Red-on-buff plate with a bird holding a fish in its beak, c. 900–1150, Sacaton, Arizona. Arizona State Museum

The ancient heritage at risk from Trump’s border wall

With ‘controlled blasting’ underway in a national monument area in Arizona, cultural sites and their attendant artefacts may be lost forever

20 Feb 2020
Kirk Douglas (1916–2020) as Van Gogh in Vincente Minnelli’s Lust for Life (1956).

When Kirk Douglas played Van Gogh

A celebration of the late actor’s star turn as the tormented artist in Vincente Minnelli’s biopic of 1956

10 Feb 2020
Manuscript page with a drawing of Venice (detail; 1346–50), Fra Niccolò da Poggibonsi.

What did Venice look like to a medieval pilgrim from Tuscany?

A 14th-century sketch by a travelling friar is now thought to be the earliest known drawing of the city

29 Jan 2020
The Grill Room (1876–81), John R.E. Watkins.

Food for thought – the art of the museum restaurant

From casual cafes to fine dining – the eating options at a museum can tell us a great deal about how it sees itself

27 Jan 2020
Illustration: David Biskup

Could contemporary art be less wasteful?

What effect do contemporary artists have on the environment – and should this affect what we think about their work?

27 Jan 2020
A copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, coming to auction at Christie’s, New York, on 24 April.

Shakespeare’s First Folio will set you back millions – but its cultural value is immeasurable

A complete version of the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays is up for sale. What is it that makes this book so desirable?

22 Jan 2020
John Baldessari photographed in 2015.

‘He taught by example’ – a tribute to John Baldessari (1931–2020)

One of the inventors of conceptual art, and a towering figure on the West Coast scene, he was also a dedicated mentor to his students

21 Jan 2020
Alasdair Gray (2004), Norman McBeath.

‘He invented modern Glasgow’ – a tribute to Alasdair Gray (1934–2019)

The painter-novelist was one of a kind – but his influence will continue to shape the imagination of Scotland

17 Jan 2020

Why the National Trust is trading in its Maori meeting house for a newer model

The decision to exchange the historic carvings of Hinemihi at Clandon Park for new examples is admirable – and creative

10 Jan 2020
Mosaic of the Enthroned Christ and the Donor, Theodore Metochites above the entrance to the naos of the Kariye (Chora) Museum, Istanbul.

The Kariye Museum in Istanbul – a Byzantine masterpiece under threat

A court recently ruled that the ancient site be reconverted into a mosque, casting the fate of its well-preserved mosaics and wall paintings into question

The Sarr-Savoy report one year on. Illustration: David Biskup

Has the Sarr-Savoy report had any effect since it was first published?

It’s been a year since the publication of a groundbreaking report calling for the restitution of African cultural heritage in French museums. How has it been received?

6 Jan 2020
The collective winners of the Turner Prize 2019.

And the winner of this year’s Turner Prize is… the Turner Prize itself

Despite the mutterings of most critics, the decision to award the prize to all four nominees makes a lot of sense – and is good for contemporary art

5 Dec 2019
Charles Jencks outside the Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, designed by Rogers Stirk + Harbour.

‘His writing was always alive to the deep pleasures of great buildings’

Remembering the critical insights and generous instincts of the writer and architect Charles Jencks (1939–2019)

25 Nov 2019
Illustration: David Biskup

Could national museums in the UK do more to be truly national?

Are the largely London-based institutions funded by central government doing enough to share their collections and expertise with the rest of the country?

25 Nov 2019
The Finding of Moses (early 1630s), Orazio Gentileschi

London calling – Orazio Gentileschi’s The Finding of Moses at the court of Charles I

The National Gallery is raising funds to purchase Orazio Gentileschi’s biblical scene – once a prized possession of Queen Henrietta Maria

21 Nov 2019
Huang Yong Ping at Monumenta, Grand Palais, Paris, 2016.

‘He always had the air of a boffin’ – a tribute to Huang Yong Ping (1954–2019)

The artist was a key figure in the avant-garde scene that emerged in China after the Cultural Revolution

13 Nov 2019
Neil MacGregor, then director of the British Museum, at ‘Art and Empire: Treasures from Assyria in the British’, an exhibition at the Shanghai Museum in 2006.

We’re on the brink of Brexit – so isn’t it time the UK formed stronger cultural ties around the globe?

France, China, and other countries are leading the way on cultural diplomacy. When will the UK catch up?

The remains of Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan, after the fire on 31 October 2019.

The loss of Shuri castle is a devastating blow for the people of Okinawa

Destroyed during the Pacific War and restored in 1992, the castle was the pride of Okinawa. Now a fire has left it in ruins again

5 Nov 2019
Illustration by Simon Landrein

Do museums and galleries do enough for disabled visitors?

Richard Sandell and Chris Ingram discuss why museums still have a long way to go before they can claim to offer a fully accessible experience

28 Oct 2019
Installation view of ‘Damien Hirst: Mandalas’ at White Cube, Mason’s Yard, London, 2019.

The misplaced outrage over Damien Hirst’s dead butterflies

From sepia to rabbit skin glue – Hirst’s butterfly wings are far from the only animal products used to make art

30 Sep 2019

What are museums really for?

The perceived role of museums in society has grown enormously in recent years – but how far does that reflect what they actually are?

23 Sep 2019
Interior of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, photographed in 2014.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry should be a working factory, not a boutique hotel

Why is Historic England supporting a developer’s plans when there’s a better proposal waiting in the wings?

19 Sep 2019
A collapsed block of ice-rich permafrost at Drew Point, north Alaska.

Polar bare – how climate change is destroying archaeologically rich sites in the Arctic

Thawing permafrost means the near-perfect preservation of ancient material in the Arctic will soon be a thing of the past

18 Sep 2019
Nerve Visual Gallery in Derry

The closure of Nerve Visual in Derry is a real loss for the region

The building that once played host to the Turner Prize now stands empty. Where does this news leave Derry?

12 Sep 2019