Somerset House

Art galleries

Public art

Aldwych

  • Free
  • Ed Marshall / Time Out

  • Courtyard fountains - © Simon Leigh / Time Out

  • Fernandez and Wells Cafe © Tricia De Courcy Ling

  • © Ed Marshall

  • Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

  • Kings Barge House © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

  • © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

  • © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

Ed Marshall / Time Out

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Venue details

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  • Address:

    Somerset House Strand
    London
    WC2R 1LA

  • Venue phone:

    020 7845 4600

  • Venue website:

    www.somersethouse.org.uk

  • Opening hours:

    Daily 10am-6pm

  • Transport:

    Tube: Charing Cross/Covent Garden

  • Price:

    Free; admission charge applies from some temporary exhibitions

  • Map

    1. Somerset House

What's on at Somerset House

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London Fashion Weekend

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  • Critics' choice

Invitation to the Burberry show lost in the post? London Fashion Weekend offers us mere mortals the chance to traverse the cobbles of Somerset House. The four-day eventpromises to give an insider’s perspective on the fashion industry. Experts from The...

London Fashion Weekend
  1. Thu Sep 18 – Sun Sep 21
  2. Somerset House
  3. Bronze £20; Silver £37; Gold £50; Luxe £...
More info

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Curated London

Review for Boro


From the 17th - 19th centuries, Japan’s poor were allowed only to wear dark blue, brown and grey. Brighter colours were reserved for the wealthy ruling elite, as were luxury fabrics, like cotton. When the rich threw away their clothes, poor people gathered together the scraps and stitched them together to make bedspreads. The result (Boro) is the subject of this exhibition.


If this sounds niche to the point of obscurity, you’d be right. The exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of one of the world’s most insular nations. However, from an artistic point of view, there is little to be gained. These are scraps of fabric, dyed blue and hastily quilted together to provide relief from Japan’s cold winter nights.


In an attempt to justify the exhibition, or possibly to break up the monotony, the curator has overindulged considerably with the interpretation. A whole panel is devoted to how modern artists, name-dropping eight of them, could have been influenced by Boro (‘Paul Klee would have been delighted by them’) before acknowledging this did not happen. It’s worth a quick look if you’re at Somerset House, but definitely not worth a special trip.


For more art in plain English, check out http://www.curatedlondon.co.uk

PS

Saw the Sony World Photo Awards here which was fantastic. The permanent exhibition is worth a look as well.

Becky C

One of London's most innovative museums, I love the amount of thought they put into offering as much diversity as possible. There really is something for everyone (and many exhibitions are free) but it's also a great place just to sit and people-watch.

leno

Indeed Somerset house has more happening then most people visiting London would realise. It is a true hidden jem which is ironic because it is also one of the larger buildings that are open to the public. A beautiful historic hosting some very up today events. As well as the family workshops a number of events for adults have been run in the evening which have been very well recived. An evening of no presure creative play with a glass of wine in one hand accompanied by sounds from chilled DJ's is a very plesent way to pass the time.