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Dress circle: visitors to the Tate Gallery in 1957.

How to behave in a commercial gallery, if you’ve never dared set foot in one

They may have intimidated you in the past – but you’ll have to wise up to the ways of commercial galleries if you want to see any art in the UK this month

8 Apr 2021
A specially designed vehicle transports the mummy of King Seqenenre Taa from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the new Museum of Egyptian Civilization on 3 April 2021.

In Egypt, a motorcade of mummies says more about the modern nation than the ancient past

The recent move of the royal mummies in Cairo was a made-for-TV extravaganza

Children on the boating lake in Battersea Gardens at the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Will the ‘festival of Brexit’ prove a tonic for the nation, after all?

The government’s plan for a grand national jolly has been widely lampooned – but perhaps it’s just what we need

1 Apr 2021
MacKenzie Scott, who has donated more than $6bn in unrestricted gifts over the past year.

MacKenzie Scott has given away billions with no strings attached – and it’s time arts donors followed suit

Too often arts patrons hinder the organisations they set out to help by imposing conditions on their gifts

30 Mar 2021
At the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Photo: © Ron Blunt/National Gallery of Art

It’s time museum leaders stopped talking to themselves – and started listening instead

They’re eager to express their support for social justice – but without listening more attentively, museum directors will never make good on their rhetoric

24 Mar 2021
Will the real William Shakespeare please stand up? The effigy above the playwright’s grave in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Is this what Shakespeare really looked like?

A dumpy effigy in a church in Stratford-upon-Avon has been mocked for centuries, but new research claims it’s the most accurate likeness of the playwright there is

23 Mar 2021
A Teotihuacán mask sold at Christie’s Paris in February for €437,500

Why was Mexico so determined to stop a sale of ancient artefacts in Paris?

Laying claim to its archaeological heritage is central to Mexico’s identity as a modern nation

23 Mar 2021
Broadcasting legend? Cellini’s Perseus plus boombox

Art really does work on the radio – especially if it’s cast as true crime

A new series on BBC Radio 3 delves into the notorious life of Benvenuto Cellini – and it’s a binge-worthy Renaissance thriller, Christina Faraday writes

22 Mar 2021
Book end? The National Art Library at the V&A, London, photographed in 2016.

For the future of scholarship, the National Art Library must be protected

The V&A says it’s protecting the jobs of librarians (for now), but the fate of the greatest art library in the UK remains uncertain

19 Mar 2021
Left: Addie Card, 12 Years Old, Spinner in cotton mill, North Pownal, Vermont (1910), Lewis Hine. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Right: Digital colourisation of Lewis Hine’s photograph of Addie Card by Marina Amaral. Photo: © Marina Amaral

Does the past look better in black and white?

Photographers and film-makers have long added colour to their images – but does the current craze for colourisation create a false impression of olden times?

11 Mar 2021
Christopher Monkhouse, photographed in Pittsburgh in the 1970s

Remembering Christopher Monkhouse (1947–2021), a renowned curator for whom collecting was a way of life

Christopher Monkhouse transformed the decorative arts holdings at major museums in Providence, Minneapolis and Chicago, and built his own remarkable collections of books and drawings – and friends

4 Mar 2021
A dose of culture: Luke Jerram with his Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine sculpture

Anti-vaxxers have been around for centuries – and artists have always been on hand to debunk their claims

There’s a healthy tradition of art to challenge vaccine sceptics – from satirical cartoons to contemporary sculptures

3 Mar 2021
Salisbury plaint – a planned road tunnel near Stonehenge has caused controversy.

In defence of the Stonehenge road tunnel

Plans to sink a dual carriageway beneath Stonehenge have been heavily criticised – but the tunnel will improve our experience of the site, writes Timothy Darvill

1 Mar 2021
Gloomy forecast: at a protest against job cuts in the culture sector in summer 2020.

Has the UK government abandoned the arts?

Former arts minister Ed Vaizey and leading culture writer Charlotte Higgins on whether the government should be doing more for the hard-hit arts sector

26 Feb 2021
Casque strength: Daft Punk performing in 2006.

Bye, Robot: a farewell to Daft Punk

Daft Punk weren’t always robots – but it’s how they’ll be remembered

26 Feb 2021
The National Gallery, closed and an empty Trafalgar Square on 24 March 2020. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

If shops can reopen in April, why can’t museums?

Museums in England will have to wait until May to reopen but shops, gyms and libraries are set to open in April. What’s the logic in that?

22 Feb 2021
Sale of the centuries: works deaccessioned by the Brooklyn Museum (left) and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery since the relaxation of AAMD guidelines.

American museums should not be selling their art to keep the lights on

Deaccessioning rules for US museums have been relaxed to raise money for collection care – and even the Met may take advantage. It’s a slippery slope, says Thomas P. Campbell

19 Feb 2021
An ancient Egyptian mummy, Nesyamun, laid on the couch to be CT scanned at Leeds General Infirmary.

Have scientists solved a mummy murder mystery?

The latest mummy to go through a CT scanner is Seqenenre Tao II – and researchers are now convinced that he died in a grisly execution ceremony

18 Feb 2021
Here for culture? Oliver Dowden, the UK culture secretary

The culture minister should take an interest in museums – but he can’t tell them how to interpret the past

It’s no bad thing for the government to sit down with museum directors, says Charles Saumarez Smith, but imposing its own version of history is another matter

Can the Netherlands make good on its restitution promises?

The Dutch government’s pledge to return artefacts stolen from former colonies is the first step in a long process, writes Sally Price

15 Feb 2021

Thoroughly good eggs: how Fabergé became the last word in luxury

From princes to plutocrats, the super-rich have rarely had the power to resist Fabergé’s fabulous baubles

9 Feb 2021
Ralph Fiennes as the archaeologist Basil Brown in 'The Dig' (2021). Photo: LARRY HORRICKS/NETFLIX © 2021

The British government thinks archaeology doesn’t matter. It couldn’t be more wrong

Funding for archaeology has been slashed by the UK government – and it’s a moronic mistake

4 Feb 2021

Tigray’s people and their heritage urgently need protecting

Reports of atrocities in the Ethiopian region include the targeting of Tigray’s unparallelled cultural treasures

3 Feb 2021
Installation view of ‘David Bowie Is’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in 2013.

Has the blockbuster exhibition had its day?

In our pandemic-stricken world, vast, crowd-pleasing exhibitions are out of the question for museums. But will sell-out shows ever return?

1 Feb 2021