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It’s a special celebration: 30 years of FT Weekend, and the genesis of arts pages that have set and maintained the highest standards in arts journalism in Britain and, increasingly, across the world.
Arts coverage in the FT began with a strong emphasis on classical music, reflecting the taste of senior figures on the paper at the time. It took a while for more popular culture to sneak in, but successive arts editors have raised the bar and these days we’re just as likely to cover a rock concert or a piece of electronica as a grand opera, just as keen to write about an interesting street artist as about Rembrandt.
It was a dreadfully difficult task to choose just a few pieces to illustrate our journey over three decades.
I decided to focus on cultural events that can count as milestones: Clement Crisp (our ballet critic of more than 50 years’ standing!) on the Bolshoi Ballet’s 1986 visit to Dublin, our film critic Nigel Andrews reviewing Reservoir Dogs; the first review of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia; Peter Aspden taking up the popular culture strand with Princess Diana and the Beatles.
Closer to the present, I added in Jackie Wullschlager’s fearless and incisive demolition-job on contemporary art’s Jeff Koons.
These are just the tip of a giant body of work: 30 years to be proud of.
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