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Clown and out: can you help save the Clown Museum?

Posted at 5:30 pm, April 9, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment, Fun London

Mattie ClownPhoto: Rob Greig

Dalston is full of sad clowns. And we’re not talking about hipsters who’ve gone all weepy after too many craft beers. The Clowns Gallery and Museum, which first moved to E8’s Holy Trinity Church in 1959, has to close for two years; redevelopment work on the school opposite means some lessons will be held in the church. Previously, the space was full of brightly coloured costumes, clown photos and an ‘egg register’ – a series of eggs painted in each clown’s unique make-up, in a kind of face paint-based copyrighting system.

Now, it’s all been shifted into a basement. Down there, smiling clown dolls perch on racks of tools, a gilt-framed portrait of Joseph Grimaldi is wedged next to an old boiler, and a gleaming unicycle teeters on a stack of junk. Oh, and the room tends to flood. ‘We need a new home somewhere local,’ sighs curator Mattie Faint, for whom this is no laughing matter. ‘When it rains, the water comes through the walls and over the floor. Not great for storing costumes’. So if you know anyone in Hackney who could host an archive of clown history, please tell us. Help out the Clown Museum? I should Coco!

If you can offer space to the Clowns Gallery tweet us @timeoutlondon with the hashtag #clownfrownupsidedown

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