Nick Levinson obituary


My pal and former colleague Nick Levinson, who has died aged 80, was a pioneering TV producer of Open College (OU) arts programming with the BBC, who helped remodel public and tutorial curiosity in western artwork historical past and structure.

His work lined a spread of topics from the European Renaissance by to modernism and on to the up to date artwork of Africa, India and First Nations Australia. For greater than 50 years the inspirational influence of the OU and its public programming has reached into each a part of British society, and far of that success was because of the inventive expertise of the primary technology of lecturers and producers. Nick retained these private traits till he retired in 1998, with 188 OU manufacturing credit to his identify.

Nick first labored in BBC music and humanities as a researcher within the mid-Nineteen Sixties however found his metier when the OU was based in 1969 and the BBC started recruiting manufacturing workers. He joined the fledgling enterprise at Alexandra Palace to create and develop, with tutorial colleagues at Milton Keynes, a brand new distance studying expertise utilizing TV and radio.

Of the 22 OU arts programs on which Nick labored as BBC sequence producer, a number of, together with historical past of structure and design 1890-1939 (1975-1982), and fashionable artwork and modernism (1983-1992) are themselves now the topic of PhD theses. His filming took him throughout Europe, to Africa, India, the US and Australia.

Nick was born in London to Frank Levinson, a solicitor, and Sylvia (nee Schloss), a eager pianist. Introduced as much as have a large curiosity within the arts, Nick went to St Christopher faculty, Letchworth, a frontrunner in progressive co-education based on the tenets of theosophy, equality and vegetarianism. He then studied artwork historical past on the Courtauld Institute of Artwork, London.

In 1966, simply after he accomplished his BA, the river Arno burst its banks, flooding the guts of Florence and endangering its heritage. Nick joined the military of worldwide volunteers that rushed to save lots of what could possibly be salvaged, spending months in mud, forging deep friendships and a lifelong ardour for Tuscany.

Nick met Deanna Hatcher, a manufacturing assistant, on the BBC they usually married in 1971. She was a mainstay in his passions for renovating homes, gathering artwork, creating gardens and appreciating nature.

Deanna died in 2022. Nick is survived by their kids, Selina and Charlie, and three grandchildren, Arthur, Heena and Sheba.


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