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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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
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
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
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
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
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
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?