MONDAY - SUNDAY: 10AM - 6PM
Somerset House is a new kind of arts centre in the heart of London, designed for today’s audiences and creatives.
Offering a diverse and dynamic public programme of contemporary arts and culture, they are also a home to a large community of creative businesses, artists and makers, including Somerset House Studios.
Somerset House’s year-round cultural programme spans the contemporary arts in all its forms including events and exhibitions with recent highlights including PJ Harvey’s Recording in Progress, Big Bang Data, Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence, Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick, Björk Digital, Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali and Utopia 2016: a Year of Imagination and Possibility. Somerset House also present annual festivals such as Pick Me Up (graphic arts), Now Play This (games), 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair and Photo London. Through the seasons, the beautiful Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court hosts Summer Series (live music), Film4 Summer Screen and Skate at Somerset House, plus art and design installations from the likes of Ai Weiwei, Marc Quinn and London Design Biennale.
From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion including the first home of the Royal Academy of Arts and other learned societies – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. For over 200 years the building housed various government departments including births, marriages and deaths and the Inland Revenue until Somerset House Trust was established in July 1997 to conserve and develop Somerset House as an arts centre. After a campaign to open Somerset House to the public, they once again became a home for arts and culture in 2000.
CURRENT EXHIBITION: GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! AND ATHI-PATRA RUGA: OF GODS, RAINBOWS AND OMISSIONS
Good Grief, Charlie Brown!
GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! brings together Charles M. Schulz original Peanuts cartoons with work from a wide range of acclaimed contemporary artists and designers who have been inspired by this highly influential and much-loved cartoon. Unique in its enduring appeal, this exhibition will explore Peanuts’ renewed agency in contemporary culture and society.
Athi-Patra Ruga: Of Gods, Rainbows And Omissions
New and rarely seen works from the internationally renowned South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga.
In his first major solo UK exhibition, Ruga brings three recent series of work together for the first time to unveil a surreal, mythical utopia, filled with a collection of extraordinary characters. Showcasing his diverse practice, from drawings and sculpture to film and photography, plus beautiful hand-crafted petit point tapestry, the exhibition immerses visitors in Ruga’s vibrant world – an allegory of post-apartheid political, cultural and social systems, and a shimmering vision of a more humanist future.