The Arts Council Film Documentary Film Collection

Between 1953, and 1998 when it closed its film department, Arts Council England commissioned or participated in the production of 450 documentary films, which recorded all aspects of  - mainly contemporary British - art. The subject matter, lengths and formats of the films are as varied as they are eclectic. Moreover, because of the Council’s liberal attitude to sponsorship, and the creative freedom their commissions offered, they also attracted some of the best film-makers in the UK. The collection is thus a unique record of a partnership between the Arts Council, artists and film-makers.

The films’ subject matter provides a key resource for any historical study of both British and international art, and also many aspects of British documentary film- making.

They include artists such as Francis Bacon, Albarto Giacommetti, Stanley Spencer, Käthe Kollwitz, David Hockney, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Glaes Oldenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Bruce Nauman, Gilbert and George and Cindy Sherman. Also represented are writers and poets such as Carlo Levi, Simone de Beauvoir, Grazia Deledda, Basil Bunting, Roy Fisher, Lynton Kwesi Johnson and John Cooper Clark. In architecture – Frank Lloyd Wright, Robert Hughes on Gaudi, Art Deco and the Odeon cinemas, British design in Paris, British architecture in India.



Copyright 2007 Arts on Film Archive