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Film ID  ACE001
Title  Artists Must Live
Date  1953
Director  John Read
Production Company  BBC Television
Synopsis  The role of the artist in 20th century Britain, the problems faced by artists, (particularly those whose work is less mainstream), and the opportunities offered by sponsors such as the Arts Council and the British Council and commercial companies; work featured is by Keith Vaughan (1912-1976), Reg Butler (1913-1981), Henry Moore (1898-1986), Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), and others.
Minutes  28 min
Full synopsis  ACE001.2 (00:00:00 - 00:10:55)
An examination of the role of the artist in Britain today, finding a place in society and earning a living, particularly problematic for painters and sculptors “whose work seems strange and unacceptable”. Sculptures by Jacob Epstein, a man who has had to fight for public recognition. Basil Taylor at the Tate Gallery, looking at J M W Turner’s Interior at Petworth (aka Study for the Sack of a Great House, c.1830). Taylor touring Petworth; pointing out that it is filled with the modern art of its time (including Turner’s The Thames at Eton (aka Eton College from the River, c.1808)), thus supporting the artists of the day. Shots of country houses. Industrial town. London galleries. Rodrigo Moynihan, painting portrait. The Royal Academy. Artists bringing in work for the summer show. Selection Committee. People looking at paintings. John Jones, student at the Slade School of Fine Art. Jones joining one of the classes. Jones trying to find lodgings, near World’s End, Chelsea. Framing a painting. Touring art dealers’ premises. Sales of work by unknown artists are not particularly profitable. Paintings by Keith Vaughan. Vaughan at work in his studio. Even being well known doesn’t guarantee a good living. John Piper who works in a variety of styles and media; examples of his paintings and his theatrical models.

ACE001.3 (00:10:55 - 00:19:15)
Advertising posters commissioned from contemporary artists by the Post Office, the London Transport Executive, etc. Work at the Edinburgh Tapestry Company, also commissioners of designs by artists. Taylor visits sculptor, Reg Butler, who is optimistic about the chance for a young artist to find a patron, though he recognises that artists must be prepared to earn their living through other activities. Taylor with Peter Mayer, art buyer, on the benefits of owning art works. Paintings from Mayer’s collection. Patrick Heron at work. Private patronage must be augmented by money from business, industry, public institutions, or the state. The Arts Council of Great Britain. People looking at paintings in the AGCB collection. Loading paintings to send to an exhibition. The Council’s executive; posters for some of the exhibitions arranged by the ACGB. The Mexican show at the Tate Gallery. Packing exhibits at the British Council before sending them abroad. Tate Gallery. A hotel in Scarborough, with an art collection put together by its owner, Tom Laughton. Taylor discusses the response to contemporary pictures with Laughton. The S.S. Oronsay, one of the liners for which artists like Edward Borden and Douglas Allen were commissioned to design decorative motifs.

ACE001.4 (00:19:15 - 00:28:17)
The Time-Life offices in Bond Street, London, where painters, sculptors and designers working under Sir Hugh Casson, collaborated directly with the architect. Details of design and decoration, including sculptures by Henry Moore. A family group by Moore made for a school in Hertfordshire. Teacher looking at mural with children. Another mural in a school hall. Children in art class. Corsham Court. Clifford Ellis, principal of the Bath academy, who worked on one of the Hertfordshire murals. Children weaving. Ellis believes that training should provide a central core education which will enable him to face the outside world; VO art class with teacher assisting student sculptors. Students practising a variety of techniques, from metal-working to print-making. William Scott and Kenneth Armitage teaching. Artist’s studio. Modern technology. New buildings. Sculptures entered into a competition for a monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner. The problem of patronage is the problem of understanding the shape of oMadonna and Childur time. Epstein’s (1950-1952) at the Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, Cavendish Square, commissioned by the Church. Graham Sutherland’s The Crucifixion (1946) at St Matthew’s, Northampton. Madonna and Child (1944) by Henry Moore in same church. Ivan Hitchins working on mural, “a sign that a patron has had the vision to command a major work and that the artist has had the courage to respond”. Credits.

Full credits  The British Film Institute presents ARTISTS MUST LIVE, A B.B.C. TELEVISION FILM. Made in association with The Arts Council of Great Britain. Narrator Basil Taylor; Camera A.A.Englander; Sound Recordist Vernon Phipps; Production Manager Kenneth Rick; Directed by John Read; Produced by John Elliot.
Watch segments  ACE001.2 (00:00:00 - 00:10:55)
ACE001.3 (00:10:55 - 00:19:15)
ACE001.4 (00:19:15 - 00:28:17)
Watch movie 

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