The exhibitions you must see in 2024

Le Rodeur: The Exchange by Lubaina Himid (2016)

Discover the history of the Barbie doll, iconic masterpieces by Van Gogh, the father of Scottish pop art and much more in a new year of must-see exhibitions. Get inspired by our selection of the ones you won't want to miss.

Is 2024 going to be the year you see more culture? Perhaps you’re already an ardent gallery-goer? Wherever you are on the culture-vulture scale, the new year promises some incredible exhibitions across the UK’s museums and galleries from start to finish.

So bookmark this page, get your diary out and start planning – you’re not going to want to miss these.

And remember, with a National Art Pass you’ll get great benefits at lots of these venues.


Your new year is guaranteed to get off to a great start with the amount of exciting art exhibitions to see across the UK.

The Holburne Museum in Bath are opening their new year programme with two absolute corkers. Immerse yourself in a dramatic and colourful textile installation by Turner Prize-winning artist and leading figure in the 1980s British Black arts movement, Lubaina Himid. Then, experience an exhibition celebrating rebellious post-war ceramic artist Gillian Lowndes.

Lubaina Himid, Lost Threads at Gawthorpe Hall, 2023
Photo Matt Savage

You’ll be spoiled for choice if you take a trip to London. Somerset House are exploring the unstoppable force of cuteness in contemporary culture, while their neighbours the Courtauld Gallery are displaying a haunting series of large charcoal portraits by German-British painter Frank Auerbach, which capture the lives of people living in post-war London during the early stage of his career.

Two major exhibitions champion leading contemporary artists from the African diaspora. The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure at the National Portrait Gallery features over 20 artists including Lubaina Himid, Kerry James Marshall and Claudette Johnson to examine the Black figure and its representation in contemporary art. And Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Soulscapes redefines the genre of landscape art through the lens of artists including Hurvin Anderson, Isaac Julien and Alberta Whittle.

Tate Modern celebrates the powerful work of iconic artist and activist Yoko Ono. Meanwhile, Tate Britain spotlights a very different influential figure, John Singer Sargent, whose paintings encapsulate the luxury and fashion of the Edwardian era.

Hurvin Anderson, Limestone Wall, 2020
© Hurvin Anderson. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo: Richard Ivey

If you’re in the trendy East End, the Barbican's exhibition Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art presents over 100 works from contemporary artists who use textiles to challenge power structures and reimagine the world. Meanwhile, the Whitechapel Gallery debuts French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira's 59th Venice Biennale installation, exploring avant-garde filmmaking and cinema as a tool for social change.

At the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge you can immerse yourself in the fascinating world of visionary painter and poet William Blake, in an exhibition which challenges the preconceived notion that he was a lone genius and explores how he was, in fact, inspired by the people, artworks and ideas that were flourishing around him.

Do Ho Suh, Hub, 3rd Floor, Union Wharf, 23 Wenlock Road, London N1 7ST, UK, 2016
Courtesy of the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London, and Victoria Miro . Photography by Jeon Taeg Su

And last, but certainly not least, don’t miss what the National Galleries of Scotland have on offer. The Modern Two celebrates 100 years since the birth of Scottish pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi in a vibrant tour of his tapestries, tiles and more. And the Modern One exhibits South Korean contemporary artist Do Ho Suh’s engaging artworks and immersive installations, which incorporate innovative materials to reimagine places that are important to the artist and his life.


As we say goodbye to winter, a new season of exhibitions promises to put a spring in your step.

Two of the biggest names in the Western art history canon, alongside Flemish artists from the 16th and 17th centuries, are brought together at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum: Breugel to Rubens displays over 100 exceptional drawings, revealing a unique historic art scene where friendships and creativity blossomed.

‘The Wilton Diptych’, about 1395-9
© The National Gallery, London.

If seeing masterpieces by leading art historical figures is important to you, don’t miss the National Gallery’s National Treasures programme: 12 of the nation’s most iconic paintings go on display at 12 venues across the UK, including The Wilton Diptych at the Ashmolean Museum, Constable’s The Hay Wain at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, and Monet’s The Water-Lily Pond at York Art Gallery.

Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge presents an urgent body of work by Issam Kourbaj, examining the ongoing conflict in Syria and the destruction of his own cultural heritage through sculpture, installation, performance and works on paper.

Issam Kourbaj, Urgent archives, written in blood, 2019
Photo: This Is Photography. Courtesy the artist

Love learning about history? Ranjit Singh: Sikh, Warrior, King at the Wallace Collection charts the meteoric rise of the Sikh leader through 100 works of art and historical artefacts. And Tate Britain delves into the women artists who paved the way for future generations.

Fashion fanatics will love V&A Dundee’s Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, telling the story of the Japanese garment’s significance in culture and fashion across the globe.

Kehar Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1799-1839) with his favourite, Raja Hira Singh (1816-1844), the cup-bearer, around 1835-38
© Toor Collection

At the very end of the spring season, two new shows open at the Hepworth Wakefield – a comprehensive retrospective exploring the Jamaican-born modern sculptor Ronald Moody, who had a significant impact on British and international art history due to his experimentation with materials, and a solo exhibition of contemporary South African artist Igshaan Adams, whose textile installations weave stories from his country’s history.


Summer ’24 is set to be a scorcher with this line-up of exhibitions. We know those warmer months can get busy with plans and holidays, so be sure to make a note of these ones as you won’t want to miss out.

Couldn’t get enough of 2023’s Barbiemania? The Design Museum are diving into the iconic doll’s history in a major exhibition coinciding with the brand’s 65th anniversary. Discover rare items from Mattel Inc.’s California archives and witness how Barbie’s clothes, houses, and cars evolved with the ‘real world’.

1962 Barbie Dream House
Photo: Mattel Inc.

Get inspiration for your travel wishlist at the National in Edinburgh’s exhibition of impressionist paintings by Belfast-born artist and globetrotter, John Lavery. From Palm Springs to Paris, marvel at the stunning sights and society portraits he captured on his travels across the globe.

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead opens two major shows over the summer months: the first retrospective of feminist documentary photographer Franki Raffles and an immersive installation exploring labour, motherhood and class by Hannah Perry.

In September, London’s National Gallery hosts a once-in-a-century exhibition of one of the most famous artists to have lived, Vincent van Gogh. Expect both iconic and rare paintings, alongside extraordinary drawings, to get a fresh insight into the significant time he spent in the south of France.

Vincent van Gogh, The Bedroom, 1889
© The Art Institute of Chicago

Before summer ends, Compton Verney’s Portrait Miniatures, 1550-1850 promises a sumptuous exhibition exploring the compelling history of portrait miniatures. A whole collection of the tiny paintings will be on display, pulling out stories from the sitters’ lives and tracing the shifting fashions over the centuries. And in the autumn, check out their solo exhibition of neon light artist and sculptor Chila Kumari Singh Burman.


Although it seems forever away, those final months of the year always come around fast. Round it off with these exhibitions.

Two solo blockbusters hit London in October: innovative and influential contemporary artist Mike Kelley at Tate Modern and legendary painter Francis Bacon at the National Portrait Gallery. Meanwhile, women take centre stage at the British Library’s exploration of women in medieval Britain and Europe through their words and images.

Later in the season, don’t miss Tate Britain’s crucial exhibition, Photographing 80s Britain: A Critical Decade, and one of Tate Modern's most ambitious exhibitions, Electric Dreams, which looks at how artists used machines and algorithms to create mind-bending art between the 1950s and 80s.

Detail of Ahh...Youth!
Mike Kelley, Ahh...Youth!, 1991
© Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. All Rights Reserved / VAGA at ARS, NY

Manchester’s Whitworth art gallery presents the first ever survey exhibition and new commission by Turner Prize nominee Barbara Walker, bringing together a powerful body of work that gives presence to Black communities and culture in art history, including a new commission on the Windrush generation in response to the gallery’s collection of historic drawings and wallpaper.

And to conclude a jam-packed year, take a trip to the Hepworth Wakefield and encounter their two autumn exhibitions: Forbidden Territories: 100 Years of Surreal Landscapes and a solo presentation of contemporary painter Louise Giovanelli.

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

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