Second World War

Revealed: the hidden history of espionage in Britain’s heritage sites

New film uncovers how locations including Beaulieu, today home to the National Motor Museum, played a key role in intelligence training during the Second World War

Poland demands Russia return seven paintings it claims were looted during Second World War

Putin’s international cultural envoy, Mikhail Shvydkoy, says Poland’s request has no legal grounds

Mediafeature

New documentary sheds light on artist Eric Ravilious, a romantic visionary lost in war

Ravilious was the first artist to be killed on active service during the Second World War

Could one of these lost Van Goghs—which disappeared during the Nazi period—be hidden in your attic?

These five missing paintings might still survive—possibly looted and secreted away

a blog by Martin Bailey
Museumsreview

From cosy to creepy: new displays at Bletchley Park muddle Britain's honourable Nazi-fighting history with a contested present

The museum—set inside a Buckinghamshire country house—has opened its largest ever gallery, called the Intelligence Factory, this week

Has the art market recovered? A deep dive into the Art Basel/UBS report

Plus, an exhibition about wartime hideouts in Poland and Ukraine, and Mondrian’s final work Victory Boogie Woogie

Hosted by Ben Luke. with guest speaker Melanie Gerlis. Produced by Julia Michalska, David. Clack, Aimee Dawson and Henrietta Bentall
Sponsored byChristie's
Art marketfeature

Jewish icons or anti-Semitic memorabilia? The growing market for Nazi-era artefacts—and the Israeli collectors buying them

On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we spoke with Eyal Ilya, owner of Pentagon Auction House in Israel, about the trend for Second World War artefacts

‘Slap in the face’: Poland passes law effectively blocking Holocaust-era art restitutions

Lawyers and collectors weigh in on new rule that sets a 30-year limit on claims to property that was stolen by Nazis and Communist leaders

When the US was accused of ‘plundering’ Berlin’s museums: new show reveals murky history

An exhibition opening at the Cincinnati Art Museum reveals how 14 major museums found themselves caught up in a “morally dubious” ­tour of Germany's art treasures after the Second World War

Louvre probes its collection for Nazi and colonial loot in massive provenance research project

Museum launches an online catalogue of 485,000 objects while curators comb through wartime acquisitions and works from former colonies

Hunt still on for a Van Gogh self-portrait lost deep in a salt mine during the Second World War

The Magdeburg masterpiece may have been burned at the end of hostilities—but some believe it might have been looted and survive

a blog by Martin Bailey

In honour of Armistice Day, more than 100 English war memorials listed as sites of historical importance

Monuments commemorating the First and Second World Wars—mostly built in small towns and villages—are added to Historic England's list of protected places

Booksreview

Charting a Life: MacDonald Gill, who designed the inscriptions that form an egalitarian monument to the British and Commonwealth fallen of two world wars

The first biography of ‘Max’ Gill reveals the versatile talent of an artist who was a master of lettering and murals and a standout mapmaker-artist

Sculpture by Arno Breker—one of Hitler’s favourite artists—found buried in Berlin museum garden

Missing for 75 years, the large marble head, one of the artist's best-known works, was uncovered by chance during construction work at Kunsthaus Dahlem

National museum in Stockholm to return stolen 16th-century painting to Poland

Officials in Poland and Sweden piece together provenance of work by School of Lucas Cranach the Elder

Code-cracking lot: Second World War Enigma machine on offer at Vienna’s Dorotheum

The Germans believed Enigma was uncrackable; cryptographers at Bletchley Park broke the code, contributing to the Allies’ victory

Executed by the Nazis: the story of Vincent van Gogh’s brave great-nephew

This month the Van Gogh family pays tribute to Theodoor, the 24-year-old student who faced a firing squad in 1945

a blog by Martin Bailey

The cultural consequences of the Second World War carry into today

From art restitutions to how museum adapted to wartime constraints, we continue to feel the fallout 75 years after the conflict’s end

What can we learn from museums during the Second World War?

On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, we look back at how art institutions adapted to wartime constraints, from tours without pictures to child's play

The astonishing tales of how the Sunflowers survived the Second World War

To mark VE Day, we investigate the fate of Van Gogh’s masterpieces under Hitler and Churchill

a blog by Martin Bailey
Booksreview

Book offers broadest and deepest study of Nazi culture yet

This is the first publication to fully examine the cultural output of the Third Reich, which, unsurprisingly, failed to produce great art

Obituariesfeature

Obituary: Nathalie Brooke, a leading figure in the preservation of Venice

A remarkable cultural ambassador in London's art, political, and musical scene and on return visits to her native Russia. One of the founders of Venice in Peril

This book gives a first-hand account of Second World War art and propaganda

A vivid account of the art arising from the experiences of the artist, George Plante

Churchill's 'strongest link' in the Battle of Britain: new museum tells story of Biggin Hill airfield

Bitter campaign against the new museum, comparing design to concentration camp structure, almost derailed the project

From the archive, 1 October 1990: 'We did not pursue any party political nonsense on the Museum Island'

On the 25th anniversary of German reunification, we republish our first ever front-page story, in which East Berlin museums chief Günter Schade defends his record and reveals how East German museums sold in order to buy

Bode museum finally lays bare its war-damaged collection

An exhibition in Berlin surveys the ethical implications of restoring damaged art

Fixing - or not fixing - the works in Berlin's sculpture collections damaged in 1945

Should they be left as a reminder of a dark past or restored to reflect the artists’ intentions?

Germany’s Nazi past is evoked in Anselm Kiefer’s first retrospective in the UK

Dealing with the traumatic experience of growing up in a nation rising from the ruins of the Third Reich has been an important theme in the artist's work