Great Museums A World of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What makes a masterpiece? In this visually stunning high definition production, A World of Art, the magnificence of America’s premier art museum lights up the screen. One of the architectural glories of New York, the Met stretches 1000 feet along Fifth Avenue. Inside is a dazzling three dimensional encyclopedia of world art, radiating 5,000 years of artistic history. Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was built on the shoulders of capitalism J.P. Morgan, Havemeyer, Lehman, Rockefeller, and Annenberg are just a few of the names behind the Met’s collections. Met is the largest art museum in the United States with among the most significant art collections. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile, is by area one of the world’s largest art galleries. Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st century Rome through modern American design, are permanently installed in the Met’s galleries.

Devil’s Bible

Allegedly made from the skins of 160 donkeys, the Codex Gigas is the world’s largest and most mysterious medieval manuscript. According to legend, the cursed text sprang from a doomed monk’s pact with the Devil. Experts attempt to uncover its secrets. For the first time ever, a team of scholars and scientists embark on a quest to unravel the secrets of the Codex Gigas, or Devil’s Bible. Enshrouded in mystery and steeped in dark history, superstition and fear has clouded this medieval manuscript for centuries. Evidence of Lucifer’s hand seems to pervade the tome, including darkened pages, magic spells, and a full page portrait of the Devil. Forensic document experts team up to investigate the ancient Codex safely locked away in Sweden’s National Library. With ultra-violet fluorescence imaging, hand writing analysis and a recreation of the text itself, they’ll attempt to uncover the truth of the Devil’s Bible.

Art of Germany Episode 1 A Divided Land

Andrew Graham-Dixon begins his exploration of German art by looking at the rich and often neglected art of the German middle ages and Renaissance. He visits the towering cathedral of Cologne, a place which encapsulates the varied and often contradictory character of German art. In Munch he gets to grips with the earliest paintings of the Northern Renaissance, the woodcuts of Albrecht Durer and the cosmic visions of the painter Albrecht Altdorfer. Andrew also embarks on a tour of the Bavarian countryside, discovering some of the little known treasures of German limewood sculpture.

Great Museums Trial By Fire The New York City Fire Museum

Housed in a 1904 firehouse the former home of Engine 30 this museum chronicles the history of firefighting from colonial times to the present, including the heroic efforts of firefighters on September 11, 2001. The museum features horse and hand-drawn fire carriages, fire buckets and parade hats and modern day equipment. Firefighters, many of whom were involved in the World Trade Center tragedy, serve as the museum’s volunteers.

Vatican Hidden World

To mark the Papal visit to the UK, a camera crew have spent a year filming a world that few have ever seen. With unprecedented access to the Vatican and the people who live and work there, this is a unique profile of the heart of the Catholic Church and the world’s smallest Sovereign State. Archivists reveal the Vatican’s secrets, including the signed testimony of Galileo recorded by the Inquisition. A Cardinal journeys deep below St Peter’s Basilica to inspect the site claimed to be tomb of the Saint himself, and curators share a private viewing of Michelangelo’s extraordinary decoration of the Sistine Chapel.

Great Artists with Tim Marlow Episode 2 Leonardo

A major 14 part television series in which art historian Tim Marlow takes a fresh look at the most important artworks of some of the greatest artists in history. Shot on location in over 50 galleries, museums, churches and palaces throughout Europe and the United States, this series is a comprehensive survey of the history of Western art. Both intelligent and informative, the series aims to provide an uncomplicated and accessible analysis of the works and artists featured including Giotto, Michelangelo and Raphael

The Genius of Beethoven Episode 3 Faith and Fury

A three part drama documentary series about Ludwig van Beethoven presented by conductor Charles Hazlewood. It takes eyewitness accounts of the composer’s tragic life and weaves them into analysis of his groundbreaking music. Faith and Fury – Beethoven again revolutionises musical composition with works such as the Hammerklavier Sonata, the Missa Solemnis, the 9th Symphony and the baffling late string quartets all composed when he was profoundly deaf.

Great Museums American Soul The DuSable Museum of African-American History

Founded in 1961, the DuSable is one of the first African-American museums in the U.S. It follows African-American history from its beginning on the shores of Africa to a celebration of African-American achievements including those of Bessie Coleman, the nations first black female aviator; World War II Tuskegee airmen; Major Robert Lawrence, the nation’s first black astronaut; and Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor. The museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of the history and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent. Weaving themes of art, history, and diversity, it also tells us Whats American about Americans? and What Shall I Tell My Children who are Black?

Hastings 1066 Tapestry of a Battle

The great battle fought near the English seaside town of Hastings on October 14th 1066 was perhaps the most significant in England’s history. This documentary features atmospheric original reconstruction and reenactment footage, plus dramatised eye witness accounts. The very latest 3D computer mapping techniques combine with delightful images from the remarkable Bayeux Tapestry to tell the dramatic story of a battle which remains one of the most famous in military history.

Art of Germany Episode 2 Dream And Machine

Andrew Graham-Dixon continues his exploration of German art by looking at the tumultuous 19th century and early 20th century, and how artists were at the forefront of Germany’s drive to become a single nation. Andrew travels to the birthplace of Caspar David Friedrich, the most influential of the German Romantics, to discover how the Baltic coast impacted on his mysterious paintings of the German landscape. He also visits Berlin and explores the art of the powerful Prussian state, which would spearhead the unification of Germany in 1871.

Great Museums Triumph of the Spirit The National D-Day Museum

Now called The National World War Two Museum, this New Orleans-based museum talks about war in human terms and celebrates the American spirit through the personal stories and artifacts of the American men and women who sacrificed and prevailed in an epic struggle against tyranny. One of the museum’s many moving belongings is a soldier’s Christmas letter to “my dear little boys,” a father struggles to explain war to his young children.

Your Paintings: A Culture Show Special

For years, thousands of paintings owned by the British public have been hidden away and inaccessible, until now. Thanks to the work of the Your Paintings project, over 200,000 works in our national collections have been painstakingly uncovered, photographed and put online, some for the very first time, allowing art experts and amateur sleuths alike to make connections and discoveries that wouldn’t have been possible before. Alastair Sooke teams up with art detective Dr. Bendor Grosvenor to unearth some hidden gems and find out what the paintings say about British society.

Great Artists with Tim Marlow Episode 4 Michelangelo

A major 14 part television series in which art historian Tim Marlow takes a fresh look at the most important artworks of some of the greatest artists in history. Shot on location in over 50 galleries, museums, churches and palaces throughout Europe and the United States, this series is a comprehensive survey of the history of Western art. Both intelligent and informative, the series aims to provide an uncomplicated and accessible analysis of the works and artists featured including Bruegal, Durer, El Greco, Giotto, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Gogh, Velazquez & Vermeer.

The Genius of Mozart Episode 1 A Miracle of Nature

Charles Hazelwood looks at Mozart’s extraordinary life and music. Miracle of Nature-In this first programme Charles Hazlewood challenges the accepted belief that Mozart was born a genius, and thus became almost an immortal being. How could Mozart have touched our universal pulse without drawing from the turmoil of every day life himself? And who witnessed this turmoil first hand?

Impressionism Revenge of the Nice

Matthew Collings has a wonderfully simple and funny way of making you understand the when, where, why and how of important is art so this programme will get your head around impressionism in a couple of hours. Matthew Collings will reappraise the Impressionists. The four stars are Courbet, Manet, Monet and Cezanne. In two hours their stories and their art will intertwine. Matt will unpack the principles of Impressionism the strength of color, the flatness, the patterning and the way in which ordinary life is pictured with startling truth and argue that this is the best thing that has ever happened in modern art.

Art of Germany Episode 3 In the Shadow of Hitler

Andrew Graham-Dixon concludes his exploration of German art by investigating the dark and difficult times of the 20th century. Dominating the landscape is the figure of Adolf Hitler-failed artist, would-be architect and obsessed with the aesthetics of his 1,000 year Reich. After the war the shadow of the Third Reich persisted, Germany remained divided and traumatised. How would artists deal with a past that everybody wanted to forget? From the age of the Bauhaus to the post-war painters and the conceptual artist Joseph Beuys is a long strange journey, but the signs are there that art has a place at the heart of the new reunited Germany.

Guilty Pleasures Luxury in Ancient Greece

Luxury isn’t always a question of the expensive and beautiful for the rich and powerful, it’s always been much more and more important than that. The story of luxury is about an idea that touches on democracy and patriotism on social harmony and epic courage and even on the divine. Because it is so important there has always been more than one definition of what luxury actually is. One thing all can agree on is that luxury is a rare thing, it divides society into the haves and have nots. Host Cambridge University academic Dr Michael Scott asks the question “Do we love luxury or hate it or both?” He presents the view that the best way to understand today’s anxious response toward luxury is to think about how it operated in the past and to understand how that past continues to impact society today. Episode Luxury in Ancient Greece – follows the debate about luxury which convulsed ancient Greece from the beginning of the classical era. In Athens, it explores the role of luxury in the beginnings of democracy – how certain kinds of luxury came to be forbidden and others embraced. A simple luxury like meat could unite the democracy, and yet a taste for fish could divide it. Some luxuries were associated with effeminacy and foreigners, others with the very idea of democracy.

Great Artists with Tim Marlow Episode 5 Raphael

A major 14 part television series in which art historian Tim Marlow takes a fresh look at the most important artworks of some of the greatest artists in history. Shot on location in over 50 galleries, museums, churches and palaces throughout Europe and the United States, this series is a comprehensive survey of the history of Western art. Both intelligent and informative, the series aims to provide an uncomplicated and accessible analysis of the works and artists featured including Giotto, Michelangelo and Raphael

The Genius of Mozart Episode 2 A Passion For The Stage

Charles Hazelwood looks at Mozart’s extraordinary life and music. A Passion for the Stage – Charles Hazlewood examines three of Mozart’s greatest operas, and shows how The Magic Flute. Idomeneo, and The Marriage of Figaro revolutionised the musical theatre. The first great phase of Mozart’s brief life was that of the traveling child prodigy gifted as a performer and writer of music who grew into the genius who, working within the restrictions of his time, began to rewrite the musical rules. But there was another facet to Mozart the adult thinker aware of the bigger picture, passionately attached to the progressive values of the Enlightenment impressively well read, a speaker of most European languages (even a little English), an Austrian Catholic, a Freemason and above all a composer at the height of his formidable powers, determined to succeed in the most difficult and lucrative area of all – Opera.

Japan in Colour The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn

In 1908, the French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn launched one of the most ambitious projects in the history of photography. A pacifist, internationalist and utopian idealist, Kahn decided to use his private fortune to improve understanding between the nations of the world. To this end, he created what he called his Archive of the Planet. For the next two decades, he dispatched professional photographers to document the everyday lives of people in more than 50 countries all around the world. Kahn’s wealth enabled him to supply his photographers with the most advanced camera technology available.

Art of Spain Episode 1 The Moorish South

This series celebrates the astonishing influence of Spain on European art. Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon immerses himself in true Spanish culture and meets the people who live and work with this artistic legacy. Episode 1 The Moorish South – In an exploration of Moorish Spain, he looks at Muslim political and cultural influence as he travels from Cordoba to Granada, seeing classic buildings such as the Great Mosque in Cordoba, the Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada. He also shows how the Moors introduced new foods including citrus fruits, coffee and spices to Spain.

Guilty Pleasures Luxury in the Middle Ages

Luxury isn’t always a question of the expensive and beautiful for the rich and powerful, it’s always been much more and more important than that. The story of luxury is about an idea that touches on democracy and patriotism on social harmony and epic courage and even on the divine. Because it is so important there has always been more than one definition of what luxury actually is. One thing all can agree on is that luxury is a rare thing, it divides society into the haves and have nots. Host Cambridge University academic Dr Michael Scott asks the question “Do we love luxury or hate it or both?” He presents the view that the best way to understand today’s anxious response toward luxury is to think about how it operated in the past and to understand how that past continues to impact society today. Episode Luxury in the Middle Ages – follows the clash between luxury and Christianity which convulsed medieval Europe. Luxury was a roadblock on the road to heaven, so the church was quick to condemn the jewellery and gorgeous weapons of the early medieval world. Yet the church also had its own form of luxury, in the form of manuscripts designed to do the work of God through astonishment and display. And to some extent it worked, as by 1200 medieval boys’ toys like warhorses and tournaments were suffused with Christian ideas of chivalry and gentility. But trade growth brought new luxuries to Europe, condemned in turn by the church, like exotic spices from the East, spicy food led to spicy conduct and to the sin of lechery, said the preachers. But soon the Black Death paradoxically liberated luxury from the church by initiating a new world of relative luxury and consumerism, the luxury world we inhabit today.

Great Artists with Tim Marlow Episode 6 Titian

A major 14 part television series in which art historian Tim Marlow takes a fresh look at the most important artworks of some of the greatest artists in history. Shot on location in over 50 galleries, museums, churches and palaces throughout Europe and the United States, this series is a comprehensive survey of the history of Western art. Both intelligent and informative, the series aims to provide an uncomplicated and accessible analysis of the works and artists featured including Giotto, Michelangelo and Raphael