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Summer 2014 at the Horniman

The Horniman Museum and Gardens’ Summer Season takes an Edwardian theme this year with an Edwardian Extravaganza of music, film, dance and activities for all the family, inspired by this age of optimism.

  • The Horniman Bandstand, setting for many event in this Summer's Edwardian Extravaganza
    setting for many event in this Summer's Edwardian Extravaganza

Janet Vitmayer, Director of the Horniman, says:

‘Today we look back on Edwardian life as a period of gaiety, optimism and eternal summers that came to a brutal end with the devastation of World War 1. The Horniman was founded in 1901 in a spirit of optimism and our summer programme is inspired by the Edwardian era and our early history.’

The Horniman’s Edwardian Extravaganza kicks off on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 July (12-5.30pm) with the Horniman’s Curious Tea Party, a vibrant weekend of Edwardian-inspired entertainment with a cross-over twist, inspired by our founder Frederick Horniman’s passion for collecting objects from around the world. Produced in partnership with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and supported using public funding from Arts Council England, this weekend explores music, dance and the Horniman’s collections through live music, pop-up performances, specially commissioned dance and participation and is part of the Big Dance 2014.

Activities for families inspired by the pastimes, adventurers and nature lovers of the Edwardian age take place across the summer in a series of Big Wednesdays (30 July to 27 August, 11am-3pm) as well as shaping some of our regular family favourites of art and craft, storytelling, pond-dipping and mini-beast safaris. See our full calendar of events for more details.

Adults can look forward to an evening of Edwardian entertainment including a tea dance with live music, music hall acts, silent film screenings, a period photo booth, street performances, tours, food, drink and more at our Edwardian Late on Thursday 7 August (6.30-9.30pm).

There are Outdoor Summer Screenings as MASH Cinema and Electric Pedals present two nights of cinema in the Gardens. Short films by master of fantasy and dream worlds, Georges Méliès, can be seen on Thursday 21 August (7.30pm). And 28 August (7.30pm) brings Jules Vernes’ fantastical 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1916), featuring an improvised live score by Orchestra Elastique.

With stunning views over London, our Edwardian Bandstand hosts a series of free concerts this summer. Those wanting to enjoy an evening of early 20th-century popular music – from ragtime to hot swing and jazz – can head to our Wednesday Jazz Picnics (16, 23 and 30 July, 7-8.30pm.) while August sees music from around the world at our daytime Sunday Bandstand Concerts (3, 10, 17 & 24 August, 3-5pm).

The Horniman Music Festival on Sunday 31 August (12-6pm) celebrates the end of our Summer Season with an afternoon of concerts and carnival performances in our Gardens, bringing together musicians and influences from across the world and reflecting founder Frederick Horniman’s aim to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’.

In addition to our Edwardian Extravaganza, July also sees the arrival of The Great Animal Orchestra at the Horniman. Visitors can hear the fascinating sounds of animals, birds and insects from around the world and explore nature’s music at an installation in our Music Gallery designed by Bernie Krause, a leading expert in natural sound. A day of live music and activities inspired by the natural world launches the exhibition at The Great Animal Orchestra Party on Sunday 27 July (11am-5.30pm).

Please visit our events pages for full information on the Horniman’s Summer Season of events and activities.