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Ken Burns Films

Season 1988 1988

  • 1988-11-02T02:00:00Z on PBS
  • 90 mins
  • 3 hours, 0 mins
  • United States
  • Documentary

Ken Burns has been making films for more than thirty years. Since the Academy Award nominated BROOKLYN BRIDGE in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. Ken has been the recipient of more than twenty-five honorary degrees and has delivered many treasured commencement addresses. He is a sought after public speaker, appearing at colleges, civic organizations and business groups throughout the country. Here you'll find his 1 part documentaries that are not part of a series.

3 episodes

1988x01 Thomas Hart Benton

  • Season Premiere

    1988-11-02T02:00:00Z — 90 mins

His paintings were burly. Energetic. And as uncompromising as the Midwestern landscapes and laborers they celebrated. Thomas Hart Benton was a self-reliant American who emerged from the Great Depression. Today his works hang in museums; during Benton's life, the artist preferred to hang them in saloons, where ordinary people could appreciate them in congenial settings. A fierce defender of the aesthetics of realism, Benton took on the art establishment and railed against abstraction. His reputation suffered as his star rose, fell and rose once again. Thomas Hart Benton tells the bittersweet story of a great American artist who became emblematic of the price all artists must pay to remain true to their talents and to themselves.

1988x02 The Congress

  • 1989-03-21T02:00:00Z — 90 mins

This portrait of the United States Congress explores the history and promise of one of the country’s most important and least understood institutions. It tells the story of the Capitol building itself—including its burning by the British in the War of 1812 and its completion in the midst of the Civil War—and chronicles the extraordinary personalities, events and issues that have animated the first 200 years of Congress and, in turn, the country.


  • no air date — 90 mins