The Wounded Angel - Hugo_Simberg

Rulers are unteachable

Why does art not reliably improve people? After all, the argument that it has transcendent, even spiritual value has been used to justify investment of time, money and care in its acquisition since the Enlightenment. It still is today, except among the Utilitarians who foolishly persist in their belief that other people can – should…

Nash,_The_Ypres_Salient_at_Night

The darkness, in this twittering world

The revolution in information and communication technology has given us 24 hour news, social networking and instant access to the world’s horrors. The darkness in Joseph Conrad’s story was not just evil, but evil hidden: reporting it meant a long, dangerous journey to face things that even then were barely understandable. Today, as children hide on…

Boston1

Great art everywhere

A baking July afternoon in Lincolnshire. Everything feels flattened under the heat: sheep, crops, fields. The houses I pass are quiet as if people are waiting for the cool of evening to come out of doors. A wrong turn has brought me to Asgarby, a village I’ve never seen: a few houses and a lovely…

Ania Martin as Emma in the 1972 BBC production

‘When will I be loved?’

I’ve been made blue, I’ve been lied to When will I be loved? I’ve been turned down, I’ve been pushed round When will I be loved? Phil Everly (1960) For three decades, at least, the subsidised arts world has been sending love letters to the political class in the form of reports explaining why it…

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Can you see beyond the tent?

Originally posted on Regular Marvels:
Nicole & Martin live in a caravan: it may be the least interesting thing about them. People who live settled lives – most of us nowadays – have always regarded those who don’t with a mix of fascination and fear. Life without (apparent) ties is easily romanticised from the comfort…

Migranland

Art across borders

Migranland It is in the nature of artistic work to reach beyond the boundaries of language, culture and context. You don’t need to know anything about Japan in the Edo era to be captivated by the prints of Hokusai or Kuniyoshi. You cannot respond as a Japanese person might, and still less as a Japanese…

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Ancient and Modern

Originally posted on The Light Ships:
[gallery type="rectangular" ids="2474,2475,2476"] Medieval visions Wrangle Church is known to architectural historians for its rare 14th century stained glass. Such survivals are unusual in English parish churches because artistic work associated with Roman Catholicism was frowned upon after Henry VIII established a Protestant Church of England, and especially by…