Don’t Tear Down L.A.’s Notorious Men’s Central Jail 

Transforming the Facility Into a Museum and Democracy Center Would Allow California to Remember Its Carceral Cruelty—And Create a Different Future

One of California’s most notorious jails could close in 2021. But if the state truly wants to leave its carceral history in the past and create a more open and democratic future, its building must be preserved—and transformed.

Los Angeles County has spent years considering what to do with its cramped and decrepit Men’s Central Jail. Over the past year, with the inmate population dropping due to the pandemic and criminal justice reform, the idea of replacing it with a new jail facility has given way to the pursuit of closing …

Just Before Madrid’s Quarantine Began, Getting a Last Look at Goya | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter from Madrid, Where Impending Quarantine Permits a Last Look at Goya

In Times of Uncertainty, Art Is a Reminder That Beauty Can Endure

The day the Spanish government announced a two-week closure of all schools and colleges in Madrid due to coronavirus, I was in Berkana, the city’s oldest gay bookstore, considering whether …

The Digital Age Was Going to Kill Museums. Then It Saved Them.

The Ubiquity of the Online World Has Made the Shared Physical Space and Real Objects of Museums Even More Valuable

The digital age, once seen as a threat to museums, has actually revitalized such institutions by making the experience of sharing physical space with others and touching actual real objects …

Why I’m Staying in Rome, Even While It Crumbles 

A British Novelist Will Remain in the Eternal City Because of What Its Past Can Teach About Surviving the Present

When I tell Romans I have been a resident of their city for the last 16 years and have no desire to live anywhere else, they’re often a little baffled. …

Bringing Forward Important, if Forgotten, Artists from Deep in the American South

Our Museums Are Filled with Art by the Well-Connected. But We Need to Find the Truly Important Works to Reach Audiences.

What makes some artwork timeless?

History shows that neither high prices at auction nor gallery attendance figures are good predictors of how artists, artworks, and art movements will be viewed …

The Guggenheim and I Are Spirals in a World of Squares

I Can Trace My Life’s Twists and Turns in the Winding Halls of This Iconic Museum

When I go to an art museum, what I encounter there isn’t always in the brochure. Sure, I enjoy the changing exhibitions. But I’ve discovered museums don’t just offer a …