Art

An Elegant Epitaph for Civilisation

I have been watching Civilisation, Kenneth Clark’s elegant history of Western culture in the television series first shown in 1969. As the final credits rolled and Lord Clark in his private library the size of a ballroom walked out of shot (patting the top of a Henry Moore on the table as if it were a favourite dog) I felt that the program was itself an epitaph for the world and the values it portrayed. Certainly, television would never again give time to such a civilised view of what used to be thought of as our Western heritage, before gender,…

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