Maerten van Heemskerck, Colossus of Rhodes, 1570, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK

A more descriptive title for the splendid new book by the architectural historian Victoria Newhouse would be Art as Diminished by Curatorial Incompetence. It is a work of genuine scholarship, filled with fresh and discerning insights about the art itself and its history, but her underlying theme is that, with few exceptions, those with the power to place art—museum officials, curators, and architects—do it badly. Where possible, she offers meticulous...

 

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