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Top ten museum exhibitions in London

Check out our pick of the city's best cultural offerings at the top ten museum exhibitions in London

Natural History Museum
Get ready culture vultures: some of London's best museums are showcasing an abundance of cracking exhibitions on now and throughout the year's events calendar. Whatever the day, week or season, there's always an exciting show to delve into, on subjects as varied as history, fashion, art and the natural world. Check out our guide to free museums in London if you fancy seeing more of the capital's culture on a shoestring.  
RECOMMENDED: our full guide to exhibitions in London

The best museum exhibitions in London


Hair by Sam McKnight

It’s a well-known trick that if you get a facelift and you want it to remain a secret, you should get a haircut at the same time because then everyone will attribute your fresh face to your new ’do – such is the transformative power of hair. 

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Somerset House , Temple Until Sunday March 12 2017

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear

The V&A is a victim of its own success. Ever since the Alexander McQueen exhibition ‘Savage Beauty’, with its drama, tragedy and preposterous gorgeousness, the bar for their fashion exhibitions has been set impossibly high. While this is not another ‘Savage Beauty’, it is a thoughtful and interesting show. ‘Undressed’ tells the story of undies from the eighteenth century to more recent times. It reveals the ingenuity of underwear, from the missing bones at the back of crinolines which allowed women to sit, to corsets designed for horseriding – forerunners to the sports bra. 

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V&A , Brompton Until Sunday March 12 2017

Flaming June: The Making Of An Icon

No one liked Victorian art in the 1960s, when Sir Frederic Leighton’s masterpiece ‘Flaming June’ couldn’t reach its ultra-low estimate at auction. No one cared about it except for Puerto Rican industrialist Luis Ferré, who spotted it in a Mayfair gallery and snapped it up for just £2,000. 

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Leighton House Museum , Kensington Wednesday December 7 2016 - Sunday April 2 2017

Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies

Like many of you, I’ve long wanted to see the Santa hat Jake Gyllenhaal wore on his knob in ‘Jarhead’ up close. So it’s a tribute to the scope of this not-massive show on the history of war in cinema that it gives you the chance to do just that. In 1916, cameramen were allowed to record the build-up and action of the Battle of the Somme. The resulting film was part documentary, part propaganda. 

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Imperial War Museum , Kennington Until Sunday January 8 2017

Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Once again you can expect to see remarkable feats of astrophotography at the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition. It’s a chance to see magical views of both our own night sky and of galaxies far, far away. The winning spacey visions come from dozens of professional and amateur snappers in various categories including ‘Planets, Comets and Asteroids’, ‘Stars and Nebulae’, ‘Galaxies’ and ‘Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year’ for under-16s.

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Royal Observatory , Greenwich Until Friday December 23 2016

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined

Pink, heavy with embellishment, ruffled with an excess of fabric… This description fits both the beautiful denim and sweatshirt ensemble by Dutch design demigods Viktor & Rolf, and the dress that Katie Price wore to marry Peter Andre. So what makes one an accomplished piece of couture and the other a hand-wringing frocky horrorshow? The Barbican’s latest exhibition discusses just that in a dazzling show about taste and vulgarity in fashion. 

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Until Sunday February 5 2017

You Say You Want a Revolution: Records & Rebels 1966-70

Head back to the psychedelic 1960s and submerse yourself in the fashion, music, film, design and political activism that helped shaped contemporary life. The exhibition centres on the musicians that issued forth from the era as well as great performances gifted to the world by the likes of The Who, Sam Cooke and Jimi Hendrix.

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V&A , Brompton Until Sunday February 26 2017


Most Londoners spend more time commuting than they do taking lunch breaks, so it’s no wonder we’re all so obsessed with Transport for London, its systems, its history, its future and the many designs that have become London’s own heraldry. The London Transport Museum celebrates these things all year round, but ‘Designology’ is travel fandom in overdrive. 

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London Transport Museum , Covent Garden Until Sunday April 23 2017

Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery

Expect to see dazzling examples of luxury embroideries from the 12th to the 15th centuries at this exhibition highlighting the top-notch craftsmanship and artistic production of the time. Embroideries from the V&A's own collection, paintings, manuscripts, metalwork and sculpture will all be on show.

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V&A , Brompton Until Sunday February 5 2017

Find the best bits of London museums

The seven wonders of…

The capital is packed with top London attractions and museums, but once you've decided which cultural hotspot to explore, where do you start? 

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By: Time Out London Things To Do


Surat K
Surat K

Go and See the first exhibition on trans and gender nonconforming people of faith in the UK - now open at Islington Museum for LGBT History Month - stunning portrait photography by Christa Holka!  'After-dark event with audio installation tomorrow Thu 11/02  more info www.twilightpeople,com


I must be missing something - i only see 9! And i don't see the Bowie at the V&A and that simply MUST be on there!


And the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition opening on Monday is'nt even mentioned !


yes and what can i do TODAY please!