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.

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 17th Feb 2019
Kensington Palace
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Trace the evolution of Diana, Princess of Wales' style, from the demure, romantic dresses and other outfits of her first public appearances, to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. Recently re-opened with a selection of new outfits.

Fashioned from Nature

On til 27th Jan 2019
10am-5:30pm
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.

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.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

Extended to 18th Nov
V&A
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This exhibition presents 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: Design/Play/Disrupt

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

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.

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.

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.

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..

Free

Duologue

26th Sept - 2nd Dec
Mon-Fri 11-5pm, Sat 12-5pm
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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Past President of the Royal Academy, Phillip King CBE will join forces with Brazilian-born London-based Alexandre da Cunha, to spend a week of practical exchange and discussion in the studio space at Dora House. At the end of the week, the space will be left in exactly whatever state it is in.

Free

Pierre Huyghe

3rd Oct - 10th Feb 2019
Serpentine Galleries
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Pierre Huyghe, one of the world’s leading conceptual artists, known for creating complex immersive ecosystems. The gallery will become a porous and contingent environment, housing different forms of cognition, emerging intelligence, biological reproduction and instinctual behaviours.

Free

Atelier E.B - Passer-by

3rd Oct - 3rd Jan 2019
Serpentine Galleries
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Taking the figure of the mannequin as its central theme, the exhibition will transform the Gallery into distinct interiors: a bespoke showroom for Atelier E.B’s latest collection, a display of historic material, photography and objects; and a series of newly commissioned work.

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.

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.

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.

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

Everest – A Reconnaissance

29th Oct - 27th Nov
10-5pm, Mon-Fri
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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An exhibition of the first platinum prints to be created from the original 1921 negatives housed at the Society – including photographs by George Mallory – and amongst the earliest images to document Everest, the people and places of the region.

Beazley Designs of the Year

12th Sept - 6th Jan 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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Every year since 2008 hundreds of design experts from around the world nominate the most innovative and thought-provoking designs from the past 12 months. Discover this year’s top picks across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design.

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.

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.

Life in the Dark

Until 6 Jan 2019
All day
Natural History Museum
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Meet creatures that thrive at night, in the total darkness of caves and deep in the ocean. Get up-close to specimens with fascinating adaptations and find out how they navigate their environment, hunt, mate and evade predators. Discover nocturnal animals through sight, sound, touch and smell.

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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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

IVF 6 Million Babies Later

5th July - Nov
Science Museum
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Explore the remarkable story of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) from the opposition and immense challenges faced by early pioneers to the latest research today. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 'miraculous' birth of Louise Brown on 25 July 1978.

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

Jameel Prize 5

28th June - 25th Nov
V&A
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Experience eight exceptional contemporary artists and designers working in fields as diverse as fashion, multi-media installation, and painting in the Jameel Prize 5 showcase.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

2nd Feb - 14th July 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.

Free

The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution

21st Sept - 24th March
Science Museum
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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.

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.

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.

Free

Subtle: Delicate or Infinitesimal

13th Nov - 24th Dec
Japan House London
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The exhibition is the ultimate exploration of Japanese minimalism and the delicate art of paper; it intends to reawaken our sense to the limitless possibilities of what can be done with fine paper. The works are designed and crafted from among 15 creators living and working in Japan.