A selection of ten exhibitions to visit in London that are free because you’ve just spent all your money on a gym subscription that you won’t use.

The Van de Veldes: Greenwich, Art and the Sea

Queen’s House, Greenwich

(Note, finishes on 14th Jan)

This exhibition celebrates these forgotten masters and their practice, marking 350 years since they arrived in England. It also reveals how the family’s legacy as renowned émigré artists transformed British visual culture and inspired future generations of artists including J.M.W. Turner.

Details here

Valentin Goppel: Between the Years

Leica Gallery, Mayfair

(Note, finishes on 22nd Jan)

This up-close-and-personal project, which later became part of a much bigger commission at the request of the German newspaper Die Zeit, documents how for Goppel, along with many of his friends, the initial euphoria surrounding Covid was replaced by disorientation, isolation, and uncertainty. Through both staged and observed imagery, Goppel strives to relay the emotions experienced during this strange time. Ironically, for the photographer the pursuit of image led him briefly out of his own isolation.

Details here

Heritage Gallery Exhibition – Shakespeare

Guildhall Heritage Gallery, City of London

A display celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of William Shakespeare’s First Folio.

The Heritage gallery is just three display cases, but the rest of the art gallery is also free to visit if you’ve never been before.

Details here

The genius of nature botanical drawings by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues

British Museum, Bloomsbury

French by birth but British by adoption, Le Moyne (about 1553–88) created remarkable watercolours of plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables which captivate the eye with their extraordinary naturalism and the striking simplicity of their presentation.

Details here

Martin Church – Tube Picture

Barbican Library, City of London

A comprehensive show of over one hundred new works, including original collages, paintings, reproductions and digital composites. Images are made in public by sketching on the Metropolitan Line tube trains. Since the materials employed are ephemeral, the better images are scanned and printed to record the efforts.

Details here

Genetic Automata

Wellcome Collection, Euston

‘Genetic Automata’ is an ongoing body of video works by artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, exploring race and identity in an age of avatars, videogames and DNA ancestry. The series investigates where deeply ingrained ideas about race come from and the role that science has played in shaping these perceptions.

Details here

Artificial Silk: From Kew to the World

Richmond Museum, Richmond

A special exhibition about a little-known local scientific invention with a huge global impact: the development of artificial silk. Invented in Kew in the early 1900s, viscose rayon is a soft, silky textile made from wood pulp which is still one of the most widely produced fibres in the world today.

Details here

Discover Liotard and the Lavergne Family Breakfast

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

For the first time in 250 years, this exhibition reunites the pastel masterpiece by Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard, painted in Lyon in 1754, with the painted version in oil he completed in London almost 20 years later.

Details here

Shakespeare and War

National Army Museum, Chelsea

This exhibition explores some of the ways in which Shakespeare has shaped how we think about soldiers and the Army, and how we imagine war and its consequences today.

Details here

Set to Stun: Designing & Filming Sci-Fi in West London

Gunnersbury Park Museum, Ealing

This exhibition ‘Set to Stun’ celebrates sci-fi film and television from the 1960s through to today, turning the camera onto the west London artisans, artists and crafts people who brought it all to life.

Details here


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One comment
  1. Kiran padia says:

    New to me. Let’s see. I am a pensioner and a very new watercolour…. artist in the learning process.

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