This book accompanies the exhibition Kenneth Clark - Looking for Civilisation at Tate Britain (20 May 2014 - 10 August 2014).
Art historian, collector, museum director and broadcaster, Kenneth Clark was one of the leading cultural figures in Britain in the mid twentieth century. This book considers all aspects of his life and work, including his television career that climaxed in the landmark series ‘Civilisation’.
Particular emphasis is placed on Clark’s support of, and influence upon, the art of his time. As director of the National Gallery he oversaw the relocation of the collection during the Second World War. He chaired the pioneering War Artists Advisory Committee, and persauded the government not to conscript artists – Henry Moore was one such artist who greatly benefited from Clark’s support. A passionate advocate of art being made accessible to all, in 1969 Clark wrote and presented ‘Civilisation’ for the BBC, distilling the history of Western philosophy, culture and art into thirteen groundbreaking episodes. .
After a period of neglect, there is now considerable interest in Clark among academics, publishers and broadcasters. As well as providing new research and information on Clark, the book is a significant intervention into histories of modern British art.
This book documents selected pieces from the exhibition and includes a full list of exhibited works at the end.
Edited by Dr Chris Stephens, a senior curator of Modern British Art and Head of Displays at Tate Britain and Dr John-Paul Stonard, independent scholar and a regular contributor to the Burlington Magazine, Artforum, and Times Literary Supplement.
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