UK artist Luke Jerram’s astonishing installation The Museum of the Moon is coming to the Old Royal Naval College this winter.
As the nights draw in there’s no better time for Jerram’s illuminated installation to be displayed in the magnificent Painted Hall from Monday 12th December 2022 – Sunday 5th February 2023, alongside a lunar-inspired season of events. Jerram returns to the Old Royal Naval College following the success of his Gaia installation in 2021.
The remarkable vision of the moon meets the grandeur of Sir Christopher Wren’s iconic buildings on the banks of the river Thames in London. The Old Royal Naval College and its majestic 18th century Painted Hall are the perfect setting for visitors to marvel at the wonder of The Museum of the Moon this winter.
Visitors to this magical setting can experience the seven metre, to-scale Moon, created using NASA imagery, as it hangs in the Baroque Painted Hall. The imagery features minute detail of the lunar surface, taking the viewer right round to the dark side of the moon. The internally-lit installation features a surround sound composition by BAFTA-winning composer Dan Jones for a stunning and profound art-meets-nature experience.
Celebrate Moonlit Christmas with a specially curated programme this December, including moon-themed Lates and a special Moonlight Dining Experience: a sparkling evening meal with live performance under the Museum of the Moon – the ultimate Christmas dinner. For families, Father Christmas is stopping off at the Painted Hall this festive season to meet the children and tell a moon-inspired story at Santa’s Over the Moon. Visitors can indulge in a Festive Afternoon Tea in the historic Admiral’s House on select Sundays in November and December.
January is the perfect time to set intentions, and a series of yoga sessions in the serene setting of the Museum of the Moon promises to do just that. The sessions include pre-work morning yoga classes every Wednesday in January until 1st February, a full moon workshop, sound bath, movement workshop and weekend yoga brunch sessions that will be energising and uplifting within the relaxing and meditative atmosphere of the Painted Hall.
Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College is the centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a long and celebrated 500-year history. Today it is a diverse cultural destination and one of London’s most popular venues, filming locations and visitor attractions, attracting over 1.2 million visitors a year.
The site was originally home to Greenwich Palace, the favoured Royal residence of Henry VIII, excavations of which can be seen in the King William Undercroft. The Palace fell into disrepair during the Civil War, after which Queen Mary II ordered the creation of the Royal Hospital for Seamen on the same site, which at its peak housed over 2,700 injured and retired sailors. These are the stunning classical buildings visitors can see today, designed by one of England’s greatest architects, Sir Christopher Wren, and built between 1696 and 1751. The magnificent Painted Hall, one of the finest Baroque interiors in Britain, was painted by Sir James Thornhill 1707-1726 and has been referred to as ‘Britain’s Sistine Chapel’. The Chapel of St Peter and St Paul is a neo-classical masterpiece by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. Featuring a Samuel Green organ and an altarpiece painted by Benjamin West, it boasts one of the country’s finest 18th-century ecclesiastical interiors.
The rich maritime history of the site continued after the departure of the Royal Hospital in the 1860s. From 1873 – 1997 the buildings housed the Royal Naval College, one of the world’s foremost naval training establishments, training naval officers for over a hundred years including the first female members of the Royal Navy in the 1940s, known as the WRENs. After the Naval College moved to Shrivenham, an independent charity was established in 1997 called the Greenwich Foundation. The Foundation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022, conserves the magnificent baroque buildings and grounds of the Old Royal Naval College for present and future generations and provides opportunities for wide and diverse audiences to enjoy and share their significance. Today this historic landmark is open to the public. The Greenwich Foundation spearheaded an £8.5 million award-winning and pioneering conservation project, which saw the Painted Hall restored to its full glory in, and the Tudor foundations of the site excavated.
In 2019, following the reopening of the site, the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College won Restoration or Conservation Project of the Year at the Museum + Heritage Awards 2019. In 2020, the Old Royal Naval College won Gold in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, and in 2021 it won Tiqets Best Museum of the Year, UK & Ireland.
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