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Exhibitions in London

Our guide to the best free, new and critically-acclaimed exhibitions in London

Got a free hour to spare? Soak up some culture at one of London's many exhibitions. 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 in on our city's cultural core.

The very best exhibitions in London

Museums

Top ten museum exhibitions

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Art

Top ten art exhibitions

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Art

Top 10 photography exhibitions

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Things to do

Free exhibitions in London

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New exhibitions in London

Things to do

Above and Beyond

Experience the marvellous world of flight and aerospace innovation at 'Above and Beyond', an immersive exhibition offering a look at the past and future of the science behind flight. Expect interactive experiences using flight simulation, augmented reality and virtual reality.

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Art

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds

Despite ancient texts being full of references to them, the Egyptian cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion remained a lost mystery for years. It wasn’t until the 1990s that an archaeological team discovered their remains – not on dry land, but a few miles off the coast, beneath the Mediterranean. This spectacular show is the first time these pieces from the drowned cities have been seen in the UK.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Things to do

The BFG in Pictures

Quentin Blake has curated this exhibition of 40 original artworks that he prepared for 'The BFG'. Some of the illustrations have never been exhibited in public before, and give an unusual glimpse of what the Big Friendly Giant could have been.

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Things to do

Designology

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. 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Find more new exhibitions in London

Free exhibitions in London

Art

Light, Time, Legacy: Francis Towne’s Watercolours of Rome

I love this show, though maybe not for the reasons the curators expect. In 1780, Francis Towne (1739-1816) took a trip to Rome in search of pictorial scenes. He was an established painter, albeit a provincial one. Rome opened his eyes: he painted it conscientiously and – at times – spiritedly. His compositions grew bolder and more stylised. 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Things to do

Clangers, Bagpuss & Co

Hopefully you were first introduced to the wonderfully weird worlds of Smallfilms, the production company of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firman, at an early enough age that this small but beautifully put together exhibition will be like a magician revealing his secrets. See the paper pieces that became Noggin the Nog, find out which '60s model was the fashion inspiration for the Clangers, learn how Bagpuss ended up pink and make your very own stop-frame animation starring Ivor the Engine. With lots of beautiful artefacts to admire – including Bagpuss himself – you'll feel even more fond of the shows than you were to start with.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Things to do

Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre in London and New York

This glam little exhibition makes the V&A's permanent 'Theatre and Performance' collection look positively drab with its flashing lights, sequins and showstoppers. It's a collection of posters, costumes, artefacts and recordings that represent the biggest shows in West End and Broadway history. It celebrates 40 years of the Olivier awards, and you won't forget it – most of the exhibit label space is taken up with listing exactly who won which gong and when. The collection is impressive and varied, though; a note from Sir Ian McKellen to his 'Amadeus' understudy from 1980, the mask Michael Crawford wore in the original production of 'The Phantom of the Opera', a model of the magnificent set from the current West End production of 'Matilda'. Its 'immersive' elements are stretching the definition, though a primary school trip was certainly enjoying the sound board that blasts out one of the most annoying songs from 'Hairspray', and it's hard not to shuffle yourself into step in the mirrored corridor celebrating the sparkly finale of 'A Chorus Line'. If jazz hands make you shudder then this tribute to all things stagey won't convert you, but luvvies will simply love it.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Things to do

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.

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Comments

9 comments
Evelyn H
Evelyn H

@Evelyn H 


You are very welkome to visit my first expo in Londen.

Hilton Hotel on Park lane. Executive room.

16 februari-15 march

Evelyn Hamilton

www.hamilton-art.nl

Shahib A
Shahib A

My Boss is going to WTM 2014 his name is Mr Abbas Ali Zaidi from Indian travel market


Thanks



007
007

amazing

Nina B
Nina B

Many of your exhibitions are closed. Your website is clearly not regularly updated.