Ultimate Guide to Best London Exhibitions February 2024

Discover the top London museum exhibitions in February 2024. London has some of the best museums in the world and some of the best art exhibitions too. Discover what see and where with my Ultimate Guide to the Best London Exhibitions. Stay up to date with the latest cultural highlights in London through this regularly updated post.

British Museum Great Court Guide to Best London Exhibitions
British Museum Great Court

Table of Contents

Best London Art Exhibitions February 2024

Unravel The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art until 26 May 2024

Cloth plays a vital part of all our lives from the moment of birth to the moment of death.  Most of the time cloth is neutral, just there, clothing us, carrying our goods, sheltering us but in the hands of artists it can become a bearer of political messages.  The Barbican gathers together 50 international artists and invites them to create works out of cloth with a message.

British Museum

Legion: life in the Roman army at the British Museum until 23 June 2024

The Romans amassed an empire of more than a million square miles, they couldn’t have done it without their army.  Legion looks at the life of those soldiers.  Not just the famous generals but the foot soldiers who fought the battles, manned the forts and patrolled the streets. 

  • British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG
  • Open: Daily 10am -5pm (8.30pm on Friday)
  • Legion £22, Burma to Myanmar £12
  • Members free and Art Fund discounts

Courtauld Gallery

Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads until 27 May 2024 

One of the things that I most love about Frank Auerbach’s work is the way he layers on paint so thickly. I confess that I am looking forward to seeing whether the same urgency is displayed in this collection of his drawings of heads in charcoal.

  • Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, WC2R 0RN
  • Open: Daily 10am – 6pm
  • Admission: £13 includes the whole collecton
  • Members free, art fund half price

Design Museum

Skateboard until 2 June 2024

I have never managed to actually glide on a skateboard and so am in awe of those that can.  Skateboard is devoted to those that can as well as aspirants like me.  Design of the boards themselves and of skateparks.  There is even a mini skate park within the show.  People with experience of skateboarding are invited to book a slot when they buy their tickets. 

Barbie 5 July 2024 – 23 February 2025

Plastic fantastic. Absolutely everything you ever wanted to know about Barbie. Tickets not yet on sale, watch this space for news!

  • Design Museum, High Street Kensington
  • Open: Daily 10am – 6pm (until 9pm Friday and Saturday)
  • Admission: Skate £16
  • Members free

Soulscapes until 2 June 2024

30 artworks from artists of the African Diaspora. Many different types of media including collage, painting, textile, photography and film.

Fashion and Textile Museum

The Fabric of Democracy: Propaganda Textiles from the French Revolution until 3 March 2024

Propoganda isn’t only printed pamphlets or incendiary tweets but can be woven into cloth. Fabrics from across Europe and rarely seen objects from Japan and China will be on show.

The Biba Story, 1964 – 1975 22 March – 8 September 2024

Barbara Hulanicki launched a clothes mail order company in 1963 called Biba. The next year she opened up a store that became a cultural phenomenon.

  • Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF
  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
  • Admission: £12.65, Art card holders half price
  • Pre-booking recommended

Foundling Museum

Polly Braden: Leaving Ukraine 15 March – 1 September 2024

Photographic exhibition focusing on the women and children who have been forced to leave Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

  • Foundling Museum,40 Brunswick Square WC1N 1AZ
  • Open: Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: Included in £10.50 museum entry
  • Art Fund members half price

Hayward Gallery

When Forms Come Alive until 6 May 2024

Sculpture is a static medium. When Forms Come Alive explores how sculptors over the past 60 years have sought to depict movement. Wonderful exhibition, every room made me smile

  • Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
  • Open: Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm (8-m on Saturday)
  • Admission: Adults £18, Southbank members free

Horniman Museum

茶, चाय, Tea, (Chá, Chai, Tea) until 7 July 2024

The Horseman Museum and Tea are inextricably linked. Mr Horniman who founded the museum made his fortune from tea. 茶, चाय, Tea, (Chá, Chai, Tea) looks at the history and importance of tea in general and in relation to the history of the Horseman

Kew Gardens

Kew is more than just great gardens and greenhouses there are also galleries within the gardens.

Orchid Festival until 3 March 2024

Every February orchids are celebrated in the Princess of Wales conservatory at Kew. Madagascar is focus of 2024, always a joy and crucially out of the rain during half term.

Mat Collishaw: Petrichor until 7 April 2024

Mat Collishaw’s work always makes you look twice. Petrichor will see him take inspiration from 17th century flower paintings and real plants to create works using 21 century technology.

  • Kew Gardens, TW9 3AE
  • Open: Weekdays 10am – 7pm, Weekends until 8pm
  • Admission: Adult £15
  • Exhibitions included in entrance to the gardens
  • Kew members free

Museum of London Docklands

Fashion City until 14 April 2024

Pogroms caused 200,000 Jews to settle in this country at the turn of the 19th century.  Half of those ended up working in the fashion and textile industries.  Fashion City celebrates the impact they had on the clothes we wear.  From Jewish tailors in the east end, to High Street retailers like Moss Bros and Wallis and high end designers like David Sasson of Belville Sassoon.  Clothes worn by the Royal, rich and famous as well us ordinary folk are on show.  

Pesellino: A Renaissance Master Revealed until 10 March 2024

Pesellino painted for the Medici’s, his works glow with colour and detail and yet his name is not widely known. Pop into the National Gallery to make his acquaintance and marvel at why he isn’t better know. Small but free exhibition.

Fourth Plinth Shortlist 2024 until 17 March 2024

Outside the National Gallery one plinth is not occupied full time, once every two years a new artwork clambers aboard. Take a look at my post about the Fourth Plinth for current and previous occupants. As it says on the tin, the Fourth Plinth Shortlist is an exhibition of the works on the shortlist for the next two occupants. Even better you can vote on which works you want to see on top of the plinth.

  • National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
  • Open: Daily 11am – 6pm (Friday until 9pm)
  • Pesellino and Fourth Plinth free
  • Members free and Art Fund members half price.

National Maritime Museum

Women of the RNLI 2 March – 1 December 2024

Celebrate the often overlooked role that women have played in the RNLI

  • National Maritime Museum, Romney Rd, SE10 9NF
  • Open: Daily 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: Free

National Portrait Gallery

The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure 22 February – 19 May 2024

Contemporary portraits by members of the African Diaspora. Excellent exhibition that makes you think

  • National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place WC2H 0HE
  • Open: Daily 10.30am – 6pm until 9pm on Friday and Saturday
  • Admission: The Time is Always Now £16, Taylor Wessing £8.50
  • Members free, Art Fund half price

Pitzhanger Manor

Alice Irwin: Chinwag

Chinwag is Alice Irwin’s first solo exhibition in a public London gallery. Expect bold colours and confident shapes across sculpture, prints and drawings.

Sinta Tantra: The Lightclub of Batavia

Sinta Tantra’s paintings and sculptures can be found in the Soane’s house.

  • Pitzhanger Manor, Mattock Lane, Ealing W5 5EQ
  • Open: Thursday – Sunday 11am – 7pm
  • Admission: Adults £13.20, under 18 free
  • Ealing residents free on Wednesday and Sunday morning, Art Pass holders get a discount

Postal Museum

Dressed to Deliver until September 2024

Uniforms worn by Posties have worn from the Victorians right up to the present day. 

  • Postal Museum, 15 – 20 Phoenix Place, WC1X 0DA
  • Open: Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: included in museum admission £16

Holbein at the Tudor Court until 14 April 2024

Hans Holbein was Kings Painter to Henry VIII. The Royal Collection has a wealth not only of Holbein paintings but also of his drawings. He depicted pretty well anybody who was anybody in the Tudor court. Holbein at the Tudor Court offers us a ring side seat with intimate sketches shown side by side with finished paintings.

  • Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace SW1A 1AA
  • Open: Thursday – Monday 10.00am – 4.45pm
  • Admission: Adults £19
  • Booking essential
  • Have your ticket stamped and it becomes an annual pass

Royal Academy 

Entangled Pasts, 1768–now: Art, Colonialism and Change until 28 April 2024

First Supper by Tavares Strachan in the courtyard of the Royal Academy
First Supper by Tavares Strachan, the curtain raiser to Entangled Pasts

From JMW Turner and Joshua Reynolds to Yinka Shonibare and Hew Locke empire and colonialism seen through the shifting lens of time. Absolutely excellent from the moment you step into the RA courtyard.

Impressionists on Paper: Degas to Toulouse-Latrec until 10 March 2024

Promises to do exactly what it says on the tin. Dagas, Cézanne, Renoir, Van Gogh et al drawings not paintings.

  • Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm
  • Admission: Entangled Pasts £22, Impressionists £19
  • Members free, art fund cardholders discount

Saatchi Gallery

Burtynsky: Extraction/Abstraction until 6 May 2024

Retrospective of Edward Burtynsky’s 40 year career spent documenting man’s impact on the world in photographs.

  • Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, SW3 4RY
  • Open: Daily 10am – 6pm
  • Admission: Burtynsky £18

Science Museum

Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍: Clockwork Treasures from China’s Forbidden City until 2 June 2024

18th century Chinese emperors loved to collect clockwork automata. More than twenty of these treasures will be on display in Zimingzhong showing both great craftsmanship and the depth of the Sino-British trading relationship.

  • Science Museum, Exhibition Road, SW7 2DD
  • Open: Daily 10am – 6pm
  • Admission: Pay what you can, minimum £1

Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. 1 February – 17 March 2024

Worth it for the title! Barbara Kruger’s work ranging from early graphics heavy work on paper to later video work.

Refik Anadol: Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive until 7 April

Mesmerising moving AI images of rainforests. Just wonderful.

  • Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm
  • Admission: Free

Somerset House

Cute until 14 April 2024

Wide eyed fluffy animals, rosy cheeked babies, flowers, hearts, stars and pastel colours have come to dominate corners of social media. Cute looks at how cute has infiltrated our lives. All just in time for Hello Kitty’s 50th anniversary, who also are sponsors for the exhibition.

  • Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday noon – 6pm
  • Admission: £18.50

Strawberry Hill House

The Devil is in the Detail: Dürer’s Great Passion until 10 April 2024

To give the exhibition its full title … The Devil is in the Detail: Dürer’s Great Passion and Early Woodcuts from the Schroder Collectionoffers the rare opportunity to see the complete set of Dürer’s Great Passion.  Once you’ve had your fill of old woodcuts take a look at a modern take on art There Goes the Sun by Christiane Baumgartner.  

  • Strawberry Hill House, 268 Waldegrave Road, TW1 4ST
  • Open: Saturday – Wednesday 11am – 4pm
  • Admission: Adult £14.50, members and Art Fund card free

Tate Britain

Sargent and Fashion until 7 July 2024

Simply wonderful. In my dreams I am the kind of woman that Sargent would have painted. Those frocks would have been mine.

  • Tate Britain, Millbank SW1P 4RG
  • Open: Daily 10am – 6pm
  • Admission: Sargent £22
  • Members free, art fund card holders discount

Tate Modern

Yayoi Kusama: Mirror Infinity Rooms until 28 April 2024

Yayoi Kusama draws crowds wherever she goes. Her Mirror Infinity Rooms took up residence in Tate Modern to celebrate the gallery’s 20th birthday. Their run has been extended and extended and extended, this is really is the final extension. Try now there may even be tickets.

Capturing the Moment until 28 April 2024

Capturing the Moment at Tate Modern looks at the ongoing dialogue between photography and painting.  It starts with the move to Abstraction prompted by Photography’s realism.  Moves on to staged photos.  Paintings that look like photos.  Photos that look like paintings.  Paintings created from photos.  Fascinating stuff.  Picasso, Paula Lego, Andy Warhol and Andreas Gursky are all here.  Many works are on loan from the YAGEO Foundation in Taiwan and so haven’t been seen here before. 

Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind until 1 September 2024

Yoko Ono has been creating participatory art since way before Marina Abramovich. So much more than a pop star’s widow Yoko Ono is a trail blazing artist.

  • Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG
  • Open: Daily 10am – 6pm
  • Yayoi Kusama: Mirror Infinity Rooms: Free
  • Capturing the Moment £20, Yoko Ono £22
  • Members free

Two Temple Place

The Glass Heart: Art, Industry & Collaboration until 21st April 2024

Glass making is one of the oldest crafts. The Glass Heart looks at glass making and art in the UK since the 19th century. Two Temple Place is so beautiful and open relatively rarely, so a visit is always worthwhile.

  • Two Temple Place, WC2R 3BD
  • Open: Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday 11am – 6pm Wednesday until 9pm, Sunday: 11am – 4:30pm
  • Admission: Free

V&A

Diva until 7 April 2023

Bob Mackie costumes for Cher at Diva exhibition Victoria and Albert Museum London
Bob Mackie Cher Costumes at Diva

Diva aims to celebrate iconic performers. Think Vivien Leigh, Grace ones, Lizzo, Elton John, Adelina Patti and Maria Callas. Costumes and portraits of Diva’s down the ages will be on show.

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto until 10 March 2024

All sold out, you need to be a member or join ASAP to see Coco. Everything Coco Chanel. Her iconic designs, the creation of her fashion house and the way her designs continue to influence the way we dress today.

Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence 2 March – 22 September 2024

Tropical Modernism was born in West Africa in the wake of independence. Modern architecture suited to the climate. It soon spread becoming a symbol both of modernity and independence.

Wallace Collection

Turner and Bonnington: Watercolours until 21 Apri 2024

The Wallace Collection has so many treasures that not all of them can be on display all the time. These ten works by Turner and Bonnington have been resting in a darkened room for 17 years. Landscapes ranging from the Yorkshire Dales to Venice will be on show. I am most looking forward to seeing JMW Turner’s depiction of the beach at Scarborough, scene of many childhood outings.

  • Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square W1U 3BN
  • Open: Daily 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: Free to the museum charge for Portraits of Dogs

The Cult of Beauty until 28 April 2024

Even the lowest maintenance of us devote time to our appearance. The Cult of Beauty takes a look at what beauty is, how it is percieved, how it changes and how we pursue it.

  • Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road NW1 2BE
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm, until 8pm on Thursday
  • Admission: Free

Zineb Sedira: Dreams Have No Titles until 12 May 2024

Originally created for the French Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale this immersive installation deploys film, sculpture, performance and photography.

Andrew Pierre Hart: Bio-Data Flows and Other Rhythms – A Local Story until 7 Jul 2024

A new commission drawing that will feature a site-specific mural, six new oil paintings, a bamboo sculpture and a film shot in the streets around Whitechapel.

  • Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High St E1 7QX
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm, until 9pm on Thursday
  • Admission: Zineb Sedira: £12.50, Bio-Date Flows Free

Young V&A

Japan: Myths to Manga until 11 August 2024

I confess that Manga is beyond me but I do love a myth.  Japan: Myths to Manga manages to combine the two.  It shows how Japanese myths have helped shape not only Manga but also Japanese fashion and technology in ways that both children and their adults will find interesting and engaging.  Really interesting exhibition that doesn’t dumb down.

  • Young V&A, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA
  • Open: Daily 10am – 5.45pm
  • Admission: £10

Immersive Art Exhibitions in London

Just standing and looking at picture is sometimes not enough. Being able to walk through the landscape of familiar works of art or even interact with them is increasingly popular.

Moonwalkers at the Lightroom until 21 April 2024

Tom Hanks narrates the story of manned flight to the moon both past and present. Just awe inspiring. I stayed up late into the night to watch the Apollo launches, landings and reentry. Even more incredible when on vast colour screens rather than a tiny black and white tv.

  • Moonwalkers
  • Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, N1C 4DY
  • Open: Sunday – Wednesday 9.45am – 9pm, Thursday – Saturday 9.45am – 10.30pm
  • Admission: Flexible pricing ranging from £25 – £35 depending on the date and time

Frameless

For me Frameless is the best immersive art experience in London. There are five vast rooms each exploring a different art genre. The sound system in each is fantastic. My favourite room is the Impressionists where you get to virtually kick dots of colour like autumn leaves. When you’ve explored all five rooms there is really nice bar/cafe to relax in afterwards.

  • Frameless, 6 Marble Arch W1H 7AP
  • Open: Sunday – Thursday 10am – 8pm, Friday and Saturday 10am – 10pm
  • Admission: Adult £25

Whilst I am out and about stopping for refreshment at some of the excellent London Museum Cafés is always a pleasure. Membership or Friendship of most of the galleries and museums will get you into the exhibitions for free as often as you like, take a look at my guide to London Museum Membership for a full run down. Exiting through the gift shop is always a pleasure, indeed I buy most of my presents there, take a look at my guide to London’s Museum Shops. Should you fancy a visit to a famous house, I have a handy guide to London’s Historic Houses.

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