Comment

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
The site of Woodhenge near the Durrington Walls in Wiltshire, at the centre of the proposed Durrington Shafts pit-circle.

Ground control – how Bronze Age builders reshaped the landscape

A pit circle identified near Stonehenge helps us understand how prehistoric cultures saw themselves in the world

16 Jul 2020
A Regatta on the Grand Canal, (c. 1740), Canaletto. National Gallery, London

‘Canaletto makes me realise how much I have missed being in a crowd’ – in search of company at the National Gallery

What is it like to look at paintings in the flesh after four months of not seeing any art – and hardly any people – at all?

16 Jul 2020
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, with the restored balcony.

‘New signage is a small price to pay for throwing open the doors’ – on reopening the V&A

Lockdown may have allowed the museum to fast-forward renovations, but it has also confirmed that the galleries are nothing without the public

16 Jul 2020
Statue of Isaac Newton (1755), Louis François Roubiliac, Trinity College, Cambridge

What place for public statues in the history of art?

As we debate public statues, it’s worth revisiting the revolution in portrait sculpture that made many of them seem so animated and direct

8 Jul 2020
Chelsea Public Library (detail; 1920), Malcolm Drummond.

Public libraries have been vital in times of crisis – from conflict to Covid-19

The public library has survived and even thrived through historical crises, but how will it recover from the coronavirus pandemic?

8 Jul 2020
Illustration: David Biskup

Could public spaces better serve the public?

Rowan Moore and Tamsin Dillon consider how the events of 2020 might transform our relationship with public space

6 Jul 2020
People gather around the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, on June 4, 2020. Earlier, Virginia governor Ralph Northam announced plans to remove the statue of the Confederate general. Photo: Ryan M. Kelly/AFP via Getty Images

An alternative history of American Civil War monuments

Monuments to the American Civil War have locked in place partial versions of the past – but other stories will emerge when we know more about how and why they were erected

3 Jul 2020
Milton Glaser. Photo: Maria Spann

I ♥ Milton Glaser – a tribute in three designs

Remembering the graphic designer, who has died at the age of 91, through three of his most memorable designs

29 Jun 2020

Cash points – thoughts on a healthier future for museum fundraising

The pandemic has made existing problems in arts funding only too apparent. How can museums safeguard their futures?

26 Jun 2020
The statue of Edward Colston in Bristol, photographed in c. 1895–1900.

Monumental folly – what Colston’s statue says about Victorian Bristol

The statue of the 18th-century slave trader is the result of a 19th-century attempt to sanitise the past

18 Jun 2020
Protesters throwing the statue of Edward Colston into Bristol harbour on 7 June 2020.

The art of creative destruction

Hew Locke imagined redecorating the statue of the slave trader Edward Colston more than a decade ago. If only Bristol City Council had let him

10 Jun 2020
The British Museum has created its virtual tour with Google Arts & Culture

The virtues and vices of virtual museum tours

Many would-be museum visitors trying digital tours for the first time have found that the experience can be very mixed

9 Jun 2020