Great exhibitions in South Kensington

Great exhibitions in South Kensington, London. Experience the design and culture of video games, see extraordinary art, marvel at stunning wildlife photography, explore life in the dark, discover how homes are changing and so much more.

The Sun: Living with our Star

6th Oct - 6th May 2019
Times vary
Science Museum
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The awesome power, beauty and dark side of the sun is revealed in a major new exhibition this Autumn. Spectacular interactive experiences, unique artefacts, and stunning imagery shed fresh light on our evolving relationship with our closest star.

Home Futures

7th Nov - 24th March 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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Last chance to explore today’s home through the prism of yesterday’s imagination. Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers throughout the 20th century predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change?

Free
Last chance

The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution

On til 24th March
Science Museum
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Last chance to explore the extraordinary lives and deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family and go behind the scenes to uncover the science behind one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.

Designers in Residence 2018: Dwelling

7th Nov - 24th March 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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The Design Museum has invited emerging designers and architects to respond to the theme ‘dwelling’. Watch designers at work, explore their projects and see their finished projects on display.

David Adjaye: Making Memory

2nd Feb - 5th May 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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How can a building shape our perception of events - past, present and future? Experience the storytelling power of architecture through an exploration of seven monumental projects from celebrated architect Sir David Adjaye OBE.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

2nd Feb - 1st Sept 2019
V&A
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Spanning 1947 to the present day, this exhibition will trace the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, exploring the enduring influence of the fashion house, and Dior’s relationship with Britain.

Mary Quant

6th April 2019 - 8th March 2020
V&A
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From miniskirts and hot pants to vibrant tights and makeup, discover how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street, with over 200 garments and accessories, including unseen pieces from the designer's personal archive.

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.

What Isn't Here Can't Hurt You

7th March - 3rd May
11am - 5pm
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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The work of Alison Wilding and Frances Richardson creates an exciting dialogue, with unexpected materials and intriguing forms.

Family

Expeditions and Endeavours

Mar - Oct 2019
10.00-17.50
Natural History Museum
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For centuries, scientists and artists have embarked on a succession of expeditions to document the natural world. A rare opportunity to see remarkable never-before-displayed original illustrations and photographs.

Free

Emma Kunz

23rd Mar - 19th May
10-6pm, closed Mondays
Serpentine Galleries
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The first UK solo exhibition by the late Swiss healer, researcher and artist Emma Kunz (1892–1963) is conceived with artist Christodoulos Panayiotou. Kunz never received a formal arts education, yet from 1938 she produced hundreds of geometric drawings, which were first exhibited posthumously in the early 1970s.

Power UP

5th - 22nd April
Science Museum
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This hands-on, fully interactive gaming event features the very best video games and consoles from the past 40 years. From Pong to Pacman and Minecraft to Mario, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a retro games fan, a serious gamer or just want to beat your family at Mario Kart. Booking required.

Free

Hito Steyerl

11th Apr - 6th May
10-6pm, closed Mondays
Serpentine Galleries
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Hito Steyerl's new project, explores ideas and predictions at the meeting point of artificial intelligence and human testimony. The project includes Actual Reality OS, a collectively produced digital commission, Power Walks, a series of guided neighbourhood walks, and Power Plants.

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition

26th April - 17th Sept 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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Step inside the world of Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century. It will offer a unique insight into the director's vast archive through original props and costumes, set models and rare photographs, while tracing the design story behind Kubrick’s body of work.

Victoria 2019

Opens 24th May 2019
Kensington Palace
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On 24 May 1819, Princess Victoria was born at Kensington Palace. To mark the bicentenary of this historic event, Historic Royal Palaces announces a major new exhibition at Kensington Palace in 2019, alongside a re-presentation of the rooms the young Victoria called home..

V&A Food

18th May - 17th Nov 2019
V&A
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Inviting visitors to participate, taste and debate, this bold exhibition explores current experiments at every stage of the food system – from compost to table.

Food: Bigger than the plate

18th May - 20th Oct
V&A
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From gastronomic experiments to urban farming, this exhibition brings together the politics and pleasure of food to ask how the collective choices we make can lead to a more sustainable, just and delicious food future.

Free

Luchita Hurtado

23rd May - 8th Sep
10-6pm, closed Mondays
Serpentine Galleries
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Luchita Hurtado (b. 1920 Caravas, Venezuela) is an artist whose approach over the course of a long career is characterised by continuous experimentation, with her paintings and drawings united by a compelling sense of colour, light and movement. The Serpentine exhibition will be her first in an institution.

Free

Faith Ringgold

6th Jun - 8th Sep
10-6pm, closed Mondays
Serpentine Galleries
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Working prolifically since the early 1960s, Faith Ringgold (b. 1930, Harlem, New York) is recognised for her politically charged paintings, story quilts, prints, children’s books, soft sculptures, masks and performances which consistently challenge the perceptions of American identity and gender inequality.

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.

Serpentine Pavilion 2019 designed by Junya Ishigami

20th June - 6th Oct
Serpentine Galleries
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The Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, celebrated for his experimental structures that interpret traditional architectural conventions and reflect natural phenomena, has been selected to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2019.

Free

Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security

10th July - 23rd Feb 2020
Science Museum
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Discover the remarkable world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communications in our upcoming must-see, free exhibition. Explore over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts.

Tim Walker

7th Sep 2019 - 8th Mar 2020
V&A
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Take a backstage look at the creative process of one of the world's most inventive photographers through his photographs, films, photographic sets, and special installations – including a new series of photographs influenced by the V&A's collections.

Cars

5th Oct 2019 - 19th April 2020
V&A
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As we approach another major turning point in automotive design, this exhibition looks at the role of the car in shaping the world we live in today.

Mars

16th Oct 2018 - 1st March 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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The journey to the Red Planet has become one of the great challenges of our time. Through immersive recreations, new commissions and collaborations with contemporary designers, discover how every detail in this extraordinary endeavour must be designed.

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

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

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.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Opens 19th Oct
Natural History Museum
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See the world through a new lens. Now in its fifty-fourth year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases extraordinary animal behaviour and the breathtaking diversity of life on Earth. Explore the world's best nature photography, exhibited on 100 exquisite light panels.

Free

Living Colours: Kasane – the Language of Japanese Colour Combinations

5th Apr - 19th May
10am-8pm Mon-Sat & 12-6pm Sun
Japan House London
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This exhibition explores the work of the Somenotsukasa Yoshioka Dye Workshop in Kyoto. The Japanese have long had a deep appreciation of colour and a close relationship with their natural surroundings and the changing of the seasons.

Mountains of the Moon

On until 17th April
10-5pm (4pm on Sat)
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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Experience the spectacular landscapes and endemic flora and fauna of the Rwenzori Mountains as captured by travel photographer Steve Russell.. Steve made the trip last summer and his images of these fragile landscapes reveal a bittersweet quality which both invites and challenges the viewer.