Welcome to What’s on in London Autumn 2017, the first of Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays quarterly round-ups. These are the exhibitions and theatre that either I have seen and loved or would like to see.
WHAT’S ON IN LONDON AUTUMN 2017
OPEN NOW AND SEEN BY CULTURAL WEDNESDAY
BASQUIAT: BOOM FOR REAL at the Barbican
Paintings by Basquiat are among the most expensive in the world, to find out what all the fuss is about head over the Barbican Art Gallery but make sure you book tickets first. To read a full review click here.
21 September 2017 – 28 January 2018, Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
OPEN: Sunday – Wednesday 10am – 6pm, Thursday – Saturday 10am – 10pm ADMISSION: Adults £16 concessions available.
DRAWN FROM COLOUR: DEGAS FROM THE BURRELL at the National Gallery
Pirouette over to the National Gallery to see the Burrell Collection’s fine set of Degas drawings and paintings side by side with their London cousins. Beautiful images and best of all the exhibition is free. If you would like to read a full review click here.
20 September 2017 – 7 May 2018, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
OPEN: Daily 10am – 6pm (Fridays until 9pm) ADMISSION: FREE
REFLECTIONS: VAN ECYK & THE PRE-RAPHAELITES at the National Gallery
Whilst you are at the National Gallery go upstairs and see an exhibition which celebrates how old paintings can inspire young artists. When the Arnolfini Portrait arrived at the National Gallery it was first of its kind to arrive in London. A group of students saw the painting and were bowled over by it. They drew inspiration from the painting and went on to be the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
2 October 2017 – 2 April 2018, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
OPEN: Daily 10am – 6pm (Fridays until 9pm) ADMISSION: Adults £10 concessions available
OPERA: POWER, PASSION AND POLITICS at the V&A
Opera is a marmite art form, you either love it or hate it. I love it. Soaring arias, sumptuous costumes and the history surprisingly political multimedia art form are told with aplomb. All in the swanky new exhibition space at the V&A. Click here for my full review.
30 September 2017 – 25 February 2018, Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
OPEN: Daily 10am – 5.45pm (10pm on Friday) ADMISSION: Adults £19 concessions available (booking is recommended)
JASPER JOHNS: SOMETHING RESEMBLING TRUTH at the Royal Academy
The Stars and Stripes, numbers and colour; everyday things that we see all the time. Jasper Johns depicts them over and over again so that we really, really look at these familiar things and see them for what they are – not just symbols.
23 September 2017 – 10 December 2017, Royal Academy, Piccadilly W1J 0BD
OPEN: DAILY 10am – 6pm (10pm on Friday) ADMISSION: Adults £19 concessions available
EL GRECO TO GOYA: SPANISH MASTERPIECES FROM THE BOWES MUSEUM at the Wallace Collection
The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle and the Wallace Collection are among my favourite museums in the whole world. So imagine my excitement when I heard that thirteen Spanish paintings were to come to London for the winter. Best of all entry to both the exhibition and the whole Wallace Collection is free. Click here for my review of the Wallace Collection.
GERALD SCARFE: STAGE AND SCREEN at the House of Illustration
Gerald Scarfe is well known as a political cartoonist but this exhibition concentrates on his designs for Opera, Ballet and Film. Drawings, costumes and miniature stage sets are all on show.
22 September – 21 January 2018, House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, London N1C 4BH
OPEN: Daily 10am – 6pm ADMISSION: Adult £8.25
OPEN NOW AND ON CULTURAL WEDNESDAYS’ WISHLIST
SCYTHIANS WARRIORS OF ANCIENT SIBERIA at the British Museum
Travelling to Siberia is one of the most memorable things that I have ever done, so the chance to see golden artefacts from a forgotten civilisation unearthed from under the Siberian ice is very tempting. Maybe next Wednesday …… watch this space. Must make sure to book first.
14 September 2017 – 14 January 2018, British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG
OPEN: ADMISSION: Adults £16.50 concessions available.
HARRY POTTER: A HISTORY OF MAGIC at the British Library
It is twenty years since J K Rowling first published Harry Potter, to mark the occasion the British Library has been looked on its bookshelves and found all manner of rare magical tomes. We are promised instructions on how to make our own Philsopher’s Stone and the opportunity to see many pictures of dragons. I can’t wait, this is bound to be popular so best to book your ticket in advance, especially if you plan on visiting during half-term.
20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018, British Library, Euston Road, NW1 2DB
OPEN: Monday – Friday 9.30 – 6pm (8pm Tuesday), Saturday 9.30am – 5pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm ADMISSION: Adults £18 concessions available
SOUTINE’S PORTRAITS: COOKS, WAITERS AND BELLBOYS at the Courtauld Gallery
Chaïm Soutine was a Russian painter who arrived penniless in Paris in 1913. He started to paint staff of hotels and restaurants, these became very popular and he became a very rich artist. Now is our chance to see those bellboys and their friends.
19 October 2017 – 21 January 2018, Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand WC2R 0RN
OPEN: Daily 10am – 6pm ADMISSION: £10.50 concessions available.
CLOSING SOON CATCH THEM WHILE YOU CAN
BALENCIAGA: SHAPING FASHION at the V&A
Well not closing soon but brilliant. Beautiful gowns, many with a hidden structure worthy of a structural engineer. X-rays have been taken of some of the frocks enabling you marvel at the construction. Click here to read my full review.
27 May 2017 – 18 February 2018, V&A, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
OPEN: Daily 10am – 5.45pm (10pm on Friday) ADMISSION: Adults £12 concessions available.
ALMA-TADEMA at Leighton House
Laurence Alma-Tadema painted luxuriously clad ladies as he imagined ancient history to look. His lush paintings are on show at Leighton House which has one of the most extraordinary interiors in London, if you haven’t been before now is a good time to visit. If you would like to read a full review click here.
ALMA-TADEMA: AT HOME WITH ANTIQUITY at Leighton House, 12 Holland Park, W14 8LZ
OPEN: Wednesday – Monday 10am – 5.30pm ADMISSION: Adults £14 concessions available
If I had to choose two, then it would be El Greco to Goya at the Wallace Collection and Degas at the National Gallery (but I would grab the opportunity to see Van Eyck whilst I was there, both of which are free. Although I am ludicrously excited about seeing Harry Potter when it opens. Which ones will you choose?
This What’s on in London AUTUMN 2017 barely scratches the surface of what is on offer. Have you been to see any great exhibitions lately or do you have a little known gem on your wishlist?