Old Masters, New Audiences
Art historian, writer, dealer, presenter of the BBC4 series “Britain’s Lost Masterpieces”, researcher for the BBC1 art program “Fake or Fortune?”
The art historian and broadcaster Dr Bendor Grosvenor reflects on his experiences of making Old Master paintings relevant, and appealing, to new audiences. He challenges the conventional wisdom that Old Masters are suffering a long term decline in the minds of both art buyers and museum vistors. And he proposes a number of simple steps to make sure Old Masters continue to be popular for the next generation of museum visitors.
About Bendor Grosvenor
With a degree in English history and a PhD on ‘The Politics of Foreign Policy: Lord Derby and the Eastern Crisis, 1875-8,’ Grosvenor started his career in politics, as adviser to several members of parliament in the UK. He then switched careers, and from 2005 until 2014 Grosvenor worked in the London art trade. He now has his own company, specializing in establishing the authenticity of paintings by Old Masters. Grosvenor has made a number of art historical discoveries. For example, most recently, in 2017 he discovered the ‘lost portrait’ of George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham at Pollok House, Glasgow, Scotland. The painting had been thought to be a copy of a painting by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens that had been lost for nearly 400 years, but after restoration it was found to be the original by Rubens. Additionally, Grosvenor is a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council on National Records and Archives, and of the Lord Chancellor’s Forum for Historical Manuscripts and Academic Research.
Grosvenor often can be seen on British television shows. From 2011 until 2016, he appeared in the BBC1 series Fake or Fortune, the BBC’s highest-rated fine art program. As of last year, he presents the BBC4 series Britain’s Lost Masterpieces with art historian Jacky Klein.