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

Punch & Judy: 350 years of hard-hitting entertainment

When Samuel Pepys came across a captivated crowd watching the street performance of an anarchic little puppet called Punchinello and his beleaguered wife Joan, the diarist chronicled the event in his diary, dated 9 May 1662.

Back to school, but design for children has never been better

We might think that children today have a more cosseted, less imaginative, increasingly restrictive childhood, and that their school life is going to pot, but it’s not like we don't have good reason. Indeed, if it’s not parents being threatened by social services for letting their children cycle to school alone, or the banning of charity home-baked cake days in Scotland for fear of obesity amongst children, then it’s the worry that A Level and GCSE results are getting better each year - not because children are getting smarter, but because teaching has become less imaginative and more focused on how to pass an exam, rather than on how to think creatively and independently.

Don’t put a price on our national treasures

Cultural institutions are not businesses and should stop selling off Britain’s valuable artworks, says Tiffany Jenkins

V&A hopes to leave the past behind as it plans extension

Six years after the fiasco of its last attempt to build a new wing, the museum is trying again

1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces, V&A, London

We define our lives by the way we regard and respond to the spaces we inhabit. This summer the Victoria & Albert Museum is showing – scattered willy-nilly – seven small, newly commissioned, purpose-built structures by architectural practices from across the world.

Unhappy days are here again

As Britain faces up to a new era of austerity, Paul Barker looks back on photographs he commissioned in an earlier age of recession and protest

What's so bad about boys?

Ursula Hirschkorn is the proud mother of four sons. Yet friends regard her Barbie-free family with pity. No wonder today's males feel undervalued, she argues

Carola Long: 'Satin dresses and beaded bags became the de facto wedding uniform'

I've never actually seen a wedding invite where the dress code stipulates that "ladies" should wear lurid satin dresses from Coast and feathery fascinators (below) resembling a dead pigeon with a blue rinse, but you can't throw a bouquet at a wedding without hitting these looks. Somewhere along the line, together with fussy beaded bags, pashminas, cropped boleros and satin Wag shoes, they became the de facto wedding uniform. However, just because weddings are essentially conventional, it doesn't mean that what we wear to them has to be. This look is about as dated as agreeing to obey.

It's time that museums stopped cramping our style

Fashion exhibitions don't have to be in stuffy glass cases, says Harriet Walker. Clothes can be living, dynamic creations, too

Grace Kelly: Style Icon, V&A, London

The film star's crisp silhouette and little black dresses give way to gaudy Marie Antoinette confections

Scour museum gift shops for divine designs

They may not be the first place you think to look while shopping for the best in contemporary design, but – as these original and quirky pieces show – museum shops are about much more than postcards and erasers

Claude Blair: Authority on arms and armour who campaigned for the Victoria and Albert Museum in a time of crisis

Claude Blair was not only a world authority on arms and armour. He revelled in the subject, and to the end of his life travelled widely in pursuit of new understanding, but he was also a doughty fighter for causes close to his heart.

48 Hours In: Cape Town

With Table Mountain providing a spectacular backdrop, Harriet O'Brien soaks up the culture and glamour of South Africa's coastal gem before it gets swamped by football fever

Ron Arad: Curve your enthusiasm

His designs are both edgy and sophisticated. Caroline Roux looks forward to the unveiling of Ron Arad's Design Museum in Israel and a major retrospective at the Barbican

The Gillrays that were too rude for the Victorians

Cartoons that fell foul of 19th-century censors are put on display
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How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue