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

Repairing the Houses of Parliament will cost so much that no one dares put a figure on it

What do decades of neglect look like? For the Houses of Parliament, a repair bill upwards of £12 billion

29 Jan 2021

In homeschooling hell? Then try packing your kids off to a virtual museum

With lockdown boredom well and truly setting in, it’s time to stick the kids – with their crayons – in front of a museum website

27 Jan 2021

There’s a soggy Stars and Stripes in the Oval Office – and it’s a perfect emblem for the task ahead

Childe Hassam’s rain-soaked flags have hung in the White House before, but next to Joe Biden’s desk they feel more fitting than ever

25 Jan 2021
Will Biden’s administration keep the arts in the picture?

The art world put its weight behind Biden. Will he repay the favour?

The new administration is better disposed to the arts, but that doesn’t mean there’ll be more federal funding

25 Jan 2021
Bronze guilt: the statue of Edward Colston being pushed into Bristol Harbour in June 2020.

Robert Jenrick wants to keep the mob at bay. So why is he leading it with a pitchfork?

The UK government’s proposal to protect every monument in sight is a kneejerk response that will have ridiculous consequences

22 Jan 2021
Selfie harm: rioters in the US Capitol rotunda on January 2021.

The invasion of the Capitol fulfilled a warning from history – and will haunt us for years to come

The inauguration of Joe Biden as president marks a new chapter, but it won’t wipe out the ugly scenes of the storming of Congress

20 Jan 2021
The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City (1931), at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Can historic houses tell more stories than they have done?

All the evidence suggests that the real challenge for historic properties is to present a much fuller and more complex account of the past

4 Jan 2021
Rock art at the Cerro Azul hill in Serranía La Lindosa, in the Guaviare region of Colombia.

‘These ancient rock paintings are unlikely to be about what was for dinner’

The meaning of tens of thousands of recently discovered rock paintings in Colombia will be a hotly debated topic for many years to come

15 Dec 2020
The Watering Place at Marly-le-Roi (detail; c. 1875), Alfred Sisley.

Cold comfort forms – the plein-air painters who braved the winter

With many of us spending more time out-of-doors than usual this winter, it’s worth remembering that the Impressionists also had to put up with numb fingers and toes

11 Dec 2020
An altar to Diego Maradona set up in the Quartieri Spagnoli of Naples after the footballer’s death on 25 November 2020.

How Naples made a saint of Maradona

Saints loom large in the streets of Naples – and now perhaps none more so than the legendary Napoli player

10 Dec 2020
Russian patrols in front of the medieval monastery of Dadivank in November 2020.

The medieval Armenian monuments in Nagorno-Karabakh must be protected

The region is full of important sites that have not yet been fully recorded or studied

9 Dec 2020
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 in 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