Designer Sarah Shellard's guide to London's best art galleries

Insider Guide by by Sarah Shellard, a South African-born graphic designer and illustrator, living in Wimbledon and working in Camden

This is a guide to some of London’s best independent galleries and collections. From contemporary masters to up and coming artists, via explorations into science and technology, the galleries in this guide offer thoughtful and carefully curated permanent collections, as well as exciting temporary exhibitions.

Estorick Collection

39A Canonbury Square, London N1 2AN, UK

Image: Estorick Collection

Modern Italian art chronicled

A world-class collection of modern Italian art, featuring the most important Italian artists from the first half of the 20th century. Renowned for its collection of Futurist works, and with six galleries, an art library, a bookshop, and a cafe, there is plenty here to keep you engaged.

Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE, UK

Image: Wellcome Collection

Grand facade of the Wellcome Collection building in Euston

‘The free destination for the incurably curious’, this museum explores science, medicine, and the human existence and experience through a variety of lenses and mediums. Part of the Wellcome Trust, a global health charity that was founded by Sir Henry Wellcome through his will in 1936. Wellcome was a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and avid collector of objects relating to health and medicine.

Whitechapel Gallery

77-82 Whitechapel High St, Shadwell, London E1 7QX, UK

Image: Whitechapel Gallery

Installation by Leonor Antunes

A stalwart of the London art scene for over 100 years, Whitechapel Gallery has been a pioneer from the start. It is where some of the biggest names in contemporary art made their debut, including Rothko, Pollock, and Kahlo. The building was revamped and reopened in 2009 and now includes a research centre, archives room, and cafe.

White Cube

144-152, Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3TQ, UK

Image: White Cube

Gilbert & George exhibition

The design of this gallery space is a work of art in itself. The 1970s building was redesigned by London and Berlin-based architects Casper Mueller Kneer, and houses three major exhibition spaces. To date the gallery has hosted several notable exhibitions, including American artist Theaster Gates’ first UK showing. White Cube also has a second London location in St. James, as well as a gallery in Hong Kong.

Design Museum

224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG, UK

Image: Design Museum

The Design Museum opened its impressive, new premises in 2016

The Design Museum is an exploration of - and homage to - the designs that have shaped the modern world, from the beginnings of mass-produced objects to the digital era.

Notably, the museum is home to the Beazley Designs of the Year awards, an exhibition that features 60 projects from creators around the world, spanning architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, products, and transport.