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The Week’s Muse: 28 June

28 June 2014

A round-up of recent news and comment from the Muse Room

#Selfies and self-portraits

The original selfie? 'Self-portrait in a Feathered Hat' (1635), Rembrandt van Rijn, at Buckland Abbey (National Trust)Conflating self-portraits with selfies might score a museum a few social media points, but isn’t it time they stood up for historic art as worthy in its own right? Maggie Gray on the craze for ‘selfies’ of the art-historical sort.

National Gallery director Nicholas Penny announces retirement

Dr Nicholas Penny in front of Diana and ActaeonNicholas Penny has announced his intention to retire from the National Gallery in London next year, fuelling plenty of summer speculation about who might replace him…

The Mauritshuis reopens in The Hague

08_TillemanRefreshed and subtly expanded, the Mauritshuis in The Hague reopened to the public this week. Louise Nicholson visited the jewel box of a building, and its enviable collection.

100 Hours of Looking…

(One of the objects selected for '100 Hours')How long do you spend looking at art? Kate Smith introduces a project at UCL for which a group of researchers racked up 100 hours (collectively) contemplating just a handful of cultural objects.

Repainting the past: Pictures from the Decorated Cave of Pont-d’Arc

Hunting lions © DRAC Rhône-Alpes – Ministère de la Culture et de la CommunicationAt 36,000 years old, the Decorated Cave of Pont-d’Arc is the oldest cultural property on UNESCO’s list. A scale replica is under construction so that the original cave’s extraordinary artworks can be conserved.

More comment from the Muse Room…