Books and Ideas at Montalto
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Simon Schama is a familiar figure on the BBC as well as a professor at Columbia University, and he’s produced multi-volume histories of Britain, documentaries with momentous names like The American Future and a TV series called Simon Schama’s Power of Art. He's a heavyweight scholar, best known for in-depth works on French history, Jewish history, art history and Dutch history. But he’s also a writer of great versatility who has concerned himself – through his columns for the New Yorker and the Financial Times – with a dizzying array of topics, from poetry and baseball to Tom Waits and ice-cream.
At Montalto, in conversation with David Hansen, he draws from his new BBC series, Civilisations – which explores the origins of human creativity, and its universal importance – and from … well, millenia of artworks and ideas.
Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. His award-winning books, translated into fifteen languages, include Citizens, Landscape and Memory, Rembrandt's Eyes, A History of Britain, The Power of Art, Rough Crossings, The American Future, The Face of Britain and The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE - 1492).
David Hansen has worked as a regional gallery director, a State museum curator and an art auction house researcher and specialist; in 2014 he was appointed Associate Professor at the Centre for Art History and Art Theory at the Australian National University.
With over 35 years’ experience in the visual arts and museums sector, Dr Hansen has curated more than 80 exhibitions, while his writings on art have been widely published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, exhibition catalogues and books. The catalogue of his 2017 National Portrait Gallery exhibition Dempsey’s People won the 2018 William M.B. Berger Prize for British Art History.