The following case studies illustrate the breadth and depth of our partnerships and represent just a small sample of a diverse and varied programme of funding.
Imperial War Museum London
Thanks to the support of Pears Foundation, Peace and Security will show the many ways in which modern conflicts have been fought, experienced, resolved or left unfinished, raising questions about how and why we fight, fear and live with war and its unending aftermath.Diane Lees CBE, Director-General,
Imperial War Museums
The stories told in Peace and Security and its reflections on British identity and citizenship directly mirror our own Foundation’s philosophy. We are certain that this gallery, supported by the ongoing education work of IWM London, will contribute to a deeper knowledge and understanding of who we are as Britons, how we got here and where we are going.Sir Trevor Pears CMG
Imperial War Museums tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War. Its unique collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. IWM challenges people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives.
The Museums’ flagship London site re-opened in 2014 following a major redevelopment to mark the centenary of the First World War. This transformation included the creation of a new gallery, Peace and Security: 1945-2014, sponsored by Pears Foundation, focusing on stories of contemporary conflicts.
In keeping with the Foundation’s philosophy of creating spaces for the exploration of challenging issues of identity and conflict. Through objects and artworks the Peace and Security exhibition charts the progress of global conflict from the end of the Second World War to the present day, exploring how war has divided the world community, from the long-running struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Balkans and the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. It forms part of the vital work preserving the British legacy of human conflict and the understanding of its ramifications.
Phase two of the redevelopment, completed in 2021, involved the creation of new galleries dedicated to the Second World War and the Holocaust. In addition to the £1.75 million committed to the Peace and Security Gallery, Pears Foundation gave £5 million to IWM London for the renewal of its Holocaust gallery.
IWM’s original, world-renowned Holocaust exhibition was built in 2000 and attracts around 1 million visitors a year, including 21,000 students who take part in learning sessions at the Museum. The new Galleries build on research from the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education and include moving exhibits dedicated to Jewish life before the war and the aftermath and legacy of the Holocaust.
Personal stories are at the heart of the new Galleries which contain over 2,000 photos, books, artworks, letters and personal objects ranging from jewellery and clothing to toys and musical instruments. The Holocaust Galleries incorporate the most up to date research and evaluation, including archive material only available since the end of the Cold War, and reflect the latest developments in Holocaust education, academia and understanding.
IWM London is the first museum in the world to house Second World War and Holocaust Galleries under the same roof, examining the complex relationship between the Holocaust and the course and consequences of the Second World War and changing the way we understand the past for generations to come.