Army ration biscuit, posted from the Western Front by St John Ambulance Brigade member, Henry Charles Barefield, c.1914-1918, LDOSJ:SJA100128/2
The Museum of the Order of St John tells the story of the Knights Hospitaller, also known as the Knights of Malta, from their foundation in 11th century Jerusalem to the charitable operations of the modern Order, best known through St John Ambulance and the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem. More than 60,000 objects, include arms and armour, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, fine textiles and ecclesiastical vestments, photography, coins and portrait medals, jewellery, paintings, prints and drawings, architectural models and historic medical equipment. The Museum actively encourages loans from its collections.
The Museum also houses an extensive library and archive that includes manuscripts, incunabula, and printed books dating from the 15th century onwards, as well as records of more recent global events, such as the First and Second World Wars.
Collection highlights include Luigi Gentile’s Annunciation, with an elaborate silver frame by Francesco Perone, which is a compact summation of the Baroque. Twentieth century artists also feature, with portraits by de Laszlo and Sir John Lavery, as well as David Bomberg. A 16th century portrait bust of Grand Master Jean de la Valette, in silver and gilded bronze, attributed to Leone Leoni, is a recent acquisition, and on loan from a private collector since 2012, is Caravaggio’s The Cardsharps. The Rhodes Missal, a Catholic order of service dating from 1504, with illuminated illustrations charting the story of the Nativity, is another prominent exhibit. Social history collections include photographic records and archives relating to the liberation of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.
Contact Museum of the Order of St John
Tom Foakes, Head of Heritage / DirectorSt John’s Gate St John’s Lane Clerkenwell London
020 7324 4005 / 020 7324
- St John’s Gate
St John’s Lane