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The 9 London exhibitions inspiring us in 2016

Above: Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius at the Science Museum, London. Copyright EPPDCSI - PH Levy

With the new year stretching out ahead of us, we're looking forward to feeding our inspiration and indulging in the world class museums and galleries London has to offer. We're spoilt for choice with many wonderful new exhibitions; here's what we've got our eye on in 2016...

1. Artist and Empire, Tate Britain

George Stubbs, 'A Cheetah and a Stag with two Indian Attendants' 1765. Copyright Manchester Art Gallery

Bringing together unexpected works associated with the British Empire from the 16th century to the present day, the Tate Britain explores how artists from around the globe interpret their experiences of the Empire. We're looking forward to seeing a range of works including maps, flags, paintings and artefacts.

Artist and Empire

25 November 2015 - 10 April 2016

Tickets: £16 adults, concessions £14, under 12s go free.

Open: 10am - 6pm daily

Tate Britain


London SW1P 4RG

2. Nikolai Astrup, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Nikolai Astrup, Foxgloves, 1927, colour woodcut on paper, 70 x 78 cm, The Savings Bank Foundation DNB/The Astrup Collection/KODE Art Museums of Bergen. Photo copyright of Anders Bergersen

The first UK exhibition dedicated to the landscape painter and printmaker, Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928). Inspired by myths and folklore from his home in western Norway, his powerful images capture our imagination.

Nikolai Astrup: Painting Norway 

5 February - 15 May 2016

Tickets: Adults £12.50, Concessions £7, children free.

Open: 10am - 5pm daily

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Gallery Road,

London, SE21 7AD 

3. Botticelli Reimagined, V & A

'The Renaissance of Venus' by Walter Crane, 1877, Copyright Tate London 2015

We're looking forward to seeing the variety of ways artists have responded to the magical artwork of Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510). This exhibition features work from the Pre-Raphaelites to the more contemporary and includes around 50 original masterpieces by Botticelli himself.

Botticelli Reimagined

5 March - 3 July 2016 

Tickets: Adults £15, students £10, children under 12 free.

Open: 10am - 5.45pm daily

Victoria and Albert Museum

Cromwell Road

London, SW7 2RL

4. RCA Secret, The Royal College of Art

Detail from The Royal College of Art 'Secret' exhibition.

Here's your chance to get your hands on an original art work for a great price. But there's a twist! The artist's name isn't revealed until after the purchase has been made. You could be lucky enough to pick up an original Grayson Perry, Paula Rego or Emma J Shipley! We're delighted to be part of this exciting selling exhibition for 2016 and look forward to discovering new favourite artists ourselves.

Stewards Law RCA Secret 

8 April - 15 April 2016

Tickets: Free Admission but you need to register first.

Exhibition Open: 11am - 6pm, Friday 8th & Saturday 9th April

Sales Open: 8am - 6pm, Sunday 10th April

Royal College of Art

Kensington Gore,

London, SW7 2EU

5. David Hockney, Royal Academy

David Hockney RA, 'Barry Humphries', 26-28 March 2015. Acrylic on canvas. Copyright David Hockney. Photo credit: Richard Schmidt.

Hockney returns to the RA with a new portraiture collection, sharing an intimate glimpse into his life in Los Angeles. The painted portraits depict friends and family members, all sitting in the same chair and with the same vivid blue background. We love how the bold colours pop from the canvas.  

David Hockney RA: 79 Portraits and 2 Still Lifes

2 July - 2 October 2016

Tickets: £11.50

Open: 10am - 6pm (10pm late Friday)

The Royal Academy

The Sackler Wing, Burlington House


London, W1J 0BD

6. Vogue 100, National Portrait Gallery

Anne Gunning in Jaipur by Norman Parkinson, 1956. Copyright Norman Parkinson Ltd / Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive

Celebrating 100 years of cutting-edge fashion, beauty and portrait photography by British Vogue, the exhibition showcases the creative photography commissioned by the magazine since it started in 1916. We're looking forward to a treat of exquisite vintage prints, insider photo's from renowned fashion shoots and unpublished work.

Vogue 100. A Century of Style.

11 February - 22 May 2016

Tickets: Adults £19, concessions £17.50

Open: 10am - 5pm daily

The National Portrait Gallery

St Martin's Place

London WC2H 0HE

7. Leonardo da Vinci : The Mechanics of Genius, The Science Museum

Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius at the Science Museum, London. Copyright EPPDCSI- PH Levy

We know him as one of history's greatest painters. This visually stunning exhibition highlights the unique talents of Leonardo da Vinci featuring 39 historical models made for the 500th anniversary of da Vinci's birthday which includes flying machines, diving apparatus and weapons.

Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius

10 February - 4 September 2016

Tickets: Adults £10 concessions available.

Open: 10am - 6pm daily

The Science Museum

Exhibition Road

London, SW7 2DD

8. Otherworlds: Visions of our Solar System, The Natural History Museum

A Plutonian Haze. Photograph of Pluto from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, 14 July 2015. Credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute / Michael Benson, Kinetikon Pictures, courtesy of Flowers Gallery.

Explore the magic of space with this beautiful photographic exhibition, mixing art and science. Artist, curator and writer Michael Benson brings us 77 stunning visuals to reframe how we see our Solar System. 

Otherworlds: Visions of our Solar System

22 January - 15 May 2016

Tickets: Adults £9.90, child and concession £5.40, family £26.10

Open: 10am - 5.50pm daily

The Natural History Museum

Cromwell Road

London, SW7 5BD

9. Dutch flowers, The National Gallery

Left: 'Flowers in a Terracotta Vase', 1736 by Jan van Huysum. Oil on canvas. Copyright The National Gallery, London.  Right: 'A Still Life of Flowers in a Wan-Li Vase on a Ledge with further Flowers, Shells and a Butterfly', 1609-10 by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder. Oil on copper. Copyright The National Gallery, London

Coinciding nicely with the flower shows at Chelsea and Hampton Court, this exhibition is the first of its kind, exploring the development of Dutch flower painting from the early 17th century to the late 18th century. We're looking forward to getting up close to fully appreciate the detail of every petal.

Dutch Flowers

6 April - 29 August 2016

Tickets: Free

Open:  10am - 6pm daily

The National Gallery

Trafalgar Square

London, WC2N 5DN

It certainly looks like another great year of art in the capital. What exhibitions are you looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments below...

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