The Best Exhibitions To See In December

By Londonist Last edited 35 months ago
The Best Exhibitions To See In December

December is a quiet time for art openings, but there are a lot of exhibitions that started earlier this month and run through until the New Year. We've selected our favourite below — check the list and read our reviews.

Alexander Calder, Antennae with Red and Blue Dots c1953. © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2002.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture @ Tate Modern (Open until 3 April 2016)
Calder is a distinctive artist; his delicately balanced mobiles can be set in motion with the slightest gust of air. His works are even more impressive when they're big, and there are plenty of those in this retrospective of kinetic sculpture. Read our review. £16.30/£14.50

Taylor Wessing Prize @ National Portrait Gallery (Open until 21 February 2016)
The annual photographic competition is back at the National Portrait Gallery, celebrating the very best talent in contemporary photography portrait. If you like photography, you shouldn't miss this one. Read our review. Free admission

Tintin: Hergé's Masterpiece @ Somerset House (Open until 31 January 2016)
Step inside the eccentric world of artist-author Hergé and his most famous character Tintin. Showcasing archive pieces from the Hergé Museum in Belgium, this exhibition features pencil sketches, drawings, watercolours and original artworks from the unfinished stories. Read our review. Free admission

Masters of the Everyday @ The Queen's Gallery (Open until 14 February 2016)
This exhibition focuses on the Dutch painters from the age of Vermeer, i.e. middle and late 17th century. On display are 27 masterpieces from the Royal Collection, including works by Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch, as well as Johannes Vermeer's masterpiece 'The Music Lesson'. £10/£9

Cycle Revolution @ Design Museum (Open until 30 June 2016)
Bike lovers ahoy! If you like cycling and have a passion for design, this is the exhibition for you. From everyday commuting to Olympic level competition, discover where design and innovation may take the riders of the future. Read our review. £13/£9.75

Alice in Wonderland @ British Library (Open until 17 April 2016)
This year marks 150 years since Lewis Carroll published his out-there novel. British Library dedicates a free exhibition to Alice in Wonderland: see the original manuscript enriched with hand-drawn illustrations alongside stunning editions by Mervyn Peake, Ralph Steadman, Salvador Dali and others. Read our guide to the world of Alice in London. Read our review. Free admission

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution @ National Maritime Museum (Open until 28 March 2016)
Discover the life and work of famous London diarist Samuel Pepys, whose writings bear witness to life in Stuart Britain, from the destruction of the city as a result of plague and the Great Fire of London, to the world city which rose from the ashes. £12/£6

Artist and Empire @ Tate Britain (Open until 10 April 2016)
Travel through the history of the British Empire from the 16th century until its legacy in the present day. This exhibition brings unique works that explore how artists from Britain and around the world have responded to the dramas, tragedies and experiences of the Empire. Read our review. £14.50/£12.70

Tibet's Secret Temple @ Wellcome Collection (Open until 28 February 2016)
Inspired by a unique series of 17th century murals from a private meditation chamber for Tibet’s Dalai Lamas in Lhasa’s Lukhang Temple, the exhibition features over 120 objects including scroll paintings, statues, manuscripts and ritual artefacts. Explore the Tibetan Buddhist yogic and meditational practice and their connection to both physical and mental wellbeing. Read our review. Free admission

Julia Margaret Cameron @ V&A (28 November-21 February 2016)
The V&A marks the bicentenary of Julia Margaret Cameron's birth, one of the most innovative female photographers during the 19th century, with this one-off exhibition. On display, more than 100 of her photographs from the Museum's collection. Free admission

Big Bang Data @ Somerset House (3 December - 28 January)
How much did the datafication of our world influence the society we live in and our own lives? A group of contemporary
artists, designers and journalists explore our online activity through their own vision. £12.50/£9.50

Human Evolution Gallery @ Natural History Museum (Opens on 18 December)
What makes us human? Where did we originate from? The NHM will answer these questions at its new free gallery, dedicated to the history of human evolution. On display there will be the casts of the reconstructed skull, hand and foot of Homo Naledi — the recently discovered new human species. Free admission

To find more about what's on in London, visit Londonist's Museum & Galleries and Art & Photography pages.

Last Updated 30 November 2015