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The Cult of Beauty

Start Date 26 October 2023
End Date 28 April 2024
Venue The Wellcome Collection
Location London,UK
Curator Janice Li
A display with pink background of photographs of different women and body types.
A display with a pink background featuring corsets.

Our major new exhibition explores notions of beauty across time and cultures.

Around the world, beauty is constantly seen as an ideal worthy of going to great lengths to achieve. But what are the driving forces that lead us to believe in a myth of universal beauty, despite its evolving nature?

Featuring over 200 items, including historical objects, artworks, films and new commissions, the exhibition considers the influence of morality, status, health, age, race and gender on the evolution of ideas about beauty. We invite you to question established norms and reflect on more inclusive definitions of beauty.

This riveting show traces humanity’s obsession with beauty through time and cultures with a keen sense of the ludicrous and the shocking ★★★★★

The Observer

Images courtesy of The Wellcome Collection, London, UK, Photo: © Benjamin Gilbert