Great exhibitions in South Kensington

Great exhibitions in South Kensington, London. Experience the stories of ocean liners, see extraordinary art, marvel at stunning wildlife photography, explore the fashion of Princess Diana, walk amongst butterflies, celebrate the design of Ferraris and so much more.

Free

Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care

On until June
Science Museum
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Commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and the huge medical and human impact of wounding during and beyond the First World War.

Free

The Art of British Natural History

Natural History Museum
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This art exhibition celebrates the unique nature on our shores. With over 70,000 documented species, the British Isles have a diverse and distinctive natural history. Admire artworks of some of Britain's most iconic species.

Lustrous Surfaces

14th Oct - 26th Apr 2018
V&A
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Featuring 110 objects located throughout the Museum, including shrines, chests and rare Latin American examples, this display will highlight the varied manufacturing techniques, surface treatments, decorative styles and application around the world.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

On until 1st July 2018
Natural History Museum
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The exhibition of 100 images records the beauty and drama of the natural world, from tiny insects to massive mammals. This year's competition attracted almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 92 countries.

Ocean Liners

3rd Feb - 10th June 2018
V&A
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Experience a unique journey through the design stories of the world's greatest ocean liners, including the Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra, and discover how these impressive vessels still loom large in our cultural imagination.

Free

Sondra Perry; Typhoon Coming

6th March - 20th May
10-6pm, except Mondays
Serpentine Galleries
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This spring, the Serpentine presents the first European solo exhibition of American artist Sondra Perry, who explores the intersection of black identity, digital culture and power structures through video, media, installation and performance.

Engineer your future

Extended to continue in 2018
Science Museum
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Find out if you’ve got the problem-solving, big-thinking, team-working skills to be a globe-trotting engineer of tomorrow.

Diana: Her Fashion Story

On until 2018
Kensington Palace
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Twenty years on from Diana, Princess of Wales' death, a new exhibition and temporary garden celebrating her life have opened at Kensington Palace, her home for over 15 years.

Venom: Killer and Cure

On until 13th May 2018
Natural History Museum
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Venom will take visitors on a journey through the eyes of both predator and prey, exploring the effects caused by venomous attacks and the attempt to scientifically measure the power that venom holds.

Free

Anthony Crickmay: Photographing People and Performance

On til 10th June
V&A
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This display, celebrating the career of internationally acclaimed photographer Anthony Crickmay in his 80th year, includes photographs of theatre, fashion, Morocco, and Crickmay’s principal interests, dance and portraitures.

Free

The artisans of al-Darb al-Ahmar: life and work in historic Cairo

On til 24th Apr
Weekdays 10-5pm, weekends 10-4pm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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The exhibition celebrates the people, culture and activity that takes place in this historic district of Cairo - home to 1,000 artisan workshops and 25 historical Islamic monuments. Darb Al-Ahmar, a maze of narrow and windy alleyways, connects visitors with a past and a way of life.

Hope to Nope Graphics and Politics

28th Mar - 12th Aug
Design Museum Kensington
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Hope to Nope will explore the diverse methods that have been used to construct and communicate political messages over the past ten years. As traditional media rubs shoulders with the hash-tag and the meme, never has graphic design been more critical in giving everyone a political voice.

Fashioned from Nature

Opens 21st April 2018
V&A
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This exhibition will present fashionable dress alongside natural history specimens, innovative new fabrics and dyeing processes, inviting visitors to think about the materials of fashion and the sources of their clothes.

Free

Imperial Festival 2018

28th-29th April
12pm - 5pm
Imperial College London
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Make a date with discovery at Imperial Festival - a free weekend of exciting science, new technology, live music, fascinating talks, creative workshops and tasty freshly cooked grub!

Custodians of a sunburnt country: Conservation partnerships in the Australian Outback

30th April - 4th May
10-5pm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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Australia features some of the world’s most iconic landscapes and waters and is home to some of the world’s most unusual plants and animals. This exhibition displays photos of some of the continent’s most stunning natural treasures.

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

10th May - 7th Oct
Design Museum Kensington
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Celebrate the timeless beauty of the female form with thirty-five years of haute couture from Azzedine Alaïa, and discover the mastery of cut, tailoring, fit, innovative form and materials behind the designer's unique creations.

Free

Common Territories

10th-15th May
Mon-Fri 10-5pm, Sat 10-4pm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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The exhibition explores the journey the artists took to circumnavigating the planet on motorbikes to develop a research project. The 45,000km journey across 40 countries on four continents took one year to complete.

The Future Starts Here

12th May - 4th Nov 2018
V&A
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Exploring the power of design in shaping the world of tomorrow. From smart appliances to satellites, artificial intelligence to internet culture, this exhibition will bring together more than 100 objects as a landscape of possibilities for the near future.

Free

Space for Nature by Rudolf Williams

30th May - 6th June
Mon-Fri 10-5pm, Sat 10-4pm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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Accomplishing space travel has permitted us to explore the Earth in ways otherwise impossible. On display for the first time, this exhibition celebrates scientists and the satellites used to unlock the mysteries of the natural world.

Free

Serpentine Pavilion 2018 Designed by Frida Escobedo

Opens 15th June
10am - 6pm
Serpentine Galleries
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Architect Frida Escobedo, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2018. Harnessing a subtle interplay of light, water and geometry, her atmospheric courtyard-based design draws on both the domestic architecture of Mexico and British materials and history.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

16th Jun - 4th Nov
V&A
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This exhibition will present an extraordinary collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Locked away for 50 years after her death, this collection has never before been exhibited outside Mexico.

Videogames

8th Sep - 24th Feb 2019
V&A
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This exhibition will explore the design and culture of videogames since the mid-2000s, investigating ground-breaking contemporary design work, creative and rebellious player communities and the political conversations that define this movement.

Free

Designer Maker User

Open daily
10am - 6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Designer Maker User, the Design Museum's only permanent exhibition, features almost 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design viewed through the angles of the designer, manufacturer and user, including a crowdsourced wall.

Free

Ian Cheng

6th March - 28th May
10am - 6pm, except Mondays
Serpentine Galleries
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Ian Cheng will populate the Serpentine with artificial life drawing on principles of video game design, improvisation and cognitive science, Encounter BOBs (Bag of Beliefs) which will grow and evolve at all hours of the day as you find yourself being exhibited to them..

Free

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

Science Museum
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Mathematics is too often perceived as dry and complex, but this new gallery will tell stories that place the subject at the heart of our lives, exploring how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the modern world.

Human Evolution

Daily
Natural History Museum
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Meet your ancient relatives, trace the origins and evolution of our species, and explore what makes us human.

Europe 1600-1815

Daily
V&A
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Showcasing over 1100 objects from the V&A’s collections of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design in a suite of seven galleries.

Lee Ufan: Relatum - Stage

From Feb 2018
Serpentine Galleries
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Artist Lee Ufan brings new public sculpture to Kensington Gardens. Comprised of two, angled, mirrored, steel sheets and two different-sized stones, Relatum – Stage will merge the natural and industrial in an installation that reflects the surrounding environment of the Park.

Free

Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives

On til Spring 2019
Science Museum
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The Science Museum's exhibition explores how society is responding to the enormous challenge of antibiotic resistance, featuring scientific research from across the globe and the personal stories of those waging war on the superbugs.

Drawing (for) Europe

On til 11th May
Institut français
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Leading figures of children’s illustration, such as Axel Scheffler, Stephanie Blake, Claude K. Dubois and Patrick George give us their vision of Europe in this exhibition. Join Axel Scheffler on Europe Day, on 9 May for a special tour of the exhibition, followed by a talk on European citizenship.

Au Coeur du Mai 68

14th - 19th May
Institut français
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Photo Exhibition by Philippe Gras. In May 1968, Parisian students marched down the street in protests that quickly spread throughout France. The country came to a near-standstill. This exhibition of works by late French photographer Philippe Gras tells the story of May ’68, fifty years after the event.

Faces of Sculpture: Portrait of a Profession, an exhibition of photographs by Anne Purkiss

14th May - 14th July
Mon-Fri 11-5pm, Sat 1-5pm
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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The exhibition celebrates the release of Purkiss’ new book Sculptor: 1986 – 2016 featuring members of the Society and Royal Academicians and forms part of RA250:UK exhibitions and events around the UK to celebrate 250 years of the Royal Academy of Arts.

FIRST@108 Public Art Award: Rupert Norfolk

On til 4th May
Mon-Fri 11-5pm
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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Presenting the first major piece of public art by Rupert Norfolk, the result of winning the Royal Society of Sculptors First@108 Public Award 2017. Playground brings together a group of plastic garden toys so that they overlap and fuse into an inextricable tangle.