Alongside our previously announced season on children’s literature, BBC Four continues to broadcast a range of fresh, surprising and original arts programmes - offering unparalleled depth and expertise that you just won’t find anywhere else on British television.Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four
Date: 18.05.2016 Last updated: 15.06.2016 at 13.36
BBC Four today announces a raft of bold and original new arts commissions to be shown in the coming months, from art dealer Dr Bendor Grosvenor and art historian Jacky Klein delving deep into the storerooms of museums around the country to reveal some of the nation’s forgotten art to a behind the scenes look at the world of collecting and a celebration of the joy of making things by hand.
Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor of BBC Four, says: “Alongside our previously announced season on children’s literature, BBC Four continues to broadcast a range of fresh, surprising and original arts programmes - offering unparalleled depth and expertise that you just won’t find anywhere else on British television.
“Among the highlights, Dr Bendor Grosvenor and Jacky Klein restore forgotten art works for the nation, and Janina Ramirez delves into the incredible story behind a 600-year-old book, which was hidden away for over half a century. Also on the channel, we’re celebrating the explosion of crafts across the UK with Martha Kearney, and going behind the scenes of the international art market, in what promises to be an exciting summer of viewing.”
Leading art detective Dr Bendor Grosvenor and art historian Jacky Klein track down lost and hidden public treasures from local museums and galleries all across Britain, and restore them for the nation in Britain's Lost Masterpieces (w/t), in a new collaboration with Art UK.
BBC Four takes us behind the scenes in the world of art collecting, and celebrates one of the art world’s most influential collectors in two new programmes. The Banker's Guide To The Art Market is a revealing, wry and sometimes surprising look behind closed doors. Propelled by the newly rich of the financial world, London's art market has soared to historic highs. The film deconstructs this extraordinary phenomenon, talking to collectors, dealers and gallerists to tell all. BBC Four is also broadcasting a film about the colourful collector Peggy Guggenheim, who amassed one of the most important collections of modern art, now enshrined in her Venetian palazzo.
Other new content coming up on the channel this summer includes Dr Janina Ramirez revealing the extraordinary story of Julian of Norwich and how her book, Revelations Of Divine Love - the first book written in English by a woman - survived 600 years of neglect and suppression before its rediscovery in the archives of the British Museum; Martha Kearney follows ordinary people across the country experiencing the joy of making things by hand in MAKE! Craft Britain; and BBC Four dedicates a night to celebrating the trail-blazing career of Antonia Bird, who died in 2013, the first British woman to direct a Hollywood movie.
Finally, BBC Four is marking the Queen's 90th birthday year with a new series following the making of four beautiful objects, handcrafted by companies with a Royal Warrant, in Handmade: By Royal Appointment.
Full programme details
Britain's Lost Masterpieces (W/T)
In Britain's Lost Masterpieces (W/T) historian and art dealer Dr Bendor Grosvenor and art historian Jacky Klein celebrate the UK’s local art treasures as they track down lost and hidden paintings from local museums and galleries across Britain.
Scouring public museums and great houses around the country, they will explore the history of some of our most incredible collections as they delve deep into vaults and storerooms to discover hidden secrets about some of the works. Criss-crossing the country, venturing far and wide, they will solve the mysteries of the paintings and have them painstakingly restored, before hanging them back in their museums, in pride of place, for the nation to enjoy.
Britain's Lost Masterpieces (W/T) (3x60') was commissioned by Mark Bell for BBC Four and the BBC executive producer is Emma Cahusac. It is produced and directed by Spike Geilinger and executive produced by Brendan Hughes and Harry Bell for Tern TV. In partnership with Art UK.
The Banker's Guide To The Art Market
Step inside a world of high art, low cunning and prices beyond your wildest imaginings. The Banker's Guide To The Art Market is a revealing, wry and rare look behind doors that are closed to most of us. Propelled by the newly rich of the financial world, London's art market has soared to historic highs.
The film deconstructs this extraordinary phenomenon and looks back over a century of the market’s twists and turns to try to explain it, talking to outspoken collector Jeffrey Archer - 'I couldn’t afford to buy my own pictures’ - maverick dealer Kenny Schacter - 'when money is introduced it brings out the worst in people' - and gallerist Nicholas Logsdail - 'You'll never go wrong, if you buy from a good gallery'. We don’t think you will look at a painting in quite the same way again…
The Banker's Guide To The Art Market (1x60) was produced for the BBC by Oxford Film and Television. The commissioner is Mark Bell for the BBC.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
A colourful character who was not only ahead of her time but helped to define it, Peggy Guggenheim was an heiress to her family fortune who became a central figure in the modern art movement. As she moved through the cultural upheaval of the 20th century, she collected not only art, but artists. Her colourful personal history included such figures as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, as well as countless others. While fighting through personal tragedy, she maintained her vision to build one of the most important collections of modern art, now enshrined in her Venetian palazzo.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict is made byDakota Group Ltd, Fischio Films, Submarine Entertainment, in association with Bob & Co Present, a film by Lisa Immordino Vreeland. A BBC Four Acquisition. The BBC executive producer is Carol Sennett.
MAKE! Craft Britain
“The need to create is very strong in us all.” So says Kate Kearney as her daughter and presenter of the programme, Martha Kearney, embarks on a quest to understand the power of craft in Britain.
A joyful celebration of craft, MAKE! Craft Britain follows ordinary people across the country having a go at a new craft skill with viewers at home also encouraged to get in on the action with easy-to-follow ‘how to’ demonstrations.
The programme follows two craft workshops. On the edge of the Yorkshire moors, embroiderer Marna Lunt welcomes a mixed group of students to her two-day course making embroidered lampshades. Ex-Policeman Tony is a complete beginner, while textiles student Catherine has been sewing all her life.
Meanwhile, in London, six complete beginners take up their scalpels for a crash course in paper-cutting. Teacher/practitioner Christine Green explains the long heritage of this new craft craze, teaches them the basics of designing, cutting and finishing, and gets them going with making 3-D cards. Richard and Mark draw inspiration from their local park, Crystal Palace, while newlyweds Eri and Jamie make cards that celebrate their one year ‘Paper’ anniversary.
In both workshops we see how the simple pleasure of crafting and the discovery of a hidden creative talent gives rise to an enormous sense of well-being and pride in each student.
Make! is part of the BBC’s ‘Get Creative’ season, and the Get Creative website asked the nation’s crafters to send in images of their handmade crafts. A beautiful showcase of these is seen throughout the programme. BBC commissioning editors are Clare Paterson and Owen Courtney. The executive producer for RDF is Teresa Watkins.
Julian Of Norwich
Dr Janina Ramirez explores the extraordinary story of Julian of Norwich and how her book Revelations of Divine Love survived 600 years of neglect and suppression before its chance rediscovery in the archives of the British Museum.
Julian of Norwich was the first woman to write a book in English, in 1373. It was called Revelations of Divine Love, and in it, the self-taught anchoress proposed a revolutionary idea. She suggested that God was unconditionally loving, ever forgiving, ever patient, and ever accepting of the frailty of the human condition.
This was a message that was completely at odds with the fire and brimstone teachings of the Church, and her radical message and her book were suppressed for over 600 years.
This is the extraordinary story of its preservation by a determined set of women over the centuries, its survival against all the odds, and its eventual re-discovery - by another woman.
1x60 from Tin Can Island Limited, the BBC executive producer is Emma Cahusac and Mark Bell is the commissioner.
Antonia Bird: From EastEnders To Hollywood
This biographical documentary celebrates the trail-blazing career of Antonia Bird, the first British woman to direct a Hollywood movie, who died in 2013. It explores her fight to get her voice heard, to break through the barriers against her gender and her politics, and to bring a radical edge to popular drama. It reveals the secrets behind her greatest films - Safe, Priest, Face, Ravenous, Care, Rehab, The Hamburg Cell - through intimate interviews with many of her closest collaborators, including Robert Carlyle, Kate Hardie, Steven Mackintosh, Mark Cousins and Irvine Welsh.
Directed, filmed and edited by Susan Kemp, it is produced by Mary Bell and Adam Dawtrey. It has been commissioned and executive produced for the BBC by Mark Bell.
Antonia Bird: From EastEnders To Hollywood is part of a tribute night to the director on BBC Four on the evening of 22 May, which includes another chance to see one of the most famous episodes of EastEnders, featuring Den and Angie, first broadcast on 16 October 1986, and directed by Antonia Bird, in addition to Care, a Bafta-winning drama about a young man struggling to piece his life together after years of abuse in a children's home.
Handmade: By Royal Appointment
Following on from last year's acclaimed slow TV series, Handmade, and the recent Handmade On The Silk Road, BBC Four is marking the Queen's 90th birthday year with a new four-part series following the making of four beautiful objects, handcrafted by companies with a Royal Warrant, in Handmade: By Royal Appointment.
In Stoke, we follow the painstaking process behind the making of a Wedgwood vase, hearing from potters and craftspeople who have perfected their skills over decades, and discover how this quintessentially British brand is reinventing itself for the 21st century. In London, we go behind the doors of bespoke shoemakers John Lobb, the family business whose traditions have changed little in five generations.
Travelling between workshops in Hamburg and London, the film about Steinway & Co lifts the lid on the making of a grand piano, ending with renowned pianist Lang Lang performing at the Royal Albert Hall. The final film in the series profiles silversmith Simon Benney, holder of three Royal Warrants, who continues the legacy of his father Gerald Benney, creating beautiful jewellery and exquisite silverware.
Handmade: By Royal Appointment is a 4x30 series for BBC Four. The executive producer for the BBC is Richard Bright and the series was commissioned by Mark Bell.
** Note **
This page was updated on 15 June 2016 to reflect revised programme information.