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Six museum exhibitions not to miss this autumn

As the weather gets colder, the museum world heats up. Here are the best shows to look forward to, as picked by the Time Out Art team

Detail of Peanuts 06.07.1968 © Peanuts
By Eddy Frankel and Rosemary Waugh |

There was probably a time in your life when the start of September meant a shiny new protractor and a plasticky pencil sharpener. Those days might be a distant memory, but there's still no excuse not to see autumn as a chance to feed the hungry grey cells of the brain. As Summer finishes, London's museums launch exhibitions on every subject from history (Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms at the British Library) to geography (Living with Buildings at the Wellcome Collection) to graphic design (Videogames at V&A).  

Check out our guide to the museum exhibitions that'll remind you learning new stuff's not just for kids

Granite sphinx of Taharqo, Kawa, Sudan, c. 680 BC © The Trustees of the British Museum

I Am Ashurbanipal at British Museum

The rule of King Ashurbanipal (668–c. 631 BC) of the Assyrian Empire made him one of the most powerful men ever known. But history hasn’t quite granted him the recognition he deserves. The British Museum’s major autumn show seeks to remedy this, reconstructing Ashurbanipal’s world through an extensive display of Assyrian artefacts, demonstrating the rich history and culture of this ancient empire.
Nov 8-Feb 24 2019, £17, £14 concs.

Detail of Peanuts 06.07.1968 © Peanuts

Good Grief, Charlie Brown! at Somerset House

The fantastic comic strip talents of Charles M Schulz have warmed cockles since way back in 1950. His work is rightfully celebrated in this exhibition showing not just the cartoonist’s own creations, but those of many artists inspired by his kooky drawings, including street artist Kaws and David Musgrave. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day with Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Peppermint Patty? You’d be pea-nuts not to.
Oct 25-Mar 3 2019. £14, £11 concs.

Game screenshot, 'how do you Do it', (2014). Freeman, Butler, Kittaka, Coss

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt at V&A

If you think video games are just for lonely, sweaty nerds in dark bedrooms surrounded by empty packets of Quavers, this show may come as a surprise. Because, since the mid-2000s, video games have become one of the leading cultural forces in modern society, a proper mainstream powerhouse and this whole exhibition is about the exceptional artwork and animation, player communities and political conversations that define this era of gaming.
Sep 18-Feb 24 2019. £18, £12 concs.

Cnut Gospels © British Library Board

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms at British Library

Discover the history, art, literature and culture of Anglo-Saxon England in this exhibition that makes the most of the Brit Lib’s collection of stunning historical manuscripts. Treasures include the almost very offensive-sounding Cnut Gospels and some gorgeous objects from the Staffordshire Hoard, which is also just one letter away from sounding rude.
Oct 19-Feb 19 2019. £16, £8 concs.


Tony Ray Jones, Pepys Estate, Deptford, London: children playing on a raised walkway (1970). © Tony Ray-Jones / RIBA Collections

Living with Buildings at Wellcome Collection

From rubbing shoulders, knees and toes with all the other squashed-in Victorian slum dwellers, to negotiating brutalist concrete high-rises, Londoners have more experience than most of how different buildings shape daily life. The Wellcome Collection’s new exhibition looks at our complicated relationship with the urban environment and its structures. Will there be a whole section on how our parents ruined the economy and now none of us can afford to buy somewhere decent to live? Let’s hope so.
Oct 4-Mar 3 2019. Free.

Michele Morgan photographed by Ernest Bachrach, crica 1939. Image courtesy of the Terence Pepper Collection.

Night and Day: 1930s Fashion Photographs at Fashion and Textile Museum

Fashion-wise, the ’30s are a bit of a forgotten decade, but it was actually a time of beautiful and innovative design – one that anticipated the joyous femininity of Dior’s New Look in the 1950s. Foxtrot your way down to this show to be reminded just how lovely the era between the roaring ’20s and wartime austerity was. For fashion, obviously. Less so for politics, eh? 
Oct 12-Jan 20 2019. £9.90, £8.80 concs.

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