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.

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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.

David Adjaye: Making Memory

On til 4th Aug
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.

Prince Albert: Science & the Arts on the Page

On til 1st Sep
V&A
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This display highlights Prince Albert’s relationship with the V&A library. The selection of books he chose to make accessible to the public demonstrates his desire to promote knowledge and learning in science and the arts.

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.

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition

On til 15th 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 & Albert's Museum

13th May - 26th Aug
10 - 5.30pm
V&A
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This display traces the crucial role that the royal couple played in the formation of the V&A and its collection, with the Great Exhibition as a starting point. The display showcases objects that were bought, lent and presented to the museum up until the death of Prince Albert in 1861.

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.

Victoria: A Royal Childhood

Opens 24th May
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.

Victoria: Woman and Crown

Opens 24th May
Kensington Palace
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Explore Queen Victoria’s private life behind her carefully-managed public image in Victoria: Woman and Crown. The new display, created to mark the 200th anniversary of Victoria's birth, will re-examine how she balanced her role as a wife and mother with that of Queen of an expanding empire.

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

21st 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.

Moving to Mars

18th Oct 2018 - 23rd Feb 2020
Design Museum Kensington
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Step into a full-scale Mars home, immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the landscape and learn how rethinking daily life for a zero-waste, clean energy-powered civilisation might help future generations on Earth. Featuring immersive environments & original objects from NASA, ESA & SpaceX.

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.

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

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.

Anno

22nd Aug - 27th Oct
Japan House London
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This exhibition explores the work of Anno Mitsumasa, one of Japan’s greatest children’s book illustrators and authors, who is best known for his picture books, with few or no words, published from the late 1960s onwards. The display illustrates the story of Anno Mitsumasa’s life and creative journey.

Earth Photo

6th July - 22nd Aug
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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A shortlist of 50 exceptional photographs and four films that document the Earth in all its diversity. Earth Photo aims to enable a better understanding of the world around us, focussing on four themes - people, nature, place and changing forests.

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.

This is Manga - the Art of Urasawa Naoki

5th June - 28th July
10am - 8pm
Japan House London
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The exhibition immerses visitors in the iconic Japanese art form and introduces Urasawa’s ideas from inception through development, with more than 400 original drawings and storyboards on display. Selected stories from seven of his major works are presented with full English translations.

Free

The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter

25th Sept - 24th Jan
Science Museum
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The Art of Innovation explores the relationship between science and art over the past 250 years, and how it has helped to interpret, study and explore the world around us.

Free

Museum of the Moon

17th May - 1st Jan 2020
Natural History Museum
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Museum of the Moon is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram. The 6 metre model will be at the Museum in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, accompanied by an exciting programme of events for space enthusiasts of all ages.

Seeing Through Babel

1st July - 15th Aug
The Ismaili Centre
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The work of the Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad, Seeing Through Babel uses the artist’s trademark techniques – monotypes and drawing onto the surface of the work – and is designed to allow visitors to walk in and around it, Drop-in and see him at work from .21 — 30 June , 11am–6pm