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.


© Wellcome Images

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. Until Sun Oct 12
More info


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. Until Sun Nov 2
More info

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. Until Sun Nov 30
More info

Courtesy Roberto Capucci Foundation, Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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
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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. Until Tue Aug 19
More info

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. Until Mon Aug 25
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Wedding dresses 1775-2014

  • Critics choice

Take a look at two centuries of meringue design, at the V&A's crowd-pleasing Spring exhibition of wedding dresses. The star exhibits are likely to be the celebrity gowns - punky Gwen Stefani's pink dip-dye Dior number is shown for the first time, and it's a whopper. Some of the most exquisite workmanship comes from the older pieces though - a perfectly preserved brocade gown from 1780 is stitched from Spitalfields silk.

  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Until Sun Mar 15
More info
Illustration by Velizar Simeonovski

Illustration by Velizar Simeonovski

Mammoths: Ice Age Giants

Come face to face with some of the largest mammals to have walked the Earth. Huge fossils, skeletons and life-sized models will tower over you in a mighty clash of tusks and trunks. Meet the infamous woolly mammoth, the spiral-tusked Columbian mammoth and the dwarf mammoth. Explore the behaviour, environment and evolution of prehistoric creatures such as the fearsome sabre-tooth cat and the giant cave bear. Imagine life as a mammoth by feeling the huge weight of food they would have consumed every day and trying tusk jousting.

  1. Natural History Museum Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD
  2. Until Sun Sep 7
More info
The Jaguar XKR on location in Iceland.

The Jaguar XKR on location in Iceland.

Bond In Motion at the London Film Museum

Petrol heads start your engines. Following its success at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum last year, Bond In Motion, an exhibition of swanky vehicles from James Bond Films, is coming to the London Film Museum. On display will be cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds and jets including the Rolls-Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger, 1964, the Aston Martin DB5 from GoldenEye, 1995 and 'Wet Nellie' the underwater Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977.

  1. London Film Museum Exhibition Space 45 Wellington St, WC2E 7BN
  2. Until Wed Dec 31
More info

© Natural History Museum

Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story

Few explorations of Britain's history stretch back past the Romans' arrival some 2,000 years ago, but the Natural History Museum's first major show for 2014 goes a fair bit further – a million years further, to be (more or less) exact. Discover pre-historic Britain through an impressive series of archaeological finds including the earliest known Neanderthal in Britain, the oldest wooden spear in the world and more.

  1. Natural History Museum Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD
  2. Thu Feb 13 2014 - Sun Sep 28 2014
More info

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Users say


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!