Sister Wendy Beckett, a Catholic nun who became an unlikely TV celebrity, dies at 88
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Sister Wendy Beckett, a Catholic nun who became an unlikely TV celebrity, dies at 88

Sister Wendy Beckett at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1997. (Victoria Arocho/AP) Sister Wendy Beckett, a Catholic nun who left her cloistered life in the British countryside to become an unlikely international celebrity by presenting television programs on art history, died Dec. 26 at a residential care facility near Quidenham, England, where she lived on the grounds of a Carmelite monastery. She was 88. A spokeswoman for the monastery, Gina Rozner, confirmed the death. The cause was not disclosed. Sister Wendy had a history of heart ailments and strokes. Sister Wendy retreated to a life of seclusion in 1970, officially designated a consecrated virgin by the Catholic Church. She lived alone in a trailer, spending seven hours a day in prayer and translating Latin religious tracts. After receiving permission from the church, Sister Wendy began to study art history, primarily through books and reproductions on post cards. She began to write for magazines and in 1988 published the first of more than 30 books, “Contemporary Women Artists.” In 1991, she appeared in a BBC documentary about the National Gallery in London, discussing the paintings of Rembrandt. Although she was on-screen for only four minutes, viewers were […]

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