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Russia and the UK are embarking on an unprecedented cultural exchange whereby London's National Portrait Gallery and Moscow's State Tretyakov Gallery will swap some of their most precious portraits.

Marking the 160th anniversary of both museums, the State Tretyakov Gallery will send portraits of important Russian cultural figures—including Leo Tolstoy, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Modest Mussorgsky—to London, while the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) will send paintings of William Shakespeare, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Carlyle to Moscow.

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An exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will highlight the works of Julia Margaret Cameron, a pioneer of modern portrait photography. Julia Margaret Cameron will be the first New York City museum exhibition devoted to the artist’s work in nearly a generation, and the first ever for the Met. The exhibition will present 35 works drawn entirely from the Met’s collection.

Cameron, who took up photography at the age of 48, had a superbly unique style that employed soft focus, long exposures and close framing. A friend of many notable Victorian artists, poets and thinkers, Cameron’s portraits of the painter G.F Watts, the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, the scientist Sir John Herschel and the philosopher Thomas Carlyle will be included in the Met’s exhibition.

Julia Margaret Cameron will be on view at the Met through January 5, 2014.

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