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Sister Nun and art critic Wendy Beckett died 88 years old



He won international fame by presenting TV documentaries about art history

Sister Wendy Beckett, a nun who is a TV presenter, journalist and art critic has died at the age of 88.

Sister Wendy spent most of her life as a contemplative nun, but achieved international fame in the 1990s when she presented a series of documentaries on art history for the BBC. He became famous for presenting his shows without script and wearing his traditional black habits.

He was born in South Africa in 1930 and moved to Scotland as a child. At the age of 16 he joined the Sisters of Notre Dame, a congregation of religious sisters dedicated to education.

After completing his novitiate, he studied at St Anne's College, Oxford, where he was awarded a first-class honorary degree in English Literature.

JRR Tolkein tried to persuade him to remain at Oxford as an academic, but instead he moved to Liverpool and then returned to South Africa.

After spending 15 years as a teacher in South Africa, he was forced to return to England after a series of illnesses, settled in a caravan on the grounds of Carmelite Monastery in Quidenham, Norfolk.

Sister Wendy began studying art in the 1980s, publishing her first book, Contemporary Women Artists, in 1988. Shortly thereafter, she began writing a weekly art column for the Catholic Herald.

After the success of his writing, the BBC assigned him to present a documentary at the National Gallery in London. This was followed by more documentaries about the history of art, attracting nearly four million viewers in the UK alone.

The series, Painting Sister Wendy's Story was shown in the US, won critical acclaim and new markets for her books. His last series appeared in 2001, after which he rejected all further television job offers.

Last year, he marked his 70th birthday as a nun by donating £ 3,000 for Aid to the Church in Need.


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