Germany gets the Prussian blues

 
 
Plus: Nan Goldin vs the Sacklers
 
 
 
Nicholas O'Donnell on a pressing cultural debate in Germany
 
Nicholas O'Donnell on a pressing cultural debate in Germany
The question of whether one of the most important cultural institutions in the world should contain 'Prussia' in its name has stirred up controversies about colonialism, the origins of National Socialism and the difference between acknowledging the past and honouring it. For many, Prussia is a byword for militarism, but in its heyday it was also one of the most important patrons and collectors of art. Does the term have any place in the 21st century?
 
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Reviews

 
Juliet Jacques is inspired by Nan Goldin's art and activism
 
Juliet Jacques is inspired by Nan Goldin's art and activism
Laura Poitras's documentary shows how the difficulty of Goldin's childhood drove her work, equipping her with the determination to continue in the face of physical abuse, sex work, poverty, institutional misogyny and homophobia, censorship and the devastation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic – and then to risk taking on the might and wealth of the Sacklers.
 
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Emilie Bickerton on the French politician who fell out with the arts
 
Emilie Bickerton on the French politician who fell out with the arts
In her memoir of her time as culture minister, Roselyne Bachelot calls out spoilt artists who have the temerity to go on strike despite a generous system of state subsidy, as well as various local and national government employees who are always ready to be wined and dined, but rarely put their words into action.
 
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Nicholas Babbington on the caustic cartoons of James Gillray
 
Nicholas Babbington on the caustic cartoons of James Gillray
Few satirists sustain their reputation far beyond their immediate period as the episodes addressed become obscure and characters depicted fade from memory. The caricaturist James Gillray (1756–1815), however, is the epitome of a satirist whose work has transcended his own time, continuing to inspire and provide parodic templates to his successors in all forms of media.
 
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In the studio with… Every Ocean Hughes
 
In the studio with… Every Ocean Hughes
'When I'm writing, I like to stay in it. I do something which I like to call a self-made retreat – I basically tell the people who like to call me, not to call me. Once I have the idea and I know what the project is, then I can come in and out of it. But when I'm trying to start, I like to create space and time around myself. My routine is basically knowing when I need to retreat.'
 
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In the current issue…
 
Susan Owens visits Gainsborough's childhood home
 
Susan Owens visits Gainsborough's childhood home
The houses of artists and writers can be works of art in themselves, bristling with the evidence of their creators' passions. Frederic Leighton's recently reopened studio house is one such, and so is Walter Scott's Abbotsford. Others, in which few if any objects survive to connect them with their illustrious former residents, must ask their visitors something more challenging: to tune into the atmosphere of a place and to imagine a creative human presence. Thomas Gainsborough's childhood home in Sudbury falls into the second category – it is an unavoidable fact that he only lived in the house until he was around 13 – and yet merely in travelling there many visitors' imaginations will already be primed. John Constable once said he fancied he saw Gainsborough in every hedge and hollow tree.
 
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In the next issue…
 
The fine art of food
 
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