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V&A exterior
© Peter Kelleher

10 museum exhibitions we can’t wait to see in 2017

London's museums will be showcasing some fantastic shows during 2017. Here's our pick of the best exhibitions coming to the city

By Matt Breen

Not only do London’s museums hold some of the world’s most dazzling collections, but in recent years they’ve seriously upped their game when it comes to temporary exhibitions. And 2017 is no exception. Nerdy types can learn about robots at the Science Museum and get stuck into sci-fi at the Barbican, while history buffs have Soviet-era Russia to explore at the Design Museum. And music fans should look no further than the V&A, whose Pink Floyd exhibition is set to have the crowds queuing round the block throughout the summer. 

RECOMMENDED: The best art shows coming up in 2017

10 of the best museum exhibitions in 2017

© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

1. Robots

Things to do Exhibitions

A show about our robotic friends – specifically those of the human-looking variety. Yes, expect a few famous faces from science fiction, but real-life examples, like a sixteenth-century mechanical monk, look twice as fascinating.

2. Electricity: The Spark of Life

Things to do Exhibitions

Thought we invented history? Wrong. Electricity invented us. It brought life to the earth, and in turn has been harnessed by humankind. This being the Wellcome Collection, expect a few gruesome exhibits, like an electric chair. 

A march of 2,000 anti-conscription protesters in London, 5 November 1939. © IWM.

4. People Power: Fighting for Peace

Things to do Exhibitions

Get out of your Facebook bubble and lose yourself in a century of protest: banners, posters, documents and archival stories will chart its history from World War One to the present day.

Courtesy of The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller , Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio

6. California

Museums Art and design

The Golden State might not be exactly famous for its design, but this exhibition of surfboard designs, Silicone Valley innovations and, er, LSD should put paid to that. Far out, man!

Image courtesy of the Roger Grant Archive

7. Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction

Things to do Exhibitions

Sci-fi might be enjoying mainstream success right now, but it also has a vast and rich history. With everything from Godzilla concept art to Ray Harryhausen models on display, this promises to be every fanboy’s wet dream.  

'Ballet Scene from Meyerbeer's "Opera Roberto il Diavolo"', Edgar Degas.

8. Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

Things to do Exhibitions

One for aficionados and the unconverted alike, this sweeping overview of the much-misunderstood art form will track its Renaissance roots through to contemporary productions.  

Silk taffeta evening dress, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1954. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

9. Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

Things to do Exhibitions

The year’s Most Stylish Show Award will surely go to this celebration of the iconic Spanish couturier, charting the rise of his fashion house through garments, hats, drawings, photographs and film.

10. Treasures of the Scythians

Things to do Exhibitions

Leaving the Egyptians alone for once, the BM delves into one of history’s lesser known chapters, unearthing furs and golden artefacts from a civilisation that once dominated vast swathes of present-day Russia and Central Asia.  


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