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American Visions

American Visions,” an eight-part series on American art written and narrated by Time magazine art critic Robert Hughes, is both an account of American life and a tribute to American art that will likely propel thousands of the not-yet-converted into museums and galleries, antiques shows and auction rooms to see (and inevitably shop) for themselves. Filmed in 100 locations around the country, covering everything from Quaker to Shaker, George Washington to Bierstadt, Remington to Warhol, and the skyscrapers of New York City, Hughes has applied his considerable wit and imagination to the problem of revealing how art records and preserves both points of view and ways of life. It is American history told through art, not merely a history of art. It offers a perspective that is refreshingly elevating and inclusive.

See Also:
The Shock of the New 

The Shock of the New

Shock of the New is a 1980 documentary series by Robert Hughes that was broadcast by the BBC in the United Kingdom and by PBS in the United States. It addressed the development of modern art since the Impressionists and was accompanied by a book of the same name; its combination of insight, wit and accessibility are still widely praised.  The eight programmes focused on these themes:

(1) “Art’s love affair with the machine”;
(2) “The powers that be” (covering the period 1914 to 1930s);
(3) “The landscape of pleasure”, 1870s to 1950s;
(4) “Trouble in utopia”, 1890s to 1960s;
(5) “The threshold of liberty”, 1880s to 1940s;
(6) “The view from the edge”, 1830s to 1970s;
(7) “Culture as nature”, 1910s to 1970;
(8) “The future that was”, 1840s to 1970s.