Sister Wendy Beckett, TV Art Historian, Dies At 88

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Sister Wendy Beckett, an art historian, and critic, has died. She was 88.

The Carmelite Monastery of Quidenham said Beckett died Wednesday afternoon.

She was a sister of the Catholic Church who became prominent in the 1990s presenting BBC shows about art history.

Her work included a series of well-received documentaries including “Sister Wendy’s Odyssey” and “Sister Wendy’s Grand Tour.”

The BBC said it commissioned Beckett in 1991 to host a TV documentary on the National Gallery in London. She stood in front of the paintings dressed in a black nun’s habit and discussed the paintings without a script or teleprompter.

Close friend Xinran Xue said Beckett’s death was “a huge loss for the art world. She was a brilliant art critic.”

Beckett was born in South Africa and raised in Scotland. She taught in Cape Town, South Africa, and Liverpool in northern England.

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