THE ART OF MUSEUMS is not a classic documentary series about galleries displaying dusty old paintings. These films trace the turbulent biographies of each museum, from their survival of wars to their visions for the future. The museums have witnessed fierce battles and great triumphs. Their lives are full of intrigue, hope and celebration—moments inscribed in their histories. We tell these stories through a multitude of perspectives, from exclusive archive material, to interviews with museum directors and celebrities like Vivienne Westwood, Marina Abramović, Ólafur Elíasson and Wolfgang Joop and many more.
Our audience encounters some of the most powerful masterpieces of European cultural history—and experiences just how alive these museums are...
In the halls of world-famous museums, stars of the creative industry experience some of the world’s most iconic paintings. New ways of seeing emerge and the power of art is articulated in fresh, and often unexpected, ways.
In this eight-part documentary series we dig deep into the souls of eight museums and discover their unique spirits, turbulent histories and the challenges they face in a fast-changing digitized world.
We do this through the eyes and hearts of renowned creatives. Celebrities like Vivienne Westwood, Marina Abramovic and Karl Ove Knausgaard explore artists from Caravaggio to Kandinsky, from Gentileschi to Goya, showing us how just how relevant and important their artworks continue to be, both to themselves and within the public imagination. Each episode is dedicated to a particular museum:
• Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York | Julie Mehretu
• Musée d‘Orsay | Paris | Sasha Waltz
• Uffizi Gallery | Florence
• Museo del Prado | Madrid | Joyce DiDonato
• Rijksmuseum | Amsterdam | Erwin Olaf
• Nationalgalerie | Berlin
• Kunsthistorisches Museum | Vienna | Vivienne Westwood
• Munch Museum | Oslo | Karl Ove Knausgård
Each museum has its own character. It has a spirit, a biography, a challenge, a mission for the future. Some are rebellious, others are conservative, a few are even brash. Each will be introduced by an internationally renowned guest, be it an artist, fashion designer, best-selling author or opera singer.
In Vienna, for example, activist and fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood guides us through the Kunsthistorisches Museum, encountering artworks that resonate with her own outspoken career, exploring poignant themes like social justice and female empowerment. Over in New York, artist Julie Mehretu brings us into her studio to document the creation of a new painting, before we accompany her to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, a gallery space just as radical as the artist herself. Back in Berlin, we explore the unique life of the Alte Nationalgalerie, a space within which the cultural heritage of both East and West meet. The Rijksmuseum embodies the pride of the Dutch nation, and comes with a modern perspective. The institution is pushing the boundaries of traditional museum curation by exploring the potential of digital art collections. Acclaimed Vogue photographer Erwin Olaf discusses his lifelong relationship with the Rijksmuseum, and reflects on its ongoing influence in his own work.
To respond to the burgeoning demand for online art, we have created purpose built digital art laboratory—a space with dozens of screens that support large-scale projections and allow us to enlarge high-resolution copies of the paintings. Here, our expert at historian Dr. Matt Lodder will contexualize the artworks, whilst interviews with famous creatives such as Marina Abramovic, Ólafur Elíasson, Norman Foster and many more add depth and emotion to our detailed analysis of the artworks.
Every painting is a window into our hosts’ own creative practice, and every episode expresses a particular museum’s unique spirit in an intimate yet cinematic style. Enhanced by our multi-perspective approach to storytelling, THE ART OF MUSEUMS creates a unique experience of some of the world’s most famous pieces of art and the museums that house them.