Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Great Free Exhibitions this week in London

Good morning 

I hope you are all well. 

As always I was having a wander through the web this morning and I have to say there are some stunning exhibitions happening this week in London and even better, they are all free to enter. 

Have a peruse below and I hope that you can get the chance to go and visit one that takes your fancy!

Happy Wednesday. 


Miss Jones xx 

Free Exhibitions 

Blumenfeld Studio: New York, 1941-1960

  • 4/5
  • Critics choice
  • FREE
In purely fashion terms, was Erwin Blumenfeld any good? He was certainly a madly talented photographer – a self-taught, Dada-influenced, monomaniac control freak with a profound appreciation of beauty. But did his images aid the industry they were intended to serve? If you haven’t heard of Blumenfeld, his spectacularly complicated private life and the squabbling among his inheritors is largely to blame. He was a German Jew who became a shopkeeper in Amsterdam, then a photography star in France, until WWII forced him across the Atlantic. He worked for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar at a time when those magazines prized daring and originality, so he could place his models behind opaque glass or beneath rippling water, obscure them with hats or picture them from behind – and give them four hands, or cat’s ears, or multicoloured Venetian blinds where their clothes should be. His photos – digitally reconstructed here from faded studio transparencies – were never less than fun but they were generally a lot more than fashion. I have never forgotten his image of model Lisa Fonssagrives hanging off the Eiffel Tower, a remarkable pictorial example of homicidal intent that, sadly, is not included here. But I couldn’t tell you anything about the dress she wore other than that there was one. So, while I love Blumenfeld and you probably will too, if I had been Christian Dior, say, I’d have taken him up the Eiffel Tower and chucked him off. Nina Caplan
  1. Somerset House
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Sun Sep 1

Rainforest of the Sea

  • Critics choice
  • FREE
Prepare to be amazed. The Horniman’s latest show, a photography exhibition by Jamie Cragg, is likely to induce that sense of wonder most of us feel when looking at marine life. The work on show by the marine biologist, photographer and current aquarium curator focuses on two islands north east of Borneo, showing the biologically diverse habitats of coral reefs in the area known as the coral triangle.
  1. Horniman Museum 100 London Rd, SE23 3PQ
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Sun Sep 15

Festival of Neighbourhood: Beanotown

  • FREE
In celebration of 75 years of The Beano, the Southbank Centre is creating Beanotown – a Beano neighbourhood decked out with related memorabilia and featuring a Beano museum and social club. Housed in the Festival Village – a spacious venue under the Queen Elizabeth Hall – Beantown will host a series of events including drawing workshops led by The Beano illustrators and sessions revealing the history of Dennis the Menace's pranks complete with demonstrations. The museum will showcase an archive of comics together with the history of DC Thomson & Co's enduring characters and stories. The social club, meanwhile, offers games including Table Dennis (yes, that's table tennis) and the Beano Breville Bar serving themed food. For more information about the Festival of Neighbourhood see
  1. Southbank Centre Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Sun Sep 8

Adrift by Hew Locke (mock up)

Thames Festival 2013: Adrift

  • Critics choice
  • FREE
Artist Hew Locke’s large-scale installation consists of a whimsical boat, festooned with garlands of flowers, foliage and trinkets. Sited at All Hallows by the Tower, the mariners’ church and the oldest church in the City of London, it creates a memorial to the unknown sailor and an evocation of the final funerary journey. For more Thames Festival highlights see our feature.
  1. All Hallows by the Tower Byward St, EC3R 5BJ
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Sun Sep 29

The GrowUp Box

  • FREE
It won't solve climate change single-handedly, but we'll damned if The GrowUp Box isn't a nifty piece of sustainability worth checking out this summer. Using a technology called "aquaponics", the box creates a (nearly) self-sustaining loop, where nutrient-rich waste water from fish tanks is pumped into the roots of plants. Next, the plants purify the water, which is then pumped back into the tanks. And so on. The results speak for themselves: using only fish food and the power required to operate the pumps, the GrowUp Box is capable of producing around 100kg of fish and 400kg of salad each year.
  1. Marlborough Playground 11-25 Union Street, SE1 1SD
  2. Sat Aug 31 - Sun Sep 22

War Games

  • Critics choice
  • FREE
Brace yourself for a playful battle in an inventively staged exhibition that considers how we play at war, from childhood games of cowboys and indians to propagandist curios such as Hitler building blocks (learn to spell with the Fuhrer!). Searchlights, sirens and overhead camo nets create an immersive space, with a bunker to explore, historic uniforms to try on and binoculars to peer through. Grown-up retronauts will get a kick out of seeing toys from eras past (a Lego Death Star, Skeletor, GI Joe…), engaged in an intergalactic, time-travelling diorama complete with noisy rays you can fire.
  1. V&A Museum of Childhood Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 9PA
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Sun Mar 9

Friday Late: Minecraft

  • FREE
One for fans of Neal Stephenson's 'Reamde' maybe? The digital game Minecraft takes over the V&A's Late this month, with visitors to the space being given the opportunity to explore the boundaries between video game and reality, and see how the game has influenced real-world design. Some of the events might be ticketed; check the V&A website nearer the event for more details.
  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Fri Aug 30

Princess Alice's baby shoes c1843

A Royal Arrival

  • FREE
This tiny display packs a hefty historical punch. Prince George may be safely cocooned away from the limelight, but the Museum of London has capitalised on the public interest and drawn from its collections lilliputian clothes worn by other royal babies. A line of baby shoes that belonged to Queen Victoria’s offspring seems superficially sweet, and yet the ghosts of aristocratic children linger eerily.
  1. Museum of London 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Thu Oct 31

Opening the Olympics

  • FREE
Relive golden moments from last summer's London 2012 Games at this exhibition of around 70 objects, including a Bradley Wiggins jersey, Tom Daley's trunks and a range of costumes and outfits worn at the opening and closing ceremonies – among them a Mary Poppins outfit, an Olympic torch, and a policeman's newsprint outfit.
  1. Museum of London 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Thu Oct 31

Picture 1365

Architecture of War

  • FREE
This exhibition explores how modern war, from the WWI to the present day, has influenced and impacted on the spaces people inhabit, bringing together a selection of art from the museum's collection that ranges across almost a century. Highlights include work by William Orpen, Ronald Searle, William Scott, and Langlands and Bell.
  1. Imperial War Museum Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Mon May 5

The Many Faces of Bowie

  • FREE
Missed out on tickets to the V&A's 'David Bowie Is' exhibition? This smaller, unticketed Opera Gallery show might just ease the pain. Featuring specially-commissioned work by a clutch of contemporary artists, the show celebrates the legend through portraiture. There's a Ziggy-influenced 'Bowie Triptych' by street artist Mr Brainwash and a similarly Ziggy-inspired light box sculpture by Marco Lodola, while Eduardo Guelfenbein has gone for an abstract portrait. Other contributing artists include Joe Black, Nick Gentry and graffiti duo The London Police.
  1. Opera Gallery 134 New Bond St, W1S 2TF
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Sat Aug 31

The Art of Influence: Asian Propaganda

  • FREE
This absorbing show looks at the political art of Asia from 1900 to 1976, as practised on a selection of posters, prints and drawings, money and medals, teapots, textiles and other objects, all combining to show how propaganda art reflects and is shaped by the political, social and economic circumstances of its production. Five sections explore early revolutionary messages (1900–1930), the Asia-Pacific War (1931–1945), post-war reconstruction (post-1945), new society (up to 1976), and key propaganda devices, such as the use or subversion of tradition and the insertion of propaganda into daily life. Room 91.
  1. British Museum 44 Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Sun Sep 1

Thames Festival 2013: Rivers of the World

  • FREE
Large-scale artworks created by 2,000 young people around the world united by the theme of their river. This year, students from secondary schools in London, UAE, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan worked together to create the pieces, displayed on boards on the riverside walkways. For more Thames Festival highlights see our feature.
  1. Riverside
  2. Wed Aug 28 - Mon Sep 16

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