Foragers of the Foreshore Exhibition


In September 2019, the Thames Museum participated in the most expansive exhibition about mudlarking which has ever taken place.  As part of the exhibition organised by the Thames Festival Trust and curated by Florence Evans in the Bargehouse gallery at the OXO Tower, the Thames Museum had a special display in Room 5 of the exhibition.  We showcased 25 extraordinary artifacts from the River Thames.  Along with explanatory boards, the walls were covered in colourful images of mudlarking finds and scenic photos of the Thames.  In the centre of the room, four large display cases housed the incredible artifacts from prehistoric to modern times found by mudlarks.  Information about the future Thames Museum was also presented on the gallery walls.  The extraordinary exhibition revealed the history of London through items recovered from the Thames. 

 

Interior of the Roman Amphitheatre in the Guildhall Art Gallery in London

In 1620, pilgrims, merchants and adventurers set sail on the River Thames in London on the Mayflower ship picking up passengers and supplies in Southampton and Plymouth before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  To commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower from London on its historic voyage to America, the Thames Museum Trust is curating an exhibition in collaboration with the Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London Corporation and Mayflower 400 London.  The exhibition will take place within London’s Roman amphitheatre from 29th May – 4th July 2020.

Located in this breath-taking, ancient amphitheatre, the exhibition will tell the story of the original Romans who arrived in Britain and started a small settlement along the Thames in AD 43 which grew into one of the largest, most influential cities of the world.  The exhibition will also reveal insights into the lives of the pilgrims and adventurers who embarked from London and founded a small colony in the New World which would eventually grow to become the powerful United States of America.  The River Thames was centre stage for these pivotal moments in world history. 

While searching the exposed riverbed of the Thames at low tide, mudlarks have found many extraordinary artefacts from Roman times and the 17th century which tell unheard stories of the people who lived in London in those time periods.  The exhibition will showcase and display some of the most spectacular finds, as well as everyday objects and personal items which they left behind.

 

​​As part of the five-week exhibition, special events will be offered for children and school groups to engage and experience ‘hands of history’ through holding some of the artefacts and learning about them.  A series of engaging lectures within the amphitheatre will focus on the archaeological evidence from the Roman and 17th century time periods.


Roman Amphitheatre, Guildhall Art Gallery

Guildhall Yard, London EC2V 5AE, Free entry
29th May – 4th July 2020, Monday to Saturday: 10am - 5pm 

Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

Photo by Nick Stevens

​​MUDLARK Exhibition at Art Hub Studios

As part of the annual Totally Thames Festival in London in September 2018, an exhibition of mudlarking finds was organised by Hannah Smiles and Florence Evans in partnership with the Thames Museum.   Displayed at the Art Hub Studios in London, the exhibition included mudlarking finds in glass display cases beautifully curated by Florence Evans.  Large photographs of mudlarking artifacts taken by professional photographer, Hannah Smiles, were hung on the gallery walls.  The week-long event included a series of talks by mudlarks including Nicola White, Nick Stevens, Jason Sandy and Ted Sandling (author of London in Fragments).  Live music was provided by students from the nearby Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance.  

Photo by Tracey Ernst

Photo by Hannah Smiles

Illustration of the Mayflower in Rotherhithe (London) by Ed Bucknall

Photo by Nick Stevens

Photo by Nicola Bushnell

From Roman Britannia to the New World


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Photo by Jason Sandy

Photo by Nicola Bushnell

Photo by Hannah Smiles

Photo by Jason Sandy

Photo by Nick Stevens

New Beginnings Exhibition:


Photo by Hannah Smiles

Photo by Nick Stevens

Tate Modern Exhibition

In March 2019, the Thames Museum collaborated with the Plymouth College of Art and organised an exhibition of mudlarking finds at the Tate Modern art museum in London.  Professional photographer, Hannah Smiles, exhibited her dramatic and detailed photographs of artifacts discovered by mudlarks in the River Thames.  Mudlarks Monika Buttling-Smith, Nick Stevens and Jason Sandy curated a display of their best mudlarking finds, ranging from the Mesolithic period to the Victorian era.  During the exhibition at the Tate, the mudlarks gave lectures about London’s history and the significance of the archaeology of the River Thames.  Visitors were encouraged to handle some of the artifacts to experience a tangible connection with London’s illustrious history.  We are grateful to the Plymouth College of Art for this fruitful collaboration.