Private View held by Richard Andrews
The Dome has at last officially unveiled its sculptures, commissioned to enhance the outside of the structure, featuring work by Anthony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Richard Wilson and Tony Cragg. They are late arrivals at the Millennium Ball owing to overdue payments by NMEC, the dome management company. Gormley worked day and night to complete his piece Quantum Cloud - a 90ft high creation of 3,500 steel tubes - by New Year's Eve, but even now, consulting engineers Elliott Wood have still not received all the money they are owed. I suppose it was so much simpler when it was just an artist, a block of stone and a chisel. The Millennium Experience until 31st December.
Animal Magic is a multimedia event, providing the opportunity to build a mythical beast, make up an animal story with shadow puppets, and take a closer look at animals in art. It is divided into three sections. Fun And Fantasy looks at how artists create, design and communicate their ideas about animals - both real and imaginary. Show Stoppers centres on how animals are represented in art, including a three metre high birdcage, and a giant whale made from two Cornish fishing boats. Animal Detectives offers the opportunity to work as both scientist and artist, using microscopes and magnifying glasses to study birds and cats. Croydon Clocktower, Croydon, 0181 253 1030 until 4th June.
Curtain Call is a 46ft video triptych by Nick Stewart featuring the activities of the Royal Festival Hall. Stewart filmed the comings and goings in the building by day and by night over a six month period, and the result is a mesmeric video diary of this venerable arts institution, which will reach its half century next year. Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London until 30th April.
The 100 Cartoonists Of The Century presents the lot - all the famous ones you know, and many you don't - showing the variety of ways the medium has been explored. From David Low's TUC carthorse to Dudley Watkins's Desperate Dan, from Donald McGill's saucy seaside post cards to Steve Bell's John Major, and from Giles' Grandma to Gerald Scarfe's blood and guts, it's all here. The British Cartoon Centre, London WC1, 0171 278 7172, until 12th April.
Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective is a selection from a 50 year portfolio, which admirably demonstrates that it is by no means restricted to the rich and famous. Snowdon's early work as a fashion photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair included mould breaking shots of models posed on aircraft wings and piles of cars. London, his book published in 1958, was instrumental in creating the image of Swinging London. In fact his wedding to Princess Margaret in 1960, inspired design student Geoff Reeves to paint a pair of sunglasses with a Union Jack, thus starting one of the fads of the era. Later work includes pictorial essays on social problems, reflecting his involvement in charities. National Portrait Gallery until 4th June.
The Art Of Barbie is an exhibition of creations for the world's greatest, most perfect, and longest enduring supermodel. Fifty fans, including designers Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen, (do you really think these boys should be playing with dolls?), artists Rachael Whiteread and Antony Gormley, and photographer David Bailey, present their visions for Barbie - and even a few for Ken. Proud Galleries, London WC2, 0171 839 4942, until 12th April.
Seeing Salvation: The Image of Christ explores how the figure of Christ has been represented in the western artistic tradition, and the language of Christian imagery. Through paintings, sculptures, coins and engravings, it examines different aspects of the visual identity of Christ, and the pictorial questions that artists have confronted as they made His image. Works range from the earliest known Crucifixion, a 5th century ivory relief, to Salvador Dali's controversial Christ of St John of the Cross, painted in 1951. Though Christianity is now "uncool", it remains the bedrock of western culture. This millennial exhibition asks what such images mean in today's faithless world. There is an accompanying television series beginning on 2nd April, presented by the director of the National Gallery, Neil MacGregor. National Gallery until 7th May.
Buckingham Palace The Ballroom is to be opened to the public for the first time this year as part of the Summer Opening of the State Rooms. 122 feet long and 60 feet wide, it has been at the centre of state entertaining since it was built for Queen Victoria, and opened in 1859 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War. Since 1954, 48 heads of state have been entertained there at state banquets. It is also used for investitures, and there will be an exhibition with examples of all the major honours awarded. The State Rooms contain many works of art from the Royal Collection. Buckingham Palace 6th August until 1st October.
Painted Illusions: The Art of Cornelius Gijsbrechts is dedicated to the art of deception, with work by one of the most important painters of illusionistic or trompe l'oeil pictures in European art, seen in London for the first time. One of the favourite themes of 17th century trompe-l'oeil painters was the letter rack, with papers and other objects tucked into, or hung from, ribbons stretched across a board. Gijsbrechts raised this to a new level of sophistication, with an extraordinary assortment of letters (often addressed to himself as "painter to the king of Denmark"), almanacs (which date the paintings), engravings, royal proclamations, miniature portraits, quill pens, tidies with pockets, and tools and equipment of every imaginable kind. National Gallery until 1st May.
The Ideal Home Show will once again provide the unlikely spectacle of a village of new houses built inside Earl's Court, enabling thousands of visitors to indulge in the undoubted pleasure of traipsing round sneering at the furnishings. It's even better than touring your friends' new house, because you don't have to be tactful, or pretend to be kind or enthusiastic. Reflecting the increasing interest in gardening, this year there will be ten fully laid out gardens as well. All this, plus the customary demonstrations of cooking, DIY and gardening, and the real draw - the gadgets. A great British institution. Earl's Court Exhibition Centre until 9th April.
Kei Ito is a haute couture designer in the contemporary Japanese tradition, for whom clothes are wearable sculpture, and Zen a discernible influence. This results in dresses that look like a chrysalis shell, or are made up from a mixture of silk and PVC, and are just about wearable by a few, whose social life could be described s a mixture of inspiration and desperation. For the rest of us, they are better viewed as exhibits in a gallery. The City Gallery, Leicester, 0116 254 0595, until 8th April.
Radiator Digital Arts Festival gives new meaning to the word eclectic. It includes an online sťance, involving virtual ghosts and messages from beyond the internet; a live broadcast from a woman in a dinghy on a lake, who will communicate by the language of the sea (yes it's 1st April again); a workshop on how to build your own robot "Danger Will Robinson!"; screenings of '60's avant-garde classic films and forums featuring members of the digerati. All human (and cyber) life. Broadway Media Centre, Nottingham, 0115 956 7660 until 8th April.