Hugh Raffles is Professor of Anthropology at the New School in New York. His most recent book is The Book of Uncomformities: Speculations on Lost Time (Pantheon).
In museums, minerals are both everyday matter and also objects of scientific interest – but they carry more intangible meanings too
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Object that leave Earth may reach astronomical prices on their return – but there are other reasons for sending art into space
Painted in around 1625, the Penitent Mary Magdalene inspired a host of copies before disappearing. Now, it has resurfaced in a private collection
The Syrian-born, US-based artist talks to Gabrielle Schwarz about his sculptural dioramas of cities ravaged by war – and offers a message of hope for the future