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The Supper at Emmaus (c. 1530), Titian.

Are the Old Masters more indispensable than ever?

Caroline Campbell and Michael Prodger consider the particular forms of escape that historic paintings can offer in uncertain times

23 Nov 2020
Statue of James Joyce by Marjorie Fitzgibbon on North Earl Street, Dublin.

Literary heroes are big business in Dublin – so why won’t the city protect its Joyce heritage?

The streets may be paved with commemorative plaques, but plans to convert 15 Usher’s Island into a hostel betray the city’s misplaced priorities

19 Nov 2020
Mary Wollstonecraft (detail; c. 1797), John Opie. National Portrait Gallery, London

‘That hyena in petticoats’: how artists have portrayed Mary Wollstonecraft

The pioneering advocate for women’s rights has inspired many attempts to catch her likeness and spirit – but what can these portraits tell us about her legacy?

17 Nov 2020
The discovery of the figure of a feline on a hillside in Nazca, Peru, was announced by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture on 15 October, 2010.

Curiosity about the cat – who drew a giant feline on a hillside on Peru?

The exciting recent discovery of a geoglyph in the Nazca desert poses many puzzles

13 Nov 2020

Museums must rethink how they use their endowments – or they’ll struggle to rebuild after this crisis

Cultural institutions are hesitant to dip into their endowment funds to help them through the current crisis – but are they jeopardising future donations in not doing so?

30 Oct 2020
The headquarters of the Royal College of Physicians in Regent’s Park.

The Royal College of Physicians’ plan to sell its rare books would be a serious medical error

A proposal to sell off ‘non-medical’ books in the institution’s library takes too narrow a view of the history of medicine

28 Oct 2020
A museum visit conducted by the education charity Art History Link-Up.

School visits to museums are vital – so let’s hope they can restart soon

Though inevitable, the suspension of school visits this year is a great loss – and a reminder of how important children are to the future of museums

26 Oct 2020

Have corporate art collections had their day?

The financial impact of Covid-19 forced British Airways to sell some of its most valuable art over the summer. Will other businesses follow suit?

26 Oct 2020
Grace Stands Beside by Shinique Smith, installed at the Baltimore Museum of Art (until 3 January 2021).

In defence of progressive deaccessioning

A recent spate of high-profile sales has reignited debates around deaccessioning and diversification

26 Oct 2020
The gift shop at the newly reopened Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in September 2020.

Is e-commerce the future for museum shops?

With far fewer in-person visitors exiting through the gift shop, institutions must find new ways to mitigate their losses

19 Oct 2020
Mask (detail; c. 1910), Kwakwaka’wakw people.

Has the British Museum finally found its voice?

With new labels for some of its most contested objects the museum is engaging in an important conversation – but has it got the tone wrong?

17 Oct 2020
The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John , known as the Taddei Tondo (c. 1504–05), Michelangelo Buonarroti. Royal Academy of Arts, London.

‘Setting people against objects makes for a grim discussion’

Museums face difficult financial choices, but there has to be a better way forward than the pitting of staff against permanent collections

5 Oct 2020
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
Ryoji Koie photographed outside his studio in Japan in 2017.

In praise of Ryoji Koie, the enfant terrible of Japanese ceramics

The ceramic artist, who has died at the age of 82, took a playful and provocative approach to pottery

24 Sep 2020
Terence Conran at the opening of his exhibition ‘Terence Conran: The Way We Live Now’ at the former Design Museum, London, 2011.

Enterprising spirit – how Terence Conran built his design empire

From his first Habitat shop on the Fulham Road to the Design Museum in Kensington – a celebration of the late designer’s many achievements

15 Sep 2020
Fresco (mid ninth century) showing a scene from the life of the Virgin Mary. Santa Maria Assunta, Torcello

Extra murals – on the discovery of medieval wall paintings on Torcello

Fragments of ninth-century frescoes uncovered during conservation shed new light on faith and power in the Venetian lagoon

3 Sep 2020
‘Protect your Eyes’ (c. 1942) designed by Manfred Reiss and G.R. Morris (left).

‘Where are the posters to inform and persuade us in a pandemic?’

Posters are a powerful tool in clear and consistent public health-messaging – so why aren’t we seeing more of them?

1 Sep 2020
A detail of George Mayer-Marton’s mosaic and fresco before the latter was painted over.

A threatened mural in Oldham illuminates a key moment in British art

George Mayer-Marton was an accomplished, influential émigré artist – and his Crucifixion for the Church of the Holy Rosary in Oldham must be protected

26 Aug 2020
Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden.

Amid all the talk of reopening, let’s not forget volunteer-run museums

Volunteer-run museums play a vital role in the UK’s cultural landscape – and, as they cautiously reopen, may mean more to their visitors than ever

26 Aug 2020

Could museums have done more to protect their employees?

On both sides of the Atlantic, museums are laying off staff in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Gareth Harris and Matt Stromberg consider whether bad decisions have made the situation worse

21 Aug 2020
The great organ at the Grote Kerk, Alkmaar, dating to 1645 and housed in a case designed by Jacob van Campen.

In praise of organs

Historic organs are appreciated as heritage assets in continental Europe – but in the UK they deserve better protection

21 Aug 2020
Marina Abramović performing The Artist Is Present at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2010.

What does the pandemic mean for the future of performance art?

While live art faces severe challenges in the months ahead, it is also uniquely placed to reflect on new social realities

14 Aug 2020
Delphine Levy, in the garden of the Petit Palais.

‘An unparalleled talent’ – a tribute to Delphine Levy (1969–2020)

The founding director of Paris Musées worked indefatigably to serve her ideal of culture as a public good

31 Jul 2020
Birds in Paradise (detail of video still; 2019), Jacolby Satterwhite.

When video art meets the music video

Black artists such as Jacolby Satterwhite and Arthur Jafa have made the most of the freedom – and mass audience – music videos can offer

24 Jul 2020