Inspired by Civilization, Kenneth Clark’s landmark 1969 series about Western art, the series is filmed on six continents: Africa, Asia, Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring islands in the South Pacific Ocean), Europe and North and South America. Using state-of-the-art drone and camera movement technology, as well as macro photography, the series explores cultural landmarks such as the great mosques of Istanbul, the ancient cities of Mesoamerica, the Buddhist caves of Ajanta in India, and the funeral site of China’s first emperor. It explores topics including the earliest human cultural artifacts and representation of body in art, what happens when different civilizations encounter each other, and the nature of “renaissances” around the world.
The principal contributors of the films are art historian and Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University New York, Simon Schama; Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge; and British-Nigerian historian and writer David Olusoga. Joining them will be international artists and experts including Jamal J. Elias, Religious Studies Professor at the University of Pennsylvania; Rebecca Gonzalez-Lauck, National Institute for Anthropology, Mexico; art critic and historian Jonathan Jones; Salima Ikram, Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo; Jay Xu, Director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; and Maya Jasanoff, Professor of History at Harvard University. “This sweeping, visually stunning series follows the thread of creativity through centuries, weaving art and culture, history and humanity,” said Bill Gardner, Vice President, Programming and Development, PBS. “The cultural connectionsCivilizations makes reveal that artistic expression has been a powerful and enlightening force since the beginning of humankind. We’re thrilled to bring viewers this expansive global showcase of art history at its finest, as only PBS can.” read more