New exhibitions in London

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

© Getty Quentin Martinez
Museums

Life in the Dark

icon-location-pin Brompton
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If you're missing 'Blue Planet', this exhibition offers another chance to see what goes on in the depths of the oceans. 'Life in the Dark' follows deep sea fish, as well as moles, moths and crocodiles to find out what they get up to in the shadows. Find out how foxes spend their nights on the prowl and discover the internal, nocturnal lives of original specimens. Find out more here. 

© Laboratory of Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz
Museums

IVF: 6 Million Babies Later

icon-location-pin Brompton
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On 25 July 1978, Louise Joy Brown was welcomed into the world. All births are miracles, but this one was extra special: Louise was the first baby to be born from IVF. London's Science Museum celebrates the 40th anniversary of this momentous occasion with a free exhibition looking at the decade of success and failure the scientists developing the treatment went through in their quest to revolutionise fertility. 

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© John Vernon Lord
Museums

John Vernon Lord: Illustrating Carroll and Joyce

icon-location-pin King's Cross
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Illustrations are often seen as playing second fiddle to actual 'art' (you know, the kind you get hanging on a wall instead of hidden between the covers of a book). But the intricately detailed and endlessly inventive creations of John Vernon Lord are just as beautiful as anything normally spotted in an art gallery. This exhibition at the House of Illustration in King's Cross shows the illustrator's work for five books including Finnegan’s Wake, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Ulysses.

Further ahead

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

Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs

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In 2017, the Fashion and Textile Museum hosted an exhibition titled '1920s Jazz Age: Fashion and Photographs'. It was such a hit they're now back with this, an exhibition looking at the era between the Roaring Twenties and wartime austerity. Fashionwise, the 30s are a bit of a forgotten decade, but as this show will surely prove, it was a time of beautiful and innovative design - one that anticipated the joyous femininity of Dior's New Look in the 1950s. 

© Des Hughes
Museums

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

icon-location-pin Temple
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The fantastic talents of Charles M. Schulz are celebrated in this exhibition showing not just the cartoonist's own creations, but those of many artists inspired by his kooky drawings. Join Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Peppermint Patty in discovering the enduring appeal of 'Peanuts'. 

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© Laziz Hamani
Museums

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

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'Designer of dreams': has an exhibition ever been so appropriately named? The V&A goes bigger than a post-war circle skirt with this massive retrospective of Christian Dior. Famous for the 'New Look' which threw out wartime austerity in favour of tiny waists and more, more, more fabric, Dior's creations really are the fuel of fantasy.  This is the biggest fashion exhibition the South Kensington museum has staged since the hugely popular Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015. The French designer's anglophile tendencies are explored, along with the very different creatives who have succeeded Dior at the house bearing his name. 

© IWM
Museums

Renewal: Life After the First World War in Photographs

icon-location-pin Kennington
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The First World War brought destruction to Europe on an almost unimaginable scale. In the years following the end of the conflict, people were tasked with rebuilding shattered cities, town and rural dwellings. But despite the devastation, a new optimism often flourished. To mark the centenary of the end of the war, the IWM exhibits 130 photos and related objects showing how Europe started to put itself back together again. 

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© PA Prints 2008
Museums

Mary Quant

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Even if you were born too late to enjoy strutting down the King's Road wearing a mini skirt and coloured tights, there's a good chance Mary Quant influences what you wear. The British designer revolutionised the high street and the public's access to fashion (so if you get a kick from so-called 'fast fashion', you're benefitting from what Quant started).  When the V&A announced the spring blockbuster exhibition, they did so with a public call out asking people to search their own wardrobes in the hope of locating rare and iconic Quant pieces. Don't miss seeing the fruits of this labour when it opens - the V&A fashion shows are nearly always big hits.

© IWM
Museums

I Was There: Room of Voices

icon-location-pin Kennington
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When the Armistice was called at 11am on 11/11/1918, it marked an end to the First World War and the end of an event that shaped a generation of people from countries across the world. This immersive sound installation is made up of 32 different voices, all telling a different story of how they experienced the day we now call Remembrance Day.

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© David Foldari and Save the Children
Museums

Journeys Drawn: Illustration from the Refugee Crisis

icon-location-pin King's Cross
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The ongoing refugee crisis is the topic of this multi-media exhibition of works by 13 contemporary illustrators. Featured in it are Olivier Kugler’s Calais portraits, George Butler’s Syria-based work, Majid Adin's animation and Asia Alfasi's manga.

Winterfell, Westeroscraft - © Minecraft
Museums

Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt

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Videogames are no longer the preserve of geeky teenage boys locked away in bedrooms filled with unwashed clothes and empty Pringles cans. They're seriously clever business. And this major exhibition at the V&A will show you exactly how, with everything from insights into the design process to DIY gadgets made by grassroots gamers. Ticket holders to the exhibition will get to try out new videogames and go inside immersive installations. If you've ever turned your nose up at the world of gaming before, this is sure to convince you otherwise. 

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Cnut Gospels Royal MS © British Library Board
Museums

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

icon-location-pin Euston
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Discover the history, art, literature and culture of Anglo-Saxon England at the British Library in an exhibition that makes the most of the Brit Lib's own collecton of historic manuscripts, along with many treasures from elsewhere (including actual treasure courtesy of the Staffordshire Hoard). 

© The estate of Cicely Mary Barker, 1934. Reproduced by kind permission of Frederick Warne and Co.
Museums

Flower Fairies

icon-location-pin Lambeth
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Along with Sylvanian Families and Brambly Hedge, the Flower Fairies are fondly remembered by more misty-eyed adults that would care to admit it. Created by Cicely Mary Barker, the cutesy illustrations of horticultural elfin characters always include botanically accurate drawings of flowers. So, where better than London's own Garden Museum to host an exhibition of these adorable bottom-of-the-garden dwellers?

Show more

Check out our favourite museum shows

Museums

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. 

Museums, Art and design

House of Illustration

icon-location-pin King's Cross

The House of Illustration was founded by illustration extraordinaire, Sir Quentin Blake in 2014. It’s the UK’s only public gallery dedicated to illustration and the graphic arts and alongside exhibitions, the space hosts talks, events and an extensive learning programme delivered by professional illustrators.

Venue says Take your family to space this summer: see Quentin Blake's illustrations for the literary classic, Voyages to the Moon and the Sun.

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