Reports of the death of print magazines have been greatly exaggerated. Among many survivors, art magazines such as Apollo, with its secure editorial ballast and high production values, still flourish proudly in print. The title, which first appeared in 1925, is undeniably durable. And we know that for many of our readers its monthly issues are too: objects worth squirrelling away, to form a personal archive of high-quality writing about art and its world.
All the same, no magazine can afford to rest on its laurels. The digital world may challenge traditional modes of publication but it can also abet them, extending their editorial scope and possible reach. Apollo has always had the wherewithal to feature rich, slow-cooked research and make authoritative judgments on trends in the market. But the lead-time required by a monthly press cycle has tended to preclude immediate comment on the art world, or swift participation in its more pressing debates.
For this reason, the redesigned Apollo website features a new blog in pride of place. Welcome to The Muse Room. We are of course far from the frenetic mood of a newsroom, but the aim here is, at the very least, to coax the muses from their airy nothings and set them up in a world that is current – and sometimes even urgent. The Muse Room blog will accommodate comment, opinion and insider coverage of exhibitions, museums and the art market, as well as a touch of that mischief which so often seems in short supply in the art world.
Our previous website carried a version of the print magazine. But it was, we well knew, a shabby Apollo, a corroded statue missing all its limbs. The words were there, but accompanied by no more than a smattering of images shrunk to miniatures, and with none of the elegance and graceful design of the page.
In launching this new site, we have taken the simple decision to remove this material. I firmly believe that this content should, almost without exception, remain exclusive to those readers for whom the quality of the magazine merits purchase or subscription. Plans are already afoot for a complete and searchable archive of Apollo, which will include scanned page-views of nearly 90 years of the magazine.
Readers who do enjoy flirting with Apollo online should note that the entire magazine continues to be available in a handsome replica edition, which can be downloaded easily to either a desktop browser or a tablet device. Subscribers to the print magazine are also entitled to this digital version as part of their subscription package, and I urge them to give it a try.