For those unfamiliar with locations, here's a map! You can zoom in and out using the + /- signs bottom right. It will help you see the distance between different places if you're planning to visit more than one.
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a map of major museums and art galleries in London open to the public
CENTRAL LONDONIf you have limited time and want to maximise looking at art, I'd recommend basing yourself around Trafalgar Square where you have a number of exhibitions and displays within the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery.
Further recommendations for those in South London after the section on Central London.
Note that all museums are closed 25-26 December - but only a few are closed on 1 January.
- Until 5th January 2015 - The BP exhibition Ming: 50 years that changed China. An exhibition with a decorative focus - it includes porcelain, gold, jewellery, furniture, paintings, sculptures and textiles from museums across China
- More details - see http://www.britishmuseum.org
- Visiting - British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG Closed 25-26 December and 1 January 2015.
- Until 18 January 2015 - Rembrandt: The Final Years (Sainsbury Wing Exhibition) Rembrandt's techniques and work in his later years are one of the reasons why he is best remembered
- More details - see http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk Closed 25-26 December and 1 January 2015.
- Visiting - Trafalgar Square London WC2N 5DN
National Portrait GalleryThe NPG always has an excellent selection of exhibitions and displays - and is one of the few galleries I know where the displays often match up to and sometimes even better the exhibitions! If you want one gallery to visit to see a range of artwork on different themes then this is the one - so long as you like portraiture!
- Until 15 March 2015 - Grayson Perry: Who are you? This is a bit of an odd exhibition as each of the artworks (ceramic posts, sculpture, tapestry and a self-portrait) are displayed as part of the permanent collection. You're given a little map to follow to find them all. RECOMMENDED: Well worth seeing - particularly if you followed the television programme.
- Until 1 March 2015 - The Real Tudors - Kings and Queens Rediscovered - This exhibition has a remarkable set and sequence of portraits of the Tudor Monarchs. I really appreciated seeing drawings next to paintings and sequences of portraits of monarchs over time, they're very impressive. RECOMMENDED for fans of history and the Tudors (that's me!). Overall the exhibition is very much superior to the normal display of Tudor monarchs due to the loans the gallery has been fortunate to secure.
- Until 22 February 2015 - Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize - 60 contemporary portraits selected for one of the most prestigious photographic portrait competitions. Read my review David Titlow wins Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014
- Until 11 January 2015 - Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, 1860 – 1960 This is an exhibition which left me a little non-plussed. It's more an exhibition of objects as a portrait of the man. As such it has relatively little of his artwork. The social history of his legacy continues all the way through to the Festival of Britain
|One of the tapestries in Grayson Perry: Who are you?|
rediscover the well-known Tudor monarchs through the most complete presentation of their portraiture staged to date.
|View of objects on display in the exhibition - Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, 1860 – 1960|
- Until 21 June 2015 - Snowdon - a life in view. An excellent retrospective display of the portrait photographs of Lord Snowdon. Read my review Snowdon and the world of arts. RECOMMENDED in particular to those who lived through the 1960s, 70s and 80s in the UK.
- More details - see http://www.npg.org.uk
- Visiting - St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE Closed 25-26 December
- Until 8 February 2015 - Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010 An exhibition which seeks to redeem the status of a German artist who doesn't fit in with any part of German art.
- Until 15 March 2015 - Conflict, Time and Photography - a survey of photography of war which has turned into something of a blockbuster exhibition.
- More details - see http://www.tate.org.uk/modern
- Visiting - Bankside, London SE1 9TG Closed 25-26 December
Tate BritainIf visiting Tate Britain don't neglect to see the chronological survey of works from the permanent collection in the BP Walk through British Art - plus several smaller associated 'spotlight' exhibitions focusing on individual artists. Plus there is of course the Turner Collection
- Until 4 January 2015 - Turner Prize 2014 - if you like video......
|Installation shot of The EY Exhibition: Late Turner - Painting Set Free|
Copyright Tate photography
- 25 January 2015 - Late Turner: Painting Set Free - Late Turner: Painting Set Free is the first major exhibition to survey the achievements of the last works of J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). I visited in October and it's splendid.
- More details - see http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain/
- Visiting - Millbank, London SW1P 4RG Closed 25-26 December | Download the Tate Britain floor plan in PDF
Royal Academy of Arts
- Until 25 January 2015 - Giovanni Battista Moroni - one of the greatest portraitists of 16th-century Italy. I didn't think I knew Moroni - until I started to review the paintings included in this exhibition
- Until 25th January - Allen Jones RA - Allen Jones is a bit of a marmite artist - you either love him or loath him. It often seems to depend on which gender you are. I'm not a fan.
- More details - see http://www.royalacademy.org.uk
- Visiting - Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD | 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET Closed 25-26 December and limited hours on 1 January.
Victoria & Albert Museum
- Until 11 January 2015 - Constable: The Making of a Master This is a major exhibition which reassesses John Constable’s influences, techniques and legacy to offer a new interpretation of Britain’s best-loved artist. Oil sketches painted outdoors are united with the masterpieces which were created in the studio from them.
- More details - see http://www.vam.ac.uk
- Visiting - Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL Closed 24-26 December 2014
- Until 18th January - Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude2014 - http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/exhibitions/2014/Schiele/index.shtml
- More details - see http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/index.shtml
- Visiting - Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN Closed 25-26 December 2014
- Until 15th February - Collecting History: The Founders of the Wallace Collection - an exhibition about the Wallce Collection itself and how it came about
- More details - see http://www.wallacecollection.org
- Visiting - Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN Closed 24-26 December
If you're based in South London, you might want to try the exhibitions at Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Horniman Museum
Dulwich Picture Gallery
- Until - 8 March 2015 From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia - This is the first UK exhibition dedicated to Emily Carr - one of Canada’s most beloved and esteemed artists, virtually unknown outside Canada. See Emily Carr at the Dulwich Picture Gallery which includes my video interview with the Director.
- More details - http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/
- Visiting - Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD Closed
- until 25 January 2015 - Kurt Jackson: River. I don't normally highlight exhibitions by individual artists but Kurt Jackson is a bit different - he's concerned with with natural history, ecology and environmental issues as well as being an excellent painter. This is a retrospective of his riverine projects from the last 30 years. This is an artist who does series paintings with a difference!
- More details - see http://www.horniman.ac.uk
- Visiting - 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ