Top 10 Museums of 2022

The museum and gallery exhibitions and openings that made the year.

Exhibition of the year: Visions of Ancient Egypt at the Sainsbury Centre

An exploration of the enduring legacy of ancient Egypt across the centuries, combining contemporary Egyptian artists and classical forms of Egyptian reception. A beautiful exhibition.

Runner up: Tutankhamun the Boy: Growing up in Ancient Egypt

2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by Hussein Abdel-Rassoul. Tut ascended to the throne at 8 or 9 and died ten years later. The Petrie Museum used questions from young people in London and Egypt as a springboard for a small but perfectly designed exhibition exploring childhood in ancient Egypt.

3. Finding a way by Simone Fattal, Whitechapel Gallery

The Lebanese-American artist used ceramics to explore ancient cultures and modern themes, creating a vividly imagined ancient landscape in her first solo UK exhibition in Whitechapel.

4. Body, vessel, clay: Black women and contemporary art at Two Temple Place

The powerful tradition of African ceramics and the women who created it was celebrated at Two Temple Place. The star of the show was Ladi Kwali who married the Nigerian tradition with English slipware and stuido pottery traditions to create beautiful works of art. 

5. Strange Clay at the Hayward Gallery

We can only measure the impact of the classic, when it is stretched beyond identification. A mesmerizing, shocking, enchanting show. A touchstone for years to come.

6. Hieroglyphs at Petrie

A small display telling the story about the women involved in teaching ancient languages in University College London in the early twentieth century.

7. Hieroglyphs at the British Museum

An exibition telling the exciting story of the decipherment of hieroglyphs in 1822 with spot on exhibition design.

8. Animal Mummies: uncovered

A fascinating insight into the mummified animal remains of Ancient Egypt using cutting edge science and scholarship.

9. Divine and demonic feminine power in the British Museum

A collection of masterpieces with the theme of feminine divine and demonic power. A stunning show, let down by a noticeable lack of narrative depth, but making up for this in a wealth of objets.

10. Cosmic House

Holland Park has not enjoyed an opening this big since Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers in 1989. Charles and Maggie Jencks former house is one of the most important London house museums of the twentieth century. Well worth a visit.

International exhibition: Hippos: The Horse in Ancient Athens in the American School of Classical Studies in Athens

Full of gorgeous little bits which revealed how the horse was embedded in ancient Athenian society.

Highly commended:

  • Among the Machines – Zabludowicz Collection 
  • Becontree Centenary  – RIBA
  • Glyn Philpot: Flesh and Spirit – Pallant House Gallery
  • Homunculus, Installation by Gary Card – London’s Dover Street Market 
  • In the Black Fantastic – Southbank Centre
  • Life between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s to Now – Tate Britain
  • Lubaina Himid – Tate Modern
  • Noguchi – the Barbican
  • The World of Stonehenge – the British Museum 
  • Wunderkammer: Southend’s Cabinet of Curiosity

Top photo – The Guardian of Siwa by Anna Boghiduian. in Visions of Ancient Egypt at the Sainsbury Centre.

By Rhakotis Magazine

Classic beyond the classics