Robert Hewison’s books include Cultural Capital: The Rise and Fall of Creative Britain (Verso), Ruskin and Venice: The Paradise of Cities (Yale).

For the arts in England, levelling up feels a lot like levelling down

The Arts Council’s latest funding announcement has moved money out of London, but the entire sector has a lot to worry about

6 Nov 2022
Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum (left); stone figure of Eros from the 3rd century BC Sidmara sarcophagus (right).

When it comes to restitution, UK museums should be careful what they wish for

The V&A’s director Tristram Hunt has floated the idea of changing the law to allow national museums to make permanent returns. Robert Hewison advises treading very carefully

24 Jul 2022
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Photos: Tolga Akmen/AFP; Fox Photos/Getty Images

The culture secretary has no business threatening museums

Oliver Dowden’s recent letter to museums about contested heritage is a clear breach of the ‘arms-length’ principle

4 Oct 2020

John Ruskin’s visions of Venice

Drawings and daguerreotypes on view at the Ducal Palace reveal the variety of Ruskin’s engagement with Venice

11 May 2018

Museum collections in the UK need a brand new strategy

Both the Mendoza Review and David Cannadine’s recent ‘Why Collect?’ report are too limited in scope

21 Feb 2018
President Emmanuel Macron

Why Macron shouldn’t gamble on a heritage lottery fund

Should the French government be launching a heritage lottery fund when the UK version is in decline?

30 Nov 2017

Contemporary art museums can’t avoid conflicts of interest – but we need to trust their directors

Commercial interests and public institutions are inextricably entangled

1 Nov 2017
The Peak Project, Hong Kong, China, , (1991), Zaha Hadid. © Zaha Hadid

New York’s leading museums are insisting on their internationalism

MoMA and the Met are making strong statements about their values in response to the US travel ban

21 Feb 2017
Image: Will Martin

How to stop the creative industries running out of steam

The Cultural Learning Alliance has released a report which makes a reasoned case for adding the arts to the STEM subjects. Will the government take note?

27 Jan 2017

It’s art school, but not as we know it

Tate and Central Saint Martins have taken it upon themselves to ‘playfully reinvent’ things

10 Jan 2017
Erth, (1971), John Latham.

The legendary John Latham in London

One of the most interesting – and challenging – shows next year will be the Serpentine’s double-look at John Latham

1 Jan 2017

What’s at stake in digitising heritage sites such as the Lascaux cave?

A new facsimile of the Lascaux cave is about to open, but are digital reproductions of cultural sites merely tourist attractions or will they save our fragile heritage?

28 Nov 2016

The real challenge facing Arts Council England’s leaders

As Nicholas Serota is confirmed as the arts council’s new chair, chief executive Darren Henley’s new book lays out some key ideas

8 Sep 2016

Fighting for the beauty of the British landscape

The former director-general of the National Trust has written a spirited defence of Britain’s rural areas

1 Aug 2016

Brexit will happen. The British culture sector needs a new plan

If anything is going to come out of this shock to the system, there are lessons to be learned

5 Jul 2016
The Ethics of Dust at Westminster Hall (2016), Jorge Otero-Pailos.

If walls could talk…The Ethics of Dust at Westminster Hall

An evocative new installation in the oldest surviving part of the Houses of Parliament strikes a chord

29 Jun 2016
Chisenhale Gallery has closed its doors for the full duration of conceptual artist Maria Eichhorn's solo show...

A London gallery has shut its doors in the name of art. Is that acceptable?

If you want to see Maria Eichhorn’s solo show at Chisenhale Gallery – you can’t. Believe it or not, it’s more than a gimmick

28 Apr 2016
East pediment of the Parthenon frieze at the British Museum.

Should museums be ideology-free?

A new book which argues that museums should be above politics is hardly above politics itself

11 Apr 2016

Are the cracks in our museum culture beginning to show?

UK museums are struggling to deal with the long-term effects of funding cuts and falling visitor numbers

19 Feb 2016

Farewell, Sir Peter Bazalgette. Your successor will need a thick skin

What the Arts Council England owes its outgoing Chairman

21 Jan 2016

John Ruskin’s second career

Extract for our July/August Diary by Ruskin expert Robert Hewison

27 Jul 2014