British museum

Portrait of Hans Sloane by Stephen Slaughter (1736)

Hans Sloane collected everything – from acupuncture kits to zebras

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Hans Sloane’s passion for collecting led to the foundation = of the British Museum. But missing – until now – has been the man himself, says Jonathan Keates

‘Choshi in Soshu province’, woodblock print from A Thousand Pictures of the Sea, c.1833, by Hokusai

How Hokusai achieved immortality

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Hokusai wanted to paint everything, says Laura Freeman, and at 70 he was only just beginning

American beauty: ‘Standard Station’, 1966, by Ed Ruscha

How art chronicled the birth – and death – of the American dream

11 March 2017 9:00 am

How art chronicled the birth – and death – of the American dream, by Stephen Bayley

‘Bolshevik’, 1920, by Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev

The USSR, USA, David Hockney and plywood: Martin Gayford on the visual treats of 2017

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford looks forward to two big Russian shows coming to London next year – and to other visual treats on offer in 2017

Stanley Gibbons – the womanising stamp-collector

19 November 2016 9:00 am

If I tell you that on Monday there was an hour-long documentary about the history of stamp-collecting, then you probably…

Kenneth Clark: from the sublime to the ridiculous to the sublime

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Our collective attention spans may not be as short as is widely cited, but they are pretty short. Take the…

Not charging for entry has led to the National Gallery resembling Wembley on match day

2 July 2016 9:00 am

Tate Modern’s new Switch House extension in London has been greeted with acclaim. It is a building designed in the…

Buried treasure: an archaeologist diver brushes clear a bovid jaw discovered in Aboukir Bay

The treasures of Alexandria revealed: British Museum’s Sunken cities reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

It was not so unusual for someone to turn into a god in Egypt. It happened to the Emperor Hadrian’s…

How a Liberal MP's inability to draw led him to invent photography

30 April 2016 9:00 am

William Henry Fox Talbot had many accomplishments. He was Liberal MP for Chippenham; at Cambridge he won a prize for…

Detail of mosaic depicting the martyrdom of Saints Castus and Cassius, 12th century, at the Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily

Norman Sicily was a multicultural paradise – but it didn’t last long

9 April 2016 9:00 am

There are lessons to be learned from the disintegration of this once majestic multicultural Norman kingdom, says Martin Gayford

‘Macbeth, Banquo and Witches on the Heath’, 1794, by Henry Fuseli

Why do some museums insist on playing piped music into exhibitions?

9 April 2016 9:00 am

There was a genteel brouhaha last year — leaders in the Times, letters to the Telegraph, tutting in the galleries…

RA’s Giorgione show is so rich it’s worth returning to several times

19 March 2016 9:00 am

Walter Sickert was once shown a room full of paintings by a proud collector, who had purchased them on the…

'Lion Hunt', 1861, by Eugène Delacroix

Galleries are getting bigger - but is there enough good art to put in them?

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford recommends the exhibitions to see — and to avoid — over the coming year

Why the greatest innovations do only one thing, but do it well

12 December 2015 9:00 am

McDonald’s got rid of cutlery. Uber does not allow you to pre-book taxis. Amazon began by selling only books. Conventional…

Standing figure of the ancient Egyptian god Horus, wearing Roman military costume, 1st–2nd century AD and Seated figure of the ancient Egyptian god Horus, wearing Roman military costume, 1st–2nd century AD

Egypt: where gods are born and go to die

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Tom Holland on Egypt, where the deities were born and history itself began

Detail from Gundestrup cauldron, 100 BC–AD 1

The British Museum's Celtic masterpieces aren't Celtic - but they are fabulous

26 September 2015 8:00 am

‘Celtic’ is a word heavily charged with meanings. It refers, among other phenomena, to a football club, a group of…

Detail of a maiolica vase, c.1565–1571, a star piece for both Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill and later for Baron Ferdinand at Waddesdon Manor

Forget Vienna - Britain now has its own chamber of curiosities at the British Museum

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Art is not jewellery. Its value does not reside in the price of the materials from which it is made.…

Cornelia Parker’s War Room at the Whitworth, Manchester

What are modern museums really for?

30 May 2015 9:00 am

Do we really need museums in the age of Wikipedia and Google? William Cook thinks we do but his children don’t agree

Reimaging the lost masterpieces of antiquity

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford visits two new surveys of Greek and Roman sculpture at the British Museum and Palazzo Strozzi. Reimagining what’s lost is as much of an inspiration as what remains

James McAvoy is wrong – the arts are better off without subsidy

14 March 2015 9:00 am

The season of cringe-making acceptance speeches at arts awards ceremonies is nearly over, thank heavens. But it hasn’t passed without…

Many more Germans were displaced in 1945 than Indians during partition

8 November 2014 9:00 am

What Radio 3 needs is a musical version of Neil MacGregor. The director of the British Museum and now a…

For my family, the Vikings exhibition was about as much fun as being raped and pillaged

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Have you managed to book tickets to the Viking exhibition at the British Museum yet? If you haven’t, my advice…

‘Hercules Killing Cacus’, 1588, by Hendrik Goltzius

Upside down and right on top: the power of George Baselitz

22 March 2014 9:00 am

It’s German Season in London, and revealingly the best of three new shows is the one dealing with the most…

The Vale of York hoard, 900s.

The British Museum's Vikings: part provincial exhibit, part gripping drama

8 March 2014 9:00 am

Exhibitions are made for two main reasons: education and entertainment. Although I recognise the importance of education I am, by…

The night that saved England

1 March 2014 9:00 am

If he hadn’t survived the Twelfth Night raid of 878, England as we know it might never have existed