A selection of ten excellent exhibitions to visit in December as a break from office parties and trying to remember how to use postage stamps to send Christmas cards.

Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope

Science Museum, South Kensington


With over 100 objects and numerous personal accounts, the exhibition brings to life the stories of people affected by cancer, together with those who study and treat it, revealing how researchers, clinicians, policymakers and patients are fuelling progress in a powerful expression of shared hope.

Details here

Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes

The Postal Museum, Clerkenwell

Adults: £16 | Young person: £11 | Children: £9 | National Art Pass: £8

Postcodes are now part of everyday life. They affect everything from communications and identity to house prices and care. They were first trialed in Norwich in 1959, but their story goes back further. Take a journey from the early postal districts of London, Liverpool and Manchester in the 1850s to the modern coding we know today. Meet the amazing minds working at the Post Office Research Centre at Dollis Hill in the 1930s to 60s. And consider ‘what does my postcode say about me?’, as we delve into how postcodes today are used to sort people, as well as post.

Details here

Toys, Tech and Tamagotchis: Christmas Bestsellers of the 20th Century

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, Ladbroke Grove

Adults: £9 | Children: £5 | Concessions: £7 | Family (2+2): £24

The display shows the most exciting new toys to come to the market throughout the 20th Century – those at the top of every child’s Christmas list. It also comments on returning trends and popularities such as the Furby, Barbie, Lego and Rubik’s, which have ranked high on the top-selling toys lists on many occasions throughout the last few decades.

Details here

Winslow Homer: Force of Nature

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

Adults: £12 | Concessions: £10 | Children: Free | Art Fund: £6

For the first time in the UK, we present an overview of Winslow Homer (1836–1910), the great American Realist painter who confronted the leading issues facing the United States, and its relationship with both Europe and the Caribbean world, in the final decades of the 19th century.

Details here

Winter Past

The Museum of the Home, Hoxton


The museum’s Rooms Through Time, restyled to reveal how winter has changed London homes through the last 400 years. This year, the Museum’s curators are also excited to unveil two brand new stories for the festival: a family warming up after a visit to a Frost Fair on the Thames – when the winter was so cold that the river froze over and Londoners were able to skate on it – and a celebration of the winter solstice through a Black, queer lens.

Details here

Photography and Archaeology in southern India

British Library, Kings Cross


A display of photographs taken between 1857 and 1970, capturing the archaeological site of Hampi. This display provides a lens on the archaeological legacy of Hampi through our archives and the research activities that have played a role in preserving the city’s cultural heritage.

Details here

Black British Dynasties in Music: A Family Affair

Barbican Art Centre Library, City of London


A celebration of the huge contribution made to music and culture by Black British musical families, curated by the Black Music Coalition. This exhibition contains specially commissioned photographs taken by Nathaniel Bailey and Dennis Morris, best known for his images of Bob Marley and The Sex Pistols. It will be complemented by interviews with the subjects, conducted by Capital Xtra DJ, Robert Bruce.

Details here

The Carpenters’ Line: Woodworking Heritage in Hida Takayama

Japan House, Kensington

This exhibition celebrates the essence of Japanese craftsmanship through the story of an enduring woodworking heritage cultivated in the densely forested Hida region of Gifu Prefecture in central Japan.

Details here

Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth

British Library, Kings Cross

Adults: £17 | Young people: £15 | Child (12-17): £7.50 | National Art Pass: £9.50

When it comes to making myths, Alexander the Great’s story has it all.

He built an empire that stretched across the world. Rode across the sky on a flying chariot. And descended to the bottom of the sea in a glass bell.

Or did he?

Details here


Tate Modern, Southwark

Adults: £22 | Children: £5 | Concessions: £20

One of the largest collections of Cezanne paintings ever assembled has arrived in London, and filled a whole series of rooms at the Tate with his signature still lifes, landscapes, and nudes.

Details here




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  1. Philip Carr says:

    Entry fees are getting ridiculous!

    • Alan Simpson says:

      I agree. But I expect entry fees are still cheaper than many top-flight football matches. And you can stay in the musuem/gallery all day long if you wish …

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