BBC Radio 3 has joined forces with New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) for an autumn series featuring the likes of Emmy-winning Hollywood actor Steve Martin.

Composer and minimal music pioneer Steve Reich and American best-selling writer Roxane Gay will also appear in the 30-strong series of programmes, hosted by art critic Alastair Sooke.

Called The Way I See It, the series will see each personality guide the listener through a radiophonic art exhibition chosen from the MoMA collection.

Steve Martin
Emmy-winning actor Steve Martin (William Conran/PA)

Cheaper By The Dozen star Martin is also joined by cult film-maker John Waters, US comic Margaret Cho and philosopher Steven Pinker among other figures from the arts world.

Controller of BBC Radio 3 Alan Davey said: “This autumn BBC Radio 3 will be taking listeners into the heart of one of New York’s most vital cultural institutions.

“The series spotlights the importance of fresh, new perspectives and a chance to hear more about how art really makes us feel and why.

“On BBC Radio 3 we are committed to innovative, intelligent programming that highlights the role of culture globally to give audiences new insights, from our Arts & Ideas Free Thinking programme to our showcasing of new and innovative work.

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At times, curatorial work can resemble detective work. Follow our Department of Photography’s search for answers to the enigmas of the “Hampton Album”—a mysterious collection of photographs depicting African American and Native American students of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now #HamptonUniversity), in Hampton, Virginia, taken in December 1899 and January 1900. … What is the story behind these photographs? Why were they made? Who put the album together and when? Who was the photographer and why had her name been lost to history? See what they discovered on #MoMAmagazine: (link in bio) … [Credit: Frances Benjamin Johnston. “Agriculture, Mixing Fertilizer, The Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia.” 1899-1900. Platinum print. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein]

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“Only BBC Radio 3 could collaborate with the world’s largest repository of modern art to bring our listeners a new and deconstructed way of looking and listening.”

Director of editorial and content strategy at MoMa Leah Dickerman said: “It’s been brilliant working with the BBC on this unique collaboration.

“We have musicians, actors, writers, philosophers and scientists, each someone truly extraordinary in their field.

“We’re eager to share their thoughts about a work in the collection with audiences.

“The conversations help us see the many different ways that art feeds creativity, offering both inspiration and provocation.”

The Way I See It will run in Radio 3’s The Essay slot from October 14 to November 1, then from November 18 to December 6, Monday to Friday.