Illustration by Graham Roumieu/Dutch Uncle

Is the US trustee system good for museums?

Are volunteer board members a useful source of good will and money, or do they tie museums to the whims of the wealthy?

28 Jan 2019
Stone carvings discovered in the Popoloca ruins in Puebla state, photo: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico

What if the Aztecs just had a very different attitude to war?

The recent discovery of a temple of the Aztec ‘Flayed Lord’ has revived myths about human sacrifice

26 Jan 2019
The Penitent Saint Jerome (detail; c. 1650), Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Museo del Prado

It’s time to return Murillo to the canon of the greats

A year in celebration of the Spanish baroque painter in Seville has made a clear case for his talent and influence

25 Jan 2019
Image: Tom Lobo Brennan

Museums in the UK have been sold short by the new Cultural Development Fund

The government has pledged £20m of investment in five regions – but cultural institutions are unlikely to be better off than before

25 Jan 2019
A fleck of lapis lazuli found in the lower jaw of a female skeleton from the 11th or 12th century, Photo: Christina Warinner

The nun with lapis lazuli in her teeth is a great story – but she wasn’t alone

It shouldn’t be news that women illustrated manuscripts in the Middle Ages, but there’s no denying the appeal of a recent discovery

21 Jan 2019
Installation view of ‘A Master’s Hand’ exhibition at Driscoll Babcock Galleries, New York, 2017.

Warren MacKenzie’s commitment to craft

The renowned American potter believed simplicity, beauty, and affordability were of paramount importance

14 Jan 2019
Seattle Art Museum, with Hammering Man (1991) by Jonathan Borofsky at its entrance.

What can museums do to ensure collectors follow through on promised gifts?

With no contracts or value exchanges, announced gifts can easily be revoked. But there are ways to firm up loose agreements

14 Jan 2019
Diptych with scenes of the Passion (detail), (late 13th century). Wallace Collection.

Now that the UK ivory ban has become law, how will it work in practice?

The implementation of the Ivory Act is going to need a lot of pragmatism and expertise

3 Jan 2019
Emmanuel Macron in Burkina Faso

Rethinking the restitution of African artefacts

Repatriation is a complex issue, but it is time for a more open-minded approach

2 Jan 2019
Illustration by Graham Roumieu/Dutch Uncle

Is it too late to save Venice?

In the wake of some of the worst flooding in recent history, and with its population in decline, the city is in troubled waters

2 Jan 2019
The sale of David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) on 15 November 2018 at Christie’s in New York.

Will the art market comes to its senses in 2019?

An overheated global art market seems to be showing signs of strain

26 Dec 2018
The entrance to the National Museum of Damascus, featuring the doorway from the Umayyad desert castle at Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi in the Syrian desert.

What does the reopening of the National Museum of Damascus mean for Syria?

The museum, which reopened in October after six years, stands as a symbol of the country’s hopes for recovery

19 Dec 2018
View of the East Wing of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin in 2013.

Natural history museums have never been more necessary

Natural history collections are uniquely placed to help us make sense of the relationship between humans and catastrophic climate change

13 Dec 2018

Should paintings be conserved in public?

Rembrandt’s Night Watch is set to be restored in front of visitors. Should we welcome the growing prevalence of public conservation?

29 Nov 2018
Tripoli Cancelled (2017), Naeem Mohaiemen. Installation view at the Turner Prize 2018, Tate Britain, London.

How can museums make us pay proper attention to moving images?

As film and video art moves into the mainstream, curators have to find new ways to keep viewers hooked

28 Nov 2018
Mounted ruler (16th century), Edo peoples, Benin kingdom, Nigeria.

The Benin Bronzes are not just virtuoso works of art – they record the kingdom’s history

Benin City will soon have a permanent display of its court bronzes for the first time in over a century. What makes these artworks so extraordinary?

Volunteers dismantling the installation of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014.

The centenary of the Great War is over – but did artists and museums do it justice?

For four years, exhibitions and events throughout the UK have explored the art of remembrance – with varying results

14 Nov 2018
Shoes (detail; 1886), Vincent van Gogh.

Artists’ campaigns for better pay are picking up pace – but will museums take note?

The image of the penniless artist is an economic reality for many. Now some organisations are fighting for change

12 Nov 2018
Illustration by Graham Roumieu/Dutch Uncle

Are the principles set out for identifying Nazi-looted art fit for purpose?

On the 20th anniversary of the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, their effectiveness is up for debate

29 Oct 2018
Love is in the Bin (2018), Banksy.

The satirical world of contemporary art – from Banksy to broadcasting

Artists and auction houses alike contribute to the comic excesses of their world – but are they in on the joke?

29 Oct 2018
The drawing found in Blombos Cave, South Africa.

The oldest drawing in the world has been discovered – but is it art?

A 73,000-year-old fragment of stone marked with red lines raises questions about the nature of aesthetic experience

25 Sep 2018
Illustration by Graham Roumieu/Dutch Uncle

Will Macron’s culture pass have much impact?

In a new pilot scheme, every 18 year old in France will get €500 to spend on culture next year

24 Sep 2018

Is it time to call an end to biennials?

Biennials are a mainstay of the contemporary art world, but their purpose seems increasingly unclear

15 Sep 2018
Closed Loop (2017), Jake Elwes

AI art is on the rise – but how do we measure its success?

Artworks produced using artificial intelligence have long confounded viewers

13 Sep 2018