We’ve scoured the web, called the PR firms and generally put the word round in order to collate a list of the best events and exhibitions in London over the coming months.
As with all lists this is very much a ‘work in progress’ so be sure to bookmark this page and check back for updates.
(Note: Events are listed chronologically under the month of commencement, where known the end date is provided.)
UnderexPosed: Photographs by Franklyn Rodgers – National Portrait Gallery
4 April – 8 June 2008
This plasma screen installation features portraits of thirty black British African Caribbean actors by photographer Franklyn Rodgers as part of UNDEREXPOSED arts program of the 4 The Record Initiative (4TR). 4TR aims to engage as many people as possible with the success stories and experiences of those who have played a part in promoting cultural diversity in the United Kingdom. UNDEREXPOSED is a celebration of the immense talent and achievement of these contemporary black Britons.
Amazing Butterflies – Natural History Museum
5th April – 17th August 2008
From chomping caterpillars to beautiful butterflies, the Natural History Museum comes alive this summer with a tropical butterfly house and giant outdoor maze.
The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock – British Museum
10th April – 7th September 2008
The first half of the 20th century in America was a period of great change. This exhibition examines society and culture as viewed through the prints produced by some of the most important artists of the time.
Blood on Paper: The Art of the Book – Victoria and Albert Museum
15th April – 29th June 2008
Blood on Paper will show the astonishing inventiveness with which the book has been treated by many of the leading artists of today and the recent past including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Louise Bourgeois, Georg Baselitz, Eduardo Chillida, Damien Hirst, Richard Long and Anthony Caro.
Works by Anish Kapoor and Anselm Kiefer will be on display to the public for the first time. These artists’
books range from beautifully bound volumes and photographs to sculptural works and installations. The exhibition will focus on new and contemporary work but will also look back to the artists working in Paris after World War II who established the genre of the ‘livre d’artiste’.
For Your Eyes Only – Ian Fleming and James Bond – Imperial War Museum
17th April 2008 – 1st March 2009
This exhibition will also explore the early life of Ian Fleming, his wartime career and work as a journalist and travel writer and how, as an author, he drew upon his own experiences to create the iconic character of James Bond that continues to have global appeal.
‘Want to See More of Me?’ Black Film Actors by Donald Maclellan – National Portrait Gallery
25th April – 7th September 2008
This new series of portraits by photographer Donald MacLellan, funded by the UK Film Council, celebrates talented an
Climate Change – Science Museum
3rd May, 11.00, 14.00 and 16.00
Prof. Chris Rapley presents the evidence and explains the impact of
global warming in the polar regions. He outlines the options for
mitigation by individuals, business and Government, as well as the need
to adapt. Hear how reducing your carbon footprint can make a difference.
Crafty Nature: Plant Powers – Natural History Museum
3rd and 17th May, 11.00–13.00 and 14.00–16.00
Roll up your sleeves and join artists for exciting crafty workshops.
Use interesting materials to make fun creations based around natural history themes. This workshop is in Fossil Marine Reptiles and is suitable for children under seven.
The Story of the Supremes from the Mary Wilson Collection – Victoria and Albert Museum
13th May – 26th October 2008
A display of performance costumes worn by The Supremes, one of the most successful groups of the sixties – only the Beatles had more number one hits.
The display will show the changing image of The Supremes from the early days when they were known as The Primettes to the glamorous Hollywood designs they wore at the height of their fame, and look at their continuing stylistic influence on performers such as Beyoncé
Jack the Ripper and the East End – Museum in Docklands
15th May – 2nd November 2008
London’s most notorious bad boy Jack the Ripper is the subject of a major new exhibition which will include police files and photographs as well as letters from the public and the supposed Ripper himself and will allow visitors to examine surviving documents and artefacts from the investigation and follow the crimes as they unfolded.
Climate Change – Science Museum
15th May – November 2008
On display will be the cutting-edge technologies that scientists
are developing to make air travel more eco-friendly including models of
futuristic aeroplane, lighter construction materials and advanced
Jason Brooks: Paul Nurse & Other Works – National Portrait Gallery
22th May – October 2008
This display focuses on the work of a contemporary artist who is exploring the boundaries of portraiture. The centrepiece is Jason Brooks’ recently commissioned photorealist portrait of the eminent scientist Sir Paul Nurse, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in cancer research. From a distance the painting is sharply defined and close-up it is made up of abstracted forms; an attempt, in the artist’s words, to ‘get lost in somebody’s structure’. This new commission is supported by JP Morgan, through the Fund for New Commissions.
Festival for Heroes – Military and Naval Club
22nd May 2008
Supported by Fortnum & Mason the Festival for Heroes is a very British fundraising day with picnics, music and a food and wine bazaar selling London’s finest in luxury surroundings. Fortnum & Mason itself will be the flagship exhibitor on the day showcasing its very best produce. Fortnum’s will be joined by stalls from Spectator Magazine, Boyd Cantenac Wines and London Helicopters, to name but a few!
Tickets cost £50 and are available from Fortnum & Mason, 0845 300 1707 (option 4)
Painting the Boy King: New Research on Portraits of Edward VI – National Portrait Gallery
24th May – 7th December 2008
This display presents some of the early results of a new research project on our collection of Tudor paintings. Three portraits of Edward VI have recently been scientifically examined to investigate the circumstances of their production and explore when they were made. How did artists respond to the challenge of making a nine-year boy look like a regal figure? And, was the extraordinary distorted portrait head of Edward VI a plaything for the young king or just a work painted after his death?
The William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery – Victoria and Albert Museum
Opens 24 May 2008
The new gallery, designed by Eva Jiricna, will transform the presentation of the V&A’s jewellery collection, one of the most celebrated and comprehensive in the world.
Over 3500 jewels will tell the story of jewellery from 2000 BC to the present. On display will be jewels from the courts of Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great and Napoleon, including the famous Beauharnais Emeralds. Jewels by the great houses of Boucheron, Chaumet and Cartier, including Lady Mountbatten’s
tutti frutti bandeau, will be on show.
Natural Puppet Tales – Natural History Museum
25th May, 12.30 and 14.00
Join Debbie Wheeler and her puppets in lively storytelling workshops based on discovering amazing insights into the natural world. This month’s story is Chickie Lickie and Three Billy Goats Gruff. Best suited to families with children aged seven and under.
D-Day Week – HMS Belfast
Monday 26th May – Saturday 31st May 2008
To commemorate her role in D-Day, this May half term break wartime history will be re-enacted onboard HMS Belfast
Visitors to the 613ft ship will find out what life was really like for the crew during the landings. They will relive events by listening to stories from different actors who will talk about their roles in the invasion.
The Wildlife Garden – Natural History Museum
Open daily until end of October
Escape the city and wander through the tranquil habitats of the Wildlife Garden. Set in the Museum’s grounds, the garden reveals a range of British lowland habitats, including woodland, meadow and pond, and demonstrates the potential for wildlife conservation in the inner city.
Eamonn McCabe: Artists and their Studios – National Portrait Gallery
16th June – 19th October 2008
Fourteen new portraits of contemporary artists including Maggi Hambling and Chris Ofili are taken from Eamonn McCabe’s new publication, Artists and their Studios (Angela Patchell Books, June 2008). McCabe established his reputation as a sports photographer, before moving into editorial portraiture. His photographs of writers’ rooms and artists’ studios have recently featured weekly in the Guardian Saturday Review.
Darwin’s Canopy – Natural History Museum
Until 14 September
To celebrate Charles Darwin’s two hundredth anniversary in 2009, the Natural History Museum will commission a new work of art for the ceiling of a gallery (currently Plant Power) in its Central Hall.
Bernard Schwartz Photographs – National Portrait Gallery
10th July 2008 – 4th January 2009
Bernard Schwartz (1914-1979) took up photography in the early 1970s. In a short career the American-born photographer made memorable studies of many well-known figures in Britain, America and Israel – including actors, dancers, artists, writers, politicians and royalty. This display presents a selection of thirty photographs from the collection of 140 recently presented to the National Portrait Gallery by the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation.
Sporting Lives: Contemporary Portraits of Athletes and Olympians – National Portrait Gallery
12 July – 19 October 2008
This display of multi-media works celebrates modern athletes, Olympians and Paralympians. Three key time-based media works – Sir Steve Redgrave by Dryden Goodwin, David Beckham by Sam Taylor-Wood and Duncan Goodhew by Marty St. James and Anne Wilson – will be displayed alongside John Lessore’s painting of Paralympians, and photographs of contemporary sportspeople including Dame Kelly Holmes and Amir Khan.
Charles I: King an Martyr – National Portrait Gallery
19th July – 14th December 2008
The execution of Charles I was one of the momentous events of British history, the culmination of years of political unrest and civil war. Its impact was both profound and widespread, reaching into all areas of British life. This display of engravings and other works from the National Portrait Gallery’s collections looks at some of the ways in which people struggled to make sense of what had happened and to remember the king.
The British International Motor Show – ExCeL London
23rd July – 3rd August 2008
The award-winning British International Motor Show sponsored by Zurich Connect returns to ExCeL London this summer, once again bringing all the glamour, excitement and innovation of a world class motor show to the capital.
Hadrian: Empire and Conflict – British Museum
24th July – 26th October 2008
Hadrian, emperor of Rome from 117 to 138AD, is best known for his interest in architecture, his passion for Greece and Greek culture and of course the eponymous wall he built between England and Scotland. This exhibition
will look beyond his established image and offer new perspectives on his life and rule, exploring the sharp contradictions of his personality and his role as a ruthless military commander.
War Poets – National Portrait Gallery
26 July 2008 – 11 January 2009
To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of WWI, this small showcase display shows photographs and etchings of the significant group of poets working during, and responding to, the war. This display will complement a new loan of a portrait by Sir William Rothenstein of the writer Vera Brittain (1893-1970), who chronicled the devastating effect of war years on soldiers and their families, in her autobiographical work Testament of Youth.
Elizabethan and Jacobean Writers – National Portrait Gallery
From 26th July 2008
The literature of the Jacobean period, including the works of Shakespeare, is one of England’s greatest contributions to world culture. The National Portrait Gallery has an unrivalled collection of literary portraits from this period, including paintings of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Donne, and a recently acquired portrait of John Fletcher. This display celebrates the writers, their work and their portraits.
innocent Village Fete – Regent’s Park
Saturday 2nd August and Sunday 3rd August 2008.
Smoothie makers innocent are inviting Londoners to join them in August
for a weekend of ferret racing, cake eating and Morris Dancing at the
innocent village fete in Regent’s Park.
London Underground advertising through the ages – London Transport Museum
5th August to 1st October 2008
The art of the poster – a century of design for London’s transport – London Transport Museum
17th October 2008 to March 2009
Babylon – British Museum
13th November 2008 – 15th March 2009.
The city of Babylon, situated in modern-day Iraq, has engendered the richest legacy in art and thought from great paintings to contemporary film and music. The exhibition will bring together such works of imagination with archaeological treasures from ancient Babylon, to reveal the reality behind the legends.
The exhibition will focus on the period of Nebuchadnezzar (reigned 604 – 562 BC) bringing his capital to life through bombastic inscriptions on stone and clay, objects of cultic and daily life, magnificent enamel wall panels, and a newly-commissioned model of the architecture that made the city so famous.