"Museums, like theaters and libraries, are a means to freedom. Here, we can move out of our personal anxieties and disappointments into the vast and stable world of human creativity." ?Sister Wendy Beckett Sister Wendy Bec... more »kett comes to America for a spectacular tour that blends art, history, culture and storytelling into one delightful experience. Described as "a phenomenon" by The Washington Post and "a pop star" by The New York Times, Sister Wendy shares her contagious enthusiasm, eloquent descriptions, self-taught expertise and warm humor as she guides you through six of America?s greatest art museums. The Art Institute of Chicago Discover intriguing facts behind Grant Wood?s classic painting American Gothic, the brilliance of a gold ceremonial knife from Peru?s lost Chimu empire, and Marc Chagall?s stained glass epic America Windows. The Cleveland Museum of Art Explore rare Asian art and Medieval European pieces, as well as Rodin?s sculpture The Thinker, an elaborately detailed suit of armor, and Rousseau?s richly fantastic painting The Fight of a Tiger and a Buffalo. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas Share the museum?s carefully selected art collection, including Cézanne?s painting Man in a Blue Smock, the lacquered beauty of a Japanese wine flask, and Caravaggio?s The Cardsharps. Los Angeles County Museum of Art Enjoy the museum?s wonderfully diverse works, including David Hockney?s painting Mulholland Drive, a colorfully woven Chinese emperor?s robe, and examples of pre-Columbian sculpture. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Tour New York?s legendary museum and its vast art collection, including Velázquez?s stunning painting Juan de Pareja and a calligraphic page from the Koran. And join Sister Wendy to experience the heavenly beauty of The Cloisters. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Marvel at such masterpieces as Gauguin?s Polynesian painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, the intricate Wedgwood inlays of an antique piano, and Paul Revere?s silver Sons of Liberty Bowl. Special DVD features include: Access to the Sister Wendy?s American Collection Web site, featuring an interview with Sister Wendy, additional information on 18 selected works of art, and more; chapter search; English audiotrack; and subtitles. On one DVD5 disc. Region coding: All regions. Audio: Dolby stereo. Screen format: Widescreen (Anamorphic)« less
Sister Wendy's passion for art ignites it in others
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My local PBS station had a Sister Wendy "marathon" on New Year's Day, showing the entire American Collection; I was both captivated and inspired. Had museums been open, I would have dashed to San Francisco to take in some art. Also, the program made me want to visit museums she toured.In an interview with Bill Moyers (also available on video) that followed the American Collection, Oxford-educated Sister Wendy emphasized that her mission is to help people embrace art by making it accessible. (Even Moyers admitted to being intimidated by the thought that he might not evaluate a work of art correctly,i.e., according to how art critics see it.)Sister Wendy mentions in the Moyers interview that she possesses an immense library of scholarly works on art. She feels her in-depth study of these books justifies her definite opinions about art. Whether you agree or disagree with Sister Wendy's assessment of what a work of art is expressing, you won't be able to deny that her passion is inspiring.Sister Wendy's credibility was, for me, increased when Moyers asked her what she thought of Andres Serrano's "Piss-Christ," a work in which a replica of Christ was immersed in a container of urine. She didn't dismiss the work as something created merely to shock, rather she thought the artist meant to represent the irreverence with which most people treat Christ and his teachings. She qualified her judgment by stating that she considered it a rather mediocre work because it didn't challenge the viewer: people had an immediate and visceral reaction that didn't require consideration or time to form.Finally, in a society that seemingly hasn't moved beyond an adolescent attitude toward sex, Sister Wendy's perspective that human sexuality is a gift from God and an aspect of ourselves to be celebrated is refreshing."
Thank You, Sister Wendy!!
Bucky | Haunted Mansion, The Magic Kingdom | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sister Wendy Beckett has done for art appreciation and art history what the late Carl Sagan did for the science of astronomy: she has taken a subject that most people would like to know more about, but fear is beyond their ability to understand, and made it accessible and entertaining. She has wrested art from the hands of intellectuals and elitists and given it back to the people, to whom it has always rightfully belonged. Some people appear to resent this. The rest of us should stand up and cheer.
In this charming series, Sister Wendy visits six of the United States' most renowned art museums and shares with her viewers some of their masterpieces. Her opinions, sometimes whimsical, sometimes wistful and sometimes reverent, are delivered with great passion and enthusiasm. This open love of her subject matter is infectious and draws the viewer to her and to the art works she so clearly loves. This is what makes her so effective as a guide and teacher.
Sister Wendy also makes a wonderfully evocative use of language, at one point, during a discussion of Grant Wood's "American Gothic" she describes the woman's hair as having been "...scraped back in a bun." This captured the woman's hairstyle with such economy and vividness that I, in my mind's eye, could see her combing her hair into a repressed little bun. Except for that one tendril, which Sister Wendy also points out to her viewers.
Like all those who view a work of art, Sister Wendy brings her own, unique perspective to each work she has chosen to discuss. Nowhere is this more powerfully shown than in her discussion of the Kinbell's "An Exiled Emperor on Okinoshima." While most people would perceive the solitary figure on the Japanese screen as lonely and isolated, Sister Wendy, who spends most of her time alone in silent contemplation and prayer, at first sees a kindred spirit. This leads her to identify with the Emperor in ways most people would never dream of and she shares her unique perspective with us. And we are richer, not just for seeing the screen and hearing her interpretation, but also for having been given this tiny scrap of insight into a life most of us can't even imagine.
Through her books and television series, Sister Wendy has given us something she seems to greatly admire about the United States: Freedom. The freedom to look at a work of art and interpret and enjoy it through our own particular lens, our own perspective. By showing and telling us how she understands and appreciates art, Sister Wendy invites us to take the liberty to do likewise.
Thank you, Sister Wendy! "
Smart enough to know | Canada | 05/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Any half-decent or better University Art History class is sure to appreciate the perspectives Sister Wendy brings to these discs. Sister Wendy does a brillant job, as always, with the American Collection! You will be a better person for watching and understanding this collection."
G. A SENDEROFF | North Miami Beach, FL | 03/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you can get past the habit and listen, you have a really interesting and respectful open-minded art critic who is a nun, but we all look past that part! Wendy Beckett is an art scholar and I trust her implicitly. Her views are not only psychologically and philosophically enchanting but mesmerizing as well as intriguing. Looking at her open-mindedness to art and her appreciation of fine art is absolutely delightful and entertaining!
As an art aficionado who has spent time in most of these museums, she really posits true and genuine opinions and interpretations based on her own thoughts, without imposing her own private religiousity on you!
Bravo, sister Wendy!
[...]! It is a great box set! And no, she is NOT boring as other reviewers who just don't appreciate fine art have reviewed her with one star!"
Sister Wendy's American Collection
A. Kennedy | New Zealand | 10/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love Sister Wendy then there is no need for a review on this collection. She has a wonderful persona and opens up a knew understanding of art for those who know little about this world. Art becomes more than simply a famous piece of artwork or an ancient artifact etc.. because Sister Wendy gives you a different prespective from the inside out! Great work! About time you could get her on DVD!"