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At the Tate Modern “Cruel and Tender” photographers Clockwise from top left Paul Graham Fazal Sheikh Martin Parr Rineke Dijkstra  Michael Schmidt Stephen Shore and Andreas Gursky

At the Tate Modern, “Cruel and Tender” photographers: (Clockwise from top left) Paul Graham, Fazal Sheikh, Martin Parr, Rineke Dijkstra, Michael Schmidt, Stephen Shore and Andreas Gursky.

Photo By Tim Jenkins

For the first time in its history, the Tate Modern, Britain’s leading museum of modern art, is staging a major photography show. The exhibition, “Cruel and Tender,” showcases nearly 700 photos by more than 20 photographers, including Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Martin Parr, August Sander, Diane Arbus and Walker Evans. Glam and glossy it’s not — the exhibition is a study in 20th century realist photography with subjects including beggars, tenant farmers and industrial landscapes. It kicked off Tuesday with a party for the photographers, art dealers and gallery owners and runs through Sept. 7.

At London’s Sanderson hotel on Tuesday night, Lady Helen Taylor promised karaoke kicks at a party to benefit Sargent Cancer Care for Children. Guests, including Hugh Grant, Matthew Perry, Billy Zane, Sadie Frost and Sam Taylor-Wood, paid $16 to nominate fellow partygoers to take the mic. Trudie Styler nominated her husband 10 times over, but because of minor sound and technical problems, Sting wouldn’t sing a note. Instead, he scurried home early, making excuses about babysitting duties. Taking his place, Eric McCormack, the star of “Will & Grace,” sang a version of Lionel Richie’s “Easy,” earning a standing ovation from the crowd.