Dan Cruickshank

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Dan Cruickshank
Dan Cruickshank.jpg
Dan Cruickshank signs an autograph at The Holiday & Travel Show 2009 at Birmingham's NEC.
Born (1949-08-26) 26 August 1949 (age 69)
Residence Spitalfields, London
  • Art historian
  • Television presenter
  • Author

Dan Cruickshank (born 26 August 1949) is a British art historian and BBC television presenter, with a special interest in the history of architecture.

Art history the academic study of objects of art in their historical development

Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts; that is genre, design, format, and style. The study includes painting, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, furniture, and other decorative objects.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Television Telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images

Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.



Professional career

Cruickshank holds a BA in Art, Design and Architecture [1] and was formerly a Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Sheffield [2] and a member of the London faculty of the University of Delaware. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Artists, a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgian Group and on the Architectural Panel of the National Trust, and is an Honorary Fellow of RIBA. [1]

University of Sheffield university in England, United Kingdom

The University of Sheffield is a public research university in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It received its royal charter in 1905 as successor to the University College of Sheffield, which was established in 1897 by the merger of Sheffield Medical School, Firth College (1879) and Sheffield Technical School (1884).

University of Delaware American university

The University of Delaware is a public research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware is the largest university in Delaware. UD currently offers more than 135 undergraduate degrees. At the graduate level, it offers 67 doctoral, 142 master’s degree programs, 14 dual degrees, 15 interdisciplinary programs, 12 on-line programs, and 28 certificate programs across its seven colleges and more than 82 research centers and institutes. UD is one of the top 100 institutions for federal obligations in science and engineering and interdisciplinary initiatives in energy science and policy, the environment, and in human health. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,500 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students. UD is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant and urban-grant state-supported research institution.

The Georgian Group is a UK charity, and the national authority on Georgian architecture built between 1700 and 1837 in England and Wales. As one of the National Amenity Societies, the Georgian Group is a statutory consultee on alterations to listed buildings, and by law must be notified of any work to a relevant listed building which involves any element of demolition.

He has served as Historic Buildings Consultant for ADAM Architecture since 1999 and has been involved in the repair and restoration of many historical buildings including Spencer House in St James’s, Heveningham Hall in Suffolk and numerous early 18th-century houses in Spitalfields and other parts of London. [3]

Heveningham Hall Grade I listed building in Suffolk Coastal, United Kingdom

Heveningham Hall is a Grade I listed building in Heveningham, Suffolk. The present house, dating from 1778–80 and incorporating work from an early 18th-century building, was designed by Sir Robert Taylor for Sir Gerald Vanneck, 2nd Baronet. The interiors of circa 1781-4 were designed by James Wyatt. The dining room was restored after a fire in 1949 and the east wing, containing the library and drawing room, was gutted by fire in June 1984.

Suffolk County of England

Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich; other important towns include Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Felixstowe, one of the largest container ports in Europe.

Spitalfields area in the East End of London

Spitalfields is a district and former parish in Central London and located in the East End and part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The area is formed around Commercial Street on the A1202 London Inner Ring Road. The Liberty of Norton Folgate and the neighbouring Liberty of the Old Artillery Ground were merged into Spitalfields in 1921.

In 2014 he was appointed President of Subterranea Britannica, a UK-based society for all those interested in man-made and man-used underground structures and space. [4]

His professional publications include London – the Art of Georgian Building, The National Trust and Irish Georgian Society Guide to the Georgian Buildings of Britain and Ireland and ‘’Life in the Georgian City’’. He edited the 20th edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s History of Architecture and Timeless Architecture: a study of key buildings in architectural history and is a contributing editor to Architects’ Journal, The Architectural Review and Perspectives on Architecture.

Television work

Cruickshank began his career with the BBC as consultant, writer and presenter on the architectural programmes One Foot in the Past and The House Detectives. He also contributed films to the Timewatch and Omnibus strands. [5]

One Foot in the Past was a British television series on BBC 2. It considered the cultural heritage and history of Britain. Each programme ran for 30 minutes.

<i>Timewatch</i> television series

Timewatch is a long-running British television series showing documentaries on historical subjects, spanning all human history. It was first broadcast on 29 September 1982 and is produced by the BBC, the Timewatch brandname is used as a banner title in the UK, but many of the individual documentaries are unbranded with BBC continuity outside the domestic British market.

Omnibus is an arts-based British documentary series, broadcast mainly on BBC1 in the United Kingdom. The programme was the successor to the long-running arts-based series Monitor.

In 2001 he wrote and presented the series Invasion in which he examined attempts and plans to invade Britain and Ireland over the years by exploring coastal fortresses and defensive structures around the coast of the country to discover their military heritage.

Further series included Britain's Best Buildings examining architecturally – or culturally-significant buildings in Great Britain, Under Fire visiting museums and buildings in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel to see how recent warfare has affected the country's historic artefacts, and What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us focusing on the scientific, technological and political changes of the 19th century.

In 2003, Cruickshank presented a documentary entitled Towering Ambitions: Dan Cruickshank at Ground Zero following the debate and discussion that led to the selection of Daniel Libeskind's design for the World Trade Center site in New York City; while in 2005 he presented a documentary on the Mitchell and Kenyon collection — rolls of nitrate film shot in the early 20th century, depicting everyday life in Britain, which were discovered in 1994 in Blackburn.

In 2004, Cruickshank was at the centre of a controversy when historian Marc Morris pointed out that a documentary about Harlech Castle shown on BBC4 and billed as "written and presented by Dan Cruickshank" contained obvious borrowings from Morris's earlier Channel 4 series, Castle. The BBC subsequently stated that Cruickshank was not responsible and that it was an error by researchers. [6] Channel 4's head of history programming, Hamish Mykura, commented that "When a programme claims to have an author's voice, it should be that author's voice and no one else's". The BBC subsequently made a "goodwill payment" to Morris in recognition of the error.

Perhaps his greatest success to date came with Around the World in 80 Treasures , charting Cruickshank's five-month trip around the world to visit eighty man-made artefacts or buildings that he had selected, in order to chart the history of mankind's civilisation.

In 2006, Cruickshank presented Marvels of the Modern Age , a series focusing on the development of modernism in design, from Greek and Roman architecture, to Bauhaus and the present.

Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture , a 2008 series in which he travelled around the world visiting what he considered to be the world's most unusual and interesting buildings.

In 2010, he embarked on a 3 part series on the history of the railways in Britain for National Geographic TV channel, including visits to Chester to examine the events surrounding the Dee bridge disaster of 1847, and Manchester for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830. The series was entitled "Great Railway Adventures" and first appeared on UK television in the spring of 2010. In 2014, he appeared in The Life of Rock with Brian Pern as himself.

Personal life

Cruickshank lives in a Georgian house in Spitalfields, London, which he shares with his partner, the painter Marenka Gabeler, their son Alexander and daughter, Isabel, from a previous marriage. [7]



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