Martin Bailey

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

How a concierge restored 200 Van Gogh paintings, including the Sunflowers

The astonishing tale of Jan Traas, a caretaker and intern conservator in the 1920s, who later worked on Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring

News
Vincent Van Gogh

Not a fake: Van Gogh self-portrait is his only work painted while suffering psychosis, experts say

The newly attributed work is quite unlike Van Gogh’s other 35 self-portraits and reveals an intriguing insight into his mutilated ear

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Is a Van Gogh self-portrait hidden in a London attic?


An intriguing letter suggests that Vincent made a very unusual sale to England

News
Museums

Will new €50m Albertina Modern museum revolutionise Vienna’s contemporary art scene?

Satellite venue of historic Albertina is to focus on Austrian and international art made after 1945

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Want to buy a Van Gogh? Sotheby’s has four works with (relatively) modest estimates

Unseen for 25 years, they all come from a very private American collector

News
Albrecht Dürer

Possible Dürer discovered above souvenir shop in Vienna's cathedral

Experts believe underdrawing in St Stephen’s is first evidence that the master worked in the Austrian capital

News
Discoveries

Like ‘Tutankhamun’s tomb’: first look inside emperor's sepulchre in 500 years reveals magnificent treasures

Discovery in Vienna's St Stephen's cathedral was made with photographs taken through a small hole in the marble

News
Museums

The Met’s British galleries are radically reimagined for museum's 150th anniversary

Lead curator says relaunch next spring is timely as "the UK is reassessing its role on the European and global stage”

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

From surprising sales to emotional discoveries: the Van Gogh stories of 2019

The top exhibitions, books and auction news this year—plus the astonishing tale of the gun

News
Acquisitions

Christmas comes early: London's National Gallery raises enough money to buy Gentileschi masterpiece

The Finding of Moses is on display, but it will soon be moved to the newly refurbished Baroque room

News
Museums

Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery to transform nightclub into new art venue

Karla Black survey will fill both spaces, including former fruit and veg warehouse next door

News
UK politics

Nicky Morgan—who stood down in UK election to spend more time with her family—is reappointed as culture secretary

Boris Johnson gives former MP a peerage in order to keep her in the cabinet, but survival of culture department in the longer term is not assured

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Two Van Goghs sold from the recovered hoard of an Italian fraudster

One painting was hidden in a Parma cellar, leading to the discovery of the Tanzi Treasure

News
The Year in Review 2019

From a Paris inferno to the Leonardo tussle: the art world's top stories of 2019

We look back at the major events that made the headlines this year

News
Restitution

Archaeologist launches private bid to retrieve priceless Egyptian treasures from European museums

Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian minister of antiquities, corrals international team of experts to press institutions for return of important artefacts

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Ten myths about Vincent van Gogh

Why stories—from the mutilated ear to the eventual suicide—can distort our view of the art

News
Art market

Rare Tahitian painting by Gauguin sells for €9.5m at Artcurial in Paris

Te Bourao II, which went to an international collector, was on loan to the Met in New York for ten years

News
UK politics

The UK's culture secretary conveyor belt: who will be next?

As the election looms this month and Nicky Morgan announces she is standing down, the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport prepares for its latest secretary of state

News
Discoveries

Artist's signature and thumbprint among discoveries in Pieter de Hooch paintings

Revelations were made during research for the largest retrospective of the Dutch painter's work in the Netherlands

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

A good catch: The Mackerels now looks set to be authenticated as a genuine Van Gogh

The still life in Switzerland’s Reinhart collection was dismissed as a forgery

News
Restitution

Cambridge college returns Benin bronze to Nigeria

Statue of a cockerel was looted by the British in 1897 from the Court of Benin

News
UK politics

Boris Johnson’s Conservative manifesto promises £250m funding for culture

Although Tory announcement calls it the “largest cultural capital programme in a century”, pledge is only quarter of Labour’s £1bn culture fund

News
Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh's Sunflowers will leave London for over a year as Australian show is added to loan tour

Masterpiece from London's National Gallery is headed for Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

How London’s Kew Gardens connects Van Gogh and Gauguin—and the monster flower that caught the latter's imagination

In Tahiti, years later, Gauguin recalled the Corpse Flower which stinks of rotting flesh

News
UK politics

Jeremy Corbyn promises £1bn culture fund in Labour Party election manifesto

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats commit to stopping Brexit and protecting arts funding through the National Lottery

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Where is the portrait of Dr Gachet?

 The mysterious disappearance of Van Gogh's most expensive painting

Frankfurt's Städel Museum put a detective journalist on the case

News
Vincent Van Gogh

Two Dutch museums join forces to buy rare, $3m Van Gogh painting at Sotheby's New York

Work acquired by Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Drents Museum in Assen is one of few to survive from the artist's visit to Drenthe

News
Orazio Gentileschi

London's National Gallery launches public campaign to fund last £2m to buy Orazio Gentileschi masterpiece

The 17th-century painting The Finding of Moses was painted in London for Charles I and represented the birth of Charles II

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

For sale: two Van Gogh paintings come up at Sotheby’s New York next week

One of the works was looted by the Nazis from Jewish collector Jacques Goudstikker, but is now being sold by his heir after restitution

News
Museums

Gus Casely-Hayford, director of Smithsonian’s African art museum, to lead V&A East

The British cultural historian will take up his role at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new branch in the spring

News
Discoveries

Revealed: the story behind the Gauguin paintings buried with a young boy in Tahiti

The artist befriended the child of his neighbours, and had given two paintings for the boy’s nursery

News
Exhibitions

Tutankhamun blockbuster will head to Boston

Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, which opened in London this weekend, will also tour to Australia, Japan, Canada and South Korea

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Two Van Gogh exhibitions in a single week

After the Frankfurt show opens, another on still lifes comes to Potsdam—17 years after Germany’s last presentation on the artist

News
Politics

London's Roundhouse turns down £1m Sackler grant

The arts and performance venue has refused to accept a £1m grant from the Sackler Trust because of risk it would "distract from its work with young people"

News
Exhibitions

King Tut show on track to become one of the most popular art exhibitions ever in the UK—and the most expensive

Peak adult tickets for the travelling exhibition opening at the Saatchi Gallery in London this week will cost £37.40

News
Brexit

New deadline creates problems for National Gallery's 'Brexit-ready' exhibition schedule

Museum has avoided transporting loans to and from Europe around 31 October “deadline”, but the last-minute extension to next January may cause shipping issues

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Van Gogh and Germany: Frankfurt mounts best show on the artist in recent years

Städel Museum tells the story of Germany's love affair with the painter, which ended in tragedy with Hitler’s rise to power

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Methodical, well read and—above all—human: what we learn from the myth-busting edition of Van Gogh’s letters

A decade after the publication of Vincent's trove of correspondence, here is how the remarkable project has contributed to scholarship on his art

News
Appointments

Emilie Gordenker appointed new general director of Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum

The current director of the Mauritshuis in The Hague is taking over from Axel Rüger who now leads the Royal Academy of Arts in London

News
Pompeii

Fresco of two fighting gladiators discovered in Pompeii

Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini says the find shows the site is an "inexhaustible mine for archaeological research"

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Arles to Tokyo: Van Gogh exhibitions in 2020 that Vincent aficionados won't want to miss

Detroit’s Van Gogh in America will be the highlight, with more major shows in Amsterdam, Padua, Santa Barbara and Columbus

Preview
Exhibitions

Pieter de Hooch steps out from Vermeer's shadow in new Delft show

First survey in the Netherlands puts the spotlight back onto the ‘other’ Golden Age painter

News
Research

Gauguin’s Tahitian lover may be more fantasy than reality

As the National Gallery's exhibition opens in London, an expert speculates that the teenager in his Polynesian works could be a composite of women the painter encountered

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

The artist whom Van Gogh most admired—and whose work fetched record prices

An exhibition on Millet opens in Amsterdam with the rare loan of The Angelus

News
Art market

Gauguin Tahitian painting comes to auction in Paris from the walls of the Met

Te Bourao II (The Purao Tree), which has been in the same collection since 1995, is estimated to sell for €5m-€7m at Artcurial

News
Museums & Heritage

British Museum knocks Tate Modern off top spot as UK's most popular attraction after miscalculation

Over 300,000 visitors had been missed in the financial year 2018/19 because of 'incorrect light levels caused by a broken light fitting'

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Uncovered: Van Gogh's first art teacher

First photo discovered of Anna Birnie, of Scottish descent, who served as a young governess for eight-year-old Vincent

News
Politics

'We want the Babylonian Palace of Tiglath-Pileser!': new book reveals Boris Johnson's thwarted vision for new V&A East

Nicholas Coleridge, the chairman of the Victoria and Albert Museum, tells how Boris laid down the law on his plans for the project

News
Exhibitions

Raphael revelry: National Gallery secures exceptional loans for 500th anniversary of artist's death

London exhibition in 2020 includes around 30 paintings, 20 of which will come from international museums

News
Discoveries

'True Rembrandt relic' discovered in cesspit below artist's house

Clay pot used by Old Master to paint is now on show in Amsterdam's Rembrandt House Museum

News
Exhibitions

Despite Brexit, Britain is biggest lender to Louvre’s Leonardo blockbuster show

Speculation remains over whether Salvator Mundi will appear

News
Museums & Heritage

Where there’s a will there’s a way: the Wallace Collection lifts loan restrictions

Terms of original bequest are loosened, paving the way for the London museum to stage joint international exhibitions in Los Angeles and Vienna

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Not just a tortured soul: new show shines light on Van Gogh's humour and friendships

Den Bosch exhibition features rarely exhibited documents revealing the artist's personal relationships

Podcast

Museum ethics. Plus, the Chicago Architecture Biennial

We discuss the increased scrutiny museums face over their sponsorship policies and the architectural heritage of Chicago

Preview
Exhibitions

Albertina’s Albrecht Dürer drawings enjoy a rare outing

Exhibition will bring together Vienna museum’s collection with key loans from European institutions, as well as unveiling a raft of new theories

Review
Books

'The guardian of Vincent’s legacy': new biography details devoted life of Van Gogh's sister-in-law Jo Bonger

Bonger's encounter with Trotsky and her tireless effort to preserve the artist's work are explored in the new book by Hans Luijten

News
Prizes

Mona Hatoum and William Kentridge among international recipients of £100,000 Japanese art prize

The Praemium Imperiale Award will be presented in Tokyo in October

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

New discoveries: Paul Signac painted watercolours of Van Gogh’s asylum

Signac, who offered to fight a duel over the Sunflowers, pays homage to his Dutch friend

News
Politics

Tom Watson, deputy Labour leader, wants to put 'creativity back at the heart of our classrooms'

Politician also says Brexit will have 'disastrous' consequences for creative industries

News
Museums & Heritage

Lack of space at the British Museum sees major loan of Assyrian collection to Getty

Since the closure of a basement gallery in 2006 there is little room to store the whole collection

News
Museums & Heritage

The William Blakes that got away—and why

As the Tate Britain show opens, we reveal the inside story of the Tate’s failure to acquire 19 watercolours from a portfolio that turned up in a Glasgow bookshop

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Van Gogh's suicide: Ten reasons why the murder story is a myth

All the evidence suggests it was the artist who fired the fatal shot

News
Funding

Funding for culture to rise by 4.1% according to UK government's spending review

Treasury says there will be “over £300m to support the UK’s world-class national museums and galleries” in 2020-21

News
Exhibitions

Bare necessities: would you brush up against naked performers to get inside Marina Abramovic’s 2020 London show?

Artist's famous nude performance—first done with Ulay—to be recreated in her retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts next year

News
Ethics

How ethical can museums afford to be? We ask five major UK art institutions about funding challenges

We find out how mounting public scrutiny of private money could affect the bottom line of London's National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery and the Tate

News
Museums & Heritage

UK's most valuable museum acquisition in a decade? National Gallery set to buy Gentileschi masterpiece

The Finding of Moses, currently on loan at the London museum, is owned by sofa-billionaire Graham Kirkham

News
Leonardo da Vinci

'Immersive experience' at London's National Gallery to reveal secrets of Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks

X-rays showing artist's original composition reveal that angel and Infant Christ were positioned higher up

News
Museums

UK national museums lent almost half a million objects around the world last year

Most were scientific materials, but 69,000 went to cultural venues

News
Restoration

Delicate seven-year restoration of altarpiece finally completed at London's National Gallery

The 16th-century work The Virgin and Child with Saints is now back on show in the museum

News
Attribution

Hidden number discovered in conservation helps reveal painting is from Titian's workshop

Part of the Wellington Collection in London, the picture was originally believed to be by a minor north Italian artist

News
Museums

Dutch government gives money for new centre on Netherlandish art at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts

Prime minister takes the unusual step of pledging $200,000 to the US museum

News
Exhibitions

After the National Gallery, the Courtauld is the latest London institution to send masterpieces to Japan

Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère is among the 58 works going on a Japanese tour this autumn

Analysis
Politics

The artistic women in Boris Johnson's life

From his mother to his partners, the UK's new prime minister has been surrounded by people in the arts