Sister Wendy Beckett, the Nun Who Taught Us to Love Art, Has Died

Photo: Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via G

Sister Wendy Beckett, whose art-appreciation shows made her an unlikely TV star, died on Wednesday. She was 88. Sister Wendy had a fondness for art that was infectious. According to the New York Times, Sister Wendy’s BBC shows often took 25 percent of the British viewing audience, and were guaranteed to be played when your art class had a substitute teacher. The same NYT profile claimed that she lived “mainly on a pint and a half of skim milk per day.”

Beckett began studying art while living in seclusion in a trailer near her monastery. Sister Wendy was discovered while visiting an art exhibit in Norfolk. A BBC crew happened to be filming a documentary on Germaine Greer, and filmed her take on the exhibit. Producers were wowed by how Beckett spoke to the artists as if they were in the room with her while viewing their work. Viewers always got a kick out of her talking about nudes and her laissez-faire attitude toward controversial art. Rest in peace, Our Lady of the Hot Takes.


Sister Wendy Beckett Has Died