Got a free hour to spare? Soak up some culture at one of the many great exhibitions in London. Whether you want to see paintings, photography, fossils or washing powder packaging through the ages, there's an exhibition to suit your mood. We've also put together a comprehensive guide to the seven wonders of London's museums and attractions, to help you really zone into our city's cultural core.
The very best exhibitions in London
New exhibitions in London
East End: The Place We Call Home
Gateway Housing Association celebrate 90 years working within the East End and securing homes for lower income households with this exhibition documenting local residents. Images of well known figures sit alongside photographs of unsung heroes, shedding light on the daily grind of life in east London throughout the decades.
Bedlam: The Asylum
Asylums are, thank God, a thing of the past in the UK. But did 'Bedlam' - the nickname for south London's Royal Bethlem Hospital for the mentally ill - do its patients any good? A new exhibition at the Wellcome looks at the tensions between biomedical and psychosocial therapy for mental illness, the imperative to protect patients, and how integration benefits patients and the public.
Free exhibitions in London
Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design
This exhibition charts the career of Ove Arup (1895-1988), an incredibly influential engineer of the 20th century whose projects include the Sydney Opera House and Penguin Pool at the London Zoo. Large scale prototypes, building components, digital animations, models and previously unseen archive material shed light on Arup's design philosophy, his ideas surrounding collaborative working and the use of architecture and design as tools for shaping social responsibility. The display coincides with the V&A's 2016 Engineering Season.
The feminist activist group looks at the Whitechapel Gallery’s history of exhibiting female artists including Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Sarah Lucas and Bridget Riley for this Archive display. Founded in 1985 by an anonymous group of artists to expose the inequality of the male dominated art world, culture in general and politics, the Guerrilla Girls will don their gorilla masks and scan their critical eye over this east London institution. Will we like what they find?