I never thought I would see this. The @NationalGallery charging £8 for a 30 minute online tour of the Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition.


Charging for this short film goes against everything the NG is supposed to stand for. It is our gallery, our art. We own it, we already pay for it. And especially now, in lockdown, when the NG should redoubling its efforts to share art online.

Why is it doing this? It won't make money, or build new audiences (in fact, it'll do the reverse). But @OliverDowden has demanded UK museums 'monetise online offerings'. And so art at the NG is now only for the rich and able. 3/3

One more because I'm so upset about this. The National Gallery has overall reserves of some £200million. It doesn't need to charge £8 for a short film. It has done this to win brownie points with the government. It could and should have stood up to them, for the whole sector.

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More from @arthistorynews

21 Aug
I've written more on the National Trust's new strategy for @TheArtNewspaper. The cuts at curator level are worse than I feared.

ALL specialist curators are to go - books, furniture, paintings, sculpture, etc. (Thread, 1/)

In the central ‘Curation and Experience’ team, about 79 posts have been summarily ‘closed’. These staff must now compete amongst each other for 53 new posts. 2/
Earlier this week @thetimes published details of the Trust's ‘Ten Year Vision Document’, which set out an ambition to ‘dial down’ the Trust's role as a ‘major national cultural institution’. 3/
Read 7 tweets
19 Aug
The new @nationaltrust '10 Year Vision' is truly alarming for built heritage. Less focus on art history, objects put into in storage, fewer curators, and the end of what it calls the 'outdated mansion experience'. (Thread)
I've seen the internal document referred to in The Times. It's written by the Trust's Visitor Experience Director, and is full of W1A-type talk. But the last two pages refer to country houses, and it's not good news. > Image
The document talks enthusiastically about 'revolutionary' change to its country house offering. A small number of 'treasure houses' (like Petworth) will continue more or less as now. But for others, it's; reduced opening times, fewer volunteers, and more stuff in storage. > Image
Read 10 tweets
4 Dec 19
One of my favourite pictures in the Old Master suctions was this Sebastiaen Vrancx, who painted battle scenes. At first it just seems a violent mess, but >
> it’s a powerful reflection on civilian suffering during war. The scene begins top left, with armoured troops attacking a village and its church, setting them ablaze and murdering the inhabitants.
The soldiers chase fleeing residents, and seize their belongings.
Read 8 tweets
4 Sep 18
1 - There's still a serious threat to move the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst away from the Houses of Parliament, thanks to the entirely misguided attempt to relocate it to @regentsuni. A few thoughts on how to stop it, and why we should >
2 - The statue was unveiled in 1930 by the then Prime Minister in Victoria Gardens. The whole point of its location was that it was by Parliament.
3 - In 1958, there was an attempt to move it further away from Parliament, in order to accommodate Rodin's 'Burghers of Calais'. But campaigners pointed out that putting more distance between the statue and Parliament would be a slight on the Pankhurst and the Suffragettes.
Read 10 tweets
17 Apr 18
1 - Thread on the Home Office destroying the #Windrush landing cards. Here's how the system should work. Under the Public Records Act, govmt departments must transfer archive records to @UkNatArchives within 30 (now 20) years.
2 - if departments want to keep records for longer than this, as the Home Office did for these papers (until 2010), they must submit a 'retention application form', setting out the reasons why the records need to be retained in the department and not sent to @UkNatArchives.
3 - That retention application is considered by an independent body of historians, archivists and so on (on which for seven years I used to sit). Therefore, there should at some point have been a retention application made for the Windrush disembarkation papers.
Read 9 tweets

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