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Bid for cash for Geffrye Museum’s education roadshow to tour east London schools

PUBLISHED: 14:25 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:25 22 November 2017

Geffrye Museum's education roadshow to visit east London schools while it's closed for two years. Picture: Geffrye archives

Geffrye Museum's education roadshow to visit east London schools while it's closed for two years. Picture: Geffrye archives

Geffrye archives

Fundraising has been started so that east London’s historic Geffrye Museum can take its education sessions out on the road to schools while it is closed during its two-year redevelopment.

Geffrye Museum soon undergoing a two-year refurbishment. Picture: Geffrye archivesGeffrye Museum soon undergoing a two-year refurbishment. Picture: Geffrye archives

The museum i has been chosen to be part of this year’s ‘Big Give Christmas’, the country’s biggest online funding campaign.

“It’s a worthwhile campaign,” museum director Sonia Solicari said. “Being part of the Christmas Big Give this year means we can continue our education work with schools to inspire young minds while we are closed.”

Around 6,000 pupils a year visit the museum which is housed in historic almshouses in the Kingsland Road.

Pioneering museum education programme started at 'The Greffrye' back in the 1930s. Picture: Geffrye archivesPioneering museum education programme started at 'The Greffrye' back in the 1930s. Picture: Geffrye archives

Learning has been at the heart of the education centre since it pioneered museum education in the 1930s.

But now it needs to raise £14,000 for the travelling roadshow. Any donations received on the Big Give website

between November 28 and December 5 will be doubled.

How the 'Geffrye' will look after its two year refurbishment. Picture: Geffrye archivesHow the 'Geffrye' will look after its two year refurbishment. Picture: Geffrye archives

The Geffrye was opened as a museum by London County Council in 1914, set in the former almshouses of the Ironmongers’ company which were built in 1714 with a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye.

It aimed to inspire and educate workers in the East End’s bustling furniture trade.

Focus turned to children and family audiences by the late 1930s, as the furniture industry began moving out of the East End, with its education services developed by Molly Harrison’s pioneering work expanding museums as centres for learning and education.

Collections of furniture, paintings and decorative arts have evolved over the years, displayed in period living rooms, parlours or ‘drawing’ rooms of the past.

The Geffrye became an independent charitable trust in 1991, with a 20th-century wing added and an almshouse restored and furnished to show the living conditions of pensioners in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Today it focuses on the history of home and how this has changed over the centuries with influences from economics, art, technology, global trade, social trends and family behaviours.

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