Celebrate International Women’s Day with female art and culture in London’s West End

This International Women’s Day (8th March), Heart of London Business Alliance’s award-winning cultural initiative, Art of London, is honouring women’s invaluable contribution to the arts and culture scene in the West End.

From prestigious arts and culture institutions, to famous restaurants and chic female-run boutiques, West End visitors can uncover the dynamic achievements of women in an exclusive itinerary curated by TV presenter and art historian Kate Bryan.

Kate Bryan

At the Royal Academy of Arts, culture seekers can experience art from Lubaina Himid, spotlighted in a free display of paper works for her immersive Turner-prize winning installation ‘Naming the Money’, which is part of the ticketed Entangled Pasts exhibition. Visitors to the Royal Academy can also discover a major exhibition covering one of the most celebrated artists of the 18th century, Angelica Kauffman.

Celebrate International Women's Day with female art and culture in London's West End
Anna Zinkeisen by Anna Zinkeisen, c. 1944
© Photo National Portrait Gallery, London

Unmissable special events and exhibits at the National Portrait Gallery include the revolutionary tales of ‘The Bluestockings: The First Women’s Movement’ in a captivating lecture, and a room full of 37 female portraits including self-portraits by Barbara Hepworth and Maeve Gilmore.

Art lovers can also delve into contemporary female artists from the African diaspora in The Time Is Always Now, as well as the world of photography from 21st March with Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron: Portraits to Dream In, an exhibition spotlighting 160 vintage prints by two pioneering female photographers.

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Maeve Gilmore (‘Self-Portrait with Charcoal’)
by Maeve Gilmore, c. 1958
© Photo National Portrait Gallery, London

A few steps away, art enthusiasts can visit the National Gallery to experience an enlightening online lecture on Impressionist painter Eva Gonzalès, alongside celebrating the masterpieces of Artemisia Gentileschi, Rosa Bonheur, and Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun.

The theatrical pulse of London’s legendary district offers stellar performances by leading ladies Sheridan Smith in Opening Night (Gielgud Theatre) and Sarah Snook in The Picture of Dorian Gray (Royal Theatre Haymarket). For a special outing in March, the Lyric Theatre presents the acclaimed musical phenomenon Hadestown, by female singer-songwriter and director duo Anaïs Mitchell and Rachael Chavki.

Celebrate International Women's Day with female art and culture in London's West End
W Hotel

After taking in the world-class culture, the 19th-century shopping area Burlington Arcade stands as the ultimate treasure trove and is home to luxury designers Anya Hindmarch and Lalage Beaumont. Whether with a friend, partner or a solo treat, wrap up the day with culinary delights at female-run hotspots like Larry’s (National Portrait Gallery), Muriel’s Kitchen (The National Gallery), and the W Hotel, where multidisciplinary artist Lois O’Hara inspires the daytime tea menu.

Experience International Women’s Day with Art of London’s specially curated itinerary by art historian Kate Bryan, celebrating the brilliance and diversity of female talent in the heart of the West End.

©2024 Art of London

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