Antony Sher dies

Antony Sher dies

Sir Antony Sher, perhaps the finest actor of his generation, has died aged 72, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced today.

TAITMAIL   Behind the battlements

TAITMAIL Behind the battlements

Nottingham Castle Museum was doing well, for a museum without much real history left to talk about, and it was getting a healthy 150,000 visitors a year - about half what Stonehenge gets - before it closed for its £30m refurb which it was hoped would double the numbers. 

Shebeen culture wins Turner Prize

Shebeen culture wins Turner Prize

Array Collective, the Belfast co-operative of 11 artists whose nominated work, The Druithaib’s Ball, is an installation centred on an illicit Irish drinking den described as “a place to gather outside the sectarian divides”, has won the 2021 Turner Prize.

ACE’s £38.3m for local culture

ACE’s £38.3m for local culture

Arts Council England has today announced grants worth £38.3m for the programme that makes partners of cultural organisations and communities.

Bird to quit SOLT and UK Theatre

Bird to quit SOLT and UK Theatre

Julian Bird is to stand down as CEO of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre after more than 11 years. 

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

London’s East End, June, 1957, by Frank Pocklington

Alan Sparrow talks to Frank Pocklington about his favourite Picture Post photograph

Sacha Craddock stands down at New Contemporaries

Sacha Craddock stands down at New Contemporaries

Sacha Craddock is stepping down as chair of New Contemporaries, the organisation set up more than 70 years ago to support emerging visual artists with touring exhibitions of their work.

Eilish McGuinness takes over at NHLF

Eilish McGuinness takes over at NHLF

Eilish McGuinness is to take over from Ros Kerslake as CEO of the National Heritage Lottery Fund at the end of the year.

Lewisham’s year of diverse culture

Lewisham’s year of diverse culture

Lewisham is to be London’s next Borough of Culture for 2022, focusing on diversity, activism and the climate emergency in a programme that was announced at the Rivoli Ballroom today.

Emmie Kell is ACE's new museums chief

Emmie Kell is ACE's new museums chief

Emmie Kell, CEO of the Cornwall Museums Partnership, is to be Arts Council England’s new director of museums and cultural property.

Merger creates Creative UK

Merger creates Creative UK

The Creative Industries Federation and Creative England have merged today to become Creative UK, bringing together the advocacy work of one body and the investment expertise and practical support of the other.

Kathryn Jacob to chair HOME

Kathryn Jacob to chair HOME

Kathryn Jacob, CEO of the cinema advertising agency Pearl & Dean, is to be the new chair of the Manchester arts centre HOME.

33% of musicians still earning nothing from music

33% of musicians still earning nothing from music

A third of our professional musicians are earning nothing from music and 87% are earning less than £1,000 a month, according to new figures today from the charity Help Musicians.

£1m hunt for young museumgoers as ‘perfect storm’ looms

£1m hunt for young museumgoers as ‘perfect storm’ looms

The Art Fund has launched a £1m fundraising campaign to help museums attract under 24-year-olds.

Another £107m for arts recovery

Another £107m for arts recovery

Almost 1,000 arts organisations are to benefit from a new round of £107m worth of grants from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

£5m for community jubilee parties

£5m for community jubilee parties

A new Arts Council fund is offering £5m to help voluntary and community organisations celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year.

Curators share £300k development funding

Curators share £300k development funding

The Art Fund has named the 11 museum professionals that will share the Headley Fellowship’s grants this year worth £302,500 to extend their collections knowledge.

THE WORD   Under-estimating the power of the tweet

THE WORD Under-estimating the power of the tweet

Social media have become essential to arts organisations, says a new report, and often rely on underpaid and under-resourced operators. Alice Kent of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre asks what can professional networks, industry, funders and policy-makers do to ensure that digital workers are better supported

Birthday royal sculptures for Albert Hall

Birthday royal sculptures for Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall has commissioned sculptures of the Queen, Prince Philip, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert from four young artists to mark its 150th anniversary.

Ten Manchester music creatives offered £1k development packages

Ten Manchester music creatives offered £1k development packages

Manchester International Festival is offering £1,000 each to ten local musicians to help them create new work as part of its MIF Sounds initiative, launched last year at the height of the pandemic.

Florence Nightingale joins Lord Mayor’s parade

Florence Nightingale joins Lord Mayor’s parade

Marking the completion of her 200th birthday celebrations., Florence Nightingale joined the Lord Mayor of London’s Show at the weekend.

Giant print plant plays host to classical experiment

Giant print plant plays host to classical experiment

A printing plant that once one of the largest in Europe has been the venue for a pioneering immersive concert.

Mariam Zulfiqar to lead Artangel

Mariam Zulfiqar to lead Artangel

Mariam Zulfiqar, Forestry England’s contemporary art programme manager since March this year, is to be the new director or of the public art producer Artangel.

Barbican takes action after damning discrimination report

Barbican takes action after damning discrimination report

The Barbican has vowed to take decisive action “to build a culture where staff feel confident, valued and respected” following a damning report by an independent investigation team.

SIMON TAIT'S DIARY

 

The bank’s own Sexton Blakes

To get the venerable Bank of England to admit that there have been credible forgeries of its banknotes is one thing, to persuade them to make an exhibition of some of them is something else. A new gallery that has just opened in the bank’s museum devoted to banknotes from the Ming Dynasty to the latest fiver does just that. In fact there have been forgeries as long as there have been banknotes, and the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street has waged a constant battle to defeat the makers of funny money with complex watermarks and tiny secret codes – in the 18th century forging notes was such a serious offence it carried the death penalty. Among the Sexton Blakes are notes made by concentration camp prisoners with which the Nazis intendedto flood Britain and bust the wartime economy. And there’s this less than convincing, you might think, £50 note. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to see that it started life as a white fiver, and it was discovered when it was used to buy a cow at a country fair in 1850. Whether or not the cow purchaser got away with it is not recorded.

 

Andy’s tweet

Andy Warhol is remembered for many things, chiefly as the high priest of Pop Art, but seldom as the gifted figurative artist he was. A new art gallery in Pimlico plans to reverse this perception with its inaugural exhibition opening on November 3. Haynes Fine
Art in Pimlico Road has brought together 27 Warhols from his formative years, mostly drawings and illustrations from the 1950s. This delicious ink tempera on paper called Bird in a Nest was drawn in about 1956 when he was in his 20s, and could be yours for £24,500. Tony Haynes, MD of the dealership, is understandably gleeful about his coup. “They offer a unique opportunity to acquire a piece of Pop Art history by one of the world’s most famous artists. These are fantastic entry- level works for new collectors and rare one-off pieces for seasoned buyers” he says.

 

Crowning glory

It’s sometimes hard to see why we need to make works of art the subject of export bans, their place in British history not always being crystal clear and the money required to keep them here national budget challenging. But here’s a thing, its usefulness or its aesthetic quality perhaps not obvious, whose historic value to is palpable. It is Queen Victoria’s coronet designed by Prince Albert as a wedding present and made from diamonds and sapphires given to her by her uncle William IV. It was put together by the goldsmith Joseph Kitching for £415. When Albert died in 1861 the queen refused to attend the opening of Parliament for five years, and when she did she wore this coronet instead of the crown. In the 1920s George V and Queen Mary gave it to their daughter as a wedding present, and later it was sold to a dealer who has sold it on to a foreign buyer for £5m. Now the culture minister Matt Hancock has made it the subject of an export stop to enable someone – or more likely somewhere – here to raise the cash plus £1 in VAT, and they have until December 27.

 

Getting the message

I love the Guildhall Art Gallery and the way it uses its collection to tell stories that don’t ostensibly have anything to do with art. Here’s a new one, with this delightful James Tissot from 1873 called The Last Evening. So what is the exhibition about? Not grief as bad news is delivered, not the solicitude of passenger ships crews, not the uncertainty of migration. No, this show opening on September, in collaboration with King’s College London and the Courtauld, celebrates the 150th anniversary of... The Transatlantic Cable. It took nine years to lay the cable, at a ton per kilometer, and its completion was marked by the first telegram, from Queen Victoria to President Buchanan, and the exhibition covers all that. I’d still like to know what the message is that’s being passed on by the telegraphist in the suspiciously raffish “co-respondent’s” shoes...

 

Reading material

Reading Gaol was Oscar Wilde’s nemesis. He spent two soul-destryoing years there in the 1890s and wrote De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol there –

Each narrow cell in which we dwell Is a foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death Chokes up each grated screen,

And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
In Humanity’s machine.

and this is one of the cells, photographed by Rob Hayes. Its comes as a surprise to know that the prison was only decommissioned in 2013. But the National Trust in partnership with Artangel is organising tours until October 29. They must be prebooked, and you can get one via www.readingarts.com/whats-on/ tours-reading-gaol.

 

 

Parky’s plaster

Norman Parkinson’s fashion photographs were a way mark for the mid-20th century, but they have also become an inspiration for contemporary artists. In their exhibition of plaster cast models at the Union Club in Soho, After Parkinson, Kathy Dalwood and Alice Mara draw on Parky’s work for their sculpture. Mara does the buildings used for locations, Dalwood the people, and she researched 500,000 negatives and 3500 original prints to make pieces like this. The exhibition, organised with the Cavaliero Finn Gallery and Norman Parkinson Archive, is on until October 2.

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