

Join us on Monday 01 April when Daphne Joynes gives a fascinating talk on her ancestor and former resident of 12 Crooms Hill, Admiral Sir William Parker. Visit our website to find out more: https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/events/2800

Admiral Parker was one of the best-known of the ‘pre-Nelson’ generation of British naval officers, and was famous for the part he played in the battles of The Glorious First of June in 1794 and Cape St Vincent in 1797. As a young midshipman in the 1760s he was assistant surveyor to the celebrate...

Courtesy of Rhian Cox, a few more images of our new displays which encompass fans from different parts of the World and ...
26/02/2019

Courtesy of Rhian Cox, a few more images of our new displays which encompass fans from different parts of the World and covering a broad range of topics such as vanity, the influence of Classical art and architecture, commerce and cultural interaction. The Fan Museum looks forward to welcoming you soon!

The Fan Circle International's Mary Cooper shares her passion and expertise with readers of the Yorkshire Post...
25/02/2019
Fan specialist Mary Cooper has brought her expertise to Tennants

The Fan Circle International's Mary Cooper shares her passion and expertise with readers of the Yorkshire Post...

They fluttered them flirtatiously, wafted them to keep cool and matched them to the very latest trends and then, after over 200 years of being a super stylish must-have, British women condemned their fans to the fashion graveyard.

We're thrilled to have acquired for our collections a rare fan from maison Paquin, the leaf adorned with a reproduction ...
12/02/2019

We're thrilled to have acquired for our collections a rare fan from maison Paquin, the leaf adorned with a reproduction of an original design by Paul Iribe (1883-1935).

Mme Jeanne Paquin (1869-1936), a canny businesswoman and arbiter of taste, commissioned in 1911 a ltd. edition deluxe portfolio of pochoir prints for her elite couture clients. 'L’Éventail et la Fourrure chez Paquin' features three designs for fans – two by Iribe, one by Georges Barbier (1882-1932). Each design was offered as an exclusive edition of just four.

The Fan Museum is particularly pleased to finally own editions all three fans plus a copy of the original 1911 publication in which the designs feature. #missionaccomplished!

To all our Facebook followers, we'd like to apologise for not posting more often of late but, as many of you will know, ...
01/02/2019

To all our Facebook followers, we'd like to apologise for not posting more often of late but, as many of you will know, our curators have been very busy preparing and installing new gallery displays throughout the Museum.

We are delighted to announce that we're officially open and ready to welcome back visitors. We hope you'll enjoy our new displays, which highlight the rich diversity of the Museum's collections and encompass fans from East and West.

To all our Facebook Friends we extend our very best wishes for the coming year. Our small team of Curatorial staff are b...
09/01/2019

To all our Facebook Friends we extend our very best wishes for the coming year.

Our small team of Curatorial staff are busy preparing new displays throughout the Museum, in time for our imminent reopening on Friday 01 February.

In 2019 the Museum’s upper floor galleries play host to a semi-permanent exhibit, designed to showcase the extraordinary richness and diversity of The Fan Museum’s collections. An exciting Summer exhibition is also in the planning which sees the Museum collaborate with a renowned private gallery based in Paris, France.

Please visit our website to learn more about our forthcoming programme: https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions

The Fan Museum's cover photo
04/01/2019

The Fan Museum's cover photo

As we countdown toward the end of another year, we'd like to share just a few of the wonderful fans acquired for our col...
14/12/2018

As we countdown toward the end of another year, we'd like to share just a few of the wonderful fans acquired for our collections in 2018. Thank you to everyone who kindly donated, bequeathed or assisted with purchases.

The Fan Museum’s curator, Jacob Moss has been awarded a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial grant from Art Fund and will soon emb...
18/10/2018

The Fan Museum’s curator, Jacob Moss has been awarded a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial grant from Art Fund and will soon embark upon an extended study trip to New York City where he’ll work alongside Conservator Emeritus, Lucy Commoner of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Commoner, who has cared for Cooper Hewitt’s important fan collection since 1976, will deliver targeted training across a range of collections care and conservation activities.

The trip will include a visit to Cooper Hewitt’s state-of-the-art storage facility in New Jersey plus excursions to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of the City of New York where Moss will view collection highlights and meet with colleagues also responsible for the care and conservation of fans.

Moss says of the trip: “I am grateful to Art Fund for their generous support and look forward greatly to working alongside Lucy to learn more about Cooper Hewitt’s approaches toward the care and conservation of their own splendid fan collection. Having reinforced existing professional links and friendships between The Fan Museum and its stateside counterparts, I’m hopeful of returning to the UK with fresh ideas and new knowledge to share with my colleagues.”

Moss departs for New York early November 2018 and will keep The Fan Museum’s social media feeds updated with news of his activities throughout the duration of the trip.

The Fan Museum's cover photo
26/09/2018

The Fan Museum's cover photo

The Fan Museum recently accepted a bequest of fans and fan paintings from the collection of the late Harley Hall Preston...
07/09/2018

The Fan Museum recently accepted a bequest of fans and fan paintings from the collection of the late Harley Hall Preston. Harley was both a connoisseur and collector of Asian craft forms and his thoughtful bequest of Japanese and Chinese fans greatly enhances the Museum's existing collections.

Enjoy this set of images showing just some of the treasures from this generous bequest!

Thank you Louise Allcoat for sharing your amazing and intricate 'fan mosiac' drawings with us today. Your #StreetFan ins...
16/08/2018

Thank you Louise Allcoat for sharing your amazing and intricate 'fan mosiac' drawings with us today. Your #StreetFan inspired piece blew our minds!

Today in London the temperature has finally dropped and it's even RAINING! It's the perfect day for some housekeeping as...
09/08/2018

Today in London the temperature has finally dropped and it's even RAINING! It's the perfect day for some housekeeping as we make a start on cleaning and wrapping our collection of framed fan paintings in preparation for storing in new purpose-built shelving racks.

Last week we made a start on photographing our collection of fan boxes dating from the mid-eighteenth century onward. He...
17/07/2018

Last week we made a start on photographing our collection of fan boxes dating from the mid-eighteenth century onward. Here's just a few examples which demonstrate how styles and formats evolved according to fashion and taste.

Wonderful? Yes! Weird? We'd like to think not! Thank you to the Evening Standard for including The Fan Museum within thi...
11/07/2018
Handel & Hendrix in London

Wonderful? Yes!
Weird? We'd like to think not!
Thank you to the Evening Standard for including The Fan Museum within this illustrious band of lesser-known museums.

We're in London Evening Standard's '12 Weird and Wonderful Museums in London' alongside the likes of Horniman Museum and Gardens, The Fan Museum & Sir John Soane's Museum

Feather fans take centre stage in our latest temporary exhibit, 'A Bird in the Hand.' Running throughout the Summer mont...
28/06/2018

Feather fans take centre stage in our latest temporary exhibit, 'A Bird in the Hand.' Running throughout the Summer months, why not pay us a visit and discover a display of more than 70 extraordinary fans from across the world.

www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions

'In Celebration!' presents 'Capes, Cloaks and Headdresses': an illustrated lecture by Jo Hatton.Join us on Thursday 19 J...
22/06/2018
In Celebration! Capes, Cloaks and Headdresses | The Fan Museum

'In Celebration!' presents 'Capes, Cloaks and Headdresses': an illustrated lecture by Jo Hatton.

Join us on Thursday 19 July when Jo Hatton, Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman Museum & Gardens will give a fascinating talk on the topic of feather work.

Further details and tickets here: goo.gl/ELa34L

Booking onto our fan making workshops and lectures has never been easier! Hop on over to our Eventbrite page to see what...
30/05/2018
The Fan Museum

Booking onto our fan making workshops and lectures has never been easier! Hop on over to our Eventbrite page to see what's coming up at The Fan Museum. Guest speakers include Dr Joanna Marschner (senior curator, Historic Royal Palaces) and Jo Hatton (Keeper of Natural History at Horniman Museum and Gardens). In view of our current exhibit, 'A Bird in the Hand', both speakers will deliver talks on feather-themed subjects. https://t.co/Ukh7McqtnL

Summer 2018 at The Fan Museum is all about one thing: feathers! Our latest temporary exhibition, 'A Bird in the Hand', b...
14/05/2018

Summer 2018 at The Fan Museum is all about one thing: feathers! Our latest temporary exhibition, 'A Bird in the Hand', brings together a colourful array of feather fans from around the world. We look forward to welcoming you during the coming months...

Displayed in our current exhibition, 'Early Printed Fans' is this folding fan with ivory (possibly Chinese?) sticks and ...
02/05/2018

Displayed in our current exhibition, 'Early Printed Fans' is this folding fan with ivory (possibly Chinese?) sticks and printed/ hand coloured leaf published by Martha Gamble in 1746. A similar example can be found in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (www.mfa.org/collections/object/fan-69295).

The scene includes three female figures (possibly symbolising classical deities, Ceres, Flora and Pomona) who surround a gladiatorial figure astride a horse-drawn chariot marked with a fleur de lys. As yet, the subject is unconfirmed. Perhaps our Facebook followers might like to add their thoughts?

'Early Printed Fans' closes on Sunday 06 May 2018.

Incoming at The Fan Museum...'A Bird in the Hand: Feather fans from around the World'.Wednesday 09 May - Sunday 23 Septe...
27/04/2018

Incoming at The Fan Museum...

'A Bird in the Hand: Feather fans from around the World'.
Wednesday 09 May - Sunday 23 September 2018.

A spectacular display of feather fans from around the world is set to enliven The Fan Museum’s elegant Georgian interiors during the summer months of 2018. Fans which incorporate the plumage of birds have a history stretching back thousands of years. The Museum’s earliest fan (Pre-Columbian) is tipped with macaw feathers and will be on display for the first time in several years.

Feather fans were especially fashionable in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and feature prominently within the display. Colourful ostrich feather fans evoke the glamour and decadence of the 1920s, while fans incorporating the plumes of game birds hint at Edwardian aristocratic shooting parties.

The centrepiece of the display is an exquisite early twentieth century jay feather fan on tortoiseshell sticks, generously lent by The Fan Museum’s esteemed patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

We look forward to welcoming our Facebook followers during the coming months!

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12 Crooms Hill
London
SE10 8ER

General information

Afternoon Teas served in our delightful Orangery on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 12:30 - 16:00

Opening Hours

Tuesday 11:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

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