As home to the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Imperial War Museum to name just a small few, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to choosing an exhibition to visit in London.
Some items are always on display, such as important paintings, ancient pottery, Roman coins and fossils, so there’s plenty of time to see those. But if you’re only in the UK capital for a few days this spring/summer, you might want to catch one of the temporary exhibitions that are currently being hosted.
Here’s our pick of five of the best:
1. Star Wars Identities at the O2
Sci-fi fans are sure to enjoy the Star Wars Identities exhibition that’s currently on display at the O2, running until Sunday September 3rd 2017.
This exhibit celebrates the evolution of characters including the Stormtroopers, Yoda, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker from the very first George Lucas film in 1977 through to the latest installment of the franchise from Disney last year.
With props, costumes and interactive displays, this exhibition is a lot of fun even if you don’t know a great deal about the Star Wars universe. Each visitor even gets the chance to create their own Star Wars character based on the different aspects of their personality.
Whether yours ends up small and green like Yoda or with coiled hair a la Princess Leia, may the Force be with you throughout your visit.
2. Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace
Until February 28th 2018, visitors to London will have the chance to see the magnificent Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace.
This exhibition features some of the most iconic outfits worn by the late Princess of Wales in the year that marks the 20th anniversary of her tragic death.
A particular highlight of the collection is the stunning black velvet off-the-shoulder dress worn by the princess as she danced at the White House with film star John Travolta in 1985.
Other dresses on display include the frock dubbed ‘the Elvis dress’ by the press due to its high, bejewelled white collar, as well as various day suits and ballgowns worn by Diana following her marriage to Prince Charles.
While some of the pieces on display are timeless, such as the delicate silk classically-cut evening gowns, others are showing their age a little, such as a 1980s tartan suit complete with boxy cut and shoulder pads.
3. The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes at South Bank
Down Doon Street on the South Bank of the River Thames until Monday September 4th, lovers of comics and superheroes will have the chance to see models of their favourite DC characters for some great photo opportunities – made all the more impressive by the fact they are made from Lego.
Professional Lego artist (how cool does that job sound?) Nathan Sawaya has used more than two million Lego bricks to construct over 120 large-scale figures shaped like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America and Catwoman, to name just a few.
4. David Hockney at the Tate Britain
Showing at the Tate Britain until Monday May 29th 2017 is a collection of some of British artist David Hockney’s best-loved works as he approaches the milestone of his 80th birthday.
Hockney’s life has taken him from the Yorkshire countryside to the sunshine of Los Angeles, with his works taking visitors on a journey through these various settings, from rolling English landscapes to dazzling blue pools in LA. This is a chance to see many of these works together for the first time, with some previously unseen pieces also on display.
Exhibition highlights include ‘Peter Getting out of Nick’s Pool’, painted in 1966, and the more recent but equally as vibrant ‘Garden’, which Hockney completed in 2015.
5. Harry Potter art at the House of MinaLima
The House of MinaLima in Soho is a great little place to explore. Part gallery, part shop, this small gallery houses a collection of graphic art from the much-loved Harry Potter movies, which were filmed in nearby Leavesden.
Potterheads will love getting the chance to see original copies of the Daily Prophet magical newspaper used during filming, as well as spell book covers and editions of The Quibbler, a magazine that often required the reader to view it upside down.
There’s also a floor dedicated to the art from the more recent Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie that starred Eddie Redmayne, along with an extensive gift shop selling a wide range of art prints relating to the magical world created by JK Rowling, as well as other much-loved films.