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New exhibitions in London

Get your dose of culture at one of these new and upcoming museum exhibitions in London

© Emma Rios

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

This month

Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories

Part of the BM's 'Queer Histories' season – and tying into the fiftieth anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, this display takes a look at queer experiences throughout history – from the Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous to Japanese drag queens.

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British Museum , Bloomsbury Until Sunday October 15 2017

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains

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?

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V&A , Brompton Until Sunday October 1 2017


An exhibition that aims to highlight the environmental issues that the rivers and waterways of South Asia face right now and in the years to come ('pani' being the widely-used word for water). Artist Daksha Patel will be showing a number of colourful maps and terracotta ceramics to explore the relationships between the region's people and their water.

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Horniman Museum , Forest Hill Until Sunday November 26 2017


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.

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Design Museum , Kensington Until Sunday October 15 2017

The World of Anna Sui

An overview of the acclaimed American fashion designer, who shot to fame in the early '90s and has been captivating us all ever since. Over 100 items from Sui's archive will go on display, exploring her evolving designs, which touch upon punk, rock 'n' roll and surfer cool styles.

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Fashion and Textile Museum , London Bridge Until Sunday October 1 2017

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

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. 

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V&A , Brompton Until Sunday February 18 2018

Further ahead

Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction

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. 

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Friday June 2 2017 - Friday September 1 2017

Be Magnificent: Walthamstow School of Art 1957-1967

It's one of the lesser-known British art schools, but Walthomstow School of Art still turned out some notable alumni, including painter Peter Blake, musician Ian Dury, fashion designer Celia Birtwell and visionary filmmaker Peter Greenaway. This exhibition will take an affectionate look at a particularly rich period in the (now closed) institution's history.  

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William Morris Gallery , Walthamstow Friday June 9 2017 - Sunday September 10 2017

A Museum of Modern Nature

In their latest exhibition, the Wellcome is keen to remind us that nature isn't just a thing that David Attenborough goes on about on the telly: it's part of our immediate, day-to-day lives. And yes, that includes city folk. This show amasses a collection of objects donated by members of the public that, in some form or other, reflect our complex relationship with the natural world.

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Wellcome Collection , Bloomsbury Thursday June 22 2017 - Sunday October 8 2017

Hella Jongerius: Breathing Colour

Dutch designer Jongerius will be created an installation-based exhibition that builds on years of her company's research into how we see, encounter and process colour.

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Design Museum , Kensington Wednesday June 28 2017 - Sunday September 24 2017

Death in the Ice: The Shocking Story of Franklin's Final Expedition

We all know about Captain Scott and his ill-fated expedition into the Antarctic. But who remembers John Franklin and the voyage into the North-West Passage of the Arctic? Both ships he took there went missing, and in the following years, dark stories of scurvy and cannibalism arrived in Britain. This exhibition delves into what really happened to Franklin and his crew in the freezing Arctic wastes.

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National Maritime Museum , Greenwich Friday July 14 2017 - Sunday January 7 2018


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.

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V&A , Brompton Saturday July 15 2017 - Sunday November 12 2017

Treasures of the Scythians

Quick history lesson: Scythia was a region in antiquity that covered what is present-day Ukraine, southern Russia and Kazakhstan. It was home to a great nomadic civilisation that produced a great number of quite astounding artefacts, which have been amassed for this exhibition: rugs, furs, horse headgear and gold items. It promises to be a dazzling insight into two one of the lesser-known chapters of history.

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British Museum , Bloomsbury Thursday September 14 2017 - Sunday January 14 2018

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

This exhibition will take a sweeping look at the history of opera, from its roots in Renaissance Italy to its present-day form. Conceptually arranged around seven different operatic premieres as case studies, works like Mozart's 'Le Nozze di Figaro', Handel's 'Rinaldo' and Wagner's 'Tannhäuser' will be explored in detail. One for fans and the unconverted alike.

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V&A , Brompton Saturday September 30 2017 - Sunday February 25 2018

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

Those who remember reading 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' when it was first published may well be aghast to discover that was a whopping 20 years ago – yes, the global phenomenon that is the Boy Who Lived is officially two decades old. The British Library are pulling out all the stops on this celebratory exhibition, modelling each room around a Hogwarts subject. Just don't fall asleep in the Divination room.

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British Library , Euston Friday October 20 2017 - Wednesday February 28 2018
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Check out our favourite museum shows

Top ten museum exhibitions in London

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. 

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By: Time Out London Things To Do


Lisa Hassell
Lisa Hassell

Inkygoodness presents Beermat Characters at The Coningsby Gallery, 29th April - 4th May Beermat Characters is the latest project by Inkygoodness, inviting illustrators, artists & character designers to transform a beer mat (coaster) into a character. Showcasing the talents of over 80 artists & illustrators tasked with the challenge to transform a simple beermat into a character, our latest project will launch on Tue 30th April 2013 at the Coningsby Gallery in central London, with music, plenty of drinks on offer and a great atmosphere guaranteed! Expect a diverse selection of artworks from handmade to digital, felt plush, paper-cut outs, inked & painted, 3D sculptures & much much more! http://inkygoodness.com/blog/inkygoodness-beermat-characters/