London, the city of Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf, Hogarth and Francis Bacon, Handel and David Bowie, Hawksmoor and Stirling, has long been an important centre for the arts. This edition of London Essays looks at the past, present and future of culture in the capital.
Over the last few decades, the arts have flourished in London. New galleries and performance spaces have opened and existing ones grown. The capital has enhanced its standing as a global centre of theatre, music, publishing and design, and moved from being a middle-rank to a first-rank player in visual art, film and fashion. The range of cultural activity is stunning and continues to evolve.
What does a highly diverse population mean for the creation and consumption of culture? What do the arts mean to London’s fast-changing, increasingly globalised economy? How does new technology change cultural experience? What will maintaining London’s role as a global artistic capital require? How can all Londoners be engaged in the capital’s rich cultural life? This edition looks at the past, present and future of culture in the capital, and especially at how London’s position as a global city affects and is affected by the arts.