12 Love It
Save it

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 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

Top ten museum exhibitions
Museums

Top ten museum exhibitions

Read more
Top ten art exhibitions
Art

Top ten art exhibitions

Read more
Top ten photography exhibitions
Art

Top ten photography exhibitions

Read more
Free exhibitions in London
Things to do

Free exhibitions in London

Read more

New exhibitions in London

Colour and Vision
Things to do

Colour and Vision

If ever a show was made for Instagram, this is it. The Natural History Museum’s exploration of colour, vision and their roles in the natural world is chock full of beauty. Stuffed hummingbirds glimmer like opals. A case holds dozens of cinnabar moths, scarlet wings spread wide. Even the jars of bisected animal eyes have a gruesome aesthetic appeal. 

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Read more
Jukebox, Jewkbox! A Century on Shellac and Vinyl
Things to do

Jukebox, Jewkbox! A Century on Shellac and Vinyl

Go on a magical musical tour through the history of records at this beautifully designed and satisfyingly informative exhibition on the top floor of Camden’s Jewish Museum. You’ll be greeted by a row of antique gramophones and the story of how music came to be widely played on vinyl, told with a focus on contributions from Jewish inventors and businessmen. 

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Read more
Fire! Fire!
Things to do

Fire! Fire!

On September 2, 350 years ago, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary about ‘an infinite great fire’ raging in London. Homes burned, people scrambled to save their goods and pigeons ‘hovered about the windows and balconies till they some of them burned their wings’. 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Read more
The BFG in Pictures
Things to do

The BFG in Pictures

Unlike the Big Friendly Giant’s ears, this exhibition of original drawings – some on display for the first time – is pretty tiny, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in charm. Quentin Blake himself has provided text for the labels (he is the gallery’s founder, after all), meaning they’re extra loveable and a little fact-light, but the joy here is being able to almost press your nose up to the beautiful illustrations that are so familiar.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Find more new exhibitions in London

Free exhibitions in London

Jorge Otero-Pailos: The Ethics of Dust
Art

Jorge Otero-Pailos: The Ethics of Dust

Seriously, ‘The Ethics of Dust’ is a terrible name for a work of art. Yes, it’s taken from something written by John Ruskin, but out of context it sounds like a philosophical treatise by Kim and Aggie (‘How morally clean is your house?’). Fortunately, Spanish preservationist and artist Jorge Otero-Pailos makes better art than his titles suggest. And for this latest Artangel commission, he’s filled Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament with one of the best sculptures you’ll see this summer. The idea is simple: in the process of cleaning this Unesco world heritage site’s walls, the artist covered them in latex and peeled it off to trap centuries of pollution, dust and dirt. The result is two huge sheets hanging from the rafters in the 900-year-old hall. And it’s absolutely stunning. Stark and minimal, but literally full of history. In all this dust and muck you’ll find centuries of political wrangling, hundreds of years of decisions that have shaped the fate of Great Britain. It’s like he’s peeled layers of skin of the walls and hung them from the ceiling. Disraeli’s dandruff, Cromwell’s skin flakes, John Major’s ancient, coughed-up saliva – it’s all probably here, glued into these giant latex curtains.   The work has to fight against the grandeur of this ancient space, the flocks of jabbering school kids and the occasional panicked MP rushing by. It survives – thrives, even – because of its beautiful simplicity.   Hanging there, glowing, it looks like some ancient

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Read more
Beatrix Potter's London
Things to do

Beatrix Potter's London

2016 marks the 150th anniversary of celebrated children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, who was a frequent visitor to the museum where she would often sit and sketch. This exhibition celebrates the date with artworks, original sketches and her earliest published works on show.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Raqib Shaw: Self Portrait
Art

Raqib Shaw: Self Portrait

Absolutely ludicrous. That’s what Raqib Shaw’s art is. And it’s hard to express just how ludicrous it all is, really. His paintings are big, Renaissance-inspired maelstroms of death, gold, hybrid animals, gaping fanged vaginas and screaming skeletons. He’s the art world’s own Liberace, a Kashmir-born Brit with the most ridiculous taste on earth.  Basically, imagine all your favourite Renaissance paintings in the National Gallery with the crazy dialled up to 11. Shaw is obviously a lover and a student of the Old Masters, and he uses their tropes for his own purposes: the extreme perspective, the dramatic classical composition, the clothing, the colours.  There’s a real mish-mash of things going on here: you’ll spot Kashmiri architecture, Peckham street scenes, bottles of champagne, mythical animals and Japanese clothing. These works are reflections of the artist – moments from his past, the places he’s lived, ruminations on death, all that shit. They’re hectic visions of his life, imagined and real, frozen beautifully and luxuriously on canvas.  Next door there are three hyper-sexualised, twisting bronze sculptures of centaurs and bat-headed dudes with tooth-y minges. They’re just as good as the paintings, only less colourful. These are grotesque, gaudy and, yes, ludicrous works, but they’re lovingly made, fun, honest, and really pretty great.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Clangers, Bagpuss & Co
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
Read more
See more free things to do in London

Discover more of London's culture

Unmissable London attractions
Attractions

Unmissable London attractions

Where to start your city sightseeing checklist?

Read more
14 weird but wonderful London museums
Things to do

14 weird but wonderful London museums

Beautiful buildings and extraordinary exhibits

Read more

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.