London's Smallest Art Gallery Is In A Phone Box Outside The British Museum

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 8 months ago

Last Updated 13 October 2023

London's Smallest Art Gallery Is In A Phone Box Outside The British Museum
A phone box with the door open and art on the wallsWhy not, well, call in at the city's diddiest art gallery. Image: Visionary Brit Museum

The Great Russell Street entrance of the British Museum enjoys a flurry of traditional red phone boxes — but look a little closer and one is less traditional than it first appears.

Inside one of the phone boxes (to the right of the museum gates as you head in), lives London's smallest art gallery, aka the Visionary Brit Museum. Like any other gallery, it has changing exhibitions — it just so happens that the artworks are hung in a space measuring about three-by-seven-feet. If ever there was a gallery visit you can cram into a lunch break, this is it.

A sign in the phone box windows with opening hours, beneath a painting
Image: Londonist
A man stands outside the phone box-gallery at night
One of the artists, Rupert Record with his artworks

Previous exhibitions in the phone box have featured artists including Madeleine Aleman and Max Ernst — and the work of Visionary Brit founder Degard often features too.

The phone box art gallery from the outside
Image: Londonist
A woman studies artworks on the walls of the phone box
The gallery's curator, Degard, studying artworks. Image: Visionary Brit Museum

Another boon of the Visionary Brit Museum — which you certainly don't get at places like the National Gallery — is that you can BUY the artworks. If an artwork takes your fancy, you can simply point your phone at a QR code next to it, and either put in an offer for the artist to accept, or buy it straight away.

(In case you're wondering how they deal with potential art heists, there's a webcam installed in the corner of the booth. Not surprising seeing as some of the art goes for circa £500.)

Paintings inside a phone box
Image: Londonist
A t shirt with a phone box on it, saying 'Generic Tourist T Shirt'
Love yourself a good phone box? Treat yourself to one of our exclusive t shirts.

You can just walk into the Visionary Brit Museum during British Museum open hours (10am-5pm daily) and have a browse. On the day we visited, the door didn't open, but we're assured that'll be fixed presently, so hopefully you'll have better luck. It's free to visit.