Arts and Entertainment East Enders: Whistler’s Wapping, is all about the hectic activity of barges and lighters, as seen from The Angel

American painter James Whilster's Thames depictions are considered ahead of a new exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Art comment: For an eyeful of remarkable art, stick a pin in a map of Britain

Be sure to explore outside the capital too

John Heffernan: 'I came out of Frances Ha completely smitten with Greta Gerwig'

Cultural life: John Heffernan, actor

Theatre & Opera

For richer, for poorer: The Football Match (1949) sold for £5.6m in 2011

Charles Darwent on Lowry and The Painting of Modern Life at Tate Britain: The matchstick men aren’t quite where Lowry left them

L S Lowry turned the working class into a flat-capped mob, always on the move, never getting anywhere

Mather’s refit of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Rick Mather: Architect hailed for his subtle and light-filled renovations of historic buildings

The architect Rick Mather is celebrated for renovations of British museums and galleries that amounted to re-founding them, because with subtlety, refinement and, above all, respect for their traditions and collections, he made historic spaces work as modern institutions. His great imaginative gift was to take a dark or enclosed space and let in light and air.

Portrait of a Lady: the life and passions of Lady Barber, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham

This is one of those good/bad exhibitions – good in so far as it tells us an interesting story about the foundation of an important institute of fine arts in Birmingham eighty years ago within the precincts of the university; bad in so far as a fair number of the works on display here – notably the paintings of Lady Barber herself - are of an indifferent quality. Not the lace and the tapestries though.

'Alençon' 1823

Cotman in Normandy, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

A much-loved British watercolourist paved the way with his daring, continental tendencies

Twombly and Poussin: Every picture tells a story

There are narratives in abstract art just as in figurative painting – and a show on Twombly and Poussin aims to prove it.

A home fit for a genius: Sir John Soane's Museum

The restoration of Sir John Soane's Museum offers an enticing new view of one of the world's most sumptuous architectural treats, says Jay Merrick

Norman Rockwell's America, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

An artist so lacking in message he makes apple pie and picket fences look loaded

Chart the New Year with a Masterpiece a month

Stuck for interesting ways to welcome in the New Year? Well, to celebrate its bicentenary Dulwich Picture Gallery will unveil a borrowed masterpiece every month until the end of 2011.

Tom Sutcliffe: Coldcocked by received opinion

The week in culture

Norman Rockwell: An artisan, not an artist

A new exhibition of Rockwell's illustrations shows he was a skilled oil painter, but his relentless optimism soon starts to grate, says Adrian Hamilton
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
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UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

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Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
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Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
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Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk