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
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
When Britain divides, custody of its art must be shared fairly
If Scottish independence follows Brexit, what will happen to the national collection?
National Gallery should be ashamed of how it treated its educators
Court documents reveal that the museum took little action to rectify the education team's employment status
Did the buyer of the Salvator Mundi get played—or did we?
What better way to boost its star power than by making it "disappear" for a few months?
The National Portrait Gallery's ethical dilemma
Plus, taking a stand on copyright
Our 17th-century female artists faced a double injustice
New exhibition on Joan Carlile, Mary Beale and Anne Killigrew opens in London this week
UK art charity has alienated its network of cheerleaders
The Art Fund is doing away with its volunteers
Perhaps even a Leonardo copy shows you’re rich and cultured
A version of the Mona Lisa by a follower of Leonardo da Vinci recently sold at Sotheby's for $1.69m
Speculation over Leonardo says more about us than the art
Facts seem no longer to matter with the famous picture
Scotland has just four per cent of the Royal Collection—it's time it got a fairer share
The Queen has seven Rembrandts, 29 Van Dycks and 52 Canalettos, yet not one is on long-term display in Scotland
Gran Torino offers Van Dyck, hot chocolate and the ghost of Il Duce
Turin has all the grandeur of Paris, but none of the haughtiness
The public deserves to see restorations laid bare
London's National Gallery and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are both documenting repairs of major works—plus a personal conservation confession
Tate, WTF is up with you using Wikipedia?
Once an expert authority on Van Dyck, the museum now has nothing more to say about him than a link to an unverified website
Criminal thoughts about a Rubens portrait and watching Nanette on my summer art detox
Rubens’s portrait of his daughter Clara Serena gave me the urge to steal a painting
Diary of an art historian: at last, some common sense for the abolition of image fees
Birmingham Museums Trust takes the lead and places images in the public domain, but who will follow?
Do not allow art to cleanse crimes
The art world has yet to tackle issues around works like Picasso’s $115m child-prostitute portrait
Design or colour? Look to Titian
A shoestring trip to La Serenissima—and a thumbs-up for Simon Schama
Are Old Masters old fashioned?
How to bring new audiences to older art displays
The National Gallery’s issue of trust
I only found out by accident how well off the museum really is
How abolishing museum image fees could boost audiences
New research shows that image licensing is barely profitable for some UK museums
Stop reading, start looking: today’s art history students are not getting a grounding in connoisseurship skills
When I put an image of a well-known Titian on the screen, only one of 40 could identify the artist
How to identify a wreck
Better public understanding of condition requires greater access to digital images