Gluck: Who Did She Think He Was?
First aired on Sunday 27th August, 9pm - 10pm BBC Four
Directed by Clare Beavan, and part of the BBC's Gay Britannia season, Gluck: Who Did She Think He Was? tells the story of the life of one of the most notorious artists of the twentieth century. Born into the wealthy family of Joseph Gluckstein - co-founder of the catering empire
J. Lyons and Co. - Hannah Gluckstein was one of the most mercurial and rebellious artists of her day. By the age of 23, she had begun to call
herself Gluck (“no prefix, suffix, or quotes”), had adopted men’s clothing, cropped her hair, and begun to smoke a pipe.
Fiercely individual and determined, Gluck shot to fame in the middle of the London social scene gripped in the hedonistic haze of the Roaring Twenties. She gained recognition for her portraits of glamorous women and captivating floral still lifes. These highly stylised works were inspired by the floral arrangements of Constance Spry, a fashionable society florist and Gluck’s one time lover. Through Spry, Gluck gained access to London’s leading socialites, painting the portraits of Baroness Molly Mount Temple, costume designer Margaret Watts (Portrait of Miss Margaret Watts, 1932) and popular novelist Susan Ertz.
An extraordinary life of highs and lows, loves and losses, Gluck was anything but conventional. Seven months after the major retrospective of her work, held at The Fine Art Society, her fascinating story continues to unravel.
You can watch it Here on BBC iPlayer.