THE RIVER MAGAZINE | Spring 2018 23 | C U L T U R E | S tep inside the handsome Grade II listed Georgian townhouses in the heart of historic Greenwich that are home to The Fan Museum and discover a world of elegance and style. Lovingly restored inside and out, the museum opened to the public in 1991 and remains something of an undiscovered gem. It is also the only museum in the UK entirely devoted to the history of fans and the craft of fan making. The ground floor is dedicated to a permanent display that serves as an introduction to fans: their history, manufacture, types and sources. The first floor is dedicated to special exhibitions curated by Museum Founder Helene Alexander and Jacob Moss, which change every three to four months. The current exhibition is a dazzling display of feather fans from around the world entitled ‘A Bird In The Hand’. Colourful ostrich feather fans evoke the glamour and decadence of the 1920s while fans incorporating the plumes of game birds hint at Edwardian aristocracy. Feather fans were especially fashionable in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and hence feature prominently in the display. Given their lightness and natural function, it is unsurprising that fans incorporating the plumage of birds have a long history, stretching back thousands of years. In fact, the museum’s earliest fan, at least 1,000 Exquisite early twentieth century jay feather fan on tortoiseshell sticks.