• 19 June 2018

In the new issue of British Art Studies, published earlier this month, Michael Clegg examines the coverage of the visual arts by Monitor, the pioneer arts magazine series broadcast by the BBC between 1958 and 1965 in his article "The Art Game".

Featuring films courtesy of the BBC and the BFI, the article explores Monitor’s place in the evolution of approaches to visual art on British television and assesses Monitor’s wider impact on the “art support system” (in Margaret Garlake’s phrase) of the late 1950s and 1960s. Through readings of three Monitor films (“Scottish Painters”, about Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde, “George Chapman: Painter in Wales”, and “Private View”) it argues, firstly, that a new emphasis on story or parable by programme makers came at the expense of engagement with critical debate of the kind maintained by print media and radio, and, secondly, that by the turn of the 1960s television was shaping the approach of commercial galleries whilst simultaneously masking its institutional power to viewers in favour of a disinterested, everyman pose.

To explore the full article please click here.