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Entrance to Greenwich Fan Museum

The Music of the Fans

4th March - 4th July 2010

Music of the fans

This is a lighthearted exhibition to be seen at the height of summer, when thoughts of lazy days on the beach or on a cruise are uppermost in the mind. It was not always thus. What we think of as a holiday in the twenty-first century did not exist until the early twentieth century, and even then a bikini-clad girl would have been regarded as an alien from outer space!

This exhibition – on show at The Fan Museum from 6th July until 31st October 2010 – traces the evolution of the concept of a holiday by the sea from fans of the Grand Tour in Naples and Venice (for a privileged few), to the advertising fans of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which show how the development of the railways makes the seaside accessible to the masses.

A glance at some of the mythological fans takes us into the world of legend when sea monsters devoured (or are about to devour) naked ladies. Chinese ‘applied faces’ fans depict the reaches of the estuary of the Pearl River at Canton with its famous pagoda landmark, while others show this busy shipping port with its ‘hongs’ along the waterfront.

On Tuesdays and Sundays tea is served in The Fan Museum Orangery. Visitors to the museum may also enjoy afternoon tea on board a Japanese cruise liner by reading the alarming menu of delicacies on a fan designed for the Captain’s table in 1936. The Fan Museum hopes this ‘Bill of Fare’ will be enjoyed by the widest audience!

Browse Past Displays

Museum Opening Times


11h00 -17h00 (last admissions 16h30)


11h00 -17h00 (last admissions 16h30)


11h00 -17h00 (last admissions 16h30)


11h00 -17h00 (last admissions 16h30)

12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich,
London SE10 8ER


Adults: £5.00

Concessions: Info £3.00

Children (age 7-12): £3.00

Free Entry for...

Children under 7, Art Fund Members and London Pass Members

Wednesday Special:

Free entry for carers and disabled visitors (not as part of a group)

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Museum Admission Pricing

Adults: £5.00
Concessions: £3.00
  • Students (with valid student card)
  • Children aged 6-17 years
  • Senior citizens
  • Registered disabled
  • Museum Association members
  • Friends of The Horniman
  • Friends of The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Royal Museums Greenwich members
  • Staff/Volunteers of the National Maritime Museum
Free Entry for…

Children aged 6 years and under, Art Fund Members and London Pass Members

Wednesday Special:

Free entry for senior citizens and disabled visitors (except for groups)

Please note that the discounts listed above cannot be applied when visitors are part of a large group visit or guided tour group.  Please click here for further details.

Group Bookings

The Museum is open as usual Wednesdays to Saturdays, 10h00-17h00 (last admissions at 16h30).

Please note that we will be closed from Thursday 2nd June to Saturday 4th June inclusive for the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday.

Thank you for your understanding.