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The Week’s Muse: 7 February

7 February 2015

The February issue of Apollo is now on sale!

To kick off the month, we’ve released some previews from the magazine online, including a debate on the future of art schools, a letter from Getty Museum director Timothy Potts, and an inquiry into the protection of cultural property in war zones (see them all below).

On the blog, we pay tribute to Metropolitan Museum curator Walter Liedtke, who died this week. David Ekserdjian discusses the momentous attribution of two bronzes to Michelangelo, and Gillian Darley calls for a public catalogue of 20th-century murals and mosaics in the wake of the Paolozzi saga at Tottenham Court Road.

From the magazine:

Editor’s Letter: The Art of Mystery

Thomas Marks discusses the enigmatic power of the Riace Bronzes (one of which graces this month’s cover). ‘Though it may not be fashionable to say so, a feeling for mystery should be integral to how we look at art’.

Inquiry: Monuments Men

An American tank outside National Museum of Iraq in 2003 – a few days after the unprotected museum had already been looted.With so many cultural sites at risk in war zones around the world, is enough being done to protect them? And what can we learn from the mistakes that led to the looting in Iraq in 2003? Peter Stone on the threat to cultural property and the efforts of the Blue Shield.

Is the golden age of art schools over?

Ben Pimlott Building at Goldsmiths, University of London.Are art schools turning into finishing schools for those who can afford them, or can they survive as places where students can experiment? And is a previous generation guilty of nostalgia, dreaming of a golden age that never really existed?

Letter from Los Angeles: Timothy Potts on the Getty Villa

Getty Museum director Timothy Potts discusses his plans for the Getty Villa in Malibu. At the moment, the Villa’s collection of Greek and Roman art is arranged thematically, but in the latest overhaul it will be reinstalled along cultural-historical lines.

Diary: The Whitworth Art Gallery

Whitworth Art Gallery.‘In February 2008, I took a deep breath and asked the President of the University of Manchester for a million pounds to begin the transformation of the Whitworth Art Gallery.’ Seven years on, Maria Balshaw prepares for the reopening.

From the blog:

Fitzwilliam Museum attributes two bronzes to Michelangelo

It is well documented that Michelangelo worked in bronze as well as marble, but until this week not a single of his works in the medium was thought to have survived. Has the Fitzwilliam Museum just identified two? David Ekserdjian comments on the major attribution.

‘Never Surrender’ – Luc Tuymans speaks out at his London show

Luc Tuymans in his studio in Antwerp in front of 'The Shore' (2014)‘It is insane…they’ve been hating me for decades.’ At an exhibition opening last week, Luc Tuymans had a word or two to say about Belgian copyright law after a civil court ruling went against him last month.

Walter Liedtke: 1945–2015

Walter Liedtke,Walter Liedtke, the Metropolitan Museum’s curator of European painting, was one of six people killed in the Metro-North train crash this week. He had worked at the museum for 35 years, and established a reputation as a leading expert in Dutch and Flemish art.