Great exhibitions in South Kensington

Great exhibitions in South Kensington, London. Experience life on mars, see extraordinary art, marvel at stunning wildlife photography, follow the evolution of cars, the magical world of Tim Walker and so much more.

Free

Driverless: Who is in control?

12th Jun 2019 - Oct 2020
10.00–18.00
Science Museum
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For decades, autonomous vehicles have been heralded as a new technology that could change the way we live our lives. Driverless: Who is in control? opening on 12 June 2019 at the Science Museum will explore how close we are to living in a world driven by thinking machines.

Bags! Inside Out

25th April 2020 - 3rd Jan 2021
V&A
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From rucksacks to despatch boxes, Birkin bags to Louis Vuitton luggage, Bags! will explore the style, function, design and craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory.

Serpentine Pavilion 2020

11th June - 11th Oct
Serpentine Galleries
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Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, directed by the all-woman team of Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar, has been selected to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2020. All three were born in 1990 and are the youngest ever architects to be commissioned for this renowned architecture programme.

Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street

6th May - 6th Sept
Design Museum Kensington
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Cult classics, limited edition silhouettes and rare colourways are put under the spotlight. Go behind the scenes and explore the design processes for the most innovative kicks from self-lacing to 3D printed, 100% recyclable or cushioned with air bubbles.

Prada. Front and Back

September 2020
Design Museum Kensington
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The exhibition will offer unprecedented insight into Prada’s creative approach, inspirations and landmark collaborations.

Epic Iran

17th Oct 2020 - 4th April 2021
V&A
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Exploring 5,000 years of art, design and culture, Epic Iran will shine a light on one of the greatest historic civilisations, its journey into the 21st century and its monumental artistic achievements, which remain unknown to many.

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.

Victoria: A Royal Childhood

Kensington Palace
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Discover the story of Princess Victoria, the young girl destined to be queen, in the rooms where she was born and raised at Kensington Palace. This new permanent exhibition will explore how an indulged young princess blossomed into the independent and iconic monarch we remember.

Engineer your future

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.

Free

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

Daily
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

The Last Straw

From 2nd Oct
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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IKEA and the Design Museum present the Last Straw, an installation featuring the last ever single-use plastic straw IKEA will serve or sell in any store in the UK and Ireland.

Free

Violet Data Dawn

Daily Closed Mondays
10am-6pm
Serpentine Galleries
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Utilising various media, including video, the internet, interactive technologies, photography, drawing, painting and watercolour, Suzanne Treister explores emerging technologies, alternative belief systems and potential human futures through a newly commissioned book and web-based augmented reality work.

Science City 1550–1800: The Linbury Gallery

Opens 12th Sept
Science Museum
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Discover how London grew from a lively capital city to a global hub for trade, commerce, and scientific enquiry between 1550 - 1800. This new free gallery spanning over 650 m² takes visitors on a journey through the metropolis during a time of momentous change.

Free
Family

Mission to Mercury: Bepi Colombo

Daily
10.00–18.00
Science Museum
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Come face-to-face with a full-size engineering model of BepiColombo, the European Space Agency’s first ever spacecraft to explore Mercury. Standing over six metres tall, this Structural Thermal Model (STM) of the spacecraft was used to test BepiColombo’s resilience during its seven-year journey to Mercury.

Breath is Invisible - Khadija Saye

7 July – 9 October 2020
236 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RH
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Breath is Invisible is a new public art project exhibiting the work of four artists to celebrate, reflect, question and heal. A project born out of urgency to address issues of social injustice, the first installation is the work of Khadija Saye, the young Gambian-British artist who tragically lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. Khadija was the youngest artist to be exhibited at the Diaspora Pavillion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Later this summer artists Martyn Ware, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and Joy Gregory will present site-specific commissions created in partnership with the local community. [image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye, Photo Jeff Moore]

art

Echo Peel by Caroline Achaintre

The Royal Society of Sculptors
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Caroline Achaintre's recently installed Echo Peel on The Royal Society of Sculptors' terrace, has gained extra meaning during lockdown as we adjust to wearing face masks and coverings in our daily lives. The French-born artist describes the hand knotted rafia sculptor as "fragile but also a protective layer" the two holes resembling eyes, looking out and looking in.

Free

The Royal Society of Sculptors Summer Exhibition

13th July - 18th Sept Mon-Fri
11am - 5pm
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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Every year The Royal Society of Sculptors enjoys celebrating their Summer Exhibition of selected work from members and fellows with an enormous garland of balloons across the entrance of Dora House. In 2020, it feels extra special to make this colourful splash as we all adjust to a new normal following the difficult weeks of lockdown. The RSS does not require visitors to wear masks, but do help yourself to one of their special masks, inspired by Echo Peel.

Ticket Mate Fund

Design Museum Kensington
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The Design Museum has launched a new pay it forward scheme in partnership with local charities, including The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, that distributes free exhibition tickets in the local community. Launched to coincide with the partial reopening of the museum on 31st July, it is aimed at offering free access to the museum's temporary exhibitions to young people and adults in the local community for whom price might be a barrier to participation - including those most affected by the Coronavirus crisis.

Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers

31 July 2020 - 14 Feb 2021
Design Museum Kensington
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Explore 'how electronic music rewired the world'. Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers will be the the first exhibition since the lifting of lockdown, when the museum partially reopens on 31 July. Your visit is going to be a bit different. You will need to pre-book your tickets online and new measures have been introduced to ensure all visitors and staff can feel safe.

Online

V&A Illustration Awards 2020 Results

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Awards. From imaginary worlds and fairy-tales to the difficult reality of life in a refugee camp, the winners of this year's awards demonstrate the versatility and breadth of contemporary illustration.

To Be Invisible Is

11 Aug-4 Sept
236 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RH
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The second exhibition in the series To Be Invisible, is an aural and visual 3D installation based on the poignant song To Be Invisible by Curtis Mayfield. Inspired by current events associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, Martyn Ware’s soundscape overlays the sounds of the city with a narration of Mayfield’s emotive lyrics to create a meditative ‘fever dream’.

Free

RENOVATION: Kimono & Sustainability

Throughout August 2020
Japan House London
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A stunning display of kimono by contemporary textile artist, and founder of the HIROCOLEDGE brand, Takahashi Hiroko will be displayed in the windows and on the Ground Floor at Japan House London throughout August. Fusing fashion and art, Takahashi Hiroko innovates the kimono tradition with her signature geometric patterns made up of circles and straight lines.

Serpentine Galleries re-open 4 August with Cao Fei: Blueprints

Serpentine Galleries
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The Serpentine's phased re-opening begins on 4th August with Cao Fei's immersive Blueprints, exploring her ability to create virtual worlds, navigate physical and virtual spaces, and considers the changing landscapes of cities in China and beyond. The exhibition is free but booking in advance is essential. Tickets available later this month.

This Time Last Year

Discover South Kensington
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This time last year hundreds of staff, students and volunteers were getting ready to host the Great Exhibition Road Festival. We’re sorry Covid-19 means we can’t do it all again this year but it means we’re even more excited about 2021. Meanwhile, relive some of the highlights of last year here.

Fantastic Beasts and the Wonder of Nature

22nd May 2020 - 3rd January 2021
All day
Natural History Museum
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Discover where the real and wizarding worlds intertwine, and how the wonders of the natural world have inspired myths, legends and magical creatures for generations. 

Life Through a Royal Lens

15th May - 3rd Jan 2021
Kensington Palace
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The new display explores the British Royal Family’s enduring relationship with the camera; from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s patronage of photography during its infancy to lesser known intimate family portraits, spanning from the 19th century right up until the present day.

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Google Arts & Culture: The Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum
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Explore a story of natural history discovery in an interactive experience, Making Natural History, Dive into the museum's 80 million specimens, encounter a prehistoric marine reptile in virtual reality, discover pioneering Museum research, navigate the galleries in 360 degrees & take a tour of exhibits tackling natural history themes,

Online

Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries Online Collection

Science Museum
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With five vast and visually stunning galleries containing more than 3,000 medical artefacts, striking artworks, interactive games and immersive experiences, Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries brings the history of medicine to life. Take a closer look at what's on display in the Collection Online

Google Arts & Culture: V&A

Explore online the world's leading museum of art and design - the V&A enriches people's lives by promoting the practice of design and increasing knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the designed world.

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Google Arts & Culture: The Science Museum

Science Museum
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Striving to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum's world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Explore the museum's exhibitions and online collections.

Connected

Design Museum Kensington
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Connected is an experiment set out to explore how designers and craftspeople adapt their working practices during lockdown. Nine international designers have been challenged to create a table and seating, that is personal to them, for home living and working. The resulting pieces will be shown at the Design Museum when the museum re-opens to the public.

Design Museum Kensington Reopens 31 July 2020

Design Museum Kensington
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The museum will be partially open to the public with the exhibition Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers from Friday 31 July 2020. Your visit is going to be a bit different. You will need to pre-book your tickets online and new measures have been introduced to ensure all visitors and staff can feel safe.