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New 'Irish room' at Museum of the Home

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Museum of the Home invites visitors to step into the lives of 1950s Irish immigrants with new Real Rooms installation

New 'Irish room' at Museum of the Home

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Museum of the Home 136 Kingsland Road London E2 8EA

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In 2021, Museum of the Home reopened as a place to reveal and rethink how we live, in order to live better together. Our public galleries doubled in size, introducing the Home Galleries, co-curated to be more representative of our local communities in Hackney and exploring the innumerable ways in which we make our lives in our homes. 

The Real Rooms project will now introduce a far more diverse array of narratives to our Rooms Through Time, reflecting the complex histories of migration and identity that have shaped Britain for hundreds of years.  

Using co-creative and co-curatorial methods, the communities we are representing will shape how their histories are being told in the new rooms. 

1950s Irish room

The room displays the home of irish immigrants Kathleen and Patrick. Kathleen is a NHSnurse and Patrick is a contrustion worker. They were both recruited in Ireland to come toLondon and help rebuild the city post-war.

Visitors will be transported back to a Saturday evening in 1950, as Kathleen and Patrick getready to go out to the dancehall to catch up with pals. There is music playing, their drinks arehalf drunk. Kathleen’s dress is laid out on the bed, and Patrick’s shirt and tie are folded overthe chair ready to put on.

The wardrobe is open and their clothes are on display. In thebathroom there are toiletries, makeup out, as if being used and the smell of freshly sprayedperfume is in the air.

An authentic radio set will play oral histories, capturing real stories of life in post-war Londonrecorded from the London Irish community.

Organisations and groups including our local community, The London Irish Centre and Interactive Research Studio have been involved in various stages of the process such as design, analysis and interpretation.

The seven new period rooms will centre on personal stories and will take inspiration from the lived experience of communities. 

Museum opening hours