Extras

As the temperatures dip, the birds need our help. We round-up the most innovative (and occasionally bonkers) feeders and houses for our feathered friends

Damian Hirst's 1991 work 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living'

It should be child's play to accept that some modern art is rubbish

A Critical View: Some modern art is rubbish; All the oils you own yourself; Thank skeuomorphs very much

The strange birth of the Royal Academy

On my summer holiday last year, I had rather more time than usual to consider a problem which has long perplexed me: that is, how was it that, on Monday 28 November 1768, a small group of artists, including an architect, went to see King George III about the idea of establishing a Royal Academy; and, less than two weeks later, 28 of them returned to St James's Palace to celebrate the so-called Instrument of Foundation, which was a set of rules and laws which still govern the Royal Academy today.

George Hurrell: Hollywood's icon maker

George Hurrell gave the Golden Age of Hollywood its glossy sheen and soft-focus seductiveness. He was the foremost publicity stills photographer of the day - a man responsible for creating icons.

To the art of the matter: the late Robert Hughes

Tom Sutcliffe: The combative critic whose waspish words had more than just shock value

As with quite a lot of things these days I first read about the death of Robert Hughes on Twitter. I'd love to know what the old bruiser thought of this new medium and to hear how wittily he might encapsulate its follies. I have a suspicion that he would disapprove. But in one sense it did him proud when it came to instant commemoration.

Manet portrait saved for the nation after £8m campaign

A portrait by French painter Edouard Manet has been saved for the nation after an eight-month campaign raised almost £8 million to buy it.

Leading article: A tribute to one of Australia's greatest exports

To adapt one of Robert Hughes' own observations (on Caravaggio): "There was art (criticism) before him and art (criticism) after him, and they were not the same." It is hardly an exaggeration. Mr Hughes, who died in New York on Monday, was one of Australia's great exports, a world-class public intellectual whose outspoken critiques of the art world, groundbreaking television series, and slew of history books – including the seminal story of his homeland, The Fatal Shore – transformed the once grubby world of the hack critic into so much more.

What a scream: Munch painted four versions of his best-known painting. One sold at auction last month for £74m

American billionaire named as mystery buyer of 'The Scream'

American billionaire Leon Black is the mystery buyer who paid a record $120m (£74m) for Edvard Munch's masterpiece "The Scream" at Sotheby's in May, the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

Picture preview: Lello // Arnell, Echo Chamber at Beers.Lambert Contemporary

Relocated gallery hosts Norwegian sculptors' debut UK exhibition

Theo van Doesburg Counter-Composition VI 1925

We're missing the big pictures

Tate Modern has rehung its permanent collection, but the move serves only to expose Britain's lack of 20th-century masterpieces, finds Adrian Hamilton

What a scream: Munch painted four versions of his best-known painting. One sold at auction last month for £74m

Edvard Munch: Angst-ridden artist or canny businessman?

Tate Modern exhibition shows how the painter obsessively reworked his paintings

The Scream (Munch): Meyer took over 12 minutes, an age at auction, to secure the record sum paid ($119.9m) for Edvard Munch’s masterpiece

Man who's made an art form out of auction records

Star performer of Sotheby’s saleroom is the first ever to take a $1m bid

The Gunton Arms is a labour of love for its owner, London art dealer Ivor Braka

The Gunton Arms, Cromer Road, Thorpe Market, Norfolk

It's been 10 years since Mark Hix began writing his weekly food column for this magazine, an anniversary we'll be celebrating in next week's bumper food and drink-themed issue. Over the past decade, the quietly influential Mr Hix has changed the way we eat, though he'd be much too modest to make that claim for himself. Meanwhile his restaurants, with their clever mix of traditional comfort and contemporary art, have supplied the template for many a copycat dining room.

Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, Various venues

The scale of this Scottish art festival makes others look meagre, and the quality of the work is very tasty too

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'