Imperial War Museum London

Changing the way we understand conflict through world class exhibitions

Imperial War Museums new Holocaust Galleries would not have been possible without the early show of partnership and support of the Pears Foundation. Their commitment to this project has made it possible to offer current and future visitors the opportunity to explore the Holocaust in these new galleries integrated with our new Second World War Galleries where current and coming generations can remember these times and learn the personal stories of those who can no longer speak for themselves.
Dame Diane Lees DBE, Director-General,
Imperial War Museums
The new Holocaust Galleries are an astonishing achievement. We have seen first-hand the incredible amount of deliberation and debate that has gone into every aspect and the result is a powerful, moving and thought-provoking exhibition that will change the way we think about the Holocaust.
Sir Trevor Pears CMG

Partner since: 2015

Funding invested: £6.75m

  • Capital: The Holocaust Galleries; Peace and Security: 1945-2014

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. The museums challenge their audiences 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.

IWM London re-opened in 2014 following a major redevelopment to mark the centenary of the First World War. As part of this transformation, Pears Foundation supported the creation of a new gallery Peace and Security: 1945-2014, focusing on stories of contemporary conflicts, in keeping with the Foundation’s philosophy of creating spaces for exploring challenging issues of identity. Through objects and art, the Peace and Security exhibition charts the progress of global conflict since the end of the Second World War, exploring how war has divided the world community.

The next phase of the redevelopment, completed in 2021, was the creation of new galleries dedicated to the Second World War and the Holocaust. Pears Foundation committed £5million to the new Holocaust Galleries.

IWM London’s original, world-renowned Holocaust exhibition attracted 1 million visitors a year, including 21,000 students. The new Galleries reflect the latest developments in Holocaust education, academia and understanding, including research from the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education. At the heart of the exhibition are individual stories, with over 2,000 photos, books, artworks, letters and personal objects ranging from jewellery and clothing to toys and musical instruments. There is also a new Holocaust learning programme for schools focused on developing students’ understanding of how and why the Holocaust happened.

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.