This Week in London – Christmas celebrations; photographic history on show; and, architects as artists…

December 4, 2014

Events celebrating Christmas continue to make our post this week. Sunday will see the annual ‘Blessing of the Crib’ – featuring a torch-lit procession on the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields before the crib is blessed in Trafalgar Square – while on Monday carol singers will kick off their annual program of carolling in the square. More than 50 carol groups are taking part in the singing this year, which takes place from 4pm to 8pm on weeknights and 2pm to 6pm on weekends and runs until 23rd December.  For more on the blessing, see www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org and for more on the carolling in Trafalgar Square and other Christmas events in the city, see www.london.gov.uk/events.

A showcase of works from the Royal Photographic Society Collection has gone on show at the Science Museum’s Media Space. The images include some of the earliest known photographic pictures – dating from the 1820s, they are the work of pioneers like Roger Fenton, William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron – alongside contemporary works by the likes of influential modern figures such as Don McMullin, Terry O’Neill and Martin Parr. The exhibition also features artefacts from the history of the craft, such as Niepce’s heliographs, Fox Talbot’s experimental cameras and The Pencil of Nature – the first commercially published book to be illustrated by photographs. Masters of Light: Treasures from the Royal Photographic Society Collection, presented in collaboration with the Reiss-Engelhorn Museen in Mannheim, Germany, runs at the South Kensington institution until 1st March. Admission charge applies. For more, see www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/mastersoflight.

On Now: Architects as Artists. This exhibition, marking the 10th anniversary of the partnership between the V&A and RIBA, examines the relationship between architecture and art and features about 50 works from the collections of the V&A and RIBA. They include everything from a drawing by Raphael of the Pantheon in Rome to a lithograph by Cyril Power depicting staircase in Russell Square tube station and a volume of architectural fantasies by the Russian architect Iakov Chernikhov. Held in the V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery Room at the V&A in South Kensington, it runs until 15th March. Admission is free. For more, see www.vam.ac.uk/architecture.

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