TAITMAIL How the art elite made war propaganda

From the start of the First World War there was a highly secretive department tucked away a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace. To hide its real purpose it took its operating name from its respectable-seeming building: Wellington House. And at its head was a former MP called Masterman, a close confidante of the prime minister.

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THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the Month

Maggie gets her hands dirty, 20th May 1983, by Roger Bamber

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TAITMAIL Good to see you, Adam…

Each year the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition at the Mall Galleries comes up with something at least worthy of note if not always drawing admiration: a new image of a royal, a celebrity, a famous beauty, a family member, an ordinary character that appealed to the artist or just a fine piece of painting.

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THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the Month

Basque refugees at Southampton by Frank Rust, 23 May 1937, Daily Mail

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TAITMAIL Museums of serious fun

Art Fund has announced the shortlisted museums for the 2024 Museum of the Year award, the winner getting £120,000 and the runners-up £15,000 each. For four of the five it will be won by an institution unrecognisable as a museum by their founding fathers.

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TAITMAIL Despite the odds, orchestras are hooking new concert-goers

This weekend, for two nights, the enormous 40,000 seat La Defense arena - which doubles as a concert venue and a rugby stadium - will be filled with excited youngsters eager to hear, not a pop star or a rock group, but the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

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THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the Month

Sylvester Mittee’s hands by Eamonn McCabe, 1981, The Observer

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TAITMAIL Chatsworth: The future for stately homes that can no longer be merely visitor attractions

For as long as anyone can remember, Chatsworth House’s logo has been the imposing Palladian façade, a forbidding aspect. Not anymore. 

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MY STORY. –– Beth Robertson is leading a unique five-day event, I Am festival

The I Am festival, running in London for the week March 11 to 15, is the only event of its kind to focus on deaf, disabled and neurodivergent young people aged over 16, with the support of Graeae Theatre Company, the neurodivergent ped company BLINK Dance and Coney, the arts and social change charity, among others. But it is not taking place in out of-the-way community centres or found space. Co-created with SEND special needs and disabilities (SEND) settings, creative practitioners and a team of young cultural ambassadors the I Am festival, organised by the not-for-profit organisation A New Direction, takes place principally at Sadler’s Wells, Tate Modern, Kensington Palace and the National Theatre.

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THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the Month

Kiss Me Hardy by George Phillips, 27th March 1981, Daily Mirror

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TAITMAIL How Wonder Boy and Captain Chatter are breaking the funding mould

There’s a mystical charm about how Ross Willis’s play Wonder Boy is being got on national tour that is counterintuitively uplifting in this worst of times for the arts economy. A play, whose subject matter you would think would make it out of the question for any hard-pressed presenting house, is going to get a 12-week 11 theatre tour, with a message its supporters are saying should get it into the national curriculum.

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TAITMAIL The Albany, Lewisham’s cultural anchor

The craze for “Year of Culture” designation seemed to have got out of hand after Brexit when we lost qualification for the European City of Culture, so famously and successfully celebrated for the UK by Glasgow and then Liverpool.

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