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.


© Oriana Eliçabe/

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

© 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. Tue Aug 19 - Thu Sep 25
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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

© 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. Tue Aug 19 - Sun Oct 12
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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. Tue Aug 19 - Sun Nov 30
More info

© 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. Until Sun Nov 9
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. Tue Aug 19 - Mon Aug 25
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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. Tue Aug 19 - Sun Nov 2
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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. Tue Aug 19 - Sun Sep 7
More info

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. Tue Aug 19 - Sun Mar 15
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!