Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Art Exhibitions in London at Christmas 2015

As usual I have some suggestions as to art exhibitions to see in London over the Christmas/New Year period.
  • Plus the all important details of when the galleries are open and when they are closed.
  • Major exhibitions have their titles in bold
  • Links to the website for the exhibition is embedded in each title
  • Exhibition venues are ordered according to the number of visitors they generated in 2014 according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
Note this is not a complete list of all exhibitions in London during the festive season - but this list should provide most people with something to do. It gave me a few ideas just writing this post!

British Museum

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January

National Gallery

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December 2015 and 1 January 2016
  • Goya - The Portraits is on display in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery until 10th January 2016. Open daily 10am-6pm - but closed 1 January and 24-26 December. This exhibition tells the story of his development as a portrait painter - for the first time in an exhibition.
  • Visions of Paradise: Botticini's Palmieri Altarpiece 4 November 2015 - 28 March 2016

Tate Modern

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December but open on New Year's Day

Triple Gong c.1948 by Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976)
Calder Foundation, New York, NY, USA
Photo credit: Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, NY
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015
  • Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture Until 3 April 2016 - The American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was apparently responsible for inventing the mobile now used for soothing babies. This exhibition reveals how motion, performance and theatricality underpinned his practice
  • The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop - Until 24 January 2016 - demonstrates how pop art was not confined to the studios of its most well known exponents
Whaaam! Pop! Kapow! This is pop art, but not as you know it. 

Victoria & Albert Museum

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December

marketing the new galleries at the V&A

National Portrait Gallery

Closed Christmas Day.

Gallery view of the Giacometti exhibition
This limited show is at best a taster for Tate’s eagerly awaited 2017 retrospective.



British Library

Closed 24-28 December and 1 January
  • Alice in Wonderland - until 17th April 2016. This exhibition is celebrating 150th anniversary of the publication of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' was first published. 
see Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript with hand-drawn illustrations, alongside stunning editions by Mervyn Peake, Ralph Steadman, Leonard Weisgard, Arthur Rackham, Salvador Dali and others. British Library

Kew Gardens - Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art

closed on 24 and 25 December

Tom Putt apple by Rosie Sanders
  • Nature's Bounty - until 31 January 2016  - paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection focusing on fruit and vegetables from across the world

Tate Britain

Closed 24-26 December
  • Artist and Empire - until 10 April 2016 - a major exhibition of art associated with the British Empire from the 16th century to the present day.
  • Frank Auerbach - until 13 March 2016 
a British artist who has made some of the most vibrant, alive and inventive paintings of recent times.

Imperial War Museum 

Closed 24, 25, 26 December
  • Lee Miller: A Woman’s War Until 24 April 2016 - about the impact of the Second World War on women's lives. Lee Miller's role in documenting the Second World War was only discovered after her death. She was one of the most important female war photographers of the 20th century.

Royal Academy of Arts

Closed 24, 25, and 26 December 2015. Open on 1 January from 12pm - 6pm.



Hampton Court Palace - The Cumberland Art Gallery

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December. Open on 1 January.
  • The Cumberland Art Gallery houses a changing display of artworks, principally from the Royal Collection. It includes some stunning paintings.

Courtauld Gallery

Closed 25 and 26 December. Last admission at 3.30pm on 24 December.
Exhilarating, uplifting, startling in their high originality – Peter Lanyon’s gliding paintings at the Courtauld Gallery are the revelation of the year.
“An exhibition of pure genius”★★★★★ The Guardian

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December. Closed 1 January and every Monday. It is also running extended Christmas opening times.


  • The Amazing World of M.C. Escher - until 17 January 2016 - Due to the popularity of this exhibition, the gallery are operating a timed entry ticket system. To avoid disappointment please pre-book tickets online.

Saatchi Gallery

Closed 25 and 26 December. Closes 4.30pm on 24th and 1 St January.

The Queens Gallery (The Royal Collection)

Closed 25-26 December 2015
  • Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer - until 14th February 2016 - 27 masterpieces from the Royal Collection, the exhibition includes works by Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch, and Johannes Vermeer's A Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman, 'The Music Lesson'.

Wallace Collection

Closed 24 - 26 December
  • a national museum which displays the wonderful works of art collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It also has an excellent restaurant/tea room!

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