Temporary exhibitions programme

Upcoming exhibitions

Brilliant Images

2 December to 18 February

A display of paintings from our art collection, including Brill collection works. It will also look at the history of the Art Gallery over the past 111 years, the role it has played in the Museum and Heritage Service, and highlight stories of some of the paintings that have been displayed there on previous occasions. The Brilliant Images Collection is funded by the Museum.

Artist in Residence: Paul Mowatt

20 January to 23 June 

Current Artist in residence Paul Mowatt presents his series of artworks influenced by the work of pioneer photographer Edweard Muybridge and the Museum collections.

Ink in Kingston 

3 March to 15 April 

From Ötzi the Neolithic iceman to footballer David Beckham; across the globe the practise of tattooing has stood the test of time. But is it still considered taboo to have a tattoo? This exhibition will explore the change, diversity and importance of tattoo history and culture. We will reveal how Kingston played an integral part in the history of British tattooing with the help of a local resident. New, exciting and thought-provoking artwork created by some of Kingston's very talented tattoo artists and inspired by the history and culture of the town will be presented in the exhibition, alongside profiles and interviews with the artists themselves. We also will examine how Kingston community perceive tattoo culture, giving visitors the chance to join the debate. Ink Kingston aims to present the beauty of tattooing whilst challenging perceptions of its culture and ultimately illustrating why Kingston is such a fantastic and vibrant place. In cooperation with the Kingston Museum Young People's Board.   


5 May to 17 June 

Challenge your senses to gather information about the world around you with this highly interactive exhibition.

  • Can you see what is going on to the side when you are looking straight ahead?
  • Can you put a plug in a socket without your sight? How does your mind decide what colour a something is?
  • What part does your memory play in exploring the world with your senses?

Smell, touch and hear your way around these family-friendly hands-on activities and even explore the mysterious sense of proprioception. The sixteen interactive exhibits are designed to help visitors of all ages explore their senses. Take part in activities which get you competing with your friends, comparing your abilities to those of other animals and thinking about what the world would be like without our senses.          

Through their eyes: depicting Korea and UK then and now

7 July to 30 September     

This exhibition celebrates the significant presence of the Korean community in the Borough by showcasing early 20th century European artists' colour woodblock prints depicting life in Korea. Korean artists' newly commissioned artworks depicting contemporary life in the UK will also be shown alongside.

Embroiderers Guild: bewitched stitches        

13 October to 28 October 

Kingston and District Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild would like to invite you to enter with them into the magical and mysterious realm of fairies and dragons, myths, legends and folklore. As always, work featuring a range of textile art skills and techniques will be on display, most of it for sale. A children's trail will be available to lead you through the exhibits, pointing out features of particular interest. Children's storytelling activities linked to the exhibition will also be available (see separate programme) as will workshops for adults and children. Raffle tickets will be on sale to win a beautiful embroidered casket for keeping your secret treasures safe, and there will be an extensive range of handmade cards and other items for sale.

Kingston Camera Club 

10  November to 25 November

Kingston Camera Club's members display the results of a year's talented photographic work at their annual exhibition. Two themed competitions featured every year are the Nikon Trophy (for a title chosen that depicts the environment), and the Quarry Trophy. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to vote for their personal favourite print image, or one of the projected digital images displayed on the monitor screen. Members stewarding are happy to chat to visitors wanting to know more about the club. Photographers are welcome to join Kingston Camera Club. Visit the Kingston Camera Club website for further information. 

Hope for beauty: textile and wallpaper designs and ceramics by Denise Wren

15 December to 16 March 2018

This exhibition focuses on Kingston Museum's visually stunning archive of works on paper by Wren. It includes designs for textiles and wallpaper, as well as ceramics, and shows the wide range of styles she encompassed during her artistic career. Wren studied at Kingston School of Art under Arts and Crafts designer Archibald Knox. When Knox was dismissed for his contentious teaching methods, Wren and her fellow students formed the Knox Guild of Design and Craft, following Knox's mantra 'Aim for order, hope for beauty'. The Guild was based at 24 Market Place, Kingston, displaying their work locally and at the Whitechapel Gallery in East London. Wren went on to establish the Oxshott Pottery in Surrey.