Arts and Entertainment

The national appetite for art and art spaces seems insatiable. When Tate Modern was unveiled in 2000, two million annual visits were expected; today more than five million visitors a year pour through its Thames-side doors.

Restaurant review: Does Oliver Peyton's latest gallery opening The Keeper's House match its exquisite surroundings?

Some things change, some things stay the same. The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London has stood since the 18th century, resolutely unrevamped. The man behind its new restaurant is on at least his sixth reinvention.

George Weissbort: Painter whose work was informed by his ultra-traditional approach

He would think nothing of sitting for hours in front of a single picture in the National Gallery

The Village's Maxine Peake

Actress Maxine Peake turns to goth rock music

She is best known for starring in Silk and The Village but Maxine Peake has another, darker, string to her bow. Away from the cameras, she has been recording songs about the Pendle witch trials with The Eccentronic Research Council. The Sheffield collective, led by musicians Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer, asked the actress to narrate their concept album 1612 Underture last year. “I never expected I would perform it”, Peake tells me.

Art Under Attack (Tate Britain, 2 Oct to 5 Jan) examines 500 years of assaults on work for religious, political or aesthetic reasons

Coming soon in visual arts: From Australia to Margate

Australia: so much to see, so far to travel. Hence the most satisfying thing about this autumn's calendar is news that a bunch of top curators have edited 200 years of the nation's art and are delivering it to our doorsteps for £14 a ticket. Australia at the Royal Academy, London (21 Sept to 8 Dec), features work by settlers and indigenous people and, best of all, includes four paintings from Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly series, the source of much mythology and fame.

Rothschild puts daughter on the board of £2bn RIT

Lord Rothschild has appointed his eldest daughter to the board of his £2bn investment company RIT Capital Partners.

Alison MacLeod, novelist

Cultural life: Alison MacLeod, novelist

'I saw Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing and absolutely loved it'

Rothschild daughter Hannah joins RIT Capital Partners board

Lord Rothschild today appointed his eldest daughter Hannah to the board of his £2 billion investment company RIT Capital Partners.

Nina Felix by Bob Dylan, 2013

Bob Dylan's artwork enters hallowed halls of National Portrait Gallery (despite being 'amalgamations' not portraits)

Bob Dylan may have earned himself a host of complimentary descriptions from “poet of our time” to “lyrical genius”. But the 110 million album-selling folk musician has been battling to be taken seriously as a visual artist for almost as long as he has been singing songs, and now 12 of his artworks are set to enter the National Portrait Gallery - the first time he has exhibited in a public museum in the UK.

Edinburgh Art Festival preview: Visual Arts - Franz West, Peter Doig and Nam June Paik

"It doesn't matter what art looks like," said the Austrian Franz West (Platonic Moon, 2003). His work with other artists is the subject of Mostly West at Inverleith House (rbge.org .uk, to 22 Sept).

Hanssen Pigott in her studio

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott: Potter whose work was acclaimed for its clarity and calmness

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott was a major figure in the field of international studio ceramics, whose work was characterised by its clarity and calm. From the mid-1980s she began to group apparently functional wares, in the form of bottles, beakers, cups and bowls, into sculptural still-life sequences of timeless purity, a move in the direction of fine art, seen at its most ambitious in her 55ft installation Caravan, shown at Tate St Ives in 2004.

Playwright Conor McPherson: 'It's thrilling to see the British tradition of political engagement in theatre alive and well'

Cultural life: Conor McPherson, playwright

'It's thrilling to see the British tradition of political engagement in theatre alive and well'

Conservator Krista Blessley conducts a condition report on a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II before it is positioned inside the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey on May 17. The painting was vandalised on 13 June.

Second art attack at Westminster Abbey: 'Suffragette-style' protester arrested for criminal damage after statue is spray-painted

A woman has been held in London for a 'protest against the family courts system' just weeks after a portrait of the Queen was vandalised

Constable's The Hay Wain

Constable's The Hay Wain painting defaced as Fathers4Justice step up action

Attack comes after a painting of the queen by Ralph Heimans was vandalised with spray paint in Westminster Abbey

The Hay Wain by Constable has been attacked by a protester at the National Gallery

Man held after Constable's The Hay Wain attacked by protester in the National Gallery

Constable's masterpiece The Hay Wain has been attacked by a protester in the National Gallery.

Museum staff go on strike

Two days of strike action at museums and galleries across Britain has begun in a long-running row over jobs, pay and pensions.

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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
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Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own