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Permanent Display

An introduction to fans, their history and how they are made

The Fan Museum holds a world-renowned collection of fans and fan leaves which include the splendid Hélène Alexander Collection and further acquisitions, gifts and bequests which have been received since the museum opened to the public over twenty five years ago.

The collection is comprehensive, with examples from all over the world dating from the 11th century to the present day. The collection is particularly strong in 18th and 19th century European fans.

For conservation reasons it is not possible to display the whole collection together at any time; therefore the museum features two distinct displays: the first is permanent and serves as an introduction to fans: their history, how they are made, the materials used, and the various types and sources of fans. This permanent display is mainly housed on the ground floor of the museum and is divided between two rooms.

Podcatcher Audio Tour

Visitors are encouraged to make use of the Museum’s free Podcatcher audio tour which covers in rich detail aspects of the permanent displays. Whilst the Museum remains closed to the public, visitors to our website are invited to preview part of the tour here: Listen Now ›

Reception Room & Stairs

A colourful celebration of the art of fan painting with unmounted and extended fan leaves dating from the seventeenth to nineteenth century.

Museum reception room

Green Room

Largely devoted to explaining how fans are made and the materials used within their construction, two of the museum’s most important treasures are also displayed in this space: a late-sixteenth century flag fan and another painted by Walter Sickert. If your visit is specifically motivated towards viewing a particular object, we would advise contacting the Museum to check whether or not the object is currently displayed, in storage or on loan.

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)

Receptions room hire Greenwich

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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

Folding fan, English, c.1750

Folding fan depicting the Fruit & Flower Market at Covent Garden. The base of St. Paul's church, designed by Inigo Jones and which still stands today, is just visible in the background.


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.