Great Art Cities Explained (GACE) follows the successful YouTube art history series Great Art Explained in 15 Minutes, founded last year by art writer and curator James Payne. GACE, an art and travel series is a collaboration between PayneShurvell gallery owners, James Payne and Joanne Shurvell and runs concurrently on the same channel. The GACE series uses the same popular format as Great Art Explained whose entertaining short films present a fresh look at familiar artworks. Each film in GACE looks at three city galleries that often get overlooked and includes a short history of the key artworks in them.
“What a brilliant series this is.” – Stephen Fry
The special Venice edition of GACE focuses on the “Olympics of the art world”, the Venice Biennale which opened last week. It features exclusive artist interviews and selects highlights from the world’s oldest and most prestigious art exhibition.
Each short film in both series combines entertaining storytelling with clear concise information, presented in a 15-minute format that packs in more details than most full-length documentaries. Just as the original series brings fascinating new details to light on often well-known artworks like Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” or Michelangelo’s “David,” Great Art Cities Explained does the same. How did Frans Hals’ “Laughing Cavalier” get its name, how did Hogarth make his fortune and why did Canaletto alter the views in some of his paintings? The new series is also a great travel guide for art lovers who want to include lesser-known galleries in a city visit and are keen not to miss a museum’s highlights.
The first in Great Art Cities was London and it tells the story of three wealthy and titled men whose homes and art collections were gifted to the British nation. The Wallace Collection on Manchester Square, Kenwood House in Hampstead and Sir John Soane’s Museum in Holborn are discussed, along with each home’s key artworks. The Paris episode looks at the artist studios of three influential French artists.
Thoroughly researched and cleverly presented, with stunning visuals, Great Art Cities Explained will follow London, Paris and Venice with New York.
With nearly 800,000 dedicated subscribers and over 25 million views on the channel, Great Art Explained is a real success story. A book based on the YouTube series has been commissioned by Thames & Hudson.
About James Payne and Joanne Shurvell
James Payne is a curator, writer and the founder of Great Art Explained in 15 Minutes. His educational tours of Europe for an American travel company often focused on the history of art and his films for Great Art Explained and Great Art Cities Explained are an extension of these lectures. His fine art degree from London’s Central St Martins, plus his work as an art consultant and art and film writer for various art magazines make him the ideal presenter.
Joanne Shurvell is the former Communications Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and an arts and travel writer for Forbes and other lifestyle publications. She ran PayneShurvell gallery with James in Shoreditch, London from 2010- to 2014. Since 2015, they have organised art exhibitions in a variety of UK locations.