Examine the formative role of art and the creative imagination in the forging of humanity itself

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About the Show

Simon SchamaSimon SchamaCIVILIZATIONS, a new nine-part series presented in partnership with the BBC that tells the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day —for the first time on a global scale. Inspired by Civilisation, Kenneth Clark’s acclaimed landmark 1969 series about Western art, this bold new series from Nutopia broadens the canvas to reveal the role art and the creative imagination have played across multiple cultures and civilizations, introducing a new generation to works of beauty, ingenuity and illumination created across continents.

Mary BeardMary Beard From the landscape scrolls of classical China and the sculpture of the Olmecs to African bronzes, Japanese prints and French Impressionist paintings, CIVILIZATIONS explores the wealth of treasures created through the entirety of the human experience. 

David OlusogaDavid Olusoga Acclaimed film, theater and television actor Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, Spotlight, The Manchurian Candidate) will narrate its series, which tells the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day — for the first time on a global scale.  The principal contributors to the films are Simon Schama, art historian and Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University; Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge; and historian and writer David Olusoga.

In nine episodes, CIVILIZATIONS travels across the globe, visiting such cultural landmarks as the great mosques of Istanbul, the ancient cities of Mesoamerica, the Buddhist caves of Ajanta in India, the Aztecs’ Templo Mayor in modern Mexico City and the funeral site of China’s first emperor. 

Explore the Episodes

Episode 1 | The Second Moment of CreationEpisode 1 | The Second Moment of CreationPremieres April 17

The Second Moment of Creation

Episode 1 Now Streaming

Examine the formative role of art and the creative imagination in the forging of humanity.  

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Episode 2 | How Do We Look? Episode 2 | How Do We Look? Premieres April 24

How Do We Look? 

Episode 2 Premieres April 24

Explore how we look at the human body in art. 

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Episode 3 | God and Art Episode 3 | God and Art Premieres May 1

God and Art

Episide 3 Premieres Premieres May 1

Consider how religion has inspired art and art has inspired divine representation. 

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Episode 4 | EncountersEpisode 4 | EncountersPremieres May 8

Encounters

Episode 4 Premieres May 8

See how art became the great interface when distant cultures met for the first time. 

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Episode 5 | RenaissancesEpisode 5 | RenaissancesPremieres May 15

Renaissances

Episode 5 Premieres May 15

Travel east and west— to Renaissance Italy and the contemporaneous Islamic empires.

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Episode 6 | Paradise on EarthEpisode 6 | Paradise on EarthPremieres June 12

Paradise on Earth

Episode 6 Premieres June 12

Explore one of humanity’s deepest artistic urges: the depiction of nature.

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Episode 7 | Color and LightEpisode 7 | Color and LightPremieres June 19

Color and Light

Episode 7 Premieres June 19

Explore light and color in art in the search for greater realism and spiritual ecstasy.

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Episode 8 | The Cult of ProgressEpisode 8 | The Cult of ProgressPremieres June 26

The Cult of Progress

Episode 8 Premieres June 26

Examine the rise and fall of “progress” as an ideology.

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Episode 9 | What is Art Good For?Episode 9 | What is Art Good For?Premieres July 3

What is Art Good For?

Episode 9 Premieres July 3

Explore art in the age of revolution, war and profound scientific change.

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Spotlight | An Artist's Perspective

ARTISTS EXPLORE THE THEMES AND TOPICS OF CIVILIZATIONS

ARTISTS EXPLORE THE THEMES AND TOPICS OF CIVILIZATIONS

Artistic Traditions, Handed Down Generations

Last Updated by Nikos Fyodor Rutkowski on

Raising the Question of Why We Create

Last Updated by Adam Hernandez on

When to Watch

| Civilizations
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When to watch

Civilizations

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