Not all of the art at London museums can be seen for free. Even though the general admission policy is free for all, there are certain special exhibitions being shown exclusively that are ticketed and come at an additional premium price. The British Museum, Tate Modern and Tate Britain were all charging an extra fee for temporary exhibits by visiting artists showcasing a survey of works. But the museums’ permanent collections will always be free and offer quite the array of visual value in itself.
The architecture at each of the museums also has its own distinctive identity. The Tate Modern utilizes a blocky and nondescript warehouse structure. Appearing confined and threatening, a centrally imposing smokestack rises from out of the building as if it was an afterthought. While the Tate Modern is retro-modern, the British Museum is very classical with its facade of formal Greek Revival columns. The rotunda of the British Museum is especially breathtaking as you enter–the vast Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, which opened in 2000, is as sprawling and epic of a sight you will ever encounter. Intended to reveal the hidden spaces of the courtyard, visitors are inquisitively drawn upward to revel in the crisscrossing canopy design by Lord Foster.
Photos: Paul Trinh