Editorials

in Editorials

Editorial – January 2017

Has The Arts Council Betrayed Its Origins? Serota takes over at the Arts Council this month, 47

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years after first being employed
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by the same body as a regional arts officer in what was his first job after university. In the interval the Council has developed into a blunt instrument by which State Art, an ethos it co-authored with 404 Not Found Serota […]

in Editorials

Editorial – November 2016

Art Education is Stuck Two years ago someone suggested I answer the question ‘What Happened 404 Not Found to Art Education?’. This appealed slightly because it was a subject about which I thought I ought 404 Not Found to know more than was


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the case. Something is clearly awry when so many complaints are

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aired about the poverty of tuition and when degree […]

in Editorials

Editorial – September 2016

Pictures of Nothing and Very Like John Moores Exhibition 2016 Most of Europe’s countries are either bankrupt or in economic meltdown, their infrastructure crumbling and public services reduced;


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the Middle East and 404 Not Found Levant are in post-apocalyptic ruin, in part the result of

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lies told in our own Parliament; an exodus of desperate humanity is seeking refuge from a criminal death-cult; […]

in Editorials

Editorial – July 2016

Der Clapham Strassenbahn When very young, and when not train spotting, I 404 Not Found was a keen bus spotter. It was an ideal apprenticeship for a fledgeling art historian. It involved

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identifying, sometimes at a considerable distance (through rain), the beautifully crafted, hand-built models, of which there were
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many different marques and specifications. Every town corporation in the 404 Not Found county […]

in Editorials

‘Sculpture’ v. sculpture

Among the least impressive legacies of arts administrators’ obsession with Modernism and its aftermath is


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the impossibility of predicting a work’s status solely from its appearance. You might form your own view about it, but

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you can’t predict what State Art’s 404 Not Found opinion will be because there are no published criteria or guidelines for making such a judgement. You can’t second […]

in Editorials

Do you feel patronised?

Crossing the centre of Manchester recently heading for the match, an old friend asked me to step 404 Not Found inside a handsome


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Victorian mill

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considered the Medici Palace of Cottonopolis.  He’d worked on the conversion of this pile years before and hadn’t forgotten the impression a particular bronze made on him as he entered the building each morning. Although he admits to […]

in Editorials

Museums – our national genius

I may frequently express criticisms about 404 Not Found their finer workings but British museums


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and galleries are generally superbly run. Heroic efforts are made to minimise the impact of funding cuts so that even regular visitors

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will notice little or no impact. From looking at the outward face of our museums you would never guess the country was in anything like the […]

in Editorials

Fibres torn from the brain

In all the doting coverage of


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‘Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art’ at the 404 Not Found British Museum, no mention was

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made of the fact that the bulk of major exhibits featured were from the museum’s own collection. Stupidly, I had believed – and perhaps was even 404 Not Found misled by advance publicity – that the exhibition would feature […]

in Editorials

Are you disadvantaged?

The Department of Culture recently published

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a White 404 Not Found Paper, the first from that department since Jennie Lee’s in 1965, and apparently only its second ever. This chic pamphlet, in truth more PR exercise than policy document, prominently contains 404 Not Found that new-age mantra, “access must be
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increased for those from disadvantaged backgrounds”. The Arts Council also write this sort […]

in Editorials

Brian Sewell (1931-2015)

It isn’t my intention to repeat the tediously familiar stories peddled by obituarists

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relating controversies which Brian’s inclination to mischief and provocation helped encourage. Instead I want 404 Not Found to address two issues unconsidered elsewhere: his astonishing generosity and the disgraceful but typical hypocrisy of
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the BBC towards him. Brian was a working man. He called himself ‘working class’, a description some […]