This episode begins by celebrating good news: that the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of works by Raphael at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome—which only opened for three days before being closed due to Covid-19 in March—will re-open on 2 June and run for three months until 30 August. The show, which begins with Raphael’s death and moves back in time, is the jewel in the crown of the celebrations across Europe and the US marking the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death. Hugo Chapman, the Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum and a Raphael specialist, heralds the genius of an artist whose fame has somewhat unfairly been eclipsed by Leonardo and by his great rival Michelangelo.
Also this week: the renaissance of mail art. Margaret Carrigan looks at the radical history of art in the post with Mariam Kienle, assistant professor of art history at the University of Kentucky, and about its revival as the US postal service is under threat from the Trump administration. You can read more about the initiatives here.
And in the latest in the series Lonely Works, the artist Mark Dion discusses the American Museum of Natural History and its profound effect on his work.