National Maritime Museum

A look at some of the exhibitions we’re looking forward to this year, ranging in topic from paintings of iconic people to photography of the British seaside.

You might not think Auguste Rodin, Michael Jackson and Sir Alfred Munnings have got all that much in common, however, each of them has an exhibition dedicated to them which will be running this year. We’ve also picked out some exhibitions linking to tattoo art and photography that are looking popular for the year ahead.

Which will you be taking your group to visit?

What: The Great British Seaside: Photography from the 1960s to the Present
Where: The National Maritime Museum, London
When: 23rd March until 30th September

Like to be beside the seaside? The nation’s love affair with the coast will be celebrated in this photography exhibition in Greenwich. The Great British Seaside will feature over 100 works by Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts, and the displays will explore our changing relationship with the seaside over the last six decades.

National Portrait Gallery  Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II 2009 Kehinde Wiley.

Pictured: Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II, 2009 by Kehinde Wiley, from the Michael Jackson exhibition. (Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery).

What: Michael Jackson: On the Wall
Where: National Portrait Gallery, London
When: 28th June to 31st October

The exhibition, which will coincide with what would have been the star’s 60th birthday, will explore how singer Michael Jackson inspired some of the leading names in contemporary art. It will look at the impact and influence Jackson had on contemporary artists and the continued interest in him as a major cultural figure.

The Munnings Art Museum

Pictured: The Munnings Art Museum. (Photo credit: The Munnings Art Museum 2018).

What: Munnings and the River
Where: The Munnings Art Museum, Essex
When: March until October

This museum owns an important collection of paintings and drawings by Sir Alfred Munnings which it presents through changing exhibitions. This year, the museum is presenting a series of works highlighting Munnings’ long association with the Royal Academy, in an exhibition called Munnings and the River. It explores the artist’s less well known artistic and literary responses to the British landscape.

100 Hands By Luke Hayes Photo credit: NMMC

Pictured: 100 Hands By Luke Hayes. (Photo credit: NMMC).

What: Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed
Where: Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Hampshire
When: 25th June to December

Tattoos have a long tradition with the Royal Navy and Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed will offer a comprehensive history of British body art. Featuring over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts, the exhibit will feature the work from cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors.

The Kiss CREDIt Musee Rodin

Pictured: The Kiss by Rodin. (Photo credit: Musee Rodin).

What: Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece
Where: British Museum, London
When: 26th April to 29th July

This exhibition will showcase some of Auguste Rodin’s most famous pieces and those by the Greek sculptors whom he took inspiration from. Groups will see some of Rodin’s works presented in a new light and explore how he admired the art of antiquity. His art will be displayed alongside the very Parthenon sculptures that inspired him.

Got a favourite exhibition, or another upcoming collection or display you’d like to share with us? Get in touch and let us know by e-mailing

Lead image: From the National Maritime Museum's The Great British Seaside: Photography from the 1960s to the Present. (Photo credit: Martin Parr and Magnum Photos).