Around London – Duchess of Cambridge at the NPG; Imperial War Museum closed for now; and, Frozen London…

The controversial first official painted portrait of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery. Unveiled on 11th January, the portrait by Paul Emsley has already sparked considerable criticism. Emsley, the 2007 winner of the gallery’s BP Portrait Award competition, was chosen by the gallery’s director Sandy Nairne to paint the portrait which took three-and-a-half months to paint. It is now on permanent display in the gallery as part of Contemporary Collections in the Lerner Galleries in Room 36, on the ground floor. Admission is free. For more (including a film on the making of the portrait), see

The Imperial War Museum has closed its doors until July this year as the museum undergoes an extensive refurbishment. In July, the museum will launch a new exhibition –  Horrible Histories®: Spies, and also reopen of The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes, The Holocaust Exhibition, Secret War, A Family in Wartime and the Explore History Centre. The redevelopment, meanwhile, will continue until summer 2014 when the brand new First World War Galleries will be opened, marking the 100-year anniversary of the start of the First World War. For more, see

On Now: Frozen London. This exhibition at the London Metropolitan Archives looks at the impact of some of the most severe winters the city has ever experienced which occurred between 1683 and 1895. A highlight is a look at the Frost Fairs which took place on the River Thames during that time. Runs until April 25th. Admission is free. For more, follow this link. Correction: Opened 21st January-25th April.

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