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

The Travel Issue: New York in April

Taking advantage of the palsied dollar, most European visitors to Manhattan hotfoot it for the retail delights of Macy's or Bloomingdales, but the highlight of my trip was a destination where your credit cards stay in your pocket (mostly). I had not visited the Museum of Modern Art since it re-opened in virtually new premises in November 2004.

Gorgeous George could climb celebrity alphabet

It seems that the previously indefatigable George Galloway may be tiring of his parliamentary concerns.

Livingstone cleared over 'Nazi' attack on reporter

The London Mayor Ken Livingstone was cleared by a High Court judge of bringing his office into disrepute after he likened a Jewish reporter to a Nazi.

The Week in Arts: Simple brilliance from the National Gallery

Which gallery is the gallery runner's gallery? (Don't try that sentence out loud after a night out.) The answer, though, is rather interesting. When the Museum of Modern Art in New York was beginning its recent revamp, all of its curators were asked to name the art gallery where they would most like to spend a day. The MoMA curators answered as one. They all chose the National Gallery in London.

Playing to the gallery

A bold use of space and light is at the heart of the redesigned Museum of Modern Art in New York. But how well does the $425m building serve its art? Jay Merrick pays a visit

Reach for the sky

They were born in the search for maximum profit from limited space. Today, Manhattan's skyscrapers form an extraordinary architectural heritage, a tribute to 100 years of striving for bigger, better, higher things. Words by Eric P Nash. Photographs by Norman McGrath

Arts: Death of a salesman

What do Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly and Frank Stella have in common? They were all represented by Leo Castelli, New York's greatest art dealer.

Architecture: Weekend Utopias

Ten years ago nobody wanted to live in these Modernist houses in NY's achingly hip playground, the Hamptons. Now they are hot property.

Obituary: Julius Tobias

ALTHOUGH JULIUS Tobias was an artist of wide inspiration who worked over decades in as many media as styles, he is perhaps best remembered as one of the boldest and most innovative of those American sculptors who became known as "minimalist". His sculptures were often of such scale as to become walk-in rooms in their own right, but their immensity made them impossible to preserve other than as architectural drawings and scale models.

Obituary: Rudy Burckhardt

THE SWISS-born New York City-based photographer, film-maker, painter, collagiste, poet and writer, Rudy Burckhardt, died at his summer home in Maine on Sunday 1 August, bidding adieu to his loved ones and walking into the adjacent lake he affectionately called "our pond". He was 85 years old.

Architecture: The look and learn of design and build

Neo this, titanium that, hypersurface the other: as a new exhibition of Alvar Aalto opens, keep up with Rob Bevan's Aa to Z

Obituary: Edouard Boubat

IN 1956, Edouard Boubat made a photograph of a young woman. Wearing a muslin shirt and a dark skirt, her hair a little disordered, she resembled a heroine of some far-off revolution. Boubat's portrait of Lella, which paid homage not only to beauty and youth, but also to strength and determination, became one of the icons of post-war European portraiture. "I love music, painting and above all, life," Boubat insisted. "Life gives me my photos. I need other people. Photography is a profession for encounters!"

THE CRITICS: CRITICS' CHOICE

Art

A short break: San Francisco

Matthew Brace strolls the boardwalks and cycles up and down the hilly streets of one of America's hippest, most stylish cities

Obituary: Sam Shaw

SAM SHAW created two iconic images of the late-20th century: Marlon Brando in sweaty T-shirt for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1951; and Marilyn Monroe with her white dress ablow for The Seven Year Itch in 1955.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins