London 2012 Art Exhibitions

(29 July, 2012) The National Portrait Gallery has opened an exhibition of portraits of not just athletes, but some of the people who work behind the scenes to make the London Olympic and Paralympic Games happen. It’s one of several Olympic-themed exhibitions in London, as museums and galleries capitalise on visitors’ interest in the history of the Games and the preparations for London 2012.

Road to 2012: Aiming High at the National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square presents the third instalment of its Road to 2012 series of exhibitions next week. On display at Road to 2012: Aiming High are newly commissioned photographs of top athletes and some of the key figures behind the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 19 July – 23 September

The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games at the Royal Opera House
This free exhibition takes place at the beautiful Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. It tells the story of the Olympic Games, from the very first Games in Olympia, to the modern Olympics, right up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Hear the stories of Olympians and see Olympic artefacts, including medals and torches, on display. 28 July-12 August

Olympics Through the Ages at Westfield Stratford City
See photographs capturing the excitement, action and drama of the modern Olympic Games in this free exhibition next to the Olympic Park in Stratford. The Getty Images Gallery at Westfield Stratford City is showing photographs from every modern Olympic Games from Athens, 1896 to Beijing, 2008. Visitors will also be able to see live 3D scenes from the London 2012 Games at the exhibition. 28 June-30 September

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Medals at the British Museum
Find out all about the medals which will be presented to the winning athletes at this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. This free display at London’s famous British Museum tells the story of the production of the medals, including the mining of the metal, the creation of the designs, and the production by The Royal Mint (the organisation which produces the UK’s coins). Examples of the Olympic and Paralympic victory medals are also on display. 8 February-9 September

Design Stories: The Architecture Behind 2012 at RIBA
This free exhibition at the home of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) examines the architecture and engineering behind the London 2012 venues. It includes drawings, videos and models of London’s new sporting venues. Featured venues include the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the Velodrome. There’s also a live screening lounge from 30 July, so visitors can see the venues in action. 25 June-25 September

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Posters
A free display of 12 official posters commissioned by London 2012 to mark the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The posters have been created by leading British contemporary artists, including Tracy Emin, Chris Ofili, Fiona Banner and Rachel Whiteread. Screen prints and lithographs of the posters are on display at Tate Britain, which holds one of the world’s greatest collections of British art.