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Help bring the world to Forest Hill

The African Worlds Gallery and the Centenary Gallery are now closed for an exciting new redisplay of our Anthropology collections.

The new World Gallery and The Studio will be open in 2018 and you can find updates on this page as the project progresses. Find out more about what's on and planning your visit.

Over the next few years the Horniman Museum and Gardens will be asking the question: what does it mean to be human?

In a major three-year development of its gallery spaces, the Horniman's world-renowned Anthropology collection will be redisplayed.

Celebrating the wonder and complexity of what it means to be human, visitors will encounter different ways of seeing the world through the display of exciting and inspiring objects from across the continents. The new spaces will allow visitors to see their own place among the variety and beauty of the world's many cultures, providing opportunity to reflect upon their own lives.

New gallery spaces

  • The central gallery space will be transformed, re-introducing daylight and recapturing the spirit of the original building. The gallery will house thousands of objects, many not seen by the public for many years.
  • The project will also tell the story of Frederick Horniman's inspirational founding vision, his early collections and his gift of the Museum and Gardens. 
  • These transformed displays of our existing collection will be complemented by a vibrant new Studio space. Artists, scientists and creative thinkers will work with visitors and communities, responding to both the collection and global issues.

The novelty, ambition and scope of the project will attract visitors from a great diversity of backgrounds and offer exciting opportunities for everyone to learn and share new ideas.

Your donation makes a world of difference

The World Gallery is due to open in spring 2018 and most of the £4.6m has already been raised thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and other generous donors. However we now need your help to complete the project.

Project updates 

March 2017

Read a blog from Anthropology Curator, Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp, about her research trip to Lagos to find inspiration for the World Gallery installations. 

February 2017

Scafolding has been erected in the South Hall Gallery to work on restoring natural light in the space.

November 2016 

Architectural contractors have taken over the Centenary and South Hall Galleries to start site works. 

October 2016

Watch a time-lapse video of objects being removed from the Centenary Gallery and read about how you move over 1000 objects.

19 September 2016

The African Worlds and Centenary Galleries have now closed.

6 May 2016

Plans to create a World Gallery at the Horniman have received the green light, thanks to confirmed funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). HLF has awarded £3.3m to the project, which will also fund a learning and engagement programme. The Horniman is raising a further £1.3m of funding to complete the project.

The new World Gallery will open in 2018 alongside a studio, home to a cutting-edge programme of performances and exhibitions inspired by the Horniman’s internationally important collections.