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Critics’ choice - Time Out     "a revelation" - Daily Telegraph     "fascinating" - Guardian

10 June-26 September 2010

The 'Skin' exhibition invites you to re-evaluate the largest and probably most overlooked human organ. We consider the changing importance of skin, from anatomical thought in the 16th century through to contemporary artistic exploration.

Covering four themes (Objects, Marks, Impressions and Afterlives), 'Skin' takes a philosophical approach. It begins by looking at the skin as a frontier between the inside and the outside of the body. Early anatomists saw it as having little value and sought to flay it to reveal the workings of the body beneath.

The exhibition then moves to look at the skin as a living document: with tattoos, scars, wrinkles or various pathologies, our skin tells a story of our life so far. Finally, the skin is considered as a sensory organ of touch and as a delicate threshold between life and death.

Skin Lab, which features artistic responses to cutting-edge research and technological developments in skin science from the mid-20th century onwards, will complement the exhibition.

Please note that the exhibition contains human remains and graphic images. Please call us on 020 7611 2222 if you would like further information.

Image credit: 'Mr Green'. Courtesy of Araminta de Clermont and Michael Hoppen Gallery

  • Image galleries

    Image galleries

    Take a look at a selection of images from the 'Skin' exhibition.

  • Skin Lab

    Skin Lab

    'Skin Lab' draws attention to cutting-edge research and technological developments in skin science. Contemporary artists also give their take on skin.

  • Tattoo competition

    Tattoo competition

    Design a tattoo for a willing volunteer in our tattoo competition.

  • Skin events

    Skin events

    'Skin' is supported by a diverse series of intriguing events looking at our skin from all angles.

  • Video


    A silent film from 1926 takes us through the basic physiology of the human skin.

  • Audio slideshow

    Audio slideshow

    Listen to Lucy Shanahan, co-curator of 'Skin', discuss a selection of objects from the exhibition.

  • Skin-inspired essays

    Skin-inspired essays

    Two short essays that respond to the exhibition from both a fictional and philosophical perspective.

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