Visitors in the ‘Sociable Science’ section of The Art of Innovation exhibition © Science Museum Group


The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter examines the fascinating and intertwined relationship between artists and scientists over the last 250 years.

This major free exhibition pairs objects of scientific discovery with art by Boccioni, Constable, Hepworth, Hockney, Turner and contemporary artists Cornelia Parker and Conrad Shawcross.

The exhibition highlights how vital imagination is to both artists and scientists, exploring twenty interactions between art and science through the textiles, film, photography, paintings, sculptures, models and scientific objects produced.

Through four sections and twenty stories, the exhibition examines how we have questioned our relationship with society, our bodies, the environment and found patterns in nature, as we continue to interpret and explore the world around us.

Visitors to the exhibition will be greeted by a painting that almost single-handedly defines the scientific enlightenment, Joseph Wright of Derby’s A Philosopher Giving that Lecture on an Orrery, displayed alongside the Science Museum Group’s own scientific instruments and rare books from the eighteenth century.

The Art of Innovation Events Series

Panel Discussion: Could Robots Ever Become Artists?

Friday 18 October 2019, 19.00-20.30, Tickets £12

More and more artists are utilising artificial intelligence as a creative tool. But will AI ever become an artist? A panel of artists, scientists and thinkers come together to examine this question and more.

The Man in the White Suit Screening + Q&A

Friday 15 November 2019, 19.00-21.00, Tickets £8

Science, commerce and fast fashion collide in Alexander Mackendrick’s 1951 Ealing comedy classic. The screening is followed by a Q&A chaired by The Art of Innovation curator Rachel Boon.

Lates: The Art of Innovation

Wednesday 27 November 2019, 18.45-22.00, Ticketed but free entry

This special Lates will explore the intertwined relationship between artists and scientists in a celebration of the new exhibition. Visitors will also get the chance to explore The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter after hours.

Stephen and Martyn Poliakoff in Conversation

Wednesday 27 November, 19.30-20.30, Ticketed but free entry

Chaired by The Art of Innovation curator Tilly Blyth, the brothers Poliakoff come together to discuss the connections between science and art, the similarities and differences in their working processes, and to explore exactly where that spark of inspiration comes from for both scientists and artists.

Find out more on the Science Museum website.


01 Oct 2019 - 26 Jan 2020


10:00 am - 6:00 pm


Science Museum
Exhibition Road, London, SW7

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