Making An Exhibition Of Themselves: London’s Unmissable Exhibits


If London’s known to tourists for anything then it’s assuredly known for its multitude of museums and galleries. Whether you’re one for fine art or unusual art installations or you’re fascinated by science, the natural world, literature or world history, the capital’s established, educational but also very fun venues are a must – not least for the world-class exhibitions they host for a limited period throughout the year. Here’s just a few of them then that are taking place in the coming months and later in 2017…

Exhibition concept

David Hockney

(9th February-29th May/ Tate Britain, Millbank SW1P 4RG)

Featuring landscape works by the great British artist that have never previously been on public display, this exhibit celebrating the great but idiosyncratic Hockney’s 80th birthday promises to be special indeed, not least because its total collection covers paintings, sketches, photography and video.

Tunnel – The Archaeology of Crossrail

(10th February-3rd September/ Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Dock Road E14 4AL)

The great thing about a major building project in London is not only will it result in a magnificent, modern construction in time (in this case the impressive-to-be Overground and Underground Elizabeth train network), but also before the building work can even begin, British law stipulated the construction site must be searched for potential historical artefacts. Such has been the case with the wide-scale digging work undertaken for ‘Crossrail’ and this exhibit showcases all the items discovered since 2009, which together cover an extraordinary 8,000 years of the city’s history. Go and be wowed.

Diana – Her Fashion Story

(from 24th February onwards/ Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens W8 4PX)

Believe it or not, Diana, Princess of Wales died a full 20 years ago this summer. To commemorate her tragic passing, this new exhibition at her home of many years will display not just some of her most famous and recognisable gowns, but also demonstrate how she used her celebrity profile to champion the causes and charities she cared about. And, given the venue’s very central location (at the far end of Kensington Gardens, itself at the western end of Hyde Park), it’s an extremely easy attraction to get to should you be staying centrally – such as at, say, the Park Grand Paddington Court London Hotel.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition – Their Mortal Remains

(13th May-1st October/ Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road SW7 2RL)

Who doesn’t love to rock out now and then? And, don’t doubt it, this celebration of all things Floyd is a real celebration of some of the greatest rock music ever recorded – and its creators. Offering up in excess of 350 different pieces, the exhibit’s set to pull together everything from memorabilia to actual artefacts from the legendary British band’s long and distinguished career, such as instruments they played and set reconstructions from some of their live shows and of their iconic album covers.

Van Eyck & The Pre-Raphaelites

(4th October-2nd April 2018/ National Gallery, Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN)

If fine art’s your thing, then later in the year you may well find yourself attracted to this legendary Trafalgar Square gallery for its showcase of some of the finest fine art produced by the Pre-Raphaelites, the simultaneously traditionalist and radical group of Victorian artists. The theme behind the exhibit is to demonstrate how 15th Century Dutch master Van Eyck’s revolutionary ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ hugely influenced the works of the group that included Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Millais and William Holman Hunt.

Harry Potter – A History of Magic

(20th October-28th February 2018/ British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB)

Remarkably, this year also marks the 20th anniversary since the publication of the first of J.K. Rowling’s globally loved children’s novels, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. To mark the occasion, the UK’s leading library, located near Euston Station, will be displaying a cornucopia of objects that, pulled together, detail the history of ‘magic’ – everything from manuscripts to wizarding books and treasures bound to delight Potterheads drawn from Rowling’s own archives and those of her publisher Bloomsbury. Indeed, the thing’ll even be arranged according to the subjects that Harry and co. study at Hogwarts (Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures and more) – so be sure to hop on your broomstick and along to London this autumn!