Top 10 museum exhibitions in London

Check out our pick of the city's top cultural offerings for 2014

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Get your 2014 diary at the ready: London's top museums are set to showcase an abundance of cracking exhibitions throughout the year. Over the next 12 months, discover the secrets of Sherlock Holmes, marvel at the weird and wonderful Designs of the Year, and see the style and sparkle of Italian fashion through the decades.

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The Italian stylist Valentino posing among his models nearby Trevi Fountain. Rome, July 1967 | Photo Credit: [ The Art Archive / Mondadori Portfolio / Marisa Rastellini  ]

The Italian stylist Valentino posing among his models nearby Trevi Fountain. Rome, July 1967 | Photo Credit: [ The Art Archive / Mondadori Portfolio / Marisa Rastellini ] Mondadori Portfolio

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014

A major exhibtion that takes a detailed look at the history of Italian fashion. The collection of mens and womensware begins with ensembles from the end of WWII and ends at present-day trends, encompassing couture fashion, ready-to-wear items and accessories. The display features contributions from Dolce and Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Missoni, Prada, Valentino and Versace, as well as forgotten designers, the Fontana Sisters and Simonetta. There will also be film clips and fashion photography.

  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Sat Apr 5 2014 - Sun Jul 27 2014
More info
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© Oriana Eliçabe/Enmedio.info

Disobedient Objects

  • Free

This exhbition displays a selection of objects from the 1980s to present that detail the history of protest and the role these objects played in making change happen. Including woven barriers, political videogames, an inflatable general assembly (a creation by Greta Hansen that brings together and covers a public gathering, a bit like a marquee), experimental activist bicycles and much more.

  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Sat Jul 26 2014 - Sun Feb 1 2014
More info
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© Mark Neville

IWM Contemporary: Mark Neville

  • Free

As part of the launch of the Imperial War Museum's new First World War Galleries, this exhibition from British artist Mark Neville is a response to the war in Afghanistan. The work was commissioned by the IWM's Art Commissions Committee and arts association Firstsite Colchester in 2010, and the artist spent two months with an air assault brigade in Helmland Province to get a thorough insight into the impact of conflict. The photographs and films are a moving and direct portrayal of young British soldiers, and Afghan children growing up in the midst of the violence.

  1. Imperial War Museum Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ
  2. Fri Jul 25 - Thu Sep 25
More info
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Percy Wyndham Lewis, A Battery Shelled, 1919

Percy Wyndham Lewis, A Battery Shelled, 1919 digitised by Ted Dearberg (IWM)

Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Free

The war was just too big, confided William Kennington after he had completed his masterpiece ‘The Kensingtons at Laventie’ in 1915, one of the first things you’ll see in the ‘Memory’ section of this captivating two-part show. The authorities had hoped that Kennington would make more paintings to rival his pin-sharp, quietly devastating depiction of his unit – knackered, wounded, each soldier caught in a moment of reflection after their march back to billets from the trenches. But he couldn’t do it. The war was just too big.

  1. Imperial War Museum Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ
  2. Until Sun Mar 8
More info
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© Wellcome Library, London

An Idiosyncratic A to Z of the Human Condition

  • Free

When you've got the run of a collection of objects, artefacts, images and sculptures as eclectic as Henry Wellcome's, creating an alphabet of exhibits is as easy as A-B-C. But the Wellcome Collection have form in innovative exhibitions, and 'An Idiosyncratic A to Z of the Human Condition' presents a whole theme around every letter, often with a way for visitors to interact with the display.

  1. Wellcome Collection Euston Road, NW1 2BE
  2. Fri Jul 25 - Sun Oct 12
More info
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Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

The show features some of the biggest names in comics, including Alan Moore ('Watchmen'), Neil Gaiman ('Sandman'), Mark Millar ('Kick-Ass') and Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz). The British comics tradition stretches back to the Victorian era and beyond. The exhibition explores the full potential of the medium, presenting work that is challenging to the status quo, examining issues around gender, violence, sexuality, drug-taking and politics.

  1. British Library 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB
  2. Fri Jul 25 - Tue Aug 19
More info
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Ancient Lives: New Discoveries

This exhibition aims to unravel the mysteries of mummification. From a priest’s daughter to a temple doorkeeper, the interactive displays explore the identities of eight individuals, using their embalmed bodies to uncover clues about how they lived. By using new non-invasive procedures, such as CT scanning and 3D visualisation, the BM has built up a picture of life in the Nile Valley over 4,000 years.

  1. British Museum 44 Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG
  2. Fri Jul 25 - Sun Nov 30
More info
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© Joan Fontcuberta

Joan Fontcuberta: Stranger Than Fiction

The Science Museum’s Media Space, which launched last year, showcases work held in the National Photography Collection and aims to explore the connections between photography, science, art and technology. Barcelona-born Joan Fontcuberta’s ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ plays on the viewer’s trust in the authenticity of photography by presenting mischievously misleading evidence of extraordinary creatures, people and places. The conceptual artist’s convincingly documented ‘discoveries’ include mermaid fossils, winged monkeys, dolphin-surfing monks and never-before-seen constellations.

  1. Science Museum Exhibition Rd, SW7 2DD
  2. Fri Jul 25 - Sun Nov 9
More info
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Plumen 002 by Hulger

Useful + Beautiful

This exhibition of forward-thinking interior designers celebrates the Geffrye's centenary as a museum (and tricentenary as almshouses). Everything from furniture and textiles to funky lighting and humble wallpaper will be on display in the museum – as well as the best new garden furniture outside among the Geffrye's lovely flowerbeds. Leading international designers will be on show, but there will also be plenty of high-quality local design.

  1. Geffrye Museum Kingsland Rd, E2 8EA
  2. Fri Jul 25 - Mon Aug 25
More info
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Bridge

Following on from the Museum of London's superb Estuary exhibition, which looked at artists' responses to the outer edges of the Thames, Bridge explores how bridges influence our visual sense of the city and provide a source of inspiration for artists and photographers. The star exhibit in this show about the structures crossing the Thames is a shot by pioneering photographer William Fox Talbot, the oldest photograph in the museum's collection.

  1. Museum of London Docklands Hertsmere Rd, West India Quay, E14 4AL
  2. Fri Jul 25 - Sun Nov 2
More info

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Users say

4 comments
Lynn
Lynn

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!

David
David

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

ian
ian

yes and what can i do TODAY please!