Permanent

IWM London

Free

"Your emotions … experiences and memories ... Will bring to bear on what you put down on paper.” 

Rita Duffy, artist 

A woman views the John Singer Sargent artwork, Gassed.
© IWM

IWM’s new Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries provide a vivid account of modern war.

Showcasing the experiences and innovations of artists, filmmakers and photographers, these galleries explore the complex tension between creativity and destruction. 

Discover how visual practitioners are also powerful narrators who shape how we think and feel about conflict, and the role of art, film and photography in influencing public opinion.

Over 500 works chosen for display reflect the seismic social, cultural and political changes across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the individual perspectives of their makers. 

© IWM

IWM has built an extraordinarily rich and unique collection of art, film and photography, regularly collecting and commissioning works since our inception in 1917. 

For the first time, these enthralling new galleries display our diverse art collection alongside our extensive era-defining film and photography collections.

Get up close to John Singer Sargent’s monumental painting Gassed, on display for the first time since undergoing significant conservation work. Discover Olive Edis – one of the first women in Britain to build a career in freelance photography. 

Learn about filmmaker Paul Eedle who reported on the invasion of Iraq between January and April 2003 through his collection of practitioner objects, and step into our screening rooms to immerse yourself in artist films, real-life stories and documentaries from the First World War to the present day. 

As in previous developments at IWM London, Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries will be free to enter, making more of IWM’s world-class collection available and accessible to all.

Screening Space and Art Box

The Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries feature The Screening Space and the Art Box.
The Art Box features contemporary moving-image artwork on a rolling schedule by artists including Omer Fast and Coco Fusco. The Art Box is located in the Perspectives and Frontiers Gallery.
The Screening Space shows feature length films and documentaries from IWM’s historical collection. It is located in the Mind and Body Gallery. The schedule can be found below:

Screening Space Programme

Swipe for more
Time 10:30am 12:30pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 3:00pm 4:30pm

Film

Duration

First World War
104 minutes

Second World War, Part One
40 minutes

Second World War, Part Two
40 minutes

Cold War and the Nuclear Age
20 minutes

End of Empire
70 minutes

War in the Former Yugoslavia
45 minutes

About the Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries has received generous support from the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of world-renowned educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions, and is headed by Sir Leonard Blavatnik, the global industrialist and philanthropist. The Foundation is the predominant funder for the Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries.

IWM Collections
Discover a selection of stories about art, film and photography in times of conflict below. You can also explore Collections Online to find out more about the works cared for by IWM.

Upcoming Events

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© IWM Art.IWM PST 2832
Talks and Tours

IWM In Conversation With: Naomi Games

IWM London
Saturday 10 February 2024

Image of Helen Fry
® Greg Morrison
Talks and Tours, After Hours

IWM In Conversation With: Helen Fry | Women In Intelligence

IWM London
Thursday 7 March 2024

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© Oxford University Press
Talks and Tours, After Hours

IWM in Conversation: Jon Silverman and Robert Sherwood

IWM London
24 January 2024

Bloomberg Connects

Delve deeper into IWM's art, film and photography collections on Bloomberg Connects. Listen to the curators who worked on the new Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries, explore some of the works on display and find out more about the historical context in which they were made.

  • A side on view of a line of soldiers being led along a duckboard by a medical orderly. Their eyes are bandaged as a result of exposure to gas and each man holds on to the shoulder of the man in front.
    John Singer Sargent, Gassed, 1919 © IWM (Art.IWM ART 1460)

    Art

    Artworks include John Singer Sargent’s iconic six-metre-long painting Gassed, 1919, which moved contemporary audiences to tears as it brought home the reality of First World War fighting.

  • Colourised footage artistic rendition 2018 – THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD by WingNut Films with Peter Jackson. Original black and white film © IWM.
    Colourised footage artistic rendition 2018 – THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD by WingNut Films with Peter Jackson. Original black and white film © IWM.

    Film

    Highlights from IWM’s film collection, one of the oldest in the world, will include Peter Jackson’s award-winning 2018 film They Shall Not Grow Old, which reinterpreted original archive footage into an unprecedented, colourful depiction of the First World War.

  • An abandoned helmet with a bullet hole lays on the ground. The last photo taken by conflict photojournalist and videographer Tim Hetherington on 20th April 2011
    © IWM HU 137980

    Photography

    The Galleries will also include images from the portfolios of renowned photographers and photojournalists.

    The image above was the last photo taken by conflict photojournalist and videographer Tim Hetherington on 20th April 2011.

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Art

Women's Canteen at Phoenix Works, Bradford 1918, by Flora Lion
© IWM ART (4434)
Women in Wartime

6 Stunning First World War Artworks By Women War Artists

The first British official war artists’ scheme was set up by the government in 1916. Although several female artists were approached either by the British War Memorials Committee or the Ministry of Information, none of them completed commissions for the official schemes.

Airy’s series of factory paintings demonstrate her mastery of paint; here, the red-hot shells are luminous within the darkened interior – although the workers and the structural elements are equally diligently realised.
© IWM Art.IWM ART (4032)
Art And Design

Visions of War: Art of the Imperial War Museums

Imperial War Museums hold one of the most significant collections of British art anywhere in the world. It includes around 16,000 works of fine art. Here we explore ten works from various eras of conflict, by artists who breathe life into discussion of war and conflict, their work offering new ways into ideas and subjects that can, at times, be challenging. 

Conservator Phil Young stands in front of a section of John Singer Sargent's artwork 'Gassed' holding a cotton bud-like implement, carrying out conservation work.
Art.IWM ART 1460 © Factum Foundation for Imperial War Museums

Gassed by John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent's iconic artwork, Gassed, is on permanent display in IWM London's Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries. The much-loved First World War painting has undergone significant conservation work which has revitalised and transformed the viewing experience of the artwork. 

Film

Camerman war still Projected Picture Trust
Film

Film Favourites from the Archives

Discover our Film Favourites series in which curators talk about their highlights from IWM's vast film collection. 

They Shall Not Grow Old
First World War

Peter Jackson on They Shall Not Grow Old

Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson has transformed First World War footage from IWM's extensive archive using modern production techniques for his film They Shall Not Grow Old.

Invitation card to a screening of the film 'Battle of the Somme', at the Scala Theatre, Charlotte Street, London, August 1916.
© IWM (HU 59419)
Battle of the Somme

How the Battle of the Somme was Filmed

Tens of thousands of soldiers went 'over the top' at 7.30am on 1 July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Nearly 20,000 British soldiers died that day, which looms large in the collective national memory of the First World War. Cameramen Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell were there to record footage that became the cinematic sensation, Battle of the Somme.

Photography

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) gardeners tending the graves of the war dead at Etaples. The wooden crosses would later be replaced by white headstones.
© IWM (Q 8027)
Women in Wartime

We Sent A Photographer To 1919 France. Here Are Her Photos

Olive Edis was among the first women to build a career as a freelance professional photographer in Britain. 

The grave of Betty Stevenson of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) tended by a member of the QMAAC at a graveyard in Étaples, France, 10 March 1919.
© IWM Q_008028
First World War

War Photographers

The IWM Photograph Archive covers over 100 years of war and conflict. 

The five photographers featured in War Photographers - IWM Photo Collection represent professional war photography and reveal how photographs have shaped the way we visually understand the events of the twentieth century. 

Second World War

Cecil Beaton: War Photographer

Cecil Beaton is chiefly remembered as the leading British portrait and fashion photographer of his day. Less well known is the fact that Beaton was one of Britain’s hardest working war photographers during the Second World War.