Welcome to the IanVisits alternative guide to London.
Lectures, talks, heritage events, organised walks and other random geeky miscellany.


Displayed in date order by how soon they close.

Experience Ainu culture as it exists today in this exploration of the contemporary lives of this indigenous people of northern Japan. (Ends on Sun, 21st Apr)

Japan House London
W8 5SA
2024-04-21
Ainu Stories: Contemporary Lives by the Saru River
The exhibitions explore one of the great - and most entertaining - literary friendships, tracing the shared work, travels, confidences and, above all, the bond of friendship between two men whose books remain loved the world over. (Ends on Sun, 21st Apr)

Charles Dickens Museum
WC1N 2LX
2024-04-21
Mutual Friends: The Adventures of Charles Dickens & Wilkie Collins
This bold new exploration of glass in the UK brings together for the very first time rarely seen works from key UK collections, celebrating this remarkable material. (Ends on Sun, 21st Apr)

Two Temple Place
WC2R 3BD
2024-04-21
The Glass Heart
This free display brings together ten works by the two artists: with four views of Yorkshire by Turner and five scenes of Normandy and Venice by Bonington. (Ends on Sun, 21st Apr)

Wallace Collection
W1U 3BN
2024-04-21
Turner and Bonington: Watercolours from the Wallace Collection
This exhibition explores notions of beauty across time and cultures. (Ends on Sun, 28th Apr)

Wellcome Collection
NW1 2BE
2024-04-21
The Cult of Beauty
A large scale new commission from Hong-Kong based artist Zheng Bo, transforming Somerset House’s courtyard into a bamboo garden. (Ends on Sun, 28th Apr)

Somerset House
WC2R 1LA
2024-04-21
Zheng Bo: Bamboo as Method
Spanning over 60 years of contemporary sculpture, this exhibition highlights ways in which artists draw on familiar experiences of movement, flux and organic growth. (Ends on Sun, 5th May)

Hayward Gallery
SE1 8XX
2024-04-21
When Forms Come Alive
This exhibition marks the largest exhibition ever mounted in the 40+ year career of world-renowned photographic artist, Edward Burtynsky. (Ends on Mon, 6th May)

Saatchi Gallery
SW3 4RY
2024-04-21
BURTYNSKY: Extraction / Abstraction
Explore how music shapes our lives in this interactive exhibition. (Ends on Mon, 6th May)

Science Museum
SW7 2DD
2024-04-21
Turn It Up: The power of music
How do you develop a vaccine quickly and effectively to combat a global pandemic?  (Ends on Sun, 12th May)

Science Museum
SW7 2DD
2024-04-21
Injecting Hope: The race for a COVID-19 vaccine
Critically acclaimed, the collection features works by artist Nathan Sawaya which are made from millions of LEGO bricks. (Ends on Sun, 12th May)

The Boiler House
E1 6RU
2024-04-21
The Art of the Brick - LEGO Art
This exhibition showcases the difference between refillable, returnable (prefill) and repurposed product packaging of the past, present, and future. (Ends on Wed, 15th May)

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising
W11 1QT
2024-04-21
Display - Reuse, Refill, Rethink
A small display of documents about Billingsgate Market in the Guildhall Art Gallery's Heritage room (lower basement). (Ends on Thu, 16th May)

Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheater
EC2V 5AE
2024-04-21
Billingsgate Market at the Heritage Gallery
A major study of the Black figure – and its representation in contemporary art.  (Ends on Sun, 19th May)

National Portrait Gallery
WC2H 0HE
2024-04-21
The Time is Always Now Artists Reframe the Black Figure
Through photographs, possessions, interviews, maps and more, this exhibition explores the lives and stories of generations of UCL students. (Ends on Mon, 20th May)

UCL Octagon Gallery
wc1e 6bt
2024-04-21
A display exploring the body of literature about London by European writers from across the centuries. (Ends on Mon, 20th May)

Bloomsbury Campus
WC1E 6BT
2024-04-21
Using textiles, fibre and thread, 50 international artists challenge power structures and reimagine the world in this major group exhibition. (Ends on Sun, 26th May)

Barbican Arts Centre
EC2Y 8DS
2024-04-21
Unravel the Power and Politics of Textiles in Art
A group of hauntingly beautiful, large-scale portrait heads in charcoal by Frank Auerbach - considered some of his early masterpieces – are being presented together for the first time.  (Ends on Mon, 27th May)

Courtauld Institute of Art
WC2R 0RN
2024-04-21
Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads
Celebrate the centenary of the publication of Freud’s famous work The Ego and the Id with an interactive mini-exhibition exploring visual metaphors behind the id, ego and superego. (Ends on Fri, 31st May)

Freud Museum
NW3 5SX
2024-04-21
An exhibition about the west London hive of workshops and design studios that fed into some of the country’s most iconic Sci-Fi films and TV shows. (Ends on Sun, 2nd Jun)

Gunnersbury Park and Museum
W5 4NH
2024-04-21
 Set to Stun: Designing & Filming Sci-Fi in West London
Turn back the hands of time and discover a beautiful exhibition of mechanical marvels. (Ends on Sun, 2nd Jun)

Science Museum
SW7 2DD
2024-04-21
 Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍: Clockwork Treasures from China’s Forbidden City
£18  
The first major UK exhibition to map the design evolution of the skateboard from the 1950s to today – a story of design, daring and disobedience. (Ends on Sun, 2nd Jun)

The Design Museum
W8 6AG
2024-04-21
Skateboard
A display of gems collected in classical times -- including some recently recovered by the British Museum from an alleged theft. (Ends on Sat, 15th Jun)

British Museum
WC1B 3DG
2024-04-21
Rediscovering gems
An exhibition of delicate and intimate paintings and drawings from Kenyan-born, London-based artist Zeinab Saleh. (Ends on Sun, 23rd Jun)

Tate Britain
SW1P 4RG
2024-04-21
Art Now Zeinab Saleh
The exhibition will include illustrations for stories by Richmal Crompton, J. B. Priestly & Gerald Bullett and John van Druten, an English playwright and theatre director. (Ends on Sun, 23rd Jun)

Heath Robinson Museum
HA5 1AE
2024-04-21
Heath Robinson’s Illustrations for magazines, 1925 to 1936
This exhibition transports you across the Roman Empire through the life and service of a real Roman soldier, Claudius Terentianus, from enlistment and campaigns to enforcing occupation and then finally retirement. (Ends on Sun, 23rd Jun)

British Museum
WC1B 3DG
2024-04-21
Legion life in the Roman army
A forest rodeo, a hidden stargazer and a mason bee at work are just a few of the awe-inspiring images featured in the 59th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. (Ends on Sun, 30th Jun)

Natural History Museum
SW7 5BD
2024-04-21
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
The exhibition explores tea’s complex history and myriad of meanings – from its popularisation and globalisation connected to stories of imperialism and colonial violence. (Ends on Sun, 7th Jul)

Horniman Museum
SE23 3PQ
2024-04-21
 茶, चाय, Tea (Chá, Chai, Tea)
Almost 60 of Sargent’s paintings will be on display, including major portraits that rarely travel (Ends on Sun, 7th Jul)

Tate Britain
SW1P 4RG
2024-04-21
Sargent and Fashion
Through personal letters, photographs, sculptures, books and marginalia, Freud and Latin America will investigate the roots of psychoanalysis in the region. (Ends on Sun, 14th Jul)

Freud Museum
NW3 5SX
2024-04-21
Freud and Latin America
The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, 1610, lent by the Intesa Sanpaolo Collection, will be displayed alongside another late work by the Italian artist from the National Gallery Collection, Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist, about 1609–10. (Ends on Sun, 21st Jul)

National Gallery
WC2N 5DN
2024-04-21
The Last Caravaggio
From Hokusai to Pokémon, Studio Ghibli, robots and beyond, the exhibition takes young visitors on an atmospheric and playful journey revealing the influence of folklore on Japan’s art and design. (Ends on Sun, 11th Aug)

Young V&A
E2 9PA
2024-04-21
Japan: Myths to Manga
This exhibition follows the lives of British soldiers in Germany over the past 75 years. (Ends on Wed, 21st Aug)

National Army Museum
SW3 4HT
2024-04-21
 Foe to Friend: The British Army in Germany since 1945
You can spot your postie by their brightly coloured get-up, but what’s the history of their uniform and how has it changed?  (Ends on Sun, 1st Sep)

The Postal Museum
WC1X 0DA
2024-04-21
Dressed to Deliver
Delve into the powerful, participatory work of artist and activist Yoko Ono (Ends on Sun, 1st Sep)

Tate Modern
SE1 9TG
2024-04-21
£20  
This exhibition celebrates the life and work of one of the greatest Italian designers of the 20th century, Enzo Mari, whose designs have inspired generations of creatives around the world. (Ends on Sun, 8th Sep)

Design Museum
W8 6AG
2024-04-21
Enzo Mari
The 14 works on display provide a snapshot of digital art practices from the 1960s to early 2000s. (Ends on Sun, 15th Sep)

Victoria and Albert Museum
SW7 2RL
2024-04-21
Patric Prince: Digital Art Visionary
An exhibition about an architectural style developed in the 1940s and adopted after independence by India and Ghana as a symbol of modernity and progressiveness, distinct from colonial culture. (Ends on Sun, 22nd Sep)

Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum
SW7 2RL
2024-04-21
Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence
Loaned from Brighton Museum, this display showcases more than 300 years of popular British history. (Ends on Sun, 29th Sep)

Victoria and Albert Museum
SW7 2RL
2024-04-21
Henry Willett's Collection of Popular Pottery
A display of rare, nationally significant outfits which shines a spotlight on the intimate story of a middle-class mother and her affluent daughter at a moment in history that shaped the way fashion is consumed today. (Ends on Sun, 20th Oct)

Leighton House Museum
W14 8LZ
2024-04-21
 Out Shopping: The Dresses of Marion and Maud Sambourne (1880-1910)
The Wallace Collection explore the remarkable life and legacy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), the founder of the Sikh Empire (1799-1849).  (Ends on Sun, 20th Oct)

Wallace Collection
W1U 3BN
2024-04-21
Ranjit Singh: Sikh, Warrior, King
The exhibition is a joyful exploration of the body, drawing on the artist’s experience of becoming disabled as a child.  (Ends on Sun, 12th Jan 2025)

Wellcome Collection
NW1 2BE
2024-04-21
Jason and the Adventure of 254