What's on: The best exhibitions in London this Christmas

If you've got an hour or two to spare between munching mince pies and wrapping presents, why not consider a trip to one of these fabulous exhibitions.

Basquiat : Boom for Real - at the Barbican Art Gallery until 28 January 2018

Basquiat Boom for Real

Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960—1988) and one of the most popular shows in town.

This dynamic exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works, many never before seen in the UK and really brings alive the charm, charisma and talent of Basquiat.

Order the catalogue 


Harry Potter - A History of Magic - at the British Library until 28 February 2018

Harry Potter at British Library

This exhibition at the British Library is a treasure trove of books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection together with original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay. These drafts show a Potter world that might have been had Rowling's initial thoughts not been edited out. It is a world where Voldemort is a snort-worthy “red-eyed dwarf” and the Weasleys’ flying car is rescued by mer-people after landing in the lake instead of the Whomping Willow. If you understand who the Weasleys are and what a Whomping Willow is or want to find out then this is the perfect exhibition for you.

Order the exhibition catalogue


Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia - at the British Museum until 14 January 2018

Get up close and personal with the Scythians at this excellent exhibition. These fierce nomadic horsemen ruled an empire stretching from the Black Sea across Siberia to the borders of China for 1,000 years. While little known in the west, they are regarded as part of the ancestry of all Russians.

The exhibition catalogue is currently out of print. If you email us at caroline@museumbookstore.com, we will get in touch with you when the book is next in stock.


Modigliani - at Tate Modern until 2 Apr 2018


This Tate show is the most comprehensive UK survey of Amedeo Modigliani’s work and  brings together his intense portraits, his less well-known sculptures and a spectacular array of his nudes. Modigliani died of alcoholism and other complications at the age of 35 but in his short life, produced an exquisite range of works. The reviews have been somewhat mixed but we loved the show and consider it a wonderful opportunity to get to know the work of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.

Order the exhibition catalogue 


Opera: Passion, Power and Politics - at V&A until 25 February 2018

Opera Passion

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics is one of the most joyful shows in London right now. The exhibition tells the story of opera from its origins in late-Renaissance Italy to the present day through exhibits including letters, maps, costumes, paintings, elaborate stage sets and delicate instruments. The show does a great job of showing how opera captures the spirit of the age but the real delight is in watching your fellow exhibition-goers lost in reverie as they listen to their favourite arias.

 Order the exhibition catalogue.


Tate Britain - until 6 January

Alan Kane at Tate Britain

Not strictly an exhibition, but this year Tate Britain has commissioned artist, Alan Kane to transform its façade into a twinkling Christmassy delight. Kane whose previous projects have included a six foot walking mechanical elephant has used off the shelf decorations for the piece including LED Santas, reindeer, snowmen, and even trees. What better way to get in the Christmas mood.


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