January 24, 2010


BBC Radio 4
– Series of BBC Radio 4 programmes in which antiquarian book dealer Rick Gekoski tells the stories that lie behind five very different missing works of art.

Graham Sutherland’s portrait of Winston Churchill, commissioned by both Houses of Parliament as a tribute to Churchill on the occasion of his 80th birthday, was destroyed after his death by his wife because she hated it so much. Photographs taken before its demise show the Prime Minister hunched with age and dark in mood. A detailed study by the artist for the destroyed painting still hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

Rick tells the story behind this lost portrait and asks if the rights of an owner override those of the public, and if the Churchills had the moral right to destroy it.

National WWI Museum and Memorial, Kansas City

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Click here to listen to the programme.

Click here to read the Churchill Centre response to this article.

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4. Broadcast on:BBC Radio 4, 3:45pm Friday 22nd January 2010 Duration: 15 minutes Available until: 4:02pm Friday 29th January 2010

 

©BBC Radio 4

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