The Top 10 Exhibitions To See This Summer

By Sponsor Last edited 24 months ago
The Top 10 Exhibitions To See This Summer

This is a sponsored article on behalf of the Art Fund.

Venus, after Botticelli, Guillaume Duhamel, 2008, by Yin Xin. Private collection, courtesy Duhamel Fine Art, Paris

You know you can never entirely trust the London weather. That's why you need a plan B for when it rains on a summer weekend. Art always makes a great plan B.

This summer there are a lot of major exhibitions happening in the capital — even better, you can get 50% off if you own a National Art Pass. This brilliant card costs £62 annually (£46.50 if you pay by Direct Debit), and gives you discounted tickets to major exhibitions as well as free entry to hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK.

We've rounded up the top 10 exhibitions to see in the next few months, which you can get into for half price with a National Art Pass:

1. Botticelli Reimagined at V&A

This is renaissance painting as you've never seen it before — from classical paintings of Venus and the Madonna to Ursula Andress, from the Pre-Raphaelites to Jeff Koons. You'll be spotting Botticelli references everywhere after this show — no bad thing, really. Open now until 3 July

Standard admission: £15
Admission with National Art Pass: £7.50

2. Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear at V&A

Ever thought that underwear could tell a story? The pieces on display have a fascinating story to tell — taking in ideas of fashion, gender, sex and morality. Take a peek at over 200 undergarments from the 18th century to present day and discover how the industry evolved from whale bone corsets to the invention of Lycra. Open now until 12 March 2017

Standard admission: £12
Admission with National Art Pass: £6

See Leonardo's exceptional inventions at the Science Museum. © EPPDCSI - Ph Levy

3. Leonardo Da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius at Science Museum

The Science Museum has taken quite possibly the world's most famous artist and reminded us all just how much more Mr Da Vinci really was. Reproductions and models of his incredibly forward-thinking designs for everything from flying machines to diving equipment sheds light on the facts and mysteries surrounding the original Renaissance Man. Open now until 4 September

Standard admission: £9
Admission with National Art Pass: £4.50

4. Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art at The National Gallery

You've seen the tube posters — Delacroix's roaring lion jolting you out of your sleepy commute. We gave this show five stars for showing "Delacroix at his finest". You'll also get to enjoy the litany of artists he inspired: Matisse, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Gaugin and plenty of others. Open now until 22 May Standard admission: £14
Admission with National Art Pass: £7
Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation

5. Painting with Light at Tate Britain

Tate explores the prolific artistic period at the beginning of 19th century, when Britain saw both the invention of photography and a painting revolution thanks to artists such as JMW Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. More than 200 artworks show the dynamic relationship between art and photography over the following 75-year period. 11 May-25 September

Standard admission: £16.30
Admission with National Art Pass: £8.15

6. Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds at The British Museum

This is real-life Atlantis stuff. The ancient Egyptian cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus had been submerged beneath the Mediterranean for over a millennium. Only now have they been rediscovered, their treasures revealed using cutting-edge underwater technology — and Londoners get to discover their secrets first at this blockbuster British Museum exhibition. 19 May-27 November

Standard admission: £16.50
Admission with National Art Pass: £8.25  

Georgia O' Keeffe's emotional art is on display at Tate Modern.

7. Winifred Knights at Dulwich Picture Gallery

The British female painter is regarded as one of the most pioneering artists of the 20th century. Taking inspiration from early renaissance artists, Knights created solemn, timeless paintings — discover her art through paintings, sketches and drawings at this major retrospective. 8 June-18 September

Standard admission: £11
Admission with National Art Pass: £5.50

8. Georgia O'Keeffe at Tate Modern

A century after this trailblazing painter first made her debut, 100 of her finest works are displayed together, from her suggestive flower paintings to eerily beautiful New Mexico desert landscapes. 6 July-30 October

Standard admission: £17.20
Admission with National Art Pass: £8.60

Explore the importance of colour in the animal world at the Natural History Museum.

9. Colour and Vision at Natural History Museum

A 565-million-year journey gets explored in this exhibition which tells the evolution of vision and the symbolic importance of colour in the natural world. Marvel at nature's wonderful palette through 350 specimens on display and admire an iridescent light installation by British artist Liz West on site. 15 July-6 November

Standard admission: £10.80
Admission with National Art Pass: £5.40

10. William Eggleston Portraits at National Portrait Gallery

Discover the works of pioneering Tennessee photographer William Eggleston at the National Portrait Gallery's comprehensive retrospective. Celebrated for his vivid yet poetic images and experimental use of colour, this major exhibition brings you his best works from the 1960s. 21 July-23 October

Standard admission: £7
Admission with National Art Pass: £3.50


Buy your National Art Pass today for £62 or just £46.50 if you're paying by Direct Debit.

Want more? Discover more museums, galleries and historical houses on the Art Fund website. Keep up to date with Art Fund on Twitter and Facebook.

Last Updated 21 April 2016