Galleries & Exhibitions

London is home to an extraordinary number of world-class galleries with new and exciting exhibitions opening all the time. Read on for our guide to what's on in London.

Somerset House

Film4 Summer Screen

9 - 22 August

Returning to Somerset House this August, Film4 Summer Screen brings an exciting selection of films to London’s largest outdoor screen. Film screenings this summer include The Wife, Inception, Rebecca, Being John Malkovich, Sleeping Beauty and many more.  

From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion including the first home of the Royal Academy of Arts and other learned societies – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. Now one of the largest creative communities in London, experience its diverse and dynamic public programme of contemporary arts and culture.

2 minute walk 

The National Portrait Gallery

Michael Jackson: On the Wall

28 June - 21 October

Depicted as an influential cultural icon and continuing his legacy into the 21st century, Michael Jackson: On the Wall brings together the works of over forty artists who were inspired by the legend’s significance in music, music videos, dance, choreography and fashion. 

The National Portrait Gallery was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856. It houses the most extensive collection of portraits in the world, offering a unique insight into the men and women who have and are shaping British history and culture from the Tudors to the present day. 

10 minute walk

The National Gallery

Monet & Architecture

Until 29 July

Never done before in the UK, the Monet & Architecture exhibition delves into the Monet’s career through the buildings he painted: in Normandy, in Rouen, in Paris, London, and Venice. From buildings in villages and by the coast, to some of Europe’s most famous monuments, Monet painted the architecture of his time – modern, historic, simple and grand.

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Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire

Until 7 October

Explore the vast American wilderness in the first UK exhibition dedicated to Thomas Cole, one of the greatest American landscape artists. See epic works demonstrating the force of nature and the rise and falls of empires as well as a rare opportunity to see Cole’s masterpiece, the ‘Oxbow’.

Founded in 1824 and located in Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.Its collection belongs to the public of the United Kingdom and entry to the main collection is free of charge. It is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Musée du Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

10 minute walk

The British Museum

Rodin and the art of ancient Greece

Until 29 July

Inspired by the beauty of ancient Greek masterpieces, Rodin set a new radical direction for modern art. A hundred years after his death, a selection of his works have come to life in this fascinating exhibition. See iconic sculptures including The Thinker and The Kiss in a new light as well as original plaster, bronze and marble examples of many of Rodin’s sculptures on loan from the Musée Rodin in Paris.

The British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture, and is located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.

12 minute walk

Tate Modern

Picasso 1932 - Love, Fame, Tragedy

Until 9 September

Experience the first ever solo Pablo Picasso exhibition at the nearby Tate Modern. Be taken on an exciting journey through the artist's paintings, drawings and sculptures, as well as gaining an insight into his personal life with a selection of family photographs.

Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art

Until 14 October

Photography and abstract art have played a significant role in modern visual content but their stories are often told apart. In this fascinating exhibition, Shape of Light brings these stories to life and demonstrates the innovation and originality of the photographers and how they responded to the development of abstraction. 

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Based in the former Bankside Power Station, The Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London. It holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day of international modern and contemporary art.

20 minute walk

Design Museum

Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-18

Until 12 August

Journey through the world to discover how the public engagement with politics has changed significantly since 2008. With politics playing an important role in shaping graphic design and technology, this exhibition explores the numerous ways graphic messages have challenged, altered and influenced key political moments.

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Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

Until 7 October

The Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier exhibition celebrates the incredible journey of the renowned fashion designer. The exhibition explores the stories of his life and career spanning from his early career as a sculptor in the 1980s until his most recent collection in 2017 which grounded his legacy as a courtier.   

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Founded in 1989 and now located in Kensington, The Design Museum is the world's leading museum devoted to contemporary design in every form from architecture and fashion to graphics, product and industrial design.

Southbank Centre

Nelson Mandela: The Centenary Exhibition 2018

Until 19 August

To celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth this year, this exhibition provides an insight into his life, career and commitment to equality and justice. His legacy lives on for being a key inspirational figure as he fought against the struggle of the oppressive apartheid system.  

11 minutes

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