8 Galleries You Need To Check Out This Autumn


There's a well known bucket list of galleries and museums when visiting London, from The Tate to the National Gallery. However, there are so many other galleries and exhibitions across London which are well worth exploring of a weekend, lunch break, or day away from the office. We've rounded up some of the places that have caught our attention for artistic exploring this Autumn, and we would love to hear what your favourite hidden gems may be too. 

The Fashion and Textile Museum

Celebrating contemporary fashion, textile design and jewellery, The Fashion and Textile Museum showcases the most exciting and cutting edge designs and projects from the industry. Founded by the legendary British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, famed for a lifestyle as dramatic, glamorous and extrovert as her designs, and housed in an iconic orange building designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, this museum exudes a fun and eclectic energy that is great to explore.

The gallery is currently exhibiting The World of Anna Sui (26th May – 1st October 2017), showcasing over 100 looks spanning across the remarkable 25 year career of the world famous American fashion designer. Following on from this, the museum will be curating the exhibition Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Style of Her Own (20th October 2017 - 21st January 2018), which will display the first UK retrospective of one of the original fashion photographers, the iconic Louise Dahl-Wolfe. As one of the most important women fashion photographers of the first part of the 20th century, she is famed for re-defining the image of the modern independent woman, revolutionising the look of Bazaar Magazine among others. Having photographed some of the most famous Hollywood stars, literary figures, designers and models of her time, the exhibition is set to offer a stellar insight into what it took for a woman to take the Hollywood fashion scene by storm. 

Address: 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF

Number: 020 7407 8664

Website: http://www.ftmlondon.org/

Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am - 6pm // Late Night Thursday until 8pm // Sunday, 11am - 5pm // Closed 2nd - 19th October, 24th - 26th December and 1st January.

Leighton House Museum

Former home to the Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896), this nineteenth century building harbours a treasure trove of paintings and sculptures by Leighton and his contemporaries. What makes this museum so striking is its indulgent embellishment, which Leighton developed and augmented while living there for over 30 years. From its extraordinarily vibrant Arab Hall with its golden dome and intricate mosaics, to the vast painting studio, this museum presents a variety of intriguing rooms to explore, together with its surrounding studios. To this day, it still captures an enchanting sense of the interesting and inspiring people who frequented the building, including some of the most prominent figures of the Victorian age, The Holland Park Circle, and Queen Victoria herself.

If you take a visit to the museum before November, you can also discover the Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity Exhibition (7th July - 29th October 2017), which showcases a range of works of the classical-subject painter and his decadent representations of domestic life in antiquity. As well as its exhibitions, with Yoga classes in the gardens, guided tours, and late nights with live music, the museum also has a fun programme of events for you to enjoy into the autumn.

Address: 12 Holland Park Road, London, W14 8LZ

Number: 020 7602 3316

Website: https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums/leightonhousemuseum1.aspx

Opening Times: Daily 10am - 5.30pm (Closed Tuesdays)

Admissions: Adults £14.00 // Concessions £12.00

The Fan Museum

Fans, of all shapes and sizes, have spanned across history, and with influences from politics, fashion, fine art and architecture, this lesser known art form can provide a stunning canvas for a host of creativity. At London’s Fan Museum, prepare to explore the Helene Alexander Collection, with a strong focus on 18th and 19th-century European fans, and learn about their interesting history, how they are made, and their various types, sources and materials. Opened in 1991, this museum is located within two grade two listed houses built in 1721 in the Greenwich World Heritage Site in southeast London, and, as well as their exhibitions, boasts a gorgeous Orangery for Afternoon Tea, gift shop, and events, including workshops and readings.

If you can make a trip to the museum this autumn, you will have the chance to explore their Street Fans Exhibition (19th September to 31st December 2017), which showcases a collaboration between the museum and Paris-based street artist Codex Urbanus. Displaying the amazing creativity of combining street art with fan-making, this exhibition displays the results of pairing artists such as the internationally recognised Jonesy, Zokatos and Levalet with expert fan-maker Sylvain Le Guen.

An endangered practise fan-making may be, but this Greenwich museum is giving you the chance to discover how this art form may in fact be cooler than you think... in more ways than one!

Address: 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London, SE10 8ER

Number: 020 8305 1441

Website: https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/

Opening Times: Tuesday - Saturday, 11am-5pm // Sunday, 12 - 5pm // Closed 1st - 10th January, 18th April, 4th October, and 25th to 26th December

Admissions: Adults £4.00 / Concessions and Children (age 7-16) £3.00


I believe art should be experienced by as many people as possible and I’ve felt guilty owning work that is stored away in boxes where no one can see it, so having a space where I can put on shows from the collection is a dream come true. [...] Sometimes I still can’t believe that I’m lucky enough to actually own work by some of the artists who first inspired me and made me want to become an artist – like Picasso or Francis Bacon – but my favourite works by far are those by my contemporaries, and I definitely feel a responsibility to share them as much as I can.
— Damien Hirst

A relatively new gallery space, the Newport Street Gallery opened in Lambeth in 2015 with the aim to showcase an exhibition of work from Damien Hirst out of his expansive 3,000 pieces strong collection.

After converting three listed Victorian scenery-painting studios, and adding further buildings, architects Caruso St John created an atmospheric space that spans 37,000 square feet, with room for six studio spaces, large sculptural installations and a gallery than runs half the length of the street.

A new exhibition Dan Colen: Sweet Liberty (4th October to 21st January 2018) will open in October, featuring new works, and others from the past 15 years, including large-scale installations, by the renowned American artist. Emerging onto the New York art scene in the early 2000s alongside artists such as Dash Snow and Ryan McGinley, Colen is known for pieces that are brilliantly witty, shocking, poignant and nihilistic, presenting a portrait of contemporary America and an investigation into the act of producing and looking at art.

With a shop, restaurant (Pharmacy 2 in collaboration with Mark Hix) this is a cool exhibition space that is definitely worth exploring.

Address: Newport Street, Lambeth, London, SE11 6AJ

Number: 020 7009 2424

Website: newportstreetgallery.com

Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 6pm.

Admissions: Free to All


Originally established in 1993 by art dealer Jay Jopling on Duke Street, the White Cube project has expanded across London, and into Hong Kong and São Paulo, playing host to some of the world’s most influential contemporary art exhibitions.

The White Cube space in Bermondsey is the largest, with three exhibition spaces, created with the scope to host specialist installations, private viewing rooms, a warehouse, 60-seat auditorium and a bookshop. The space in Mason’s Yard meanwhile opened in September 2006 in a courtyard off Duke Street St James', nearby to the original White Cube space, with a street level gallery and a naturally lit basement gallery beneath. This space alone has showcased a wide range of exhibitions by international artists including Andreas Gursky, Georg Baselitz, Jeff Wall, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Irwin and Miroslaw Balka, on top of exhibitions for internationally acclaimed Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn and Gilbert and George.

Their current exhibitions include Dreamers Awake in Bermondsey (28th June – 17th September 2017), exploring the enduring influence of Surrealism through the work of more than fifty women artists from the 1930s to the present; Harland Miller, One Bar Electric Memoir in Mason’s Yard (7th July – 9th September 2017); or why not take a look at their film screenings and events.

Venues: Bermondsey // Mason's Yard

Number: 020 7930 5373

Website: http://whitecube.com/

Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 6pm

Admissions: Free to All


The Bankside Gallery is great to explore if you want to find out more about contemporary water-based media. As the gallery of the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, it showcases the work of new and established artists with a huge array of original prints.

And a great fact about it - almost all of the works are available for sale, with works priced over £100.00 available to purchase interest-free through the Own Art Scheme.

Address: 48 Hopton Street, London, SE1 9JH

Number: 020 7928 7521

Website: http://www.banksidegallery.com/

Opening Times: During Exhibitions, daily 11am - 6pm.

Admissions: Free to All


Showcasing artists including Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, James Turrell and Bridget Riley, Pace has a strong focus on 20th and 21st century contemporary art and celebrates the new and exciting in the world around us.

Next month, the space will host the exhibition Jean Dubuffet: Théâtres de mémoire (13th September - 21st October 2017), the first exhibition of Dubuffet’s Théâtres de mémoireseries in over three decades and the first-ever exhibition dedicated to the series in London. With most of the works making their debut appearance in the UK, the exhibition is marking their 50 year Anniversary with a landmark exhibition. The Théâtres de mémoire is one of Dubuffet’s most important series of works, and contains some of the largest paintings he has ever made, redefining his art with a new technique of producing gigantic collages composed of overlapping papers, layer upon layer, where he tested their placement by moving the elements, adding, rearranging, and deleting images until an eventual perfect coalescence of the interlocking parts was achieved.

With seven spaces spread across New York, London, and Beijing, we are lucky enough to have Pace’s flagship gallery on our doorstep, situated in the West Wing of the Royal Academy of Art’s Burlington House.

Address: 6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3ET

Number: 020 3206 7600

Website: http://www.pacegallery.com/

Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 6pm, Monday by appointment.

Admissions: Free to All.


Established in 1994, Gasworks comprises of a gallery and 13 artist studios, as well offering residencies, international fellowships and educational projects. A non-profit contemporary visual art organisation, they commission emerging UK-based and international artists to present their first major exhibitions in the UK; and alongside this are developing a highly-respected international residencies programme, which offers rare opportunities for international artists to research and develop new work in London. All programmes are accompanied by events and participatory workshops that engage audiences directly with artists and their work. Ranging from moving image, painting and printmaking to sculpture, computer animation and photography, Gasworks allows for a huge variety of artistic scope and creativity, with a level of support that enables artists to confidently make new steps in their professional careers.

Take a look at their many events and exhibitions to discover amazing emerging artistic talent and discover how you too can in turn support the enterprise.

Address: 155 Vauxhall Street, The Oval, London, SE11 5RH

Number: 020 7587 5202


Opening Times: During exhibitions, Wednesday to Sunday 12 - 6pm or by appointment.

Admissions: Free to All.


Words by Lottie Frankli