Arts and Entertainment “It's important for us that the show's great every night

The National's latest album saw the Brooklyn outfit facing up to questions of existence. James McNair meets the band on tour

'Composition' ('Le typographe') - Fernand Léger

$1bn gift of cubist art to transform New York's Met

Cosmetics heir and heavy-weight philanthropist Leonard A Lauder has donated 78 pieces to the museum

Tilda Swinton, artist and actress, sleeps in a glass box as part of an exhibition called

Sleeping beauty: Tilda Swinton beds down in
the name of art (again)

Tilda Swinton, arthouse film doyenne, blockbuster actress and sometime conceptual artist, has reprised her art exhibit  The Maybe for the first time  in almost two decades.

Fred Sandback’s Untitled (1988)

Visual art review: Fred Sandback - Minimalism? There's really nothing to it ...

The moment when artists abandoned their brushes, paints and bronzes and found art in new places is revisited at two exciting new galleries

The Vivisector: Group show curated by Todd Levin, Sprüth Magers, London

A naked doll with long synthetic hair greets the visitor to this inspired exhibition, which explores "the idea of opening up and exposing a living body".

First we had 'affordable art', now there's a 'garage sale' at the Museum of Modern Art

A garage sale as performance art?

Truffles, galleries and a weekend of 'freedom' for Strauss-Kahn

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife, the television journalist Anne Sinclair, might have settled into the life of many well-to-do Manhattan couples, but for a few twists peculiar to their circumstances.

People power: It's the taking part that counts

The jailed Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei is part of a new cultural movement that's using people power to challenge society's vested interests

The Secret History Of: The Tolix chair

Xavier Pauchard was born in 1880 in Le Morvan, known as the green heart of France. Unsurprisingly wood was the most important construction material but despite that, he and his father and grandfather before him were zinc roofers.

Hot data: The art of the infographic

It’s official. Graphs are sexy. From the blogger who charts his every waking moment to thebusiness magazines that are dispensing with text entirely, this is the golden age of ‘infographics’.Clare Dwyer Hogg meets the pioneers who are making information beautiful

Google Street View offers art gallery tours

Google's Street View technology is being taken indoors for the first time - into some of the world's most famous art galleries.

Jack Levine: Artist whose work ruthlessly satirised 20th-century America

Jack Levine was an artist whose paintings and drawings caricatured and satirised the inequalities of America in the 20th century and mocked those who held power.

Caught in the Net: Everything in immoderation

It's five years since Sufjan Stevens released his epic masterwork Illinois.

Tony Curtis: Actor who started out as a teen heartthrob and became a much-loved and versatile character actor

An actor with dark, curly hair and handsome looks, Tony Curtis began his film career playing small roles as gangsters or juvenile delinquents before his popularity with teenagers won him stardom at Universal in swashbuckling fantasies such as The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951) and The Black Shield of Falworth (1954). Elvis Presley is said to have modelled his hairstyle on Curtis, whose marriage to the equally attractive Janet Leigh made the pair a popular subject of fan magazines throughout the Fifties.

Cultural Life: Marina Diamandis, singer

Books: I only read books which are factual. At the moment, I'm reading 'Stumbling on Happiness' by Daniel Gilbert. I'm half-way through it. It's about how to measure happiness. Really, it's a sociology book. My Dad's half Greek and I've been reading a lot about Greek mythology. Greek mythology is so rich in ideas, especially about morality – which can inspire my work.

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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game