We are living in unimaginable times, and our thoughts are not only with you, our readers, and the entire arts community—who face unprecedented professional and personal challenges—but also with people across the world who are suffering and affected in so many ways. As the coronavirus pandemic was declared, The ArtNewspaper like many businesses moved to home working: our daily news coverage and forthcoming April print edition is being produced from the homes of our editorial staff in London and New York, and our reporters and sister network across many countries. We will continue to work in this way for the foreseeable future and provide exclusive stories and in-depth reports. And our monthly edition will also serve as a journal of record, as our industry reels, endures, reimagines and reinvents itself. The UK has now joined several of our European neighbouring nations in a period of lockdown, while across the world museums, galleries, historic sites, fairs, biennales and auctions have closed with many livelihoods put at risk.
We will continue to bring you breaking news in our daily newsletters and on our website. In fact, we are also ramping up our overall digital coverage, not only to keep you fully abreast of developments as they happen, but also to share insights and analysis, give practical support and advice, and provide much-needed inspiration and cultural diversion. We hope to produce more of our acclaimed podcasts, keeping conversations between each other alive and visiting the “lonely” masterpieces now in splendid isolation in museums and galleries worldwide. You can join our new Telegram channel “Coronavirus: art world emergency room”, where we will be posting key developments in real time and inviting you to share news and views. #ArtCanHelp is our new hashtag where you can find all the articles that might be useful while self-isolating. And we are also asking our readers to submit their personal stories of the moment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would urge everyone—if you have not already done so—to sign up to our digital package, which is free to all subscribers. This will give you access to all our content, together with the option of reading e-paper editions of The Art Newspaper if our printing or distribution channels are affected.
By an ironic quirk of timing, our April edition includes our much-anticipated annual visitor attendance survey, “Art’s most popular”, which ranks and analyses the most popular museums and exhibitions worldwide over the previous year. It makes fascinating and essential reading; yet, at this moment of lockdown, its thronged galleries and snaking queues feel like they belong to another universe. When things return to some semblance of normality, the art world may well see itself remade, with ingenious new models of engagement and commerce that are at least as important as footfall and cultural tourism.
There are some signs of hope. Our colleagues at The Art Newspaper China have returned to work, and David Hockney is painting the spring. Please take care and stay safe.
Editor of The Art Newspaper