Diary of an art historian
Diary of an art historian is a monthly blog by the British art historian, writer and broadcaster Bendor Grosvenor discussing the pressing issues facing the arts today
Top tips for the culture secretary, as the UK is about to get a new prime minister (and yes, you will have to return the Parthenon Marbles)
Here are three big challenges they will face—and what to do about them
The conservation studio is the coalface of art history—but not all 'restorations' can be solved with acetone
While my past purchases are lined up for a professional clean, it is the current damage of international cultural relations that seem most in need of a fix
Why take binoculars on your next museum visit? You might solve an art history mystery
An unattributed painting in Lincolnshire's Burghley House bears a striking resemblance to the work of Hans Eworth
In a world of digital innovation, what if art becomes… boring?
A virtual reality visit to the Sistine Chapel made me realise that museums are going to have to up their game in order to maintain visitors' interest
The British Museum demeans itself by selling its works as NFTs—and will probably live to regret it
In giving cultural validity to meaningless reproductions of Turner and Hokusai pieces, The British Museum blurs the lines between real and fake at its peril
Omicron won't thwart my Old Master mission
My trip to Munich's Alte Pinakothek was worth the multiple levels of Covid-related admin
And the award goes to… my wholly personal choices of the best of the art world in 2021
Bendor Grosvenor selects his favourite exhibition, discovery, book and auction consignment of the year
UK heritage charity the National Trust is ending the year richer than ever—so why all the staff cuts?
The more than 1,700 workers who lost their jobs last year have every right to feel aggrieved as Trust weathers storm regardless of staff savings
Mourning the loss of a fine Rembrandt scholar
Ernst van der Wetering's death this summer leaves a vacancy for an appointed representative of the Dutch master on earth
'The art in Spain stays mainly off the plane': grim Brexit news from the art buying frontline
I've learned the new political lessons about art shipping the hard way—so you don't have to
Visiting a historic house should be about more than just cream teas and crocuses—their full histories, however unsettling, should be told
Being told about National Trust houses' connections to slavery should not deter visitors: the complex history adds to their interest
The UK Ministry of Culture is where politicians' careers go to die—but Oliver Dowden has emerged victorious, thanks to the culture wars
The future integrity of the arts sector will depend on whether institutions are able to stand up to the next culture secretary
It took 300 years for the art world to recognise Artemisia Gentileschi—now NFTs are reinforcing the bias towards Western male artists
The latest digital craze is only perpetuating the structural sexism inherent in art history
Boo to NFTs! Hang on, think of no customs fees
As Brexit makes buying anything from Europe almost impossible, purchasing questionable digital art is almost tempting
'Autism made me an art historian. But museums must do more to welcome disabled and neurodiverse communities'
Museums were quick to implement Covid-19 safety measures and now they need to apply that same rigour to improving accessibility
Museums have hastily cut their staff to save money—what will happen when visitors return and they need them back?
With vaccines now being deployed and a return to normality on the horizon, institutions may find they have been shortsighted in letting their employees go
Auction houses have finally entered the Amazon age—and I’m addicted
I thought I’d kicked my online art and antiques buying habit but too much lockdown screen time has been my undoing
People see only 'silver tits' and 'bouffant pubes' now—but I predict Mary Wollstonecraft sculpture will become widely admired
One of the iron rules of art history is that the more derided a work of art at first, the more celebrated it will become
Is the UK seeing the emergence of a ‘Godfather approach’ to arts funding?
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has been ignoring the arm's length principle and offering museums unsolicited advice
I finally went to see some art—and caught Covid-19
A trip to the National Gallery was eerie and alien—although a newly restored Van Dyck painting briefly shook off my anxiety
National Trust restructuring plans are ‘one of the most damaging assaults on art historical expertise ever seen in the UK’
Job cuts and planned repurposing of country houses will lead to a corporatisation of the nation's heritage sites
'When the politics change, so must the statues'
History can teach us a lot about how to—and how not to—deal with problematic historic monuments
Museums are about to reopen—but should they?
Social distancing measures mean a lot of money will be spent on a small number of visitors, institutions should be focusing on their online presence instead
'Being an art historian now is easier and more productive than it’s ever been'
Publishers and libraries are extending their online access to help art historians put their period of enforced seclusion to good use
Mona Lisa, Rembrandt and Venus enjoy a well-earned rest during lockdown
After the coronavirus pandemic, we will need our museums' masterpieces as never before
Is art history becoming too woke?
Discussion around Yale's decision to pull its introductory survey course reveals unnerving trend for "morally appropriate" studies
What can mysterious markings in stone teach us about British art?
Research for a new book begins with a pilgrimage to find prehistoric rock art in northern England
Disneyfication at the National Gallery? Plus, the problem with deaccessioning in the UK
The stigma around state museums selling works means that other institutions dare not buy them; and a frank review of the National Gallery's Leonardo exhibition
Why was the National Portrait Gallery so secretive about its closure?
The London museum will close between 2020 and 2023, but the announcement was buried in the fourth paragraph of a press release
UK national museums could learn a lot from their regional cousins
When it comes to having a historian rummaging in their stores, smaller institutions tend to be more enthusiastic and accommodating