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Posts in: Museums & Galleries

10 Things That May Surprise You About Works of Art at The National Gallery, London

In 1824 the House of Commons agreed to pay £57,000 for the art collection of the wealthy banker John Julius Angerstein. His 38 pictures became the core of a new national collection. Great encouragement came from another collector, Sir George Beaumont, who donated 16 paintings to the new gallery and in 1838 the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square finally opened its doors.

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Top 10 Things To See At London's Victoria & Albert Museum

With a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects, London's Victoria & Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. You would need many years – maybe a lifetime - to look through this unequalled treasure trove so what better solution than hiring a Blue Badge Tourist Guide to select and explain some of the exceptional artefacts on display.

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Top 10 Facts About Tate Modern

Tate Modern is the jewel in the crown of modern art galleries in London. It holds the nation's collection of modern art from 1900 to the present day. With 5.7 million visitors it is in the top ten most visited museums and galleries in the world. The collection holds masterpieces of international and British modern art. From Picasso's "The Three Dancers", to Dali's "Autumnal Canibbalism", to Rothko's "The Seagram Murals", to Duschamp's "Fountain", to Parreno's "Anywhen", Tate Modern is a one stop shop for modern art lovers.

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Top 10 Objects To Surprise You At The British Museum

The British Museum is the most visited museum in London. Visitors from all over the world are drawn to the museum to see with their own eyes world-famous artefacts, such as the Rosetta Stone or the Parthenon frieze, artefacts that might have only be seen in school or art books. They also come to experience other cultures, because after all the British Museum is the museum of the world for the world. But for the discerning visitor a scratch beneath the surface of all the "celebrity" objects can reveal some real surprises. Here is my list of such surprises.

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America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

The art of 1930s America tells the story of a nation in flux. Artists responded to rapid social change and economic anxiety with some of the 20th century’s most powerful art – brought Grant Wood, American Gothic, 1930 together now in this once-in-a-generation show. 45 truly iconic works paint an electrifying portrait of this transformative period.

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Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, this powerful exhibition explores one of the most momentous periods in modern world history through the lens of its groundbreaking art. Renowned artists including Kandinsky, Malevich, Chagall and Rodchenko were among those to live through the fateful events of 1917, which ended centuries of Tsarist rule and shook Russian society to its foundations.

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11 Major Museum Exhibitions in London for 2017

Contributing to London as a cultural mecca are 200+ museums, many of which can be explored with a knowledgeable Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Each has permanent collections as well as major exhibitions to help draw in visitors. Highlighted below are 11 major museum exhibitions happening in London during the 2017 calendar year.

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Natural History Museum Diplodocus Going On Tour

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The Charterhouse Museum & Cafe Opens in January 2017

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The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection Exhibition at Tate Modern

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Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

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Visiting The Jewish Museum London

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Portrait of the Artist Exhibition at The Queen's Gallery

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Abstract Expressionism Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

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Picasso Portraits Exhibition at National Portrait Gallery

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Wifredo Lam Exhibition at Tate Modern

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South Africa - The Art of a Nation Exhibition at British Museum

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Beatrix Potter's London Display at Victoria & Albert Museum

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The British Museum Announces Most Successful Year Ever

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The Camera Exposed Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

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National Portrait Gallery - BP Portrait Award 2016

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Record Visitor Figures for New Tate Modern Switch House

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David Hockney Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

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Elytra Filament Pavilion at Victoria & Albert Museum

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9 Facts About The Queen's House Celebrating 400th Anniversary

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Black Chronicles Exhibition at National Portrait Gallery

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Colour & Vision - Through The Eyes Of Nature Exhibition at Natural History Museum

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Tate Modern's Switch House Opens 17 June 2016

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Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition at Tate Modern

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Rolling Stones Exhibitionism Exhibition at Saatchi Gallery

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Engineering The World Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

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Sunken Cities - Eqypt's Lost Worlds Exhibition at British Museum

Submerged under the sea for over a thousand years, two lost cities of ancient Egypt were recently rediscovered. Their story is told for the first time in what is expected to be a blockbuster exhibition at the British Museum – Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds.

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Sicily Culture & Conquest Exhibition at British Museum

The Sicily Culture & Conquest exhibition is currently on display at the British Museum. Sicily has been shaped by waves of conquest and settlement by different peoples over 4,000 years. Since the 8th century BC, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans all settled or invaded the island, lured by its fertile lands and strategic location.

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Visiting the Royal Academy of Music Museum

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Painting with Light: Art and Photography from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Modern Age Exhibition at Tate Britain

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Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

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Fashioning A Reign: 90 years of Style from the Queen's Wardrobe

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Maria Merian's Butterflies Exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

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500 Years of Records at the UK Parliamentary Archives

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British Library Acquires Kenneth Williams's Archive

The British Library has announced the acquisition of the personal archive of Kenneth Williams, including 43 personal diaries and approximately 2,000 letters spanning his entire life and career from the age of 18 until his death in 1988.

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Artist Subodh Gupta Exhibits When Soak Becomes Spill At Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum has unveiled When Soak Becomes Spill, a major new installation by leading Indian contemporary artist Subodh Gupta.  

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Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

Using the work of Monet as a starting point, The Royal Academy of Arts landmark exhibition Painting The Modern Garden: Monet To Matisse examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s through to the 1920s.

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The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson Exhibition at The Holburne Museum

Interested in comic art?  Then consider organising a Bath tour with one of our Blue Badge Tourist Guides and be sure to check out the High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson exhibition at Holburne Museum of Art. 

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Dutch Artists In The Age of Vermeer Exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery

Launching on 13th November 2015 at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace is a new exhibition titled: Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer.

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Crystal Sceptre Given To The City of London by King Henry V On Display At Guildhall

  From 24 October 2015 until 3 December 2015, the Crystal Sceptre given by Henry V to the City of London in grateful thanks for their help in loaning him money for the Battle of Agincourt will be on show at the Guildhall Art Gallery.

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The Bejewelled Treasures Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum will launch The Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection exhibition on 21 November 2015.  Spectacular objects, drawn from a single private collection, will explore the broad themes of tradition and modernity in Indian jewellery. 

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Jean-Etienne Liotard Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts is showcasing an exhibition on the work of Jean-Etienne Liotard who was an artist in great demand across Enlightenment Europe and beyond.

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Frank Auerbach Exhibition at Tate Britain

Tate Britain has launched an exhibition featuring Frank Auerbach (b 1931, Berlin), a British artist who has made some of the most vibrant, alive and inventive paintings of recent times. Often compared to Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud in terms of the revolutionary and powerful nature of his work, his depictions of people and the urban landscapes near his London studio show him to be one of the greatest painters alive today.

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6 Exhibitions To Look Forward To At Victoria & Albert Museum In 2016

The Victoria & Albert Museum established in 1857 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design and houses a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. This vast collection is stored and displayed in a number of buildings over 12 acres of land in the South Kensington area of London, with over a third of a mile in circumference. These objects along with a wide range of exhibitions make the Victoria & Albert Museum one of the more popular tourist attractions in London.  Below we highlight six upcoming exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum.  

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The Fabric of India Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

The Fabric of India exhibition will be the highlight of the Victoria & Albert Museum India Festival and will explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India from the 3rd to the 21st century.

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The World Goes Pop Exhibition at Tate Modern

Whaaam! Pop! Kapow! This is pop art, but not as you know it. Tate Modern is ready to tell a global story of pop art, breaking new ground along the way, and revealing a different side to the artistic and cultural  phenomenon.

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5 Reasons To Visit The Royal Academy of Music Museum

Below are 5 reasons why the Royal Academy of Music Museum in London is a must for music lovers! 

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Rolling Stones Exhibition at Saatchi Gallery

In April 2016 the Saatchi Gallery will host the Rolling Stones exhibition Exhibitionism which will cover their 50-year history through more than 500 articles.

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Ai Weiwei Exhibition at Royal Academy

From 19 September to 13 December 2015 the major artist and cultural phenomenon Ai Weiwei takes over the main galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts with brave, provocative and visionary works. 

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Celts Art And Identity Exhibition at British Museum

This autumn the British Museum, in partnership with National Museums Scotland, will stage the first British exhibition in 40 years on the Celts. Celts: Art And Identity opens at the British Museum on 24 September and will draw on the latest research from Britain, Ireland and Western Europe.

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Kew Garden News: New Waterlily Species Found

A new waterlily species has been found on a plant-hunting expedition in a remote spot in Kimberley, Western Australia. As plant-hunter Carlos Magdalena investigated the waterlily, it became clear this was not the first time the species has been encountered by Kew Garden experts. 

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Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust Exhibition at Royal Academy

From a basement in New York, Joseph Cornell channelled his limitless imagination into some of the most original art of the 20th century. Cornell hardly ventured beyond New York State, yet the notion of travel was central to his art. His imaginary voyages began as he searched Manhattan’s antique bookshops and dime stores, collecting a vast archive of paper ephemera and small objects to make his signature glass-fronted ‘shadow boxes’.

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Audrey Hepburn Exhibition at National Portrait Gallery

Currently at the National Portrait Gallery is a fascinating photographic exhibition on the life of actress and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993). 

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Serpentine Pavilion 2015 Designed By Selgascano

The Serpentine Gallery unveiled its 15th annual summer pavilion on 22 June brining a touch of Glastonbury to Kensington Gardens in the form of a giant multi-coloured tent.

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Frames in Focus Exhibition at National Gallery

The Frames in Focus: Sansovino Frames exhibition marks the first in a series of exhibitions at the National Gallery which will explore specific frame types; bringing together 30 exquisite examples of this distinctive style of frame associated with Venice and the Veneto.

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Soundscapes Exhibition at National Gallery

Soundscapes (8 July – 6 September 2015) is part of the National Gallery Inspires programme of exhibitions. Drawn from the National Gallery collection, the exhibitions take a fresh view of National Gallery paintings. Soundscapes has commissioned musicians and sound artists to select a painting from the collection and compose a new piece of music or sound art in response. Immersive and site-specific, the experience encourages visitors to ‘hear’ the paintings and ‘see’ the sound.

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Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

Since 1769, famous artists, aspiring professionals and amateurs have submitted their work for the event of the summer - the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. It is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition that had famous artists such as Reynolds, Constable and Turner; amateur artists such as Winston Churchill (1955) showing off their talents at this prestigious event. This is a popular event with an annual 200,000 people visiting the exhibition.  

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Fighting History Exhibition at Tate Britain

The Fighting History exhibition launching at Tate Britain in June will focus on the conflict, martyrdom and catastrophe found in history painting from the eighteenth century to the present day.

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Barbara Hepworth:Sculpture for a Modern World exhibition at Tate Britain

Tate Britain will open the first major Barbara Hepworth exhibition in London for almost fifty years. Barbara Hepworth (1903–75) is most commonly associated with St Ives, Cornwall, where she lived from 1939 until her death in 1975.

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Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea exhibition at Natural History Museum

The Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London explores the richness of life beneath the waves and the importance of these delicate ecosystems and includes more than 200 specimens spanning corals, fish and fossils, a live coral reef and a virtual dive through stunning imagery from the Catlin Seaview Survey. 

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Wildlife Garden at Natural History Museum Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary

Few visitors to the Natural History Museum are aware of the ‘living exhibit’ in the grounds. However, this year, the low-profile Wildlife Garden celebrates its 20-year anniversary.

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Charles Dickens Desk Saved For Nation

Although on display at the Charles Dickens Museum in Doughty Street, the desk was privately owned and although it had been passed down through the Dickens family after his death in 1870, it was auctioned for the Great Ormond Street Charitable Trust in 2004.

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Bethlem Museum Of The Mind Opens

The Bethlem Royal Hospital better known as Bedlam was set up in 1247 as Europe’s first centre dedicated to the treatment of psychiatric illness.   It has moved between various locations in London – including at the building that is now the Imperial War Museum.

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Shoes: Pleasure And Pain Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

The Shoes: Please And Pain exhibition will look at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers.

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Sonia Delaunay Exhibition at Tate Modern

A new exhibition at Tate Modern will showcase the work of Sonia Delaunay (1885–1979) who was a key figure in the Parisian avant-garde and became the European doyenne of abstract art.

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Sculpture Victorious Exhibition at Tate Britain

Powerful, beautiful and inventive, the Victorian era was a golden age for sculpture. Tate Britain’s exhibition Sculpture Victorious celebrates some of the most astonishing and lavish works produced in this groundbreaking period.

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All Of This Belongs To You Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

At a time when Britain will be engaged in the democratic process of an election, the Victoria & Albert Museum will examine the role of public institutions in contemporary life and what it means to be responsible for a national collection.

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What is Luxury? Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London will showcase a What is Luxury? exhibition which will interrogate ideas of luxury today. It will address how luxury is made and understood in a physical, conceptual and cultural capacity.

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Wellington - Triumphs, Politics And Passions Exhibition at National Portrait Gallery

A rarely seen portrait of the Duke of Wellington goes on view at the National Portrait Gallery as part of exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815) and illustrates his extraordinary life as a soldier and statesman. 

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Richard Diebenkorn Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts will host an exhibition of the works of Richard Diebenkorn.   Revered as one of the great post-war masters in his native United States, Richard Diebenkorn is an artist whose staunchly independent career takes us from abstraction to figuration and back again.  He is described by the Washington Post as one of America’s “finest abstract painters."

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Smithsonian Comes To London

One of America's most revered cultural institutions, The Smithsonian, is in talks about building an outpost on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stratford Waterfront, close to the site of the former Water Polo Arena.

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Michelangelo Bronzes Discovered

Two ‘lost’ statues have been identified as original Michelangelo sculptures – and are possibly the only surviving bronzes by him, experts have claimed. The pair, which show naked young men riding panthers, are described as ‘phenomenally important’ and, if truly by the master, would solve one of the greatest mysteries in art history.

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Marlene Dumas Exhibition at Tate Modern

Marlene Dumas is one of the most prominent painters working today. Her intense, psychologically charged works explore themes of sexuality, love, death and shame, often referencing art history, popular culture and current affairs.

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Star Wars Exhibition at Madame Tussauds London

Madame Tussauds London is opening a new Star Wars experience in Baker Street on Saturday, 16th May.   

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Painting Paradise: The Art Of The Garden

Whether a sacred sanctuary, a place for scientific study, a haven for the solitary thinker or a space for pure enjoyment and delight, gardens are where mankind and nature meet. A new exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace will explore the many ways in which the garden has been celebrated in art through over 150 paintings, drawings, books, manuscripts and decorative arts from the Royal Collection, including some of the earliest and rarest surviving records of gardens and plants.

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John Singer Sargent Exhibition at National Portrait Gallery

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was the greatest portrait painter of his generation. Acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, he was closely connected to many of the other leading artists, writers, actors and musicians of the time. His portraits of these friends and contemporaries, including Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet and Robert Louis Stevenson, were rarely commissioned and allowed him to create more intimate and experimental works than was possible in his formal portraiture.

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Top 7 London Museums

There is no shortage of excitement and interesting places to visit while in London, but there is also a great deal of culture. If you are looking to expand your horizons or you are keen to find out more about the world that we live in, you will find that the top London museums will provide you with fascinating insight into the world around us.

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New Stegosaurus Skeleton at Natural History Museum

A spectacular Stegosaurus skeleton was unveiled on 4 December at the Natural History Museum in London. It is the first complete dinosaur specimen to go on display at the Natural History Museum in nearly 100 years. The 150 million year old Stegosaurus stenops is the only Stegosaurus in a public collection outside the USA.

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Rubens and his Legacy: Van Dyck to Cezanne Exhibition

This exhibition will bring together masterpieces produced during Rubens' lifetime, as well as major works by great artists who were influenced by him in the generations that followed.

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Waterloo at Windsor: 1815-2015 Exhibition

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon. In celebration of the allied victory, George IV created the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, a grand space filled with portraits of those instrumental in the victory, among them the Duke of Wellington. 

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The 2012 Olympic Cauldron at the Museum of London

For all of the Blue Badge Tourist Guides who led tours around and in the London Olympic Park, one of the most frequently asked questions was 'Who will be chosen to light the Olympic Flame? How will it work on the night?' But of course, it was as much of a mystery to us, as to everyone else!

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Allen Jones Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

A new exhibition showcasing the career of British Pop artist Allen Jones, from the 1960s (when alongside peers like Hockney and Caulfield he was closely associated with the rise of Pop Art) to the present day will open at the Royal Academy of Arts.

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Cairo to Constantinople Exhibition at Royal Collection Trust

There is a new exhibition titled: Cairo to Constantinople – Early Photographs of the Middle East in the Queen's Gallery at the Royal Trust Collection which follows the journey taken by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) in 1862, as he undertook a four month tour around the Middle East.

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Russian Avant-Garde Theatre Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

A new display in the Theatre and Performance Galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum titled Russian Avant-garde Theatre: War Revolution and Design 1913 – 1933 presents more than 150 radical designs for theatrical productions by celebrated figures of the Russian avant-garde.  

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Conflict, Time, Photography Exhibition at Tate Modern

Timed specifically to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, this exhibition concerns the relationship between photography and sites of conflict over time, highlighting the fact that time itself is a fundamental aspect of the photographic medium.

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Turner Exhibition at Petworth House & Tate Britian

Joseph Mallord William Turner was not the most sociable of men but he found a true friend in George O'Brien, Third Earl of Egremont and owner of Petworth House in Sussex. The Earl was a sociable and generous aristocrat with a love of art, a large house and an open purse. Every year he had a party in the grounds of Petworth for the local community on his birthday and, when 6000 people turned up one time, he made sure they were all welcomed, fed and watered.

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The Queen's Gallery Gold Exhibition at Royal Trust Collection

The Queen's Gallery Gold exhibition at the Royal Collection Trust celebrates the enduring qualities of gold, and draws on works of art from the Bronze Age to the present day. The distinctive properties of gold – its lustre and its warm yellow colour which appears to mirror the sun, its rarity and its perceived purity, because it does not tarnish, have meant that this material has always been associated with the highest status, both earthly and divine.

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Sherlock Holmes Exhibition at Museum of London

This year the Museum of London welcomes an exciting new exhibition, delving into the mind of the world’s famous fictional detective, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. 

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at Natural History Museum

The acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition premieres at London’s Natural History Museum each year and tours more than 60 cities in the United Kingdom and across the world.

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Giovanni Battista Moroni Exhibition at Royal Academy

This is the first comprehensives exhibition in the United Kingdom of Giovanni Battista Moroni’s work.   He was one of the greatest portraits of 16th century Italy.  Famed for his gift capturing the exact likeness of his sitters, he created portraits that are as penetrating and powerful now as they were more than 400 years ago.

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Anselm Kiefer retrospective at Royal Academy

In September 2014, the Royal Academy will present the first major retrospective of work to be held in the UK by Honorary Royal Academician, Anselm Kiefer.  This will be the most significant exhibition of the German artist’s work ever held in the UK, spanning his entire 40-year career and unveiling new work created in direct response to the Royal Academy’s spaces.

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Wallace Collection Reopens 19 September

The Great Gallery, one of the finest collections of Old Master paintings in the world, is reopening on 19 September with a new hang following its two-year refurbishment.

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John Constable Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

This major exhibition titled Constable: The Making of a Master will reassess John Constable's influences, techniques and legacy to offer a new interpretation of one of Britian's best-loved artist.  Discover how great works are created as Constable's most famous masterpieces are united with revoluntary oil sketches: expressive evocations of land, sea and sky that allowed him to transfer the freshness of the outdoors into his exhibition paintings.

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Dippy at Natural History Museum in peril as museum is given £5M

The Natural History Museum has received its largest donation but a much-loved feature, a dinosaur replica, Dippy could be removed. Sir Michael Hintze gave the London museum £5m to improve galleries and aid research.

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2014 Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy

The Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show. Now in its 246th year, the 2014 exhibition continues the tradition of showcasing work by both emerging and established artists in all media, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film.

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Mammoths: Ice Age Giants at Natural History Museum

Be awestruck as huge fossils and life-size models of mammoths and their relative’s tower above you and meet Lyuba, the world’s most complete mammoth, as she takes centre stage in the Mammoth's Ice Age Giants exhibition at the Natural History Museum. 

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Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty at Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum has announced that Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibition is coming to London in 2015. This is the first and largest retrospective of McQueen’s work to be presented in Europe.

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Disobedient Objects Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

From a Suffragette tea service to protest robots, the Disobedient Objects exhibition coming to the Victoria & Albert Museum will be the first to examine the powerful role of objects in movements for social change.

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Louis Kahn Exhibition at Design Museum

The Design Museum is currently showcasing an exhibition of American architect Louis Kahn (1901-1974) who is regarded as one of the great master builders of the Twentieth Century. Kahn created buildings of monumental beauty with powerful universal symbolism.

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Goodbye Piccadilly Exhibition at London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum has launced a new exhibition Goodbye Piccadilly – From Home Front to Western Front which will run from Friday 16 May 2014 to Sunday, 8 March 2015. A key theme in the exhibition is the acceleration of social change as a result of the outbreak of war.

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