New exhibitions and galleries you have to see in 2019

Britain has hosted hundreds of famed artists throughout its rich history and you’ll find their works portrayed in exhibitions and galleries in numerous towns and cities. These spectacular locations are constantly updating their collections to provide us all with a unique opportunity to cast our eye over prized works from some of the world’s most famous artists, sculptures, painters and impressionists. In preparation for 2019, here are the new exhibitions and galleries that are well worth a date in the diary…

Discover why Van Gogh loved London

Tate Britain will host the largest exhibition of Vincent van Gogh’s work in the UK for nearly a decade (27 March – 11 August). Marking the Tate’s first Van Gogh exhibition since 1947, Van Gogh and Britain will bring together 40 of his most prized works while examining the culture, art and literature that provided inspiration when he lived in London in his early 20s.

Life through a lens

The Tate Britain will also explore the life of renowned photojournalist Don McCullin through images that document his extraordinary career (4 February – 6 May). From harrowing stills of the battlefields of Vietnam and the Troubles in Ireland to images of life in London’s East End and scenes of urban strife, more than 250 photographs will provide a complex retrospective of an icon in British photography. 

An artist at work

September welcomes the most comprehensive survey of William Blake for more than 15 years at Tate Britain (11 September – 2 February 2020), featuring 600 works across an array of different mediums. Discover how the British artist has influenced other artists, writers, musicians and many more people besides over a period of more than 250 years, while working in a time of war, revolution and oppression.

A medicinal journey of discovery

Explore one of the world’s most significant medicine collections at London’s Science Museum and find out how health and medicine have developed during the last 400 years. Bringing together impressive collections from pharmaceutical entrepreneur Henry Wellcome and the Science Museum, the Medicine Galleries are set to fill the entirety of the building’s first floor.

See life in Tudor miniature

The first major exhibition on Tudor and Jacobean portrait miniatures to be hosted in the UK in more than 35 years goes on display in the National Portrait Gallery (21 February – 19 May). Showcasing works from some of the most skilled artists of the period, Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver, will feature portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I, as well as other famous figures including explorers Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh.

Explore the world of cartoons

The Cartoon Museum is due to open in the spring after relocating to London’s Wells Street, near Oxford Circus. As well as new exhibition spaces, a learning centre and visitor facilities, the museum promises to bring the “imagination of the world of cartoons into a physical space”.

The power struggle of an ancient king

Renowned for his savagery, the great king Ashurbanipal ruled the ancient world by showcasing his power, as detailed in the British Museum until 24 February. I am Ashurbanipal: King of the World, King of Assyria features numerous wall reliefs from the period that detail how the king demonstrated his unquestionable authority.

Immerse yourself in the world of Manga

The biggest exhibition of manga to take place outside of Japan will fill the British Museum in May, detailing how the visual narrative art form has become a global multimedia phenomenon (23 May – 26 August). By examining manga’s appeal across the globe, the Manga exhibition is set to entertain, inspire and challenge, presenting the art form in a new light.

Great artists separated by history

Nearly 500 years separate Michelangelo and Bill Viola but the Royal Academy are going to explore what influence the great Renaissance Master painter had on the video art innovator (28 January – 31 March). Bill Viola/ Michelangelo will delve into the pair’s mutual fascination with birth, life and death, among a host of other themes.

Appreciate the art of sculpture

Turner Prize winner Antony Gormley is looking to fill the Royal Academy with seawater as part of an exhibition detailing his illustrious career (21 September – 3 December). The artist, renowned for creating the Angel of the North and for his incredible sculpture work, will present his most significant set of works for more than a decade.

Celebrate the life of Leonardo

The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery will mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s passing with Leonardo da Vinci: A life in drawing, displaying 12 of his finest works as part of a national celebration (2 February – 2 May). Twelve venues across the country will simultaneously display 144 of Da Vinci’s exquisite drawings, considered to be among the most technically accomplished in the history of art.

Ink the artistic history of tattoos

Uncover the largest gathering of original tattoo artwork and real objects ever assembled in the UK at Bristol’s M-Shed space (16 March – 16 June). Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed will celebrate the rich artistic heritage of tattooing as part of a pioneering and comprehensive history exhibition featuring the thoughts of leading academics, cutting edge designers and plenty of key private collectors.

An encounter with art and architecture

Blenheim Palace will host The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspective from February, the largest collection of the famed JMW Turner’s works ever to visit the county (16 February – 22 April). Exhibited in the State Rooms of the Palace, this immersive experience will feature stunning artwork in equally spectacular surroundings.

Uncover street art with a difference

The first major UK exhibition of Keith Haring’s work promises to delve into underground club culture while taking inspiration from pop art and graffiti at Tate Liverpool (14 June – 10 November). Renowned for his public art, Haring has a huge influence on global culture through his sadly short-lived but highly illustrious artistic career.

Experience Royal fashion up close and personal

See the wedding outfits of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex as part of a special exhibition at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh (14 June – 6 October). From mid-June, Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will provide Royal fans with the chance to see Meghan’s striking dress in person, alongside all of the other significant fashion points from their big day.

Don’t missy Dippy on tour

Finally, the Natural History Museum’s famed Dippy the Diplodocus will continue his tour of Britain by visiting the Great North Museum: Hancock (18 May – 6 October). Having spent more than 100 years in London, the 21.3-metre-long skeleton provides a unique insight into prehistoric times and can enthral both children and adults alike.

8 new museums and exhibitions you won’t want to miss

You’re never far from a first-rate museum or art gallery in Britain, many of which are free to visit. Take a look at these hot new openings in 2018 and be the first to see some of the best new exhibitions and galleries in the world.

 

If you like – art and design

You’ll loveDundee’s V&A, Dundee, Scotland

The V&A – one of London’s best museums – opens a new outpost of the museum in the Scottish city of Dundee this autumn, located 1.5 hours from Edinburgh. Ultra-modern and sleek in design, and architect Kengo Kuma’s first British commission, the museum launches with the spectacular Ocean Liners: Speed & Style exhibition, which will display never-before-seen objects and highlights from the ships that revolutionised travel in the mid-19th to the late 20th centuries. The museum will also showcase world-class touring exhibitions from the V&A, as well as the best of Scottish design.

Open: 15 September

 

If you like – sculpture

You’ll loveYorkshire Sculpture Park’s new visitor centre, Yorkshire, north England

Be one of the first to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s (YSP) £4million, environmentally friendly visitor centre later this year, which will bring a gallery space exhibiting 20th- and 21st-century art, a restaurant and shop to this leading centre of modern and contemporary sculpture. Set in the 18th-century Bretton Hall Estate in West Yorkshire, 30 minutes from Leeds, it’s also the only place in the world where you can see Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man in its entirety as well as a significant collection of sculpture, including bronzes by Henry Moore.

Open: Summer 2018

 

If you like – great feats of engineering

You’ll love – Being Brunel, Bristol, south-west England

New to Bristol this year is Being Brunel, a museum celebrating the life and work of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the celebrated Victorian engineer whose famous designs include SS Great Britain, itself moored next to the new museum, and the city’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. It explores everything from the great designs themselves, his celebrity, his ambition to become a leader in engineering, and his home life. Families will love the interactive exhibits, which include talking portraits of his family and friends.

Open: Now

 

If you like – classic ceramics

You’ll love – the new-look Museum of Royal Worcester, Worcestershire, west England

Receiving a £1.7million refurbishment means the museum of the famed porcelain makers, located an hour from Birmingham, will become a living history of the factory, telling the stories of the people that worked there, as well as exhibiting collections that date back to 1751 when the company was formed.

Open: May 2018

 

If you like – maritime history

You’ll love – the new galleries at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Taking a lead role in Cook 250 – the 250th anniversary celebrations of Captain Cook’s first expedition from London to the Pacific and Australia (on 26 August) – the National Maritime Museum is opening four new permanent galleries in 2018 in its East Wing. The new ‘Endeavour Galleries’ will each be dedicated to different themes: Pacific Encounters, Polar Worlds, Tudor and Stuart Seafarers, and Sea Things.
Open: Mid-2018 TBC

 

If you like – Welsh history

You’ll love – the new galleries at St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff, Wales

Later this year, new galleries will open at the open-air history museum around St Fagans Castle to display objects – many never shown before – from the National Museum Wales’ collections. Part of a significant renovation project, there will also be new buildings across the site, one – Gweithdy, a sustainable building boasting a café and a range of craft workshops – that is now open.

Open: Now, and throughout 2018

 

If you like – WWII history

You’ll love – the new galleries at D-Day Story, Portsmouth, south England

Personal stories of D-Day are told through the museum’s collections and audio-visual presentations in the refurbished galleries of the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth, two hours south of London. The new displays feature accounts of the Battle of Normandy and the museum has also put together guides on how you can discover the story of your family members involved in D-Day.

Open: Now

 

If you like – world-class art

You’ll love – the revamped Royal Academy, London

Marking its 250th anniversary in 2018, the Royal Academy will reveal its new look this summer. It will showcase more major exhibitions focusing on living artists and architects, new free art displays, and the institution’s two buildings – Burlington House on Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens – will be linked for the first time with dedicated spaces for exhibitions and displays across the site, including a new Architecture Studio and cafés. There’ll also be an increase in the debates, discussions and workshops the RA is famed for.

Open: May 2018

 

You might also like:

  • In autumn 2018 the British Museum in London will open the Albukhary Foundation Galleries of the Islamic world and a new Japan gallery.
  • The RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme is transforming its London site as part of the Royal Air Force’s centenary celebrations in 2018 with new permanent exhibitions, opening in the summer, and the Now & the Future exhibit area will tell the story of the RAF from its earliest years in the First World War to its global role today.
  • The new-look Mackintosh Tearooms, Glasgow, Scotland, a £10million project preserving the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Tea Rooms Building, is scheduled for completion in June, and a shop next door will be transformed into an education and interpretative centre.
  • Westminster Abbey, London, will welcome a new gallery and museum this summer. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries in the Abbey’s medieval triforium, runs 70 ft above the Abbey and has not been seen by the public for more than 700 years. Expect to see treasures from the Abbey’s 1,000-year history.
  • Discover more than 3,000 objects from around the world in south London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens new World Gallery, celebrating what it means to be human. The new £4.6million gallery includes works of art and fun things to touch, play with and smell.