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Subject: Sister Wendy Beckett dies at 88

BBC presenter
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Date Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 08:58:11am

The presenter and writer died at the Carmelite Monastery in Quidenham, Norfolk, according to the BBC. BBC journalist David Sillito also shared the news on Twitter, writing: “Sad news, Sister Wendy Beckett, writer, art critic and presenter of a much loved and popular series of BBC programmes about painting has died.” Sister Wendy first found fame in the 1990s when she hosted documentaries on the history of art for the BBC.

Her shows included Sister Wendy’s Odyssey and Sister Wendy’s Grand Tour and made the unlikely star a favourite among viewers.

She was born in South Africa and moved to Edinburgh as a youngster before joining a convent at the age of 16.

In 1950 she went to Oxford University and later graduated with a Congratulatory First Class degree in English literature.

Sister Wendy spent 15 years back in South Africa working as a teacher before returning to England and settling at Carmelite monastery.

She received permission to study art in the 1980s.

She went on to become known for writing several books on art and art history.

The sister produced the texts in order to earn money for the convent.

Her first book, Contemporary Women Artists, was published in 1988.

She also penned Sister Wendy Contemplates Saint Paul in Art in 2008.

In 1991, the BBC commissioned Sister Wendy to front her first documentary for them on the National Gallery.

She taught viewers about the paintings by delivering her lines direct to camera without a script or autocue assistance.

The star made her US TV debut in 1997 and was descried by The New York Times as a “sometime hermit who is fast on her way to becoming the most unlikely and famous art critic in the history of television”.

Sister Wendy also spent several years translating Medieval Latin scripts before deciding to pursue her love of art.

In 2007, during an interview with The Telegraph, she was approached by a fan who told her the BBC documentaries she had made “changed her life”.

Sister Wendy later said: “I come out of the convent very, very rarely. As rarely as possible, in fact.

“I hope that woman doesn’t write to me,” she added. “My time is for God. I’ve no time for gardening and letter-writing, the usual let-outs for those who are alone.”


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Subject Author Date
Ahh, I used to love her tutorials, sometimes 'naughty' interpretations, on art on PBS. You couldn't make uo her colorful persona. -Bless her heart. ...PHOTOWednesday, December 26, 10:21:05am
Sister Wendy,guitargrlWednesday, December 26, 12:44:20pm

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