Our round-up of new and upcoming exhibitions in London will help keep you updated with the dizzying array of displays in London. If planning ahead isn't your thing, we've also brought together the top ten museum exhibitions in London and free exhibitions going on the capital, so you'll morph into a culture vulture before you even know it.
RECOMMENDED: our full guide to exhibitions in London
Drawings of London during the Blitz by Graham Sutherland join work by artists Bill Brandt, John Piper and David Bomberg for this view on the biggest disaster the city had seen since the Great Fire.
From the salons of the Georgian period to the current residence of Kate and Wills, there’s always been a dash of excitement and style about Kensington Palace, setting it apart from the pomp and ceremony of the other palaces. Victoria lived here in her days as the 19th century’s ultimate It Girl, Princess Margaret called it home when she was out and about being the Coolest Royal in Town. And, of course, Diana, Princess of Wales lived here. Following on from two excellent fashion-focused exhibitions in the past five years which have explored the royal household’s collaboration with the world’s most wanted designers and how they have expressed themselves and the personalities of princesses and The Queen whilst remaining dutiful to protocol, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ is set to be every bit as authoritative and exciting for any visitor with an eye for serious style. Located in the palace’s Pigott Galleries, the exhibition (included in the main palace admission price) is a chance to get close to some of her most celebrated outfits – including THAT slinky black number she was wearing when she danced with John Travolta at the White House – and take a peek at the sketches made by her favourite designers, when outfits that would be make front page news were still being evolved. To tie in with the exhibition, the Palace garden will have a specially planted floral feature inspired by Di’s life, image and style – elegant tulips and scented narcisii through a carpet of 'forget me not
Meet a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-foot tentacles and a huge house fly with a vacuum cleaner mouth at the Horniman Museum’s Zoo for larger-than-life robot animals made from familiar machines and gadgets. Through interactive games and challenges the robot creation will reveal how real animal anatomy works. Book tickets here.
This exhibition explores St Paul's Cathedral before, during and after The Great Fire of London. The blaze which consumed the London landmark 350 years ago was rebuilt to designs made by Christopher Wren after the flames tore through it. Here you can discover objects that survived the fire, follow a family trail or join a tour and find out how the heat make the cathedral's stones explode like grenades.
Amazing curator Carey Newsom persuaded 26 teenagers to let a photographer document their bedrooms: now you're invited in to see the results at this exhibition on the museum's concourse. Like homes inside of homes, each room reflects the person who created it, as well as commenting on how how teenagers handle the new privacy created by social media, smartphone tech - and the surprising resurgence of letters and vinyl.
A showcase of board games that'll be sure to have you reminiscing about rainy days spent competing with your siblings. Over 100 objects will be on display featuring games from across the globe and some of the most iconic examples from the V&A's collection. Favourites such as Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly will also be included and a number of hands-on activiities will give visitors the chance to become part of the gaming action.
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.
Lockwood Kipling – father of poet Rudyard – was one of those quintessentially Victorian jack-of-all-trades. An artist, designer, sculptor, teacher, curator and champion of the Arts and Crafts movement, he is largely responsible for the V&A's glittering collection of Indian cultural artefacts. This show will look at his remarkable legacy.
One of several shows programmed to coincide with the centennary of Russia's Bolshevik revolution, this exhibition will gather a wealth of art, architectural blueprints and propaganda to present a kind of utopian Moscow that never was. Expect a fascinating insight into the biggest political project of the twentieth century.
Amy Winehouse cooking chicken soup? This incongruous image of the famously bohemian singer is conjured up by a Claudia Roden Jewish cookery book. An inscription inside the front cover reads: ‘In case of loss of faith, turn to page 75.’ It is signed by Winehouse’s brother Alex. And on page 75 is a recipe for faith-affirming Jewish chicken soup. The book is one of many poignant exhibits in a show opening on July 3 at the Jewish Museum in Camden. Co-curated by Amy’s brother and sister-in-law, it’s an examination of her Jewish family origins which feels quite unique: in the past Winehouse’s life has been raked over in (often intrusive) detail, but surprisingly little has been written about her Jewish background. Initially, the family approached the museum to suggest loaning one of the singer’s dresses to tie in with the second anniversary of her death in July this year and her thirtieth birthday in September. ‘Her roots are Jewish (through her parents Mitch and Janice) and Camden was home for so much of her life,’ says curator Liz Selby. ‘The more we talked, the more it became about her roots.’ The exhibition that grew out of that dialogue is narrated through the eyes of Alex, 34, who provides a series of candid and affectionate captions recalling an upbringing that wasn’t particularly religious but was suffused with traditions that most British Jews would recognise. Winehouse grew up celebrating the Friday night Shabbat meal with her family, and regularly visited the family b
This exhibition casts an eye at rapid growth of Japanese design following the Second World War. Architectural plans, cinema, art and photography will tell the story of how widespread destruction brought an urgent need for new and radical approaches to houses.
Fifty years since their first single, Arnold Layne, the V&A is hosting a retrospective of those psychedelic pioneers, the Floyd. Set and construction pieces from The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall join instruments, designs, lyrics and prints - and, yes, a laser show. Wish You Were Here?
An exhibition about industrially produced sheet wood might not exactly sound enthralling. But never underestimate the V&A's ability to take the most humdrum of subjects and bring it to life. This exhibition will cast a look at plywood's revolutionary use within furniture, aircraft and architecture, and the role it currently plays in digital design.
California: is there any other place in the world as synonymous with hedonistic glamour and effortless cool? But what often gets overlooked among the praises heaped on the Golden State is its rich design history. This show should put paid to that, looking at 50 years of innovation – from LSD in the countercultural '60s to the tech revolution of Silicone Valley.
Cristóbal Balenciaga all but reinvented haute couture in the 1950s, and has earned a place among the giants of twentieth-century fashion. This exhibition, marking the hundredth anniversary of the opening of his San Sebastian fashion house, will chart the Spanish designer's rise through garments, hats, drawings, photographs and film.
Original concept art and models from Godzilla, Stargate and Dark City, original manuscripts by Jules Verne, new commissions and music, film and contemporary art come together in this huge summer exhibition capturing sci-fi as we know it. Objects from beloved films, including pieces from the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, tell the story of how the genre went mainstream, and how the sci-fi imagination has changed for the 21st century.
Check out our favourite museum shows
Get ready culture vultures: some of London's best museums are showcasing an abundance of cracking exhibitions on now and throughout the year's events calendar. Whatever the day, week or season, there's always an exciting show to delve into, on subjects as varied as history, fashion, art and the natural world.