Jo Lawson-Tancred is an arts writer based in London.

Komainu (lion-dogs) (c. 1300), Japan.

Masterpiece pulls out the stops for its first online edition

Virtual viewing rooms, video tours and private Zoom meetings – here’s what to expect from Masterpiece Online

16 Jun 2020
Queen Mathilde of Belgium and King Philippe of Belgium visi the permanent collection of the Old Masters Museum, part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, on May 19, 2020 in Brussels, as the country eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Daina Le Lardic/Belga/AFP via Getty Images

How will museums bring us close to art in an era of social distancing?

As museums around the world prepare to reopen, many do so with a renewed sense of purpose

22 May 2020
Making Fishcakes, Late Afternoon, December (detail; 2019), Caroline Walker.

‘We are pretty well practised at isolation’ – how artists have been coping with quarantine

Some artists, such as Ilya Kabakov and Caroline Walker, are finding solace in their work – when not distracted by fears about the post-pandemic future

13 May 2020
Installation view of ‘Rosemarie Castoro’ at MAMCO Geneva.

Geneva’s modern art museum displays a refreshingly makeshift spirit

MAMCO’s origins as a collection formed by independent collectors still makes itself felt in interesting ways

20 Jan 2020
The ‘Getty fire’ in Brentwood, California on 28 October 2019 (with the Getty Center visible in the background).

What makes a museum ‘fire-proof’?

The Getty Center’s fire prevention system is a standard-bearer for museums and historic properties worldwide

17 Dec 2019

What not to miss at the winter edition of London Art Week

Highlights of the artworks and exhibitions on show in Mayfair and St James’s this year

28 Nov 2019
Noah’s Ark, from the Jami‘ al-Tawarikh of Rashid al-Din (MS 727), copy from 1314–15.

Around the world in 35,000 objects – and a handful of clicks

The Khalili Collections have partnered up with Wikimedia UK to broaden access to their vast holdings spanning centuries and cultures

11 Oct 2019
Young Hare (detail; 1502), Albrecht Dürer. Image: © The Albertina Museum, Vienna

Within a hare’s breadth of Dürer’s masterful drawings at the Albertina

A Dürer show at the Albertina presents a rare opportunity to see some of the German artist’s drawings usually kept caged up in the dark

25 Sep 2019
untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection) (1973), Dan Flavin. Installation view of ‘Königsklasse’, Herrenchiemsee Palace, Munich, 2019.

Minimalism, murals and makeshift studios – contemporary art comes to Munich

The Bavarian capital is reasserting its position as a city to rival Berlin in its embrace of the arts

12 Aug 2019
Amedeo Modigliani's Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) at Sotheby's Hong Kong in April 2018.

In defence of the catalogue raisonné

With the art market crying out for definitive catalogues, a new international association has been launched to support their production

5 Aug 2019
A Seated, Elegantly Dressed Lady Eating from a Plate (1878), Adolph Menzel, courtesy Stephen Ongpin Fine Art

Scene stealers – the candid sketches of Adolph Menzel

The virtuoso draughtsman carried several sketchbooks at all times and liked to draw standing up

9 Jul 2019

The painter who made his name on the Western Front

Alfred Munnings was an official war artist who took a curiously pastoral approach to the conflict

16 May 2019
Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea (detail; 1958), H.C. Westermann. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

H.C. Westermann’s sinister visions of post-war America

His experiences as a marine gunner in the Second World War and Korea made a lasting impact on Westermann’s art

25 Apr 2019
View of London from Greenwich (1825), Joseph Mallord William Turner. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

A window on the world in watercolour

A new online database reveals how before photography, watercolours were used as visual records

12 Feb 2019
Portrait of a Woman (1888), William Merritt Chase. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford Connecticut

The modern painters who were mad about Frans Hals

Van Gogh, Whistler, Sargent and Manet were just some of the major artists who made pilgrimages to Haarlem to see Hals’s work

9 Jan 2019
Isabella, Duchess of Manchester, 1738, Andrea Soldi, Whitfield Fine Art

The Foundling Museum puts women in their rightful place

Portraits of men have been replaced with those of the women who first petitioned George II to set up the Foundling Hospital

25 Oct 2018
Bilte, (2008) Tomma Abts, installation view at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, 2018, © 2018

Tomma Abts’ intriguing paintings contain infinite worlds

In the largest survey of her work so far, the artist explores the tensions between control and chaos

11 Jul 2018
Idriss, (2012), Mary Heilman. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich and 303 Gallery, New York, © Mary Heilman

An alternative history of abstract art

A survey of works by women painters makes for an enthralling display, but is the gender of the artists the most important factor?

25 May 2018
Le parfum de l'abîme, René Magritte, Private Collection. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2018

What Magritte found out in Paris

The artist’s time in the French capital was not a success, but it formed his thinking about words and pictures

21 Mar 2018
Autumn Arrival, (n.d.), Giorgio de Chirico, Estorick Collection

Reading the riddles of Giorgio de Chirico

Considering the artist’s writing gives us invaluable new ways in which to see his painting

4 Dec 2017
The Theatre Box, (detail; 1910), Oswald Birley. Private collection

Oswald Birley’s society portraits should have a wider public

The portraitist was highly sought after in his heyday, but his reputation has languished in recent years

6 Oct 2017