The Best Exhibitions To Watch Out For in 2019

A new year equals a new start – and a new planner! I love filling the pages of a blank diary with my plans for the forthcoming year. Especially the exhibitions I am going to see.

2019 is no different. I already have plans in place to see several exhibitions and am lining others up. Its always nice to have something to look forward to! Here’s my pick of the best exhibitions to watch out for in 2019.

  1. Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

christian dior exhibitions 2019

I have tickets for this exhibition already and I am so excited I could simply burst! Dior: Designer of Dreams will be the largest ever exhibition about the House of Dior ever seen in the UK. Spanning 1947 to the present day, the exhibition will trace the history and impact of both the couturier and his predecessors.

The exhibition will consist of 11 sections, including a section looking at Dior’s love of Britain and British culture. Personally I can’t wait to see the Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday portrait.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams runs from February 2 – July 14, 2019 in the V&A’s Sainsbury Gallery. Tickets on sale now.

2. Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver

Drumroll please! This is the first major exhibition on Tudor and Jacobean portrait miniatures in the UK for over 35 years. Highlights include Hilliard and Oliver’s portraits of Elizabeth I, as well as images of James I, his wife Anne of Denmark and some of the most famous figures of the day, such as Sir Walter Ralegh and Sir Francis Drake.

The portrait miniature is one of the few areas in which Britain can genuinely claim to have contributed to the evolution of art history, and gives us a unique insight into society and culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England.

Elizabethan Treasures: Minatures by Hilliard and Oliver runs from February 21 – May 19, 2019 in the National Portrait Gallery’s Porter Gallery. Tickets on sale now.

3. The Renaissance Nude

Renaissance Nudes Exhibition 2019

If you like the Renaissance then you will LOVE The Renaissance Nude at The Royal Academy. Bringing together 85 works by artists such as Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Dürer and Cranach, this exhibition is a celebration of the human form in all its beauty.

The Renaissance Nude is already hitting the headlines due to the fact the artworks will feature an equal gender split of naked men and women. This is the first time the Royal Academy has introduced a gender quota for any of its exhibitions.

The Renaissance Nude runs from March 3 – June 2, 2019 in The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts. Tickets on sale now.

4. Van Gogh and Britain

The last time the Tate held a Van Gogh exhibition back in 1947 it was so popular that the gallery’s floors were damaged. I wouldn’t be surprised if history will repeat itself in 2019, as the Van Gogh and Britain exhibition is bound to attract major crowds.

The exhibition will feature 45 of Van Gogh’s works, including iconic pieces such as Sunflowers, Self-Portrait and Starry Night Over The Rhone.  It will explore how Van Gogh was inspired by British art, literature and culture throughout his career and how he in turn inspired British artists.

Van Gogh and Britain runs from March 27 – August 11, 2019 at The Tate Britain. Tickets on sale now.

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: A Mind in Motion

2019 marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo Da Vinci’s death. To mark the occasion, museums across the country are rushing to secure loans and host exhibitions to celebrate the genius of a man who was truly born before his time.

I’ve picked the British Library’s offering because, for the first time in the UK,  they will be bringing together three of da Vinci’s extraordinary notebooks to explore his fascination with motion, which he considered to be ‘the cause of all life’. One of the notebooks on display is the Codex Leicester which is owned by billionaire Bill Gates. It includes a discussion on submarine warfare – in the 16th Century!

Leonardo Di Vinci: A Mind in Motion runs from June 7 – September 8, 2019 at The British Library. Tickets on sale now.

6. Pre-Raphaelite Sisters

The Pre-Raphaelites are enjoying a bit of a resurgence (see the current popular Edward Byrne-Jones exhibition at Tate Britain for evidence). We all know about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (Millais, Rossetti et al) but what about the women? The models, gallery sitters and artists who contributed to this iconic artistic movement?

A new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery aims to shed light on these overlooked women. Previously unseen works, including The First Meeting of Petrarch and Laura by Spartali Stillman, will be on public display for the first time EVER, alongside Thou Bird of God by Joanna Boyce Wells, which has not been exhibited for over 25 years.

Pre-Raphaelite Sisters runs from October 17 2019 – January 26 2020 at the National Portrait Gallery. Tickets on sale now.

7. George IV: Art and Spectacle

George IV is arguably the most magnificent of British monarchs and formed an unrivalled collection of art, much of which remains in the Royal Collection.

Bringing together Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, magnificent portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Joshua Reynolds, delicate French porcelain, intricate goldsmiths’ work and elegant books and drawings, this exhibition will present George IV’s life through the art that enriched his world.

George IV: Art & Spectacle runs from November 15 2019 – May 14 2020 at The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Tickets on sale now.


I’ve already booked tickets to see the first two exhibitions in this list, and I would seriously like to see Pre-Raphaelite Sisters too. What exhibitions have you got lined up for 2019?

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2 Comments

  1. 2nd January 2019 / 8:34 pm

    Thanks for a super informative post! I am most definitely putting some of these in my diary 🙂

    • clairemiles
      Author
      2nd January 2019 / 10:12 pm

      Aww thankyou! I wrote it as it’s the type of post I would be looking out for at the start of a new year.

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