Stephen Bayley

High-speed trains, planes and automobiles are increasingly redundant

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Should the world be faster or slower? This is a question relevant to global economics, politics and culture. But not…

The 747 was the last moment of romance in air travel

25 July 2020 9:00 am

I felt a genuine pang when British Airways announced that it was retiring its fleet of Boeing 747s, the largest…

René Dreyfus: the racing driver detested by the Nazis

2 May 2020 9:00 am

I have driven a racing car. On television, it looks like a smooth and scientific matter. It is not. A…

Clean lines and dirty habits: the Modernists of 1930s Hampstead

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

With its distinctive hilly site and unusually coherent architecture (significantly, most of it domestic rather than civic), Hampstead has always…

Plumbing the mysteries of poltergeists

21 March 2020 9:00 am

This is a paranormal book — by which I mean it exists in a truly out of the ordinary netherworld…

There’s something hot about a hat

15 February 2020 9:00 am

When an American describes a woman as wearing a ‘Park Avenue Helmet’ you know exactly what is meant. This is…

A museum-quality car-boot sale: V&A’s Cars reviewed

7 December 2019 9:00 am

We were looking at a 1956 Fiat Multipla, a charming ergonomic marvel that predicted today’s popular MPVs. Rather grandly, I…

An unconventional biography of the visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Paul Hendrickson’s previous (and very fine) book was Hemingway’s Boat, published in Britain in 2012. It was a nice conceit…

The stormy lives of Jack the Dripper and the Wife with the Knife

18 May 2019 9:00 am

A stiff, invigorating breeze of revisionism is blowing through stuffy art history. Is it really true that all the valuable…

How Camilla’s grandfather helped popularise the architecture Prince Charles detests

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Was the Bauhaus the most inspired art school of all time or the malignant source of an uglifying industrial culture…

‘Wonderground Map of London Town’, 1914, by Max Gill

Not as good as his immoral brother Eric but still wonderful: Max Gill at Ditchling reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill (1884–1947) is less well known than his notorious brother, Eric. But was he less of a designer,…

The Statue of Liberty, photographed during a partial solar eclipse. ‘Far from being a cheerful present from one nation to another, Liberty is a subversive and occult statement’

The Statue of Liberty is a deeply sinister icon

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Immigrants to the United States in the late 19th century discovered in Upper New York Bay, after a long, uncomfortable…

‘Your Britain: Fight for it Now’, 1942, by Abram Games

Is modernist architecture unhealthy?

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Architects and politicians have a lot in common. Each seeks to influence the way we live, and on account of…

Modernist architecture isn’t barbarous – but the blinkered rejection of it is

25 August 2018 9:00 am

When I was younger, one of my favourite books was James Stevens Curl’s The Victorian Celebration of Death. His latest…

For the man who has everything, only a space rocket will do

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Today’s VHNWI wants a PRSHLS. That’s Very High Net-Worth Individual and Partially Reuseable Super Heavy Lift System. Or, in the…

Draft of the first Ferrari car, 125 S, designed by Gioachino Colombo, 1945

Ferrari – heavy, expensive, wasteful, dangerous and addictive

20 January 2018 9:00 am

Has a more beautiful machine in all of mankind’s fretful material endeavours ever been made than a ’60 Ferrari 250…

The making of a happy home: cold milk for tea. A 1930s advertisement for General Electric

How cool is your fridge?

9 December 2017 9:00 am

Mrs Thatcher once explained that she adored cleaning the fridge because, in a complicated life, it was one of the…

Red panel (1936) by Alexander Caldwell

High wire act

11 November 2017 9:00 am

‘Mid-century modern’ is the useful term popularised by Cara Greenberg’s 1984 book of that title. The United States, the civilisation…

Man machine: Fritz Kahn’s ‘Der Mensch als Industrieplast’, 1926,which shows the body not so much as a sacred temple as as a churning and industrious factory

Vital signs

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Exhibit A. It is 1958 and you are barrelling down a dual carriageway; the 70 mph limit is still eight…

True or false? The Temple of Bel, Palmyra, before and after its destruction at the hands of Islamic State

Why confront the ugly lie of Islamic State with a tacky fake?

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Can the beauty of Palmyra be reproduced by data-driven robots? Stephen Bayley on copies, fakes and forgeries

‘Like Georgia O’Keefe, Mapplethorpe eroticised flowers — possibly finding them more biddable than his frisky partners in gimp masks and chains.’ Left: Self-portrait, 1982. Right: Calla Lily

Robert Mapplethorpe: bad boy with a camera

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Robert Mapplethorpe made his reputation as a photographer in the period between the 1969 gay-bashing raid at the Stonewall Inn…

Through a lens darkly: from the series ‘New Brighton’ , ‘The Last Resort’, 1985

‘I enjoy the banal’: Stephen Bayley meets Martin Parr

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The photographer Martin Parr claims to like ordinary people, but are his pictures celebratory or mocking, asks Stephen Bayley

A fusion of ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ and Dungeons and Dragons, Dashi Namdakov’s ‘She Guardian’ is a grotesque, inappropriate and embarrassing intrusion into London

What's that thing? Britain's worst public art

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Bad public art pollutes our townscapes. Stephen Bayley names and shames the worst offenders as he unveils the winner of The Spectator’s inaugural What’s That Thing? Award

Junk artist Bernard Buffet in his château

Bernard Buffet: painter and poser

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Bernard Buffet was no one’s idea of a great painter. Except, that is, Pierre Bergé and Nick Foulkes. Bergé was…

Britain is absent from the V&A’s new Europe galleries. Are they trying to tell us something?

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Before cheap flights, trains were the economical way to discover Europe and its foibles. Personally, I enjoyed the old fuss…