John Dee’s famous mirror may not be magical – but its Aztec origins are quite the mystery

The discovery that the astrologer’s ‘scrying glass’ is made of obsidian from Mexico points to the complex global webs surrounding many Tudor objects

22 Oct 2021
The Museum of Making, formerly Derby Industrial Museum, located on the site of the city's 18th-century silk mill.

Industrial revolutions – at the Museum of Making in Derby

The spirit of innovation and manufacture lives on in the Midlands city – as a redeveloped museum on the site of the old silk mill makes clear

20 Oct 2021
Carla Ecola, director of the Outside Project, lays memorial candles in Trafalgar Square as part of the Museum of Homelessness’s ‘Dying Homeless’ project (Photo: Anthony Luvera)

The streetwise ways of the Museum of Homelessness

From street actions to art exhibitions, the organisation empowers homeless people to tell their own stories

Oxford Botanic Garden in 2021.

Britain’s oldest botanical garden goes back to its roots

Oxford Botanic Garden has played a vital role in the evolution of plant science since it was founded 400 years ago

30 Sep 2021
Penitent Mary Magdalene (c. 1625–26), Artemisia Gentileschi. Private collection

Has a long-lost Artemisia finally come to light?

Painted in around 1625, the Penitent Mary Magdalene inspired a host of copies before disappearing. Now, it has resurfaced in a private collection

29 Sep 2021
Luma Arles, designed by Frank Gehry, in the Parc des Ateliers, Arles.

‘A kind of high-minded amusement park’ – at Frank Gehry’s Luma Arles

Will the glittering new arts complex bring about a ‘Bilbao effect’ in the southern French city?

27 Sep 2021

A sentimental education – the sisters who learnt to paint with the Pre-Raphaelites

Lucy and Catherine Madox Brown studied with their father and had close connections to the Pre-Raphaelites – but their achievements have been overlooked until now

24 Sep 2021

The artist searching for traces of the Tunisian revolution

Frustrated that memories of more hopeful times are fading, the artist Intissar Belaid is determined to preserve what she can

22 Sep 2021
The cave monastery of Sabereebi, Georgia.

‘For the full Indiana Jones experience, it is best approached on horseback’

The spectacular cave monastery of Sabereebi in Georgia is full of frescoes as stunning as their rocky setting

17 Sep 2021
Visitors showing their ‘green pass’ at the Vatican Museums in August 2021.

Admissible evidence – museum directors have their say on vaccine passports

Museum directors in France and Italy seem to agree that requiring proof of vaccination is preferable to being shut – although not everyone is on board

16 Sep 2021

The man who got Lucian Freud to pose as a Henry Moore

The legendary picture editor Bruce Bernard was famously modest about his own photography, but his portraits of Lucian Freud are peerless

10 Sep 2021
Henri Cernuschi photographed in 1876 by Count Stanislaw Julian Ostrorog (‘Walery’).

The failed Italian revolutionary who dedicated himself to Asian art

After his failure in politics, Henri Cernuschi succeeded in finance – and left an outstanding collection of Asian art to his adoptive city of Paris

4 Sep 2021
The dilapidated facade of Palazzo Priuli Manfrin, Venice, photographed in 2015.

Venice’s crumbling palazzos are crying out for more buyers like Anish Kapoor

The artist plans to turn a dilapidated palace into a lively new cultural venue – and the city needs others to follow his example

3 Sep 2021
Game pie dish (shape no. 1990) made in 1876.

The goofy and garish Victorian pottery that was a very serious business

Mass-produced majolica has often been sneered at – but its exuberance is what makes it so appealing

28 Aug 2021
The Tower of London: a storeroom with a sense of history.

Tourist for a day – the Tower of London is quite the tour de force

The Crown Jewels are what the castle is most famous for, but over the centuries it has housed everything from prisoners to military hardware

27 Aug 2021

The Neue Nationalgalerie’s restoration is so subtle you might not notice – and that’s a good thing

David Chipperfield’s cool, if costly, renovation plays to the gallery’s minimalist strengths

24 Aug 2021
The statue of Sebástian de Belalcázar being toppled in Cali, Colombia on 28 April 2021.

The Spanish conquistadores heading for a fall in Colombia

Colombia’s indigenous communities are toppling statues of the Spanish conquerors to highlight past and present injustices

Courtesy Autograph

Sharp shooters – the photographers who put West Africa into the frame

The portraits of James Barnor, Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé conjure up an image of cool modernity – but also draw on a long photographic tradition

21 Aug 2021
Courtesy Natural History Museum

The Jurassic fossils of the Cotswolds reveal prehistoric secrets – and can help us predict the future

A pair of amateur fossil hunters have uncovered a section of Jurassic sea floor in a sleepy corner of England

19 Aug 2021
From the series Living Lullabies (published in National Geographic in 2020), Hannah Reyes Morales

The artists collecting lullabies from all corners of the globe

These comforting songs are freighted with cultural and personal memories – and artists are working to preserve them

18 Aug 2021
Photo: by Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

Loved shacks: the very British obsession with beach huts

It may be an unassuming little shelter, but the beach hut tells of a British infatuation with property and propriety

12 Aug 2021
Funghi business: still from The Truffle Hunters (2020; dir. Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw).

Funghi business: the tricks and treats of the white truffle trade

Like the rarest works of art, white truffles from Alba are commodities in a mysterious, monied world

12 Aug 2021
Renewal of the Two Row Treaty in 2013, affirmed by Andy Mager, Hickory Edwards, Netherlands Consul Rob de Vos, Chief Jake Edwards and Faithkeeper Oren Lyons in New York, August 2013

Shell co-operation: the art of making peace in North America

Native American belts made of wampum shells have long fulfilled a diplomatic purpose – and as such are very much a living art

7 Aug 2021
Sir Walter Scott (detail; c. 1844), William Allan. National Galleries Scotland

Walter Scott conjured up a playground for painters – and they fixed his fantasy of Scotland in place

The novelist may be little read today, but his fiction inspired an enduring, Romantic vision of the past

4 Aug 2021