Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, photographed on 29 May 2020.

The Hagia Sophia takes centre stage in the battle over Turkey’s past

The contested building was recently, for the first time, the site of the annual celebration of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople

30 Jun 2020
The earliest printed map of London, from Braun and Hogenbergh’s Civitates Orbis Terrarum, drawn in c. 1560 (printed in 1572).

Boozing, bear-baiting and treading the boards – the history of London’s first playhouse

The remains of the Red Lion, recently unearthed in Whitechapel, show us a dress rehearsal for the great Elizabethan theatres

29 Jun 2020
Monstre (n.d.), Leopold Chauveau.

Best of fiends – the monsters of Léopold Chauveau

These modern monsters may look lonely, but they’re familiar figures – descendants of the Parisian beasts of Viollet-le-Duc and Charles Meryon

27 Jun 2020
Protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne in June 2020. A number of issues have been raised at recent protests, including the destruction of heritage like the Juukan Gorge sites, the number of Indigenous people who have died in custody over the past three decades, and Australia’s colonial history.

The destruction of Indigenous Australian sites cannot be allowed to continue

Recent mining blasts at a sacred site in Western Australia have fired up protestors

22 Jun 2020
Kené (detail) (2020), Olinda Silvano. Courtesy Dibujos por la Amazonía; © the artist

Peruvian artists address the Covid crisis in the Amazon

A project to raise funds for Amazonian communities also raises questions about the status of indigenous people in Peru

Michael Hall (1926–2020).

In memory of Michael Hall, a committed connoisseur and an unforgettable character

The collector, dealer and erstwhile actor had a remarkable eye for discovering works of art, often in the unlikeliest of places

16 Jun 2020
Grainstack (Snow Effect) (1891), Claude Monet.

Absentee party – the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston turns 150

As the museum passes an important milestone with its doors shut, Glenn Adamson considers what its collection has meant to him over the years

13 Jun 2020
St Catherine of Alexandria (c. 1491–94), Carlo Crivelli. National Gallery, London

Flies, flowers and trompe l’œil – the art of trickery

A small painting by Carlo Crivelli prompts reflection on artworks that set out to tease the viewer

12 Jun 2020
Original door fittings at an entrance to the Bauhaus in Dessau, designed by Walter Gropius.

Points of contact – a short history of door handles

Door handles can be the first and only part of a building we touch, but their design is all too often an afterthought

10 Jun 2020
The Lavergne Family Breakfast (1754), Jean-Etienne Liotard.

Acquisitions of the Month: May 2020

A masterful pastel by Liotard and more than 100 scenes of New York are among this month’s highlights

4 Jun 2020
Lee Miller, photographed in Egypt in 1939 by Roland Penrose (detail).

Guests and gadgets – in the kitchen with Lee Miller

Lee Miller’s last great reinvention is also her least well known – as an accomplished and authoritative cook at her East Sussex farmhouse

1 Jun 2020
Decameron (detail; 1837), Franz Xaver Winterhalter. The Princely Collections, Liechtenstein, Vaduz-Vienna

‘Boccaccio and the Black Death have been doing the rounds’

The Decameron is but one of the historical touchstones that commentators have turned to during the health crisis. But do they really help us orientate ourselves?

1 Jun 2020
Installation view of the collection at Museum MORE, which deliberately avoids a chronological hang

Keeping it real – neorealism in the Netherlands

Museum MORE has done a great deal to invigorate a genre once seen as hopelessly old-fashioned

29 May 2020
Chinese dish with artichokes, rose and strawberries (c. 1655–62), Giovanna Garzoni. Galleria Palatina, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence

The sophisticated still lifes of Giovanna Garzoni

The painter’s painstakingly precise botanical illustrations were highly sought after in the 17th century

29 May 2020
Barnard Castle (c. 1825), J.M.W. Turner

Flights of fancy – the artists who captured Barnard Castle

The 12th-century castle and surrounding town, located some 250 miles from London, have long attracted visually attentive visitors

28 May 2020
Susan Rothenberg in her studio in New Mexico in 2008.

‘For her, painting was the holy grail’ – on Susan Rothenberg (1945–2020)

A tribute to the American artist, whose haunting canvases ushered in a new wave of expressionism in painting

27 May 2020
The south facade of the original building of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which opened in 1924

Texas star – at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

The museum, which boasts one of the leading encyclopaedic collections in the US, has reopened – months ahead of unveiling a major expansion

23 May 2020
Queen Mathilde of Belgium and King Philippe of Belgium visi the permanent collection of the Old Masters Museum, part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, on May 19, 2020 in Brussels, as the country eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Daina Le Lardic/Belga/AFP via Getty Images

How will museums bring us close to art in an era of social distancing?

As museums around the world prepare to reopen, many do so with a renewed sense of purpose

22 May 2020
A selection of artworks featured in ‘Starry starry nights (or a few astral weeks)’ curated by the author using Art UK’s Curations tool

Show time – Art UK launches its new ‘Curations’ tool

The online platform is inviting anyone, anywhere, to create their own digital exhibitions

18 May 2020
Portrait of Madame Gonse (detail; 1852), Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Musée Ingres Bourdelle, Montauban

Pride of place – the Musée Ingres Bourdelle honours Montauban’s two most famous artistic sons

The museum in the south of France has spruced up its galleries dedicated to Ingres and now has an entire floor of sculptures by Bourdelle

16 May 2020
F.T. Marinetti (1876–1944).

Anti-pasta movement – on the Futurist Cookbook

F.T. Marinetti regarded macaroni-lovers as yesterday’s men. But are any of his radical recipes worth sampling?

14 May 2020
Mr Quick as Vellum in Addison’s ‘The Drummer’ (detail; 1792), Samuel De Wilde. Art Institute of Chicago

Acquisitions of the Month: April 2020

Portraits of an 18th-century comedian and the ‘real’ Lydia Bennet are among this month’s highlights

12 May 2020
Millicent Fawcett (detail; 1898), Theodore Blake Wirgman. Royal Holloway, University of London

Vote winner – a newly discovered portrait of Millicent Fawcett is a significant find

The painting at Royal Holloway presents a more reflective side of the tireless campaigner

12 May 2020
Dr Matthew Maty (1754), Barthelemy Dupan.

The Huguenot doctor who helped to fight smallpox – and worked at the British Museum

Matthew Maty, a leading advocate for inoculation, was also a librarian at the British Museum – and one of its early donors

11 May 2020