Lectures 2019/2020 Membership Year 10 OCTOBER LINDA SMITH KICKING & SCREAMING, A BRIEF HISTORY OF POSTWAR BRITISH ART This lecture explains what has been going on in British art since 1945, when Francis Bacon caused ‘total consternation’ with his raw and visceral canvasses. His work was part of a wider phenomenon called the ‘Geometry of Fear’ by a leading critic of the day. From that point, the talk tracks key moments in British art decade by decade, through the curious mixture of modernism and pastoralism which is associated with the Festival of Britain; on to the explosion of Pop Art and Conceptualism in the 1960s and 70s, through to the 1980s and 90s, which gave us the notorious Sensation exhibition and the Turner Prize, and on to the present day. However, despite all these highly public shocks and upsets, figurative painters like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud were quietly getting on with it in the background, and one of the great stories of post-war British art is the continuing strength and vigour of that tradition. 14 NOVEMBER   JONATHAN  MEYER POWER POLITICS & A COUNTRY CHURCH - THE STORY OF GEOFFREY CHAUCER’S GRANDDAUGHTER, ALICE DE LA POLE, AND HER HUSBAND WILLIAM, DUKE OF SUFFOLK. An account of how the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk created a chantry trust with the blessing of the King Henry VI. It will look at the way in which they reordered an Oxfordshire church and modelled it on the Suffolk church of Wingfield, built a school and almshouses and an extraordinary palace, favoured by Henry VII and Henry VIII. The lecture will look at them in a historical context and in particular how they sought favour, power and influence. It will discuss the wonderful late medieval alabaster tomb of Alice with its rare cadaver figure, thought by many to be the best example of its kind in Europe. Click here for background on Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk 12 DECEMBER 2019 CHRIS BRADLEY SANTA CLAUS: THE ART THAT TURNS HIM FROM ST NICHOLAS INTO FATHER CHRISTMAS Nicholas was the Greek Bishop of Myra, a 4th century port in Anatolia. Following his death, his legendary generosity established him as the principle gift-giving saint. Also the patron saint of seafarers, his body was stolen by Italian sailors to protect their own ports. Over the centuries the image of St Nicholas changed constantly until the Dutch re-invented him as Sinterklaas. Taking him to their new colonies in America, he transformed into kindly Santa Claus. Later re-imported into Britain without his Catholic baggage, he gradually emerged as Father Christmas - the jovial giver of presents. 2020 No lecture in January 13 FEBRUARY 2020 HARRY FLETCHER THE GLASGOW BOYS, THE GLASGOW GIRLS, THE SCOTTISH COLOURISTS, AND THE FRENCH CONNECTION.      In the 1880s and 1890s Europe and America saw the rise of artistic colonies, such as the Newlyn School, practising a form of painting known as “naturalism”. Another such colony, the Glasgow boys, seized the mantle of Bastien-Lepage and their paintings became the toast of Europe. The Glasgow Girls were their contemporaries. Painters such as Bessie MacNicol and designers, such as Margaret and Frances Macdonald, influenced the development of the Glasgow Style and achieved international recognition, contributing to the development of the modern movement. The Scottish Colourists had direct contact with French Post-Impressionism, particularly Matisse and the Fauves. As a result their paintings are considered some of the most progressive in British art of the early 20th century. During my talk, I will discuss the lives, the times and the work of these artists. Glasgow Girls Francis Newbery, seated right, with students including in the front row from right to left: Frances Macdonald, unknown, Ruby Pickering, Margaret Macdonald, Agnes Raeburn, Katharine Cameron and in front Janet Aitken. 12 MARCH MARTIN LLOYD  SECRET ART IN THE PASSPORT: HOW WE USE IT TO FOX THE FORGER. From the wax seal to the microchip, man has exploited the skill of the artist and artisan in his attempt to manufacture a forgery-proof document. Taking you through three centuries of passport design, this lecture explains the overt and uncovers the covert to illustrate the defences built in to the passport and the tricks the forger uses to defeat them. You will never see your passport in the same light again! 2 APRIL (NB  earlier date because of Easter.) SHIRLEY SMITH THE ART OF DURER , THE MAN AND HIS WORLD Albrecht Dürer was a painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician and theorist and is regarded as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. But he was also the first artist north of the Alps to paint a signed self-portrait while his watercolours are the first autonomous landscape paintings. This lecture will study the works of this master which remain icons to this day. Self portrait 1493 14 MAY               GAVIN PLUMLEY THE MAGIC OF PRAGUE: CZECH ART & CULTURE As part of the Habsburg Empire, Prague was beloved of kings and princes. During the 19th century, however, the Czechs sought to reclaim the city for their own. Looking back at ancient mythology, they imagined a new future by means of art, architecture, literature and music. From Romanticism to cubism, the Czechs re- conceived various artistic movements in specifically patriotic ways. Looking at painter and decorative artist Alfons Mucha, artist Karel Svoboda and composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák, this talk shows how the Czechs created a capital that was fit for a new independent nation. North view of Charles Bridge from Mánesův most, by DXR 11 JUNE AGM    TIM REDMOND A TOUR OF BIG BEN Big Ben is one of the most iconic buildings in the world – it identifies the UK and democracy in the Western world. But there is a lot more to this tower than the beautiful external gothic architecture; and Tim will prove this to you. Using stunning images, he will take you on a virtual tour of the interior, saving you the effort of climbing 334 spiral stairs. He will explain the historical background and discuss the friction between the often controversial personalities involved in the building and designing of the tower. Tim will then take you behind those magnificent clock faces; show and explain the workings of the enormous clock mechanism; before finally taking you into the belfry and presenting before you – Big Ben, the most famous bell in the world!  After all that excitement Tim will ensure you safely descend the stairs ready for your well-earned cup of tea!        Engraving of the second 'Big Ben', taken from The Illustrated News of the World, December 4 1858
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.
         Lectures 2018/19 Membership Year 2019 10 OCTOBER LINDA SMITH KICKING & SCREAMING, A BRIEF HISTORY OF POSTWAR BRITISH ART This lecture explains what has been going on in British art since 1945, when Francis Bacon caused ‘total consternation’ with his raw and visceral canvasses. His work was part of a wider phenomenon called the ‘Geometry of Fear’ by a leading critic of the day. From that point, the talk tracks key moments in British art decade by decade, through the curious mixture of modernism and pastoralism which is associated with the Festival of Britain; on to the explosion of Pop Art and Conceptualism in the 1960s and 70s, through to the 1980s and 90s, which gave us the notorious Sensation exhibition and the Turner Prize, and on to the present day. However, despite all these highly public shocks and upsets, figurative painters like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud were quietly getting on with it in the background, and one of the great stories of post-war British art is the continuing strength and vigour of that tradition. 14 NOVEMBER   JONATHAN  MEYER POWER POLITICS & A COUNTRY CHURCH - THE STORY OF GEOFFREY CHAUCER’S GRANDDAUGHTER, ALICE DE LA POLE, AND HER HUSBAND WILLIAM, DUKE OF SUFFOLK. An account of how the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk created a chantry trust with the blessing of the King Henry VI. It will look at the way in which they reordered an Oxfordshire church and modelled it on the Suffolk church of Wingfield, built a school and almshouses and an extraordinary palace, favoured by Henry VII and Henry VIII. The lecture will look at them in a historical context and in particular how they sought favour, power and influence. It will discuss the wonderful late medieval alabaster tomb of Alice with its rare cadaver figure, thought by many to be the best example of its kind in Europe. Click here for background on Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk 12 DECEMBER 2019 CHRIS BRADLEY SANTA CLAUS: THE ART THAT TURNS HIM FROM ST NICHOLAS INTO FATHER CHRISTMAS Nicholas was the Greek Bishop of Myra, a 4th century port in Anatolia. Following his death, his legendary generosity established him as the principle gift-giving saint. Also the patron saint of seafarers, his body was stolen by Italian sailors to protect their own ports. Over the centuries the image of St Nicholas changed constantly until the Dutch re-invented him as Sinterklaas. Taking him to their new colonies in America, he transformed into kindly Santa Claus. Later re-imported into Britain without his Catholic baggage, he gradually emerged as Father Christmas - the jovial giver of presents. 2020 No lecture in January 13 FEBRUARY 2020 HARRY FLETCHER THE GLASGOW BOYS, THE GLASGOW GIRLS, THE SCOTTISH COLOURISTS, AND THE FRENCH CONNECTION.      In the 1880s and 1890s Europe and America saw the rise of artistic colonies, such as the Newlyn School, practising a form of painting known as “naturalism”. Another such colony, the Glasgow boys, seized the mantle of Bastien- Lepage and their paintings became the toast of Europe. The Glasgow Girls were their contemporaries. Painters such as Bessie MacNicol and designers, such as Margaret and Frances Macdonald, influenced the development of the Glasgow Style and achieved international recognition, contributing to the development of the modern movement. The Scottish Colourists had direct contact with French Post-Impressionism, particularly Matisse and the Fauves. As a result their paintings are considered some of the most progressive in British art of the early 20th century. During my talk, I will discuss the lives, the times and the work of these artists. 12 MARCH MARTIN LLOYD  SECRET ART IN THE PASSPORT: HOW WE USE IT TO FOX THE FORGER. From the wax seal to the microchip, man has exploited the skill of the artist and artisan in his attempt to manufacture a forgery-proof document. Taking you through three centuries of passport design, this lecture explains the overt and uncovers the covert to illustrate the defences built in to the passport and the tricks the forger uses to defeat them. You will never see your passport in the same light again! 2 APRIL (NB  earlier date because of Easter.) SHIRLEY SMITH THE ART OF DURER , THE MAN AND HIS WORLD Albrecht Dürer was a painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician and theorist and is regarded as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. But he was also the first artist north of the Alps to paint a signed self-portrait while his watercolours are the first autonomous landscape paintings. This lecture will study the works of this master which remain icons to this day. Self portrait 1493 14 MAY               GAVIN PLUMLEY THE MAGIC OF PRAGUE: CZECH ART & CULTURE As part of the Habsburg Empire, Prague was beloved of kings and princes. During the 19th century, however, the Czechs sought to reclaim the city for their own. Looking back at ancient mythology, they imagined a new future by means of art, architecture, literature and music. From Romanticism to cubism, the Czechs re-conceived various artistic movements in specifically patriotic ways. Looking at painter and decorative artist Alfons Mucha, artist Karel Svoboda and composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák, this talk shows how the Czechs created a capital that was fit for a new independent nation. 11 JUNE AGM    TIM REDMOND A TOUR OF BIG BEN Big Ben is one of the most iconic buildings in the world – it identifies the UK and democracy in the Western world. But there is a lot more to this tower than the beautiful external gothic architecture; and Tim will prove this to you. Using stunning images, he will take you on a virtual tour of the interior, saving you the effort of climbing 334 spiral stairs. He will explain the historical background and discuss the friction between the often controversial personalities involved in the building and designing of the tower. Tim will then take you behind those magnificent clock faces; show and explain the workings of the enormous clock mechanism; before finally taking you into the belfry and presenting before you – Big Ben, the most famous bell in the world!  After all that excitement Tim will ensure you safely descend the stairs ready for your well-earned cup of tea!        Engraving of the second 'Big Ben', taken from The Illustrated News of the World, December 4 1858
Web site and mobile pages designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome Handshake Computer Training