By John Reeve
The former Geffrye Museum in east London has re-emerged phoenix-like as the Museum of the Home with a much wider brief to reflect not just middle class white lives in a comfortably distant past. The former almshouse basements now present a series of themed exhibits and installations while upstairs the period rooms continue their social history narrative.
One of the themes is Faith and reflects the work of the Faith and Culture Forum, oral histories and video interviews, some shared here. The Forum is presented as ‘a catalyst for change in both the museum and local communities. A case shows faith objects and panels introduce us to among others Emma, who is Jewish Orthodox and keeps a kosher kitchen; and Diana who came aged 1 from Poland in 1913
Interviewees also appear on the video screen including Christians, Sikhs and Hindus. As well as Christmas touches in the main period rooms there is also a display of Diwali objects for example:
At the very end of the gallery circuit there is an extraordinary wall diagram of the museum as family:
A museum is a family, a network, a shared space. There are lots of dynamics…that define who we are and what we do. Some are based in history, others are ever changing. Its complex!