Issue 266 - March 2015

News | Market | Books | Comment | Conservation | Features | Museums |


Strawberry Hill on the hunt for lost Walpole treasures Free

Any works found could go to the 18th-century writer’s restored neo-gothic mansion in west London

Why Van Gogh cut his ear: new clue Free

Still-life painting depicts letter with news of his brother's engagement

Europe-wide national debts are leading to swingeing cuts in culture budgets

Museums and other cultural bodies may have to downsize after years of investment

China pays to get looted art back

But also asks “patriotic overseas Chinese” to help return national treasures

Strawberry Hill on the hunt for lost Walpole treasures

Any works found could go to the 18th-century writer’s restored neo-gothic mansion in west London

China on the hunt for lost items

“Scholarly exercise” to trace objects taken from the Old Summer Palace in 1860

Prince of Liechtenstein cancels Royal Academy show

Ruler angry over block on Coello masterpiece

Knives out for Pinault over resignation

After director quits, billionaire accused of grandstanding his private collection

Famous men reunited in original Urbino home?

Louvre may lend works from a 28-portrait series assembled in 1476

The princess and the paintings

Elizabeth of Yugoslavia campaigns for the reputation of her father’s collection

Club sues artist for depicting its colours

Alabama football squad says popular works breach its trademarks

Courts cannot dictate authentication board’s decisions Judge says he does not have power over Calder Foundation

Courts cannot dictate authentication board’s decisions Judge says he does not have power over Calder Foundation

Church to sell window?

Courts cannot dictate authentication board’s decisions Judge says he does not have power over Calder Foundation

Shaun Gladwell on life in Afghanistan Free

The Australian artist’s three-week sojourn with troops will form basis of new work

Two cities grin and bear it for one uneasy biennale

Interesting work, relaxed censorship and sheer scale belie tensions in joint Hong Kong-Shenzhen project

Church plans sale of Tiffany window to help homeless Free

Pastor hopes “miracle” may provide alternative solution


Rise of the outside guarantor Free

The big auction houses are increasingly turning to third parties to guarantee lots

Lloyd Webber charity sells its Waterhouse

Controversial work makes £6.7m

Christie’s sued for non-delivery

We paid, says Osian’s; linked firm owes, says auction house

New freeport opens

Facility could overshadow Geneva

Lawyers dismiss Park West libel case Free

However non-binding judgement means part of action will still go ahead

Fair shrugs off memories of 2008 as confidence creeps back

The new layout might have left collectors feeling bemused but, in the mid-range at least, they were prepared to buy

Old masters: the best vs the rest

Only the highest quality work will do as record set for work on paper

Cautious but cheerful American art sales

Sotheby’s has the best overall results though Christie’s Wyeth is star lot


What is beauty?

The philosopher Roger Scruton writes clearly and exquisitely on the subject, but is he missing a fundamental point?

A fairytale castle seen through fresh eyes

The first history of Belvoir for 170 years, by the Duchess of Rutland

Pushing at an open door

A splendid apology for art in Wales, but its targets are out of date

Degas here... Degas there…

A landmark publication on the extensive collection held by the Norton Simon Museum

Remember to woo your figure by candlelight

A posthumous book by George Hersey on “statue love”

Religious works of the Enlightenment

Secularisation was not a universal influence in Europe

Max Beckmann: the man in full

A comprehensive and coherent monograph that fills a gap in studies of the German artist

Two Pipers into one don’t quite fit

The double biography of John and Myfanwy is an excellent book, but separate volumes would have been more appropriate

Failed fox and hedgehog manqué

An anthology of the illustrations from the many books of the German savant and Jesuit, Athanasius Kircher

An artist in need of better friends

A flawed, but useful, monograph on Franz Anton Maulbertsch


Could the art market be undergoing a fundamental restructuring? Free

2010 will be a year of continued reshaping: auctions will remain smaller and private sales will be preferred by many collectors

A tale of institutional morality Free

The Barnes Collection is not being saved, it is being stolen


Riddle of the two Van Dycks Free

X-radiography and infrared imaging help scholars determine which is the copy

New paper lab for Abu Dhabi

The facility will add to the emirate’s conservation infrastructure

Byzantine cross restored

19th-century additions removed

Trio from Oudry’s menagerie soon to be reunited

Conservators use the French artist’s lectures to aid the work’s restoration


Will US museums succeed in reinventing themselves? Free

The recession is forcing North American institutions to reconsider every aspect of what they do

Artist, activist and social campaigner—meet the man brutally assaulted by Chinese police

Ai Weiwei believes “art is not enough” and that he needs to be an active “part of society”; the authorities in Sichuan punished him for it By Chris Gill

Something of the forest and the night

On the eve of his first retrospective, opening this month at Tate Britain, Chris Ofili tells us where he finds his inspiration By Louisa Buck

Big is not best in current economic climate

Sue Williams left the 303 Gallery to join David Zwirner five years ago. Now she’s moving back

Pawel and his entourage bring bling to Britain

The Polish artist and his assistants, clad in gold lamé space suits, arrived at Heathrow in a gold jet

From early icons to Putin the all powerful

A new series charts the history of Russian art for the first time on British television


Strikes hit French museums as unions fight job cuts

Industrial action at Versailles and national museums forces minister of culture to delay reforms

Farewell Thomas Hoving

Former Met director was a pioneer and maverick whose innovations will long be remembered

Barnes Museum pushes forward move downtown Free

Designs approved for second home in Philadelphia

Will Miami Art Museum’s new home get off the ground?

Resignation of key trustee Ella Fontanals Cisneros after director’s exit in October casts cloud over $220m project

V&A plans £120m second phase of renewals

Medieval and Renaissance galleries crown phase one of museum’s “Future Plan”

Vienna’s Kunstkammer to remain shut owing to lack of funds

Government blamed for Kunsthistorisches Museum’s closed Habsburg collection

Dutch museum left empty as bank seizes collection

New use sought for planned museum

An intimate history of the tsars’ life in their summer home

Olga Taratynova, the new director of the Tsarskoe Selo, reveals her plans for the Alexander and Catherine palaces