Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Great blogs

Picture: Getty
A reader asks which blogs I read, so here are some recommendations. 

Art History News always picks out the key stories with pithy and insightful commentary (helps that I almost always agree, too!). I love Alberti's Window3 Pipe Problem (a Raphael fan - what's not to like?) and The Frame Blog - all of these are refreshingly upbeat and a great contrast to my brand of miserablism. These blogs are deservedly famous and much-visited; I can't fail to include them on my list, but they scarcely need my endorsement.

The Idle Woman is updated very regularly with substantive reviews of films, books and exhibitions. Well-written, thoughtful and always a good source for interesting things I haven't otherwise come across.

Rembrandt's Room is recently launched, and it's tremendous. Fascinating detailed posts, including a wonderful discussion of Sweerts, an obscure artist particularly liked by the GAH.

David Packwood's blog is updated less often, but it's always interesting and his posts stand the test of time. Well worth dipping into his back catalogue. He's also launched some excellent subsidiary blogs related to his teaching.

Artwatch is simply the most important group in the artworld, calling attention to the depredations of art through bad restoration practices, the risks of damage as art travels around an endless cycle of blockbusters shows, and much else. Posts are thorough, substantive and damning. 

In theory I think it's important to read blogs with a different perspective, but it's too easy to get stuck reading things you like. I recommend Museum 2.0. I disagree with almost every word of it; all of its prejudices are contrary to mine. But it's well-written and thoughtful, so have a look and Know Your Enemy.

Outside art, I rely on The Browser for a daily dose of interesting links on a variety of topics - it's overtaken my previous favourite, Arts & Letters Daily. I must mention Spiked, as they've even published me on occasion! 

The blogosphere in economics and finance is especially rich. Debates are often very polarised, especially in academic economics. A number of top economists are active bloggers, and many of the most important and interesting debates are conducted on blogs. The place to start is Marginal Revolution, because it has lots of well-chosen links and because it is especially open-minded and honest about areas of uncertainty and ambiguity.  

My latest find is The Epicurean Dealmaker, which cannot be praised too highly. It's intelligent, thoughtful and knowledgeable on topics generally debated with stupidity, thoughtlessness and ignorance. His posts always hit the mark. Many of the finance topics that he treats are generally reported by journalists who know nearly nothing about the subjects they cover. This blog, although updated irregularly, could replace 90% of financial journalism. And it's not only right; it's also refreshingly curmudgeonly.  

That's it for the first installment. I'm sure there are others I've missed, so I'll update from time to time on my blog reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment