The Art of World War Two: A Culture Show Special

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Duration: 1 hour

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the Culture Show presents a special on the art of World War II. Despite being locked into a life-or-death struggle, wartime Britain saw an extraordinary explosion of art. From portraits to posters, cartoons to huge canvases, art was suddenly everywhere. Among the works were some of the most intense and immediate creations of the 20th century.

Presenter Alastair Sooke explores the often overlooked history of Britain's wartime renaissance. He meets the Blitz survivors, factory workers and Land Girls who became the subject of iconic paintings and talks to contemporary war artists about the challenges of creating art in conflict zones. Travelling from the shipyards of the Clyde to the concentration camps of northern Germany Alastair discovers how art bore witness, rising above propaganda to create an enduring, deeply humane record of the 'People's War' and laying the groundwork for our own understanding of what art should be and do.

Credits

Series Producer
Emily Kennedy
Presenter
Alastair Sooke
Director
Bill MacLeod
Producer
Bill MacLeod
Executive Producer
Janet Lee

Broadcasts

BBC Arts

BBC Arts

The best of British art and culture at your fingertips

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