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Fixed assets? The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Museums beware: permanent collections are not piggy banks

The Association of Art Museum Directors’ new guidelines for deaccessioning are welcome, but they still leave its members open to monetary temptation

5 Oct 2022
Aswan High Dam

Who is UNESCO really for?

As UNESCO marks the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention this November, questions of what – and who – the convention is meant to protect are still up in the air

26 Sep 2022
The heart of M74, otherwise known as the Phantom Galaxy, recorded by the James Webb Telescope.

With the James Webb Telescope, star-gazing has become even more sublime

As data from NASA’s telescope is translated into images we can understand, the wonders it reveals are still out of this world

11 Sep 2022

There’s no need for the future of Clandon Park to be a restoration drama

Critics of the National Trust’s plan to keep the fire-gutted house as a ruin are ignoring the organisation’s history and that of the building itself

1 Sep 2022
Joseph Wright of Derby painting

Higher purpose – Joseph Wright of Derby’s brush with the divine

The artist’s depiction of an 18th-century scientific experiment may reveal an altogether more spiritual concern

30 Aug 2022
Andi Galdi Vinko

Are artists who are parents getting a raw deal?

Artists have long turned to their children as subjects for their art but with each generation, such work is met with new objections

30 Aug 2022
Pound sterling notes

What the UK’s updated anti-money laundering rules mean for the art market

The new guidance provides some welcome clarity for art businesses, but a few grey areas remain

24 Aug 2022
Issey Miyake

How Issey Miyake brought art into fashion

The Japanese fashion designer revolutionised womenswear by creating comfortable clothes appreciated for their androgynous elegance and ease

11 Aug 2022
The Tempi Madonna (1508), Raphael. Alte Pinakothek, Munich

How Raphael gave the Virgin Mary more to do

In the works of Raphael the Virgin Mary often plays a more active and more joyful role than she is allowed by other artists

27 Jul 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
Madame C d’Madame C d’A (detail; 1932), Glyn Philpot.

Putting a name to one of Glyn Philpot’s most mysterious faces

Who is the subject of the painter’s cryptically titled ‘Madame C d’A’? Tessa Murdoch looks for clues among his most progressive patrons

24 Jul 2022
Cosmic Cycle (Rising Universe) in the centre of Horsham, West Sussex, commissioned to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Percy Bysshe Shelley and removed in 2016.

We now know where all the UK’s public sculptures are – but are they any good?

Art UK’s new catalogue allows us to assess the artistic merits of the nation’s monuments – and to mourn a lost memorial to Percy Bysshe Shelley

15 Jul 2022
A Mother’s Duty painting

An everyday luxury – the artists finding beauty in banality

Artists have long found beauty in the mundane, but choosing to represent everyday subject matter is a privilege that requires the luxury of time

27 Jun 2022
Paula Rego studio

‘The meekest person can manipulate’ – a tribute to Paula Rego (1935–2022)

The Portuguese-British painter told stories of parental abandonment, misogyny and exile with a power that put her in a class of her own

10 Jun 2022
Michelangelo in his studio, visited by Pope Julius II

Why did Renaissance artists steal each other’s drawings?

The monetary value of preparatory studies was slight in the Renaissance – but for the ideas they contained, they were worth their weight in gold

8 Jun 2022
Isamu Noguchi sculpture

Child’s play – why artists are looking to childhood for inspiration

Artists have long embraced playful behaviour – not just as a form of creative release, but also as a way of dealing with conflict and taboo

30 May 2022
Shortgrove Hall

The historic estate that’s next on the demolition list

The grounds of the Shortgrove estate in Newport, Essex, have long been lovingly preserved, but a new development now threatens its future

26 May 2022

All photographs are products of their time – and they should be treated that way

Turning black and white photos into colour – and vice versa – can be a harmless piece of fun, but the results can also mess with our sense of the past

13 May 2022
art auctions

Risky business – why is New York getting rid of auction regulations?

The city claims that its decision to loosen the rules governing art auctions seeks to create a more consumer-friendly environment – but how can it?

12 May 2022
chesterfield house London

The rise and fall of Chesterfield House

Once one of London’s most impressive private palaces, the house successfully melded a mix of architectural styles but this wasn’t enough to save it from its fate

28 Apr 2022
Oba Ewuare II (right), receiving restituted Benin Bronzes from Aberdeen and Cambridge universities in a ceremony in February 2022.

Are frictions in Nigeria jeopardising the return of the Benin Bronzes?

With cracks appearing in the relationships of institutions in Nigeria, Barnaby Phillips wonders where the returned Benin Bronzes are going to end up

28 Apr 2022
Sofonisba Anguissola portrait painting

Why aren’t more women artists gazing at men?

There is no great tradition of male nudes by women artists, but this underlines an asymmetry of power rather than a lack of female desire

28 Apr 2022

Is Tottenham Hotspur still clinging to the past?

Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium has just celebrated its third birthday but despite its shiny facade, the club still projects a message of continuity and tradition

27 Apr 2022

Why was the Aztec god of war so keen on starfish?

The discovery of a ritual offering of 160 starfish and a jaguar skeleton to the Aztec god of war has got archaeologists excited to uncover its meaning

14 Apr 2022