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A view of the atrium from the Calderwood Courtyard. Zak Jensen

A preview of Harvard’s $350 million art museum renovation

After ten years of planning and six years of construction the Harvard Art Museums opens its doors to the public on November 16. The $350 million renovation combines the collections of three distinct museums…
Spit and polish: upkeep at the prize-winning Yorkshire Sculpture Garden. Lynne Cameron/PA

What makes a good museum? The Art Fund knows

On July 9, the annual Museum of the Year Prize, run by the Museum Prize Trust and sponsored since 2008 by the Art Fund, awarded £100,000 to the winner: the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which shone in a shortlist…
South Australia’s answer to dolewave, Bitch Perfect. Bedroom Suck Records

Joe Hockey killed dolewave music, though it barely existed

It must have come as a relief to many Australian musicians that maligned guitar-pop genre tag “dolewave” met an untimely end the other week. I imagine it would have been the only relief Australian musicians…
We need to break beyond operatic exclamations. Wikimedia Commons

The problem with arts advocacy is the people in power

“Wouldn’t you just die without Mahler?” This classic line from Willy Russell’s Educating Rita, spoken by the broken aesthete Trish, signifies both main character Rita’s entry into the realms of cultured…
The Last of Us is as gripping as many of the films you’ll see in the cinema. PlayStation Europe

We’ve delivered our Citizen Kane, now give gaming an Oscars ceremony

Hollywood’s most celebrated actors, actresses and directors are, by now, finalising their outfits and having their manicures in preparation for the impending Oscars ceremony on 2 March. It’s considerably…
It’s time to wake up to London’s cultural dominance. shutterstock

Hard Evidence: does London get too much arts funding?

London has 15.4%, one eighth, of the population of England. It is well known that London receives a disproportionate amount of UK arts subsidies, but perhaps not the vast extent of this. Our independently…
Is Annie Lennox really the only notable female composer? EPA/MARK KEHOE

Is Annie Lennox really the only notable woman composer?

Last week, Jude Kelly, artistic director of London’s prestigious Southbank Centre, was the most recent arts luminary to wonder in public why women in music are rarer than English cricket victories in Australia…
The Young Archie is a new category in the annual Archibald Prize. But should it be abandoned? AAP Image/Paul Miller

Eye on the prize

Prizes are a common feature on the cultural economy landscape. In Australia there is the famous Archibald Prize for portraiture, there are numerous prizes for literature and poetry, the AFI Awards in film…
image.

The spectacle of play

This month I am trekking around Europe with my partner, and I had the good fortune to be in London on the night of the fifth Wild Rumpus event. In a gallery space in central London on a Saturday night…
Larkin about: the people of Hull celebrate their city’s victory. Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Larkin, Ronson and 26 reasons why Hull is UK City of Culture

Kingston-upon-Hull has been named the UK City of Culture for 2017; a spotlight has been thrown on a place that many people either don’t really know much about, sometimes falling prey to typical Home Counties…
With the right policy levers, Australia’s next big boom could be creative by design. Sebastiaan ter Burg

The creative economy could fuel Australia’s next boom

Australia is richly blessed with an abundance of resources which, along with robust legal, business and political infrastructure, has allowed it to pull through tough times on several occasions. As we…
Reed, who died today, knew how to place himself at the centre. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Transformer: the other faces of Lou Reed

The plaudits have arrived very quickly for Lou Reed, who has died aged 71. He is clearly regarded as a towering figure, credited with playing a central role in creating one of the most influential albums…
Artist Alice Evans lies on the streets of Edinburgh, but she’s OK really. Danny Lawson/PA

Despite bad headlines, the arts in Britain aren’t dead yet

Playwright Mark Ravenhill’s provocative opening speech at this year’s Edinburgh Festival outlined a doomsday scenario where public funding for the arts disappeared and Britain descended into a cultural…
Encouraging live music through initiatives such as the newly-announced National Live Music Office makes good social, cultural and economic sense. shutterstock

Keeping music live: government’s Live Music Office should be welcomed

Federal arts minister Tony Burke this week announced the government’s commitment to setting up a National Live Music Office. Burke said the taskforce will: …partner with governments, local councils, communities…
Fact meets fiction. Ian S

Tragic realism: the rise of Mexican narcoliterature

Crime fiction has become a truly global genre. Books based in Reykjavik, Oslo, or Barcelona now vie with home-grown works set in more recognisable, down-at-heel locations like Manchester or Northampton…
Despite myths to the contrary, humanities graduates can enjoy their passions and look forward to job opportunities too. Student image from www.shutterstock.com

Honing the mind and nurturing the soul: why the humanities are underrated

As a vice chancellor, I conducted many graduation ceremonies and welcomed scores of proud graduates to the fellowship of educated men and women. One regular feature of these ceremonies was a queue of students…
Three-quarters of Indians say cricket helps the relationship between India and Australia, a new survey has found. Flickr/Foxypar4

It’s not just cricket: Indians have their say on Australia

Australia should work harder on its official and unofficial diplomacy to strengthen its ties to India, after a new survey…
Namatjira, by Imants Tillers, which won the 2013 Wynne Prize. Art Gallery of NSW

Times change but the art establishment rolls on

It was the 1960s when a curator – who shall remain nameless – was ordered to hang Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira’s work in his gallery. He hung the painting next to the ladies toilet with a vase of…

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