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.