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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Victoria: Woman and Crown

On until 5th Jan 2020
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

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.

Royal Photographic Society’s Science Photographer of the Year

7th Oct - 5th Jan
Science Museum
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A series of striking photographs of science in action will go on display at the Science Museum as part of the Royal Photographic Society’s inaugural Science Photographer of the Year competition. The exhibition showcases extraordinary, breathtaking images of science in action.

Free

Made in 1989 - Celebrating 30 years of the Design Museum

Until 21 January 2020
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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The Design Museum was the world’s first museum devoted to contemporary design. Through archival material on display, revisit the birth of the institution thirty years ago.

Free

Reflections: The Anatomy of Form

6-22 September
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Showing for the first time in London, this exhibit explores the work behind Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), an interdisciplinary practice responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings.

Free

PriestmanGoode presents Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink

12 September-January 2020
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Whether we travel for work or pleasure, air travel has become an integral part of our lives. However, our consumption habits mean that we are leaving behind great trails of waste every time we fly.

Free

Jaguar Presents: The Future Legacy

12-22 September
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Jaguar explores the British influences in its design process by showcasing individual Jaguar pieces. Four specially designed components inspired by Britain’s rich creative identity, both past and present, will be displayed to highlight Jaguar’s ability to unite traditional and contemporary design.

Exhibition Road Day of Design

22nd Sept
11am - 5pm
V&A
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For the finale of London Design Festival, there will be a special event on Exhibition Road focusing on design solutions to the climate emergency. There will be a street celebration to look at the role that design thinking can play in fostering new ideas and changing attitudes to the way we consume food, use energy and deal with waste.

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.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

18th Oct 2018 - 31st May 2020
Natural History Museum
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The fifty-fifth Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will immerse you in the breathtaking diversity of the natural world. Encounter the beauty and fragility of wildlife, see fascinating animal behaviour and get to know extraordinary species, exhibited on 100 stunning lightbox displays.

The Brompton Design District

14th - 22nd Sept
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During the annual London Design Festival, Brompton plays host to a series of exhibitions and events discovered in shops, showrooms, galleries and institutions, and a curated design programme within temporary spaces in the District. The theme for the 2019 programme is 'Nature / Nurture'; exploring what design is doing to protect and learn from the natural world.

Albert Oehlen

2nd Oct - 12th Jan 2020
Serpentine Galleries
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Albert Oehlen is one of the most innovative and significant artists working today. He has been a key figure in contemporary art since the 1980s. Through expressionist brushwork and surrealist gestures, he engages with the history of painting, pushing its essential components to bold new extremes.

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.

Beazley Designs of the Year

11 September 2019
10:00-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Discover the most innovative designs across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design from the past 12 months, as nominated by the public and design experts from around the world.

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
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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.

Anno's Journey

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.

London Design Festival 2019

14th - 22nd Sept
V&A
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This September the V&A will be transforming iconic spaces across the museum with specially-commissioned projects by leading international designers and hosting an inspirational line up of talks, debates, daily tours and workshops.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk

29th Feb - 21st June 2020
V&A
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This exhibition will present the kimono as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion, revealing the sartorial, aesthetic and social significance of the garment from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and the rest of the world.

Bags!

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.

Renaissance Watercolours: from Dürer to Van Dyck

16th May - 20th Sept 2020
V&A
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Bringing together 200 rarely-seen masterpieces, this exhibition will present the exquisite medium as a unified art form for the first time, exploring its pivotal role in understanding, interpreting and documenting the natural world.

Alice in Wonderland

27th June - 10th Jan 2021
V&A
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Exploring its origins, adaptations and reinventions over 157 years, this immersive, theatrical show will expand ACMI's award-winning exhibition, and chart the evolution of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from manuscript to global phenomenon.

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.