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
How Italy’s Renaissance lives on today
Like their 15th-century counterparts, contemporary artists continue to enjoy the patronage of the church
'Why I can't get excited about AI art'
Only humans can make proper sense of the world, Bendor Grosvenor argues
What's up at the National Gallery? The London institution is half of what it used to be
The closure of the Sainsbury Wing ahead of a £35m refurbishment has meant that much of the museum is off limits in 2023. I hope it's worth it
Badly preserved Salvator Mundi copy—which sold for staggering €1m—could be more valuable than once thought
Painting might be older than catalogued thanks to one particular detail
Was a Vienna auction's €6,000 'copy' of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling actually by Michelangelo?
My heart-stopping research saga to find out if Dorotheum’s part-painted cartoon by a "follower" was in fact a sleeper
Protestors took too much risk throwing soup on the Sunflowers—and missed an opportunity
Had they thought about it more deeply, the activists who attacked the Van Gogh work could have gained something more than attention
Some (impertinent) art advice for King Charles III on how to manage the Royal Collection
Opening it up through more generous loans and by easing copyright restrictions would be good for both HM and the country
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