Glenn Adamson is a writer and curator. His most recent book is 'Fewer, Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects'.

How the Hirshhorn Museum stays fresh at 50

The modernist building houses many significant works, but it’s the museum’s canny marketing and astute navigation of choppy political climates that really set it apart

1 May 2024

The clay’s the thing – Ceramic: Art and Civilisation, reviewed

Paul Greenhalgh’s ambitious survey takes us from the ancient Greeks to Picasso and beyond

9 Jun 2021
Nancy and Olivia (detail; 1967), Alice Neel. Collection of Diane and David Goldsmith.

Alice Neel, our contemporary

The painter’s urgent, sympathetic portraits of her fellow New Yorkers are exactly what we need in these troubled times

3 Apr 2021

There’s a soggy Stars and Stripes in the Oval Office – and it’s a perfect emblem for the task ahead

Childe Hassam’s rain-soaked flags have hung in the White House before, but next to Joe Biden’s desk they feel more fitting than ever

25 Jan 2021
Grace Stands Beside by Shinique Smith, installed at the Baltimore Museum of Art (until 3 January 2021).

In defence of progressive deaccessioning

A recent spate of high-profile sales has reignited debates around deaccessioning and diversification

26 Oct 2020
Grainstack (Snow Effect) (1891), Claude Monet.

Absentee party – the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston turns 150

As the museum passes an important milestone with its doors shut, Glenn Adamson considers what its collection has meant to him over the years

13 Jun 2020
(Left) Anti-slavery medalliion (c. 1787), modelled by William Hackford and manufactured by Josiah Wedgwood. Metropolitan Museum of Art; (right) Sugar box (1744/45), Paul de Lamerie. Metropolitan Museum of Art

British aisles – the Met’s new galleries don’t shy away from addressing a complicated past

The collection is now displayed with a greater sense of social history – without sacrificing aesthetic delight

6 Mar 2020
Spatial Concept (Concetto Spaziale) (1964-65), Lucio Fontana.

A chameleon who never lost his feeling for clay – Lucio Fontana at the Met

The Italian artist was a breathtakingly gifted ceramicist who flirted with too many other mediums

15 Mar 2019