Wednesday, November 28, 2012

London Art Exhibitions - Autumn/Winter 2012

These are the major art exhibitions at major art museums and galleries in London in late Autumn 2010 / Winter 2011.  The list is organised by art gallery and museum.  Within each venue the exhibitions are in date order and dates are highlighted.

The links in the names of the exhibitions are to their microsite pages (where available) of the relevant art gallery or museum where you can see them.

So - are you planning to go and see any of these exhibitions?

UK - Major Art Galleries and Museums

National Gallery
This looks at early and contemporary photography alongside paintings by Old Masters and reviews how the traditions of fine art have influenced photography.  This is the National gallery's first major exhibition of photography.
Richard Hamilton died, age 89 in 2011.  This is a retrospective exhibition of his late work and includes art never before seen in public.
Not a large exhibition - just 30 oil sketches from American collections plus one completed painting 'Niagara Falls, from the American Side' (1867) - but one which many plein air painters will want to try and visit!

Frederic Edwin Church - Niagara Falls, from the American Side - Google Art Project
Niagara Falls, from the American Side (1867) by Frederic Edwin Church 
[Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
oil on canvas, Height: 2,575 mm (101.38 in). Width: 2,273 mm (89.49 in)
The emphasis is on altarpieces and devotional drawings
National Portrait Gallery
Prince Henry and Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex
by Robert Peake, c. 1605
Copyright: The Royal Collection
Photo: Supplied by Royal Collection Trust /
© HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012
I've popped into this one and intend to go back as it looks absolutely fascinating. It's about the life of Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612) who died age 18.
60 portraits by contemporary photographers - read my Review: Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012
I'm looking forward to this one as I've heard a lot about Man Ray but I think I've only ever seen his photographs in books. The first major museum retrospective of the influential and innovative artist’s photographic portraits.
The remarkable portraits created during George Catlin's five trips to the western United States.  He documented the look and dress of Native American people and their way of life.
Tate Modern
Photographs by William Klein and Daido Moriyama of modern urban life modern urban life in New York and Tokyo.  This is the Guardian review - Klein and Moriyama at London's Tate Modern – reviews roundup
Tate Britain
An exhibition to celebrate his 80th birthday
This is the largest exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite work since 1984 - and it's proved very popular - I'd definitely recommend booking tickets if you plan to see it over the Christmas / New Year break. Read my review - Review - Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde at Tate Britain
The Pretty Baa-Lambs (1851-9) by Ford Madox Brown
oil on panel
Collection: Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
The usual....... The winner will be announced on Monday 3 December 2012 during a live broadcast by Channel 4.

Royal Academy of Arts
  • Bronze 15 September—9 December 2012
It's all about bronze in art - from Ancient Greece to contemporary sculpture. Here's what visitors have had to say.
I'm looking forward to this major new exhibition about the development of the British School of landscape painting.
This exhibition is in the new galleries in Burlington Gardens to the rear of the RA.
This is the first ever restrospective exhibition of Manet's portrait paintings.  This is a gallery of some of the images in the show.
Music in the Tuileries (1862) by Édouard Manet
oil on canvas, 76 × 118 cm (29.9 × 46.5 in)
Collection: National Gallery, London
British Museum
This is a great review by the Independent which gives it 4 stars - Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain, British Museum, London and another by Brian Sewell.  The consensus seems to be this exhibition is worth seeing if you like prints and drawings.  Here's a classic paragraph from Sewell's review on the subject of  the value of drawings.
Drawings are difficult for those who are unfamiliar with their study; they are the equivalent of the manuscript of an Austen novel or a Mozart symphony with all their erasures and corrections — consider how much we value those. Drawings record the initiation of ideas and their consequent maturity, they are records, documents, palimpsests and works of art in their own right; they can be as fresh as the day they were drawn, or distressed, almost to illegibility, by constant reference, kicked and scuffed on the studio floor. They can be of a whole composition, or of a detail deep within it, studied and precise, or a dashing, even wild, impression. They can be drawn in a variety of pens and inks, red chalk, black chalk, charcoal, pastel, waxed crayon, lead or silverpoint, watercolour or any combination of these techniques. The would-be connoisseur must poke his nose in them and worry them as a terrier with a rat.
British Library
200 objects document the Mughal empire from the 16th to the 19th century. 
Courtauld Gallery
This exhibition is a review of a body of work by England’s leading painter from the period of the Civil War to the reign of Charles II
This exhibition is to celebrate Frank Auerbach gift of nine etchings by Lucian Freud (1922 - 2011) to the Courtauld Gallery.
Wallace Collection
An exhibition which aims to use the Wallace's collection of Murillo paintings to further the understanding and appreciation of Murillo as a key protagonist of Spain’s Golden Age.
Dulwich Gallery
This is an exhibition which is going to be of interest to those who like Early English watercolours and drawings. Read my review Review: Cotman in Normandy - at Dulwich Art Gallery
"Dutch Italianate paintings from Dulwich’s incomparable collection will be on display at the Mall Galleries in a further collaborative venture that sends Dulwich paintings to central London."
More about the MuseumsTo find out more about these museums you can consult my resource sites for art lovers:

UK - Major National Art Societies

These are the exhibitions by National Art Societies ( plus their 'leading lights') and art competitions at the two main galleries for art society exhibitions in London - the Mall Galleries on The Mall and the Bankside Gallery, next to Tate Modern on the South Bank.

UK - National Art Societies

Mall Galleries 
The Federation of British Artists presents an exhibition of the landscapes of modern Britain - and I'm really looking forward to seeing it
Bankside Gallery 


  1. What a fabulous list! I especially enjoyed seeing some of the treasures of a couple of these places. I've got to get myself to the Chicago Art Museum soon!

  2. One I'm hoping to see if "Giorgio Morandi: Works on Paper" at the Estorick Collection (16 January – 7 April 2013).


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