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David Sylvester (1924-2001), Writer on art and exhibition curator

(Anthony) David Bernard Sylvester

Sitter in 5 portraits
'A sacred monster of the Establishment', Sylvester was one of Britain's most famous critics and writers on modern art. He became a household name in early cultural broadcasting, with his 1964 series of films for the BBC, Ten Modern Artists. Sylvester played a seminal role in the rise of the international art exhibition, and his uncompromising passion is recalled with admiration and awe. From 1953-57 he was Visiting Lecturer at the Slade, and between 1960-70 he taught at the RCA. He was a member of the Art Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain for twenty years, and was appointed CBE in 1983, later becoming a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1995), and an honorary academician of the RA.

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David Sylvester

by Avigdor Arikha
aquatint, 1973
NPG 6260


David Sylvester

by Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda
colour print, 1992
NPG P537


David Sylvester

by Ida Kar
vintage bromide print, circa 1960
NPG x131187


David Sylvester

by Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda
bromide fibre print, 1979
NPG x126969


David Sylvester ('Mr Art')

by Larry Rivers (Yitzroch Grossberg)
oil on canvas, 1962
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6675