Goodbye art history A-level, you served the elite well

This autumn yet another new edition of EH Gombrich’s classic 1950 book The Story of Art – the “Luxury” edition – will be out in time for Christmas. Meanwhile the BBC is hard at work on Civilisations, an epic attempt to regain the factual television heights of Kenneth Clark’s 1969 series Civilisation. Gombrich and Clark were outstanding scholars and thinkers in the academic discipline of art history, which means the historical study of the styles and meanings of art. They were also great public intellectuals who could share the subtleties…

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