Past exhibitions

Find out about our past exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory and Queen's House.

The Moon

National Maritime Museum, July 2019 - January 2020

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 at the UK's biggest exhibition dedicated to the Moon. 

Find out more about The Moon

The Great British Seaside

National Maritime Museum, March - September 2018 

From the abandoned piers to the dazzling arcades, celebrate the British seaside through the lenses of Britain’s most popular photographers, featuring Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts and new work by Martin Parr.

Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity

National Maritime Museum, November 2016 - April 2017

Emma Hamilton was one of the most famous international celebrities of her time and her life is the ultimate costume drama. Now largely remembered as the woman who captured the heart of the nation’s hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Emma was an extraordinary woman in her own right. 

Read more about Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity

Above and Beyond

National Maritime Museum, March-August 2016

The ultimate interactive flight exhibition offered audiences a chance to experience what space flight is really like and glimpse into its future. This unique immersive experience invited children and families to learn to fly like a bird, design and race a supersonic jet, take an elevator ride to the edge of space, or go on a Marathon to Mars.

Read more about Above and Beyond

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution

National Maritime Museum, November 2015-March 2016

The National Maritime Museum's landmark 2015 exhibition delved into the turbulent history of Stuart London with famous diarist Samuel Pepys as guide. 

Read more about Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution

Against Captain's Orders: A Journey into the Uncharted

National Maritime Museum, spring-summer 2015

The National Maritime Museum and Punchdrunk Enrichment presented a ground-breaking show taking families on a 50-minute adventure of a lifetime through the museum’s wealth of maritime history and artefacts.

Read more about Against Captain's Orders

The Art & Science of Exploration, 1768-80

Queen's House, August 2014-July 2015

This exhibition of exceptional artworks by commissioned artists on Captain Cook’s 18th-century voyages of discovery featured George Stubbs's paintings of a kangaroo and a dingo - the first depiction of these animals in western art.

Read more about The Art & Science of Exploration

War Artists at Sea

Queen's House, February 2014-July 2015

Showcasing the very best of Royal Museums Greenwich’s collection of First and Second World War art, this display included visually arresting and moving portraits, battle scenes, and depictions of everyday life during conflict.

Read more about War Artists at Sea

Unseen: The Lives of Looking by Dryden Goodwin

Queen's House, March-July 2015

Acclaimed contemporary artist Dryden Goodwin’s first feature film follows the lives of three modern individuals with a particular relationship to looking – an eye surgeon, a planetary explorer and a human rights lawyer.

Read more about Unseen: The Lives of Looking

Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude

National Maritime Museum, July 2014-Jan 2015

Marking the 300th anniversary of the passing of the Longitude Act, this major exhibition told the extraordinary story of the race to determine longitude at sea, helping save seafarers from terrible fates including shipwreck and starvation.

Read more about Ships, Clocks & Stars

Longitude Punk'd

Royal Observatory Greenwich, April 2014-Jan 2015

Madcap inventors, stargazing scientists and elegant explorers took visitors on an adventure into a world where scientific convention and the laws of nature had been re-written.

Read more about Longitude Punk'd

Rozanne Hawksley: War & Memory

The Queen's House, May-November 2014

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War, contemporary artist Rozanne Hawksley created a poignant and powerful interrogation of sacrifice at sea and remembrance.

Read more about War & Memory

Turner and the Sea

National Maritime Museum, November 2013-April 2014

This was the first major exhibition of masterpieces showcasing the lifelong fascination with the sea of one of Britain's best-loved artists, J. M. W. Turner.

Read more about Turner and the Sea

Yinka Shonibare MBE at Greenwich

Royal Museums Greenwich, September 2013-February 2014

A spectacular display of vibrant pieces by one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists, Yinka Shonibare MBE, encouraging us to look at our collections with fresh eyes, and to ask different questions about our maritime and stargazing past.

Read more about Yinka Shonibare MBE at Greenwich

Visions of the Universe

National Maritime Museum, June-September 2013

Visions of the Universe showed how we have captured images of the heavens over the centuries, from the earliest hand-drawings to photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and the very latest footage from the Mars Curiosity rover.

Read more about Visions of the Universe

Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea

National Maritime Museum, November 2012-April 2013

Ansel Adams (1902-84) is the most popular influential landscape photographer in American history. This spectacular display featured his awe-inspiring and evocative landscape photographs of rivers, lakes and seas.

Read more about the Ansel Adams exhibition

Broadsides: Caricature & the Navy 1775-1815

National Maritime Museum, October 2012-April 2013

An exhibition exploring a significant period of the Royal Navy's history through the acerbic wit of caricature of the time.

Read more about Broadsides

Royal River: Power, Pageantry & the Thames

National Maritime Museum, April-September 2012

Created to mark HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and guest-curated by David Starkey, Royal River presented the historic Thames in all its glory, from British royal and City events to the river’s transformation after the ‘Great Stink’.

Read more about Royal River

Titanic Remembered

National Maritime Museum, March-September 2012

Marking the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, this small exhibition focused on the personal stories of survivors and featured a selection of items from the Lord-MacQuitty Titanic collection.

Read more about Titanic Remembered

Measuring the Universe: from the transit of Venus to the edge of the cosmos

Royal Observatory Greenwich, March-September 2012

Marking the June 2012 transit of Venus, this exhibition looked at how historical transit events first gave astronomers an inkling of the true mind-boggling scale of space.

Read more about Measuring the Universe

Arctic Convoys 1941-1945

National Maritime Museum, 2011-2014

Marking the 70th anniversary of the first Allied Arctic convoys to Russia, this exhibition used contemporary photographs, paintings by war artists and sailors' clothing to tell the story of this gruelling campaign.

Read more about Arctic Convoys

High Arctic: Future Visions of a Receding World

National Maritime Museum, 2011

Set in one of many possible futures, High Arctic conveyed the scale, beauty and fragility of our unique Arctic environment through an immersive installation.

Read more about High Arctic

Impact: collisions & catastrophes

Royal Observatory Greenwich, March-August 2011

From meteor showers to giant asteroid impacts, the Earth is constantly bombarded by debris from space. This exhibition looked at these fiery visitors and their impact on our planet.

Read more about Impact

Boats that Built Britain

National Maritime Museum, summer 2010

Accompanying a major BBC Four series, this exhibition explored our island nation’s intimate connection to the sea through great maritime stories from the 15th to 20th centuries.

Read more about Boats that Built Britain

Visions of Saturn

Royal Observatory Greenwich, June-August 2009

A display of stunning photos from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn.

Read more about Visions of Saturn

Skin Deep: the tattoo exhibition

National Maritime Museum, March-September 2002

Skin Deep brought together a fascinating range of objects to illuminate the development and diversity of tattooing over the past 200 years, starting with Captain Cook's first encounters of native tattooing in the South Pacific.

Read more about Skin Deep