By psmiddy, Feb 7 2019 09:47AM
I visited the Imperial War Museum North recently. Stunning location, next to the so-called ‘Media City’. As one might expect there are some very interesting artefacts on display, and the diaries, letters, reports, etc are understandably skewed towards those from soldiers, sailors and airmen with Northern connections. Likewise there are some interesting photos of the damage that Manchester suffered in the Blitz.
The architect, Daniel Libeskind (appropriately enough born in Lodz – the Polish ghettos get good coverage), has created a striking building. However the display area is effectively only a single storey, and is not that extensive. I wonder whether the IWM would have been better advised to spend more of their construction budget on display space rather than fancy (and non-functional) architecture.
The displays and layout reflect the PC nature of modern museum creators. Of the 6 so-called ‘silos’ (i.e. self-contained display spaces with a single theme), one is devoted to women and war, another to the contribution of the Commonwealth. Yet Op Herrick (the war in Afghanistan) merits only half a display case!
The result is the museum lacks the authority of its Kennington parent.