How Government Cuts are Impacting Arts Education

There is a painting of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden hanging on the wall of a gallery; both are naked, save for a fig leaf. A small girl of about two or three years stares up intently at it, her hands crossed behind her back as she leans forward, nose first. Suddenly, she breaks into loud giggles which turn into peals of laughter. Everyone in the room turns around to see this small child shaking with barely suppressed hilarity at the figures’ nakedness.

Adam and Eve, Lucas Cranach, 1526 (Photo: Robert Ratcliffe, Courtauld Institute)

That girl, as you may have guessed, was me. My mother recalls with amusement the smiles of the elderly ladies nearby and, although I have no memory of this early event, I do recall the frequency with which we visited museums when I was a child. Every trip to a city would always involve several hours looking at glass cases or what then seemed to be enormous paintings hung in gilt frames. A cursory glance would do for the paintings I didn’t much care for, but, even then, if one caught my eye I would hone in on it, tr