Quick Guide to the Art Museums in London

London is a city full of history and culture and is home to hundreds of interesting museums and art galleries which are worth exploring.  Whether you have accommodation booked in the North of London or South of the city, we guarantee there will be an interesting gallery just a short distance away for you to spend time discovering.  But if you are interested in finding out more about some of the major art galleries in London then read on for this quick guide:-

The Victoria & Albert Museum

The V&A Museum, located in Knightsbridge, is the museum to visit if you have an interest in fashion and design.  It is home to a permanent collection of more than 2.3 million objects which makes it the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design and the items housed here cover more than 5,000 years of human history.  With everything from architecture to textiles, theatre to painting, there is bound to be something of interest in the V&A.

White Cube

White Cube is one of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries with two art spaces; one in Hong Kong and one in Bermondsey, London.  It is made up of the ‘South Galleries’ which are predominantly used for an ever-changing programme of exhibitions and the ‘North Galleries’ which are three smaller spaces used for innovative and unique shows.  Since it first opened in 2011, White Cube has hosted some important exhibitions such as the first UK showing of work by Theaster Gates, the American artist.

National Gallery

The National Gallery is undoubtedly one of the most famous art galleries in London and its central location makes it so easy to reach whether you are staying in the heart of the city or further afield, such as at the BW Plus Park Grand London Heathrow Hotel.  It offers free entry to members of the public and the opportunity to explore and discover more than 2,000 works of art including famous pieces by names such as Van Gogh and Da Vinci to name but a couple.

Whether you are a family enjoying a London Holiday Package or you are travelling solo and only have a short amount of time to wander the galleries here, the National Gallery is one of the leading art galleries in the world and an opportunity to visit here should not be passed on.

Saatchi Gallery

This contemporary art gallery was first opened to the public in 1985 when Charles Saatchi decided he wanted to share his extensive art collection with the world.  In the present day the Saatchi Gallery focuses on providing opportunity for unseen young artists and international artists who have never exhibited in the UK the chance to display their works.  Admission to the Gallery is free and it is located in the Duke of York’s HQ in Sloane Square.

Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts can be found in Piccadilly and the collection housed here is certainly worth exploring.  There are paintings, sculptures, drawings, historic photographs and even plaster casts kept on permanent display.  One of the great things about the Royal Academy of Arts however is that they are constantly adding and changing to the pieces on display here, for example their current Summer Exhibition is an open-entry exhibition which has seen more than 1,000 works of art submitted for display.

Somerset House

Somerset House is a well known attraction in London which offers a whole host of different things to see and do.  It is located just a short walk from Covent Garden and London’s West End and can boast various exhibitions including fashion, music and art.  The Courtauld Gallery can also be found here and this gallery is best known for the Impressionist paintings on display including works by Cezanne and Van Gogh.  If that wasn’t enough to sell this landmark as a must-visit then the courtyard at Somerset House is also used throughout the year, often as an open-air cinema and in winter it is transformed into one of the city’s most popular ice rinks.

Tate Modern

Home of international and contemporary art, the Tate Modern is housed in a stunning landmark building and offers visitors the chance to see some stunning works of modern art.  The installations which are placed in the Turbine Hall regularly draw millions of visitors each year and with good reason.  Although the art work does change fairly regularly, there are some permanent pieces on display which are worth seeing and these include Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol, Mountain Lake by Salvador Dali and one of Picasso’s best known pieces Nude Woman with Necklace.

British Museum

Another one of the most well known attractions in London is, of course, the British Museum.  This museum is dedicated to human history along with art and culture and can boast a collection of more than 8 million different objects.  There is plenty to see and do at the museum as you might imagine but if you don’t have much time to spare there are also highlights tours you can take which showcase some of the museum’s best artefacts in 90 minutes.  Of course depending on whether your interest lies solely in art or in history, you may want to design your own tour around the museum to suit.

The Barbican

At first glance, the Barbican doesn’t look like the kind of building which would host a dynamic and interesting art gallery but step inside and you soon realise what a fantastic space the art gallery here is.  With its central London location alongside the mix of art, architecture, photography and design, the Barbican is an excellent option if you want to spend a couple of hours discovering an ever-changing programme of exhibitions.

Any one of these art galleries would be a brilliant choice if you wanted to explore art in the city, whether you have a whole day or just a couple of hours.

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