Somerset House

Art galleries

Popular venues

Aldwych

  • Free
  • Somerset House

    Ed Marshall / Time Out

    Somerset House
  • Staircase

    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

    Staircase
  • Building architecture

    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

    Building architecture
  • Display case

    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

    Display case
  • Fountains

    Simon Leigh / Time Out

    Fountains
  • Kings barge house

    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

    Kings barge house
  • Somerset House architecture

    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

    Somerset House architecture
  • Statue

    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

    Statue

Somerset House

Ed Marshall / Time Out

Time Out rating:

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

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
Rate this
 
0

Reviews

Add +
Critics' choice

Venue details

MAP CLOSE
  • Address:

    Somerset House Strand
    London
    WC2R 1LA

  • Venue phone:

    020 7845 4600

  • Venue website:

    www.somersethouse.org.uk

  • Opening hours:

    Daily 10am-6pm (last adm 5.45pm).

  • Transport:

    Tube: Charing Cross

  • Map

    1. Somerset House

What's on at Somerset House

Filter

Filter

Agnes Obel

Singer-songwriter

  • Critics' choice

The Danish singer-songwriter supports her second album, 'Aventine', with a set of haunting, intricately harmonised, piano-led songs. As well as the stripped-back sound of just Obel and her piano, there's also a sly, folkish twang to some songs and a hint...

Agnes Obel
  1. Sat Jul 12
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £17.50-£20
Buy tickets

Amy Sharrocks: Museum Of Water

Installation

Installations and displays exploring our relationship with the world's most important liquid, inviting the audience to add to the collection.

  1. Fri Jun 6 – Sun Jun 29
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. free
More info

Bastille

Categories, Pop and rock

  • Critics' choice

Last year, Bastille’s first album ‘Bad Blood’ came from nowhere and stormed to Number One – the first chart-topping debut by a British band in three years. The secret of their success? Either it’s lead singer Dan Smith's impressively tall hair, or (more...

Bastille
  1. Tue Jul 15
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £24
Buy tickets

Burnt Generation

Photography

  • Rating: 4/5
  • Free

‘There is more freedom in the art world than in journalism now,’ claims Tehran-born Newsha Tavakolian, one of nine Iranian artists in Somerset House’s bold new photography exhibition. Given the country’s hardline media crackdown in 2009, this doesn’t...

Burnt Generation
  1. Thu Apr 24 – Sun Jun 1
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
More info

The Cat Empire

Latin music, Funk, Ska

A party-starting fusion of jazz, ska, hip hop, rock and Latino sounds from the headlining Aussie sextet, who play in support of their latest album 'Steal the Light'.

The Cat Empire
  1. Sun Jul 13
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £22.50
Buy tickets

Children's Choice Weekend at Pick Me Up

Things to do

As part of the Pick Me Up graphic arts festival, these family days feature a fun roster of guests and activities. Rastamouse creators Michael de Souza and Genevieve Webster host drawing workshops and a reading on May 3. May 4 is 'The Tiger Who Came to...

Children's Choice Weekend at Pick Me Up
  1. Sat May 3 – Sun May 4
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £10, £8 conc, £17.50 festival pass. Entr...
More info

Chvrches

Synthpop

  • Critics' choice

This hotly tipped, Glaswegian synthpop trio became one of British music's biggest recent success stories in 2013 with their album 'The Bones of What You Believe'. Fans of The Knife – whom Chvrches cited as a key influence when we interviewed them last...

Chvrches
  1. Thu Jul 17
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £15
Buy tickets

SOMERSET HOUSE SUMMER SERIES: Clean Bandit

Electronica, Pop, String ensembles, Garage

  • Critics' choice

Is there anything Clean Bandit can't do? The electronic pop troupe from Cambridge broke through spectacularly in January with 'Rather Be' – the most successful single of the year, and the first to stay at Number One for four weeks since 2011. It's a prime...

SOMERSET HOUSE SUMMER SERIES: Clean Bandit
  1. Sat Jul 19
  2. Somerset House Strand, United Kingdom, WC2R 1LA
  3. £28.50
Buy tickets

Daughter

Alternative rock

British folkie Elena Tonra leads this delicate, acoustic three-piece as they play from their debut album 'If You Leave'. There's a definite gothic tinge here, allying them with dark-minded contemporaries like Esben And The Witch.

Daughter
  1. Thu Jul 10
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £17
Buy tickets

Franz Ferdinand

Indie rock

  • Critics' choice

Glasgow's indie heroes return to the stage, showcasing tracks from their fourth record 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action' alongside funky, literate, new wave-inspired Franz classics like 'Take Me Out', 'The Dark of the Matinée' and 'Do You Want...

Franz Ferdinand
  1. Wed Jul 16
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
Buy tickets

SOMERSET HOUSE SUMMER SERIES: Kelis

Pop, Urban music, R&B, Soul

  • Critics' choice

Ever since she hit the big time with 'Milkshake', R&B singer Kelis has been genre-hopping like crazy. After exploring EDM with Guetta and minimal bass with Skream, she's now worked with indie wizard Dave Sitek to cook up a super-funky, soulful stew of...

SOMERSET HOUSE SUMMER SERIES: Kelis
  1. Mon Jul 14
  2. Somerset House Strand, United Kingdom, WC2R 1LA
  3. £28.50
Buy tickets

Kodaline

These Irish newcomers may not have set out to ape Coldplay's success, but there's certainly a Chris Martin-esque emotional catch in the vocals. Their vaguely-indie pop-rock is nice enough, and looks set to be be pretty much inescapable in the wake of...

Kodaline
  1. Fri Jul 11
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £13.50
Buy tickets

LIFT 2014: Museum of Water

Specialist interest, Theatre, Fringe, Installation

A museum with a difference, Amy Sharrock's creation, to be found deep in the underground spaces in Somerset House, looks at our relationship with h20. Items featured in the Museum of Water include a melted snowman and droplets from a baby's bath. It's...

  1. Fri Jun 6 – Sun Jun 29
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
More info

Little Dragon

Categories, Pop and rock

  • Critics' choice

The haunting and esoteric Swedish electro-pop four-piece headline, fronted by radiant vocalist Yukimi Nagano and drawing on Portishead, Prince and Depeche Mode. They're here to play from their new album 'Nabuma Rubberband'.

Little Dragon
  1. Sun Jul 20
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £16.50
Buy tickets

Museums at Night: Somerset House

Things to do

For Museums at Night, Somerset House is hosting after-hours activities in the form of workshops, guided tours of the neo-classical building and live music. Some events may be ticketed.

Museums at Night: Somerset House
  1. Fri May 16
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
More info

Pick Me Up

Design, Drawing and illustration, Prints and editions

The fifth incarnation of the graphic arts festival returns to Somerset House in 2014 with drawings and prints by artists, creative groups and galleries from all over the world. For all the high-profile names involved, there’s an informal art-school vibe...

Pick Me Up
  1. Thu Apr 24 – Mon May 5
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £10, concs £8, festival pass £17.50, ear...
More info

Return of the Rudeboy at Somerset House

Fashion

  • Critics' choice

Don your best mohair suit and thin ties, boys, because Rudeboy culture is due a big comeback this summer, thanks to this major Somerset House exhibition. Created and curated by photographer and filmmaker Dean Chalkley and creative director Harris Elliot,...

Return of the Rudeboy at Somerset House
  1. Fri Jun 13 – Mon Aug 25
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
More info

Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition 2014

Photography

Winning and shortlisted entries by photography professionals, amateurs, students and members of the public in the fields of fashion, travel, wildlife, landscape, portraiture and current affairs.

Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition 2014
  1. Thu May 1 – Sun May 18
  2. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  3. £7.50, concs £5
More info

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
4 people listening
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.