Can’t-Miss 2019 Exhibitions at London Museums

Miniskirts and hot pants. The overturning of the Pre-Raphaelite patriarchy. And the only rock ’n’ roll museum in London. These are the London museums topping the charts this year with can’t-miss exhibitions. Get tickets ahead of time to feel like a rock star when you skip the line or, as the Brits call it, the queue.

Edvard Munch at The British Museum

If Edvard Munch’s The Scream could, well, scream, it would likely be set to the sound of haunting synths. At the largest show of the Norwegian artist’s prints in nearly five decades, go beyond his iconic work and explore the life and legacy of the artist most often compared to Vincent Van Gogh, his Dutch contemporary. On view April 11 – July 21, 2019.

Olafur Eliasson at Tate Modern

When it comes to small talk, what’s the first topic you bring up? If you’re like most everyone on the planet, your go-to is the weather. Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson’s iconic The Weather Project, a glowing sun installed in the museum’s entrance hall, drew hundreds of thousands to the Tate Modern in 2003-2004. The artist used the ubiquitous subject to explore ideas about experience, meditation, and representation. Eliasson returns with a new exhibit, In real life, which will be a major survey of his career to date. On view July 11, 2019 – January 5, 2020.

Pre-Raphaelite Sisters at The National Portrait Gallery

In the 19th century, a group of artists sought to emulate a style of simplicity, evocative of the work of Italian artists from before the time of Raphael. Throughout history, the Pre-Raphaelites that gained the most fame were male artists. Now, more than 160 years later, The National Portrait Gallery is shining a spotlight on the overlooked contribution of 12 women to the Pre-Raphaelite movement. On view October 17, 2019 – January 26, 2020.

Mary Quant at The Victoria & Albert Museum

There was perhaps no greater influence on the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements than British designer Mary Quant. Revolutionary at the time, her miniskirts, hot pants, and vibrant tights are just a few of the pieces that inspired a fashion revolution in London and throughout the United Kingdom. See more than 200 garments and accessories, including never before seen pieces from Quant’s personal collection. On view April 6, 2019 – February 16, 2020.

“The Smithsonian of Rock and Roll”

Although not technically a museum, Andy Warhol once called Hard Rock Cafe London “the Smithsonian of rock ‘n’ roll.” And he wasn’t lying. It was the first Hard Rock location to open (back in 1971) and features an exclusive music memorabilia museum, The Vault. Get a taste of music history when you swing by for a Legendary® Burger then check out hundreds of epic pieces, like Eric Clapton’s red Fender Lead II guitar – the first piece of memorabilia ever acquired by Hard Rock. Bonus: entry is free.

Writer: Nick Papa