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The museum of Cornish pasties and a peek inside Vincent’s bedroom

14 February 2016

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for. After centuries of institutional neglect and widely publicised doubts over its origins, the UK has finally given the humble Cornish pasty the museum treatment. (Bizarrely, Mexico got there first). ‘What we’re looking to do is to provide an environment where we can showcase the rich history. Not just of the Cornish pasty, I’d like to showcase the rich history that the Duchy has to offer in food produce generally,’ said Malcolm Ball, chief executive of the company behind the development. Ball is calling on investors to get behind the project, which he hopes will be open by July. When complete, it will, apparently, be ‘proper Cornish’ – unlike the pastry parcel itself, if some reports of its history are to be believed. Either way, Rakewell puts himself firmly in the camp of museum boss and one time Great British Bake Off contestant Marion Symonds, who describes the project as ‘a dream come true’.


Outgoing Arts Council supremo Sir Peter Bazalgette has penned a guide to empathy. The book, titled The Empathy Instinct: A Blueprint for a Civil Society, is all set to be published next January, and promises to be ‘an agenda-setting and eye-opening book that will shape the way we all approach this extraordinarily beneficial force’. Bazalgette, of course, was the man who brought that lofty paragon of civility, Big Brother, to our TV screens. Who better to lecture us on the importance of compassion for our fellow man?


‘The annals of invention are filled with beautiful mistakes and when it comes to creativity, the biggest mistake you can make is making no mistakes at all’ reads the press material for artist and creative director Erik Kessels’ new book. ‘Own your errors with pride and realise that you haven’t just nailed it – you’ve Failed it!’ Rakewell fears the reviewers will have a field day with this one…


The Art Institute of Chicago has recreated Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles as a complement to an exhibition on the troubled master’s interior scenes. While recreating the spaces that artists inhabited or worked in is nothing new – see Tate Liverpool’s recreation of Mondrian’s studio in 2014 – this is a gimmick with a gimmick. The AIC has apparently listed the space on Airbnb, offering us mere mortals the chance to step into Van Gogh’s world. Quite why you might want to inhabit poor Vincent’s turbulent headspace is beyond the Rake, but it takes all sorts: the room is apparently fully booked until March.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.