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Art historian, collector, museum director, and broadcaster Kenneth Clark (1903–1983) was one of the leading cultural figures of the mid-20th century. This new book considers all aspects of his life and work, including his landmark TV series, Civilization. Clark was enormously important in terms of his support of, and influence upon, the art of his time. As director of Britain’s National Gallery he oversaw the relocation of its collection during WWII; as chair of the War Artists Advisory Committee he persuaded the government not to draft artists—such as Henry Moore; in 1954 he co-founded the broadcasting company that was to become ITV, and then chaired the British Arts Council from 1955 to 1960. A passionate advocate of making art accessible to all, in 1969 Clark wrote and presented Civilization for the BBC, distilling the history of Western philosophy, culture, and art into 13 groundbreaking episodes—the first-ever blockbuster documentary series viewed around the world.
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About the Author
Chris Stephens is a senior curator of Modern British Art and head of Displays at Tate Britain. John-Paul Stonnard is an independent scholar and a regular contributor to the Burlington Magazine, Artforum, and Times Literary Supplement.