The Best Art Documentaries

The Best Art Documentaries

There are a lot of documentaries about art, and some are very good and others are very average. This page details the best art documentaries ever made.

The National Gallery (2014)
Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery is not for the average art enthusiast. It’s for art gallery nerds. It explores the inner workings of The National Gallery in London, documenting the day-to-day activities that occur in the museum. Art talks, exhibition setup, moving artworks and restoration. The documentary is three hours long you will come out of of it with a good understanding of the goings on at the National Gallery, however sadly not with a better understanding for the paintings inside.

Tim’s Vermeer (2014)
This documentary follows wealthy video software and hardware inventor Tim Jenison through his efforts to re-create a Vermeer painting. Jenison is obsessed with the extraordinary detail in all of Johannes Vermeer’s paintings, and how this detail is unique to him, and are impossibly good for a time without photography. Tim Jenison believes that he has determined how Vermeer was able to accomplish this and has embarked upon copying this complex technique, an optical device and re-creating Vermeer’s masterpiece, The Music Lesson (in Buckingham Palace) himself with the same level of quality.

Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World (2017)
Directed by Barry Avrich, this documentary covers the increasing commercialization of the art world and the enormous sale records – in particular for contemporary art – over the last decade. Each section covers a different area of the business – artist, curator, auction house, collector, etc. The film has extensive interviews from prominent figures in the art world including artists Marina Abramovic, Julian Schnabel and Rashid Johnson, journalist Vicky Ward, and renowned art collector Michael Ovitz as well as auction house executive Amy Cappellazzo

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