Features

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
High scorer: Sir Geoff Hurst on top of a pod on the London Eye wearing a replica 1966 World Cup final kit on Friday 9 July, two days before the Euro 2020 final.

Tourist for a day – the London Eye may be ancient now, but it’s well worth a spin

The giant ferris wheel may now be part of the furniture – but the view from on high is still revolutionary

2 Aug 2021
Magic roundabout: the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Tourist for a day – why Parisians really ought to climb the Arc de Triomphe

Most Parisians treat the Arc de Triomphe as a glorified roundabout – but by climbing it they’d see the city in a new light

27 Jul 2021
Carving (c. 1690), Grinling Gibbons.

In praise of Grinling Gibbons, the wizard of woodcarving

The sculptor took Restoration England by storm with his virtuosic woodwork

24 Jul 2021
Dresden from the Right Bank of the Elbe Above the Augustus Bridge (detail; 1747), Bernardo Bellotto.

Bellotto’s views of Dresden tell a tale of two cities

Through the Italian painter’s eyes, the German city became both an idealised version of itself and a surrogate for his native Venice

17 Jul 2021
Portrait of an Unknown Woman (c. 1590–1600), Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© HM Queen Elizabeth II 2021

Talking heads: the prattling paintings of Renaissance England

Why do paintings and objects from the Tudor and Stuart periods have so much to say for themselves?

15 Jul 2021
Post-match analysis: Wembley Stadium after the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final in July 2021.

Will Wembley’s art trail make it any more welcoming?

An art trail at Wembley Park won’t change the behaviour of football fans – but the best works here are at least sensitive to their surroundings

13 Jul 2021
Photo: Hufton & Crow

Towering over the Thames, a heavenly new home for Lambeth Palace Library

One of the world’s greatest collections of medieval manuscripts now has state-of-the-art accommodation, writes Michael Prodger

10 Jul 2021
The Doge’s Room. Photo: Matteo De Fina

Going to the doge’s – the Palazzo Grimani puts on a powerful display

At the Palazzo Grimani, more classical sculptures can now be seen in the splendid rooms in which they were once displayed

7 Jul 2021
The view from Santa Croce in Florence.

Roped in: the acrobatic builders repairing Italy’s historic domes and bridges

A troupe of nimble-footed technicians has been drafted in to restore monuments up and down the country – without a scaffold in sight

7 Jul 2021
Boxing in Camp (The Light Heavy-Weights) (detail; 1918), Laura Knight.

Aesthetic prowess: the artists who competed for Olympic gold

The early Olympic games of the modern era set out to celebrate both ‘muscle and mind’ – which meant that artists were in the mix for medals

3 Jul 2021
Photo: Patrick Tourneboeuf

Bourse majeure – François Pinault’s palace of art

The former stock exchange building in Paris has been filled with blue-chip art from the French billionaire’s collection

28 Jun 2021
The ‘Table Talk’ room at the Museum of the Home, London. Photo: Em Fitzgerald

Food for thought at the Museum of the Home

With Apollo’s food column to fill, Thomas Marks heads to the reimagined museum in East London to inspect its kitchens

28 Jun 2021
A Game of Croquet (1873), Édouard Manet. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Four sports that have produced some half-decent art

Sport nowhere for most of last year – and now sport everywhere. But there is some passable sport art out there, we promise…

25 Jun 2021
Courtesy London Magnet Fishing

Pulling power – the murky magic of magnet fishing

It’s the aquatic cousin to metal detecting – and an increasing number of devotees are casting off into rivers and canals in search of trash and treasure

24 Jun 2021
Social influencer: Emmanuel Macron announcing the launch of the culture pass for 18 year olds on TikTok.

Emmanuel Macron wants every teenager in France to go on a cultural shopping spree – but will they?

Every 18 year old in France has been given €300 to spend on culture

Installation view of ‘Treasures from Chatsworth’, exhibited at Sotheby’s New York in 2019.

Period drama: do country house exhibitions need a shake-up?

Museums might be better at bringing the contents of grand historic piles to life than the houses themselves

19 Jun 2021
Self-portrait with mirror (1966), Michael Ayrton. Private collection.

Michael Ayrton was a maker of minotaurs – and is himself a forgotten giant

The British artist’s scope and influence have long been neglected – but at the centenary of his birth, will a pair of exhibitions turn the tide?

9 Jun 2021
Tableau piège – Sevilla Serie Nr. 16 (1991), Daniel Spoerri. MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow.

The frozen dinners of Daniel Spoerri

The Swiss artist’s tableaux of tables capture the joys of dining in good company

9 Jun 2021
Detail of a work by Fatoş İrwen in ‘Exceptional Times’

For Kurdish artists in Turkey, simply making work is a political act

Works produced in prison by the artist Fatos Irwen speak to the increasingly repressive climate for Kurds in Turkey

8 Jun 2021
Ellen Terry (‘Choosing’) (detail; 1864), George Frederic Watts. National Portrait Gallery, London

Scents and sensibility: why smell counts in art

The visual arts have often toyed with odours and smells, however challenging they are to represent

5 Jun 2021