Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilisation – Tate Britain

Kenneth Clark: Looking for CivilisationImage courtesy of Tate Britain

Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilisation – Tate Britain

This exhibition explores the impact of art historian, public servant and broadcaster Kenneth Clark (1903–1983), widely seen as one of the most influential figures in British art of the twentieth century. The exhibition examines Clark’s role as a patron and collector, art historian, public servant and broadcaster, and celebrates his contribution to bringing art in the twentieth century to a more popular audience.

Kenneth Clark: Looking for CivilisationJohn Piper, Seaton Delaval, 1941

The exhibition focuses predominantly on Clark’s activities in the 1930s and 1940s when he was a leading supporter and promoter of contemporary British art and artists. With the outbreak of war in 1939, Clark’s private patronage became a state project when he instigated the War Artists Advisory Committee to employ artists to record the war. Through the commissioning of such iconic works as Moore’s Shelter Drawings and Sutherland’s and Piper’s images of the Blitz he ensured that the neo-Romantic spirit that those artists’ work embodied became the dominant art of the period.

Kenneth Clark: Looking for CivilisationJohn Constable, Sketch for “Hadleigh Castle”, 1828-9

Examining his multifaceted role in the art world from patron and collector to art historian, as well as his role as a public servant and broadcaster, the exhibition will tell the story of Clark’s life through his diverse and cherished collection.

more. www.tate.org.uk

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