Detail from Battle, Jules George, 2010, oil on linen. Copyright Jules George.

National Army Museum unveils new brand ahead of reopening

Nicola Sullivan, 15.03.2017
London site also reveals new website
London's National Army Museum has launched a new website and identity ahead of reopening at the end of this month.

The museum’s £23.75m redevelopment, which included £11.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, was overseen by architects BDP and design agency Event. The new spaces are designed to be more accessible and flexible, with the museum hoping to reach 400,000 annual visitors by 2026.

The building will include more than 2,500 objects in five permanent thematic galleries – Soldier, Army, Battle, Society and Insight. There is also be a 500 sq m temporary exhibition space, a study centre, a learning centre, cafe, shop and learning area.

“The thematic galleries provide a space to explore and discuss the army and its relevance to society in ways that we sometimes would not imagine from fashion and films and, of course, conflict,” said Janice Murray, the museum’s director general.

The Society gallery, which features the largest number of new acquisitions, explores the army as a “cultural and military force” that has an impact on customs, technologies and values, from music to the way people vote.
Objects on display in the gallery include a cat found during the Crimean war and taken back to the UK as a pet; and a Welsh flag that formed part of a memorial of a soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan and later died in hospital.
The Army gallery charts the history of the army as an institution, exploring its origins in the British civil wars, as well as how it tries to remain relevant through technological and social change.

The Insight gallery examines the impact the British Army has around the world. Opening displays look at the connections it has with Germany, Scotland, the Punjab, Ghana and Sudan. Communities from these areas have been involved in the creation of the gallery, sharing thoughts on their relationship with Britain, the army and the objects within the museum’s collections.

The museum will open to the public on 30 March with its first temporary exhibition, War Paint: Brushes with Conflict, which explores the nuanced and changing relationship between art, conflict and the truth.