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Our History & Purpose

Learn more about the the UK's only museum dedicated to fans & fan making.

Since 1991...

The Fan Museum is the only organisation of its kind devoted entirely to the multifaceted history, culture and artistry of the fan. The Museum is small-scale, Independent, and accredited by Arts Council England. Situated within the World Heritage Site of Greenwich, London, a pair of beautifully restored Grade II* Listed early Georgian period townhouses accommodate the Museum and its collections.

The Fan Museum owes its existence to the vision of its two Founders, Hélène Alexander MBE (a world authority on fans) and her late husband, ‘Dickie’ A.V Alexander OBE. The Alexanders strived to create a museum unlike any other: one which maintains a special atmosphere redolent of times past and where visitors of all ages and backgrounds are similarly welcomed like members of an extended family. During the past thirty years the Museum and its small team of curatorial staff has staged more than eighty fan-themed exhibitions covering a bewildering variety of fan-related topics – World cultures, Classical history & Art Deco to name but a few – and welcomed in excess of 300,000 visitors.

Our Purpose

Our primary purpose is to promote awareness and appreciation of the diverse history, culture and artistry of fans and fan making. This we achieve mainly by collecting, conserving, documenting, studying, exhibiting and making fans. We use our collections, specialist knowledge and heritage buildings to enlighten, entertain and inspire broad ranging audiences.

The Story of The Fan Museum

The fascinating story of how The Fan Museum came to fruition is retold by one of the Founders, Hélène Alexander in the below film, released on the occasion of the Museum’s twenty fifth anniversary in 2016.

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Museum Admission Pricing

Adults: £5.00
Children (age 7-16): £3.00
Family ticket (up to 2 Adults and up to 3 Children, also 1 Adult and 4 Children): £10.00
Concessions: £3.00
  • Students (with vaild student card)
  • Senior citizens
  • English Heritage
  • Friends of The Horniman
  • Friends of The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Staff/Volunteers of the National Maritime Museum
Free Entry for…

Children under 7, Disabled visitors and carers, Art Fund Members and London Pass Members

Wednesday Special:

Free entry for senior citizens.

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 Fan Museum’s opening times each week are Wednesday to Saturday 11h00-17h00, with last entries at 16h30 each day.

Our latest exhibition, ‘Boxed In, Fanned Out: Fans and their Boxes’, is open from 3rd November and will run into the New Year.

Tickets for Museum by Candlelight, our special Christmas late-opening experience, are now on sale. Book now to secure your place!


Opening times may vary in line with public holidays. We will attempt to keep our channels updated in this case.

Our Orangery is not open as a public tearoom.

Click here for details of how to hire the space.