Arts and Entertainment The V&A says it has discovered a previously unknown oil sketch by John Constable tucked beneath the lining of another work

Restorers uncovered the artwork while renovating a major painting

Museum charges to be scrapped

Brown's pounds 80m lifeline to arts Commitment to access for all And will he marry Sarah?

Property: Museums for mantelpieces

Rosalind Russell reveals a legal way to take gallery and museum exhibits home with you

Crack found in Three Graces

A HAIRLINE crack has been discovered on The Three Graces, the world's most expensive sculpture, while it was on an overseas loan to a Madrid benefactor, museum officials confirmed today.

Oak door separates experts

A WOODEN door thought to have been the entrance to a 17th-century literary club frequented by Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, Beaumont and Fletcher, may end up in American hands, writes Vanessa Thorpe.

Letter: Pooh in the dome?

As Pooh's biographer, I am naturally interested in Gwyneth Dunwoody's plea for his return to England (report, 6 February).

Design: Dinah lights the way at the V&A

How do you take three centuries of British decorative arts out of their dusty cabinets and bring them alive? Easy, says Dinah Casson. Nonie Niesewand learns how.

Pantomime: We wear three times as much make-up as most women, but we're nothing like a dame

A lifetime spent in women's clothing has meant stardom for these two men. Sally Morgan visits them off-stage, and finds that behind every good dame is a highly professional comic actor.

Arts & Media: Extra funding saves British Museum from introducing entrance fees

The Government will give the British Museum financial help to prevent it introducing admission charges. David Lister, Arts News Editor, reveals that the first stage in the campaign to safeguard free admission is on the point of victory.

Museums fall out in crisis over charging

The united front by national museums over free admissions has been broken. The director of the Victoria and Albert Museum tells our arts news editor, David Lister, that he will not tolerate financial help being given to some museums and not others.

Museums told to go commercial

The Labour Government wants national museums and galleries to take lessons from Harvey Nichols, the Knightsbridge store immortalised in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. David Lister hears the arts minister, Mark Fisher, tell astonished museum directors to become more commercial.

Pakistan stands proud at V&A

Annalisa Barbieri on a show which puts its crafts on a par with those of India

Obituary: Anna Plowden

Anna Plowden was one of the foremost object conservators of her generation and made significant contributions to the techniques and practice of conservation. Her interest was not contained to her own business, but also extended into membership of the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum and of various advisory bodies in the field of conservation.

Dedicated follower of fashion

Fashion doesn't just filter down from haute couture, it bubbles up from new-age travellers, grunge and the like, says Amy de la Haye, curator of 20th-century dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Hester Lacey visits the archives

arts notebook

One of the many memorable aspects of the EMI Centenary concert at Birmingham's Symphony Hall was Nigel Kennedy's warm-up chat to the audience before he and Simon Rattle gave a brilliant reading of Elgar's violin concerto. Kennedy, adopting the chirpy cockney accent that has come as a complete shock to his mother, said he wanted to test the acoustics but there weren't enough bald heads in the audience. In music-hall style he then looked a bit harder and found some, then talked about the concerto, and played and described a couple of bonus pieces of Bach he was throwing in.

First woman director for Royal Society

The Royal Society of Arts has appointed the first woman director in its 243-year history. Penny Egan, currently the RSA's programme development director, will take over next January, following the retirement of the current acting director, James Sanderson.
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee