One of London’s most unique museums and the first of its kind in the world, Greenwich’s Fan Museum is home to a mind-boggling 4,000 fans and fan leaves, the oldest of which dates back to the 10th-century. The collection, which rotates each season to ensure all fans are displayed to visitors, is a feast for the eyes, with the majority of fans dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, and hailing from all over Europe and the world.
Notable highlights include the Hélène Alexander Collection, a fan painted by Walter Sickert, a fan depicting the Grand Dauphin’s 20th birthday celebrations and a fan painting by Paul Gauguin. It’s not all about the eye candy though – the Fan Museum also offers a fascinating introduction to fan history, design and manufacture, as well as a glimpse into their use and social importance throughout history.
The surroundings are equally impressive, with the museum housed in a pair of magnificent Grade II-listed buildings in Greenwich, accompanying a Japanese Garden and an Orangery, where it’s possible to enjoy afternoon tea.
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