Perhaps our editor’s favourite art gallery in London, the Serpentine Gallery opened in 1970 in what was a Grade-II listed tea pavilion. Part of the gallery’s attraction lies in its situation just across the Serpentine Bridge from Hyde Park in Kensington Gardens. Not that this means the Serpentine Galleries are in any way second-rate.
An Inclusive Art Programme
Indeed the contemporary art at the Serpentine Gallery over the last five decades has taken on a pioneering role within the London arts scene, featuring works from Andy Warhol to Man Ray, Damian Hurst and Henry Moore. Due to its location, step free access and lack of entrance fee the Serpentine has brought challenging artwork to an audience that might otherwise have been excluded. Part of the role the Serpentine Galleries play is to stimulate debate about art. You can discover more about the ideas behind their programme here.
In 2013 a second gallery – the Serpentine North Gallery – opened in an old gunpowder store, a short stroll away. Entrance to both galleries is free. There is also a temporary summer pavilion each year.
What’s On at the Serpentine Galleries?
You can find out what’s on at the galleries here. In 2021, exhibitions will include work by British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor (May to October), and New York-based painter Jennifer Packer (May to August). Read our review of them here.
How to Get to the Serpentine Galleries?
The galleries are a 15-minute walk from Ladbroke Grove (Central Line) and Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line) tube stations.
In addition to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, the galleries are close to the Royal Albert Hall, the Albert Memorial, and the the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, ensuring that you can have a surfeit of both green space and culture on any visit.