Community Gallery, second level

As we move around London, signs are all around us, announcing the names of businesses and alerting us to services offered and goods available. In our everyday lives, signs can become part of the landscape, standing out when needed and fading into the background when not. 

As museum objects, however, signs are the physical traces of a past London that only some may remember well. Many recall with affection, for example, Johnny and Dorothy Downs’ banquet facility, the Latin Quarter Place. As we move further into the past, though, London becomes an unfamiliar place. Where was Balkwill’s Hotel, for instance, and who ran it? This exhibition featuring signs from Museum London’s extensive artifact collection recalls and revives this fascinating forest city of yesteryear. It will also introduce some equally compelling Londoners. The signs in London Recalling are mounted high on one of Museum London’s barrel vault walls.  This not only makes the most of the Museum’s architecture but also displays the signs as they would have been seen when first used.

Image: Latin Quarter Place Sign, 1970s, Gift of Jayne Downs, Port Stanley, Ontario, 2022