Past Lectures & Trips
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.
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 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. 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 Glyndebourne ‘L’Elisir d’Amore’ Opera & the Heritage of Sussex 3 days from £449 Departing 18th October 2019 Your tour includes reserved seats for the Glyndebourne performance of ‘L’Elisir d’Amore’. More details of the performance can be found at Tour includes: • Glyndebourne opera tickets • Centrally located Eastbourne hotel • Two dinners included • All excursions & guided tours included • Entrance fee to Charleston House included • Blue Badge guide on Day 2 • Executive coach throughout • Glyndebourne’s ‘L’Elisir d’Amore’ • Chartwell • Charleston House – guided tour • Berwick Church • Polesden Lacey We stay two nights at the 3* Best Western York House Hotel ( Located on Eastbourne’s seafront and close to Eastbourne Pier, the hotel has a bar, restaurant and indoor swimming pool. All rooms are en suite and feature a television, iron and ironing board and tea and coffee making facilities. Dinner is included at our hotel on the first evening, and we enjoy a carvery dinner at Glyndebourne before the opera on Day 2. STUDY DAY 21 OCTOBER 2019 DAN EVANS: THE LAYERS OF ROME – CLASSICAL , RENAISSANCE, BAROQUE Lecture 1. Classical Rome and its Legacy. The Pantheon, Colosseum and Basilica of Maxentius. We shall look at these three inspirational buildings each with a different form and function – these were the edifices that could be seen in ruin ever since the Sack of Rome in the 5th Century AD, and provide the basis for understanding Renaissance painting and sculpture. Lecture 2. The Rise of the Renaissance. Frescoes by Fillipino Lippi in the Carafa Chapel, Michelangelo's St Peter's Pieta and Raphael's Stanze della Segnatura (inc. School of Athens) allow us to trace the development of theology, philosophy and aesthetics with the emergence of the High Renaissance. We shall look at bright, intelligent frescoes and a sculpture of breath-taking brilliance. Lecture 3. Drama of the Baroque. Caravaggio's painting in the Contarelli Chapel in San Luigi dei Francesi, Bernini’s San Andrea al Quirinale and Bernini's Ecstasy of San Theresa, are three of the most celebrated Baroque embellishments in Rome. A gritty series of paintings by a notorious sinner, a scandalous religious sculpture group and interactive architecture by the Baroque’s mastermind will allow us to understand the context and purpose of the art and architecture of seventeenth century Rome. 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. 12 SEPTEMBER ELIZABETH MERRY TRAVELS IN RAJASTHAN WITH RUDYARD KIPLING: PALACES AND TEMPLES, MONUMENTS AND FORTS IN THE LAND OF KINGS. As a young reporter working for the Lahore Gazette Kipling took a journey through Rajasthan during 1888 during which he produced some magical and evocative descriptions of the buildings he saw there. Nowadays he is overwhelmingly associated with the world of the Empire and the British Raj in India. But as the son of the Principal of the Bombay Art School and a talented artist himself, Kipling’s ‘seeing eye’ and his love of India provide a wonderful way in to the world of the Moguls and Maharajahs. In his company we explore some of Rajasthan’s magnificent architectural splendours and gain some insights into the rich cultural history of the ‘Land of Kings’. June 13th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Followed by Lecture Andrew Spira PLEASURE & SENSATION IN THE 18TH CENT. FRANCE We take it for granted that we are free to enjoy whatever appeals to us. But this hasn’t always been the case. Before the 18th century many of life’s pleasures were justified on account of their moral potential. This illustrated talk will explain how it became increasingly acceptable in 18th century France to enjoy the pleasures of life for their own sake, in luxury goods and otherwise - sometimes to scandalous effect! With your guide Andrew Spira, from world-renowned auction house Christie’s, indulge your eyes and soul on a rich menu of French culture in this juicy evening art salon. The Love Letter by Francois Boucher, the National Gallery, Washington D.C May 9th THE RICHEST OF LEGACIES: THE BRITISH COLONIAL BUILDINGS OF INDIA ANTHONY PEERS This lecture’s narrative revolves around my experience of having masterminded a British Government backed project to restore the magnificent George Gilbert Scott designed university buildings in Mumbai (Bombay), India. The chapters of this building’s story- its design (in England), construction, history and, of course, its restoration – provide useful startpoints from which to consider the broader historical, cultural and architectural context. For instance the lecture looks into Bombay’s economic boom of the 1860s. This coincided with the high point of the Gothic Revival: Nowhere else in the world can claim to have as magnificent an assemblage of Gothic Revival buildings. Whilst examining the city’s colonial architecture study is made of the carvings of Bombay’s Jeejeebhoy School of Art (see above), whose Architectural Sculpture Department (during this mid-Victorian heyday) was headed up by John Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard Kipling. The story of the award winning project to restore the University of Mumbai’s Gothic Revival buildings provides an opportunity to touch upon philosophical approaches to conservation as well as traditional repair techniques. Account is also given of the work undertaken by those who took time away from their respective Cathedral workshops in the UK to transfer knowledge and skills to their Indian counterparts. Venturing beyond Mumbai to consider key colonial buildings in Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta) and Yangon (Rangoon), the scope of the lecture broadens to examine evolving attitudes in India and beyond (as well as in the UK) towards the British empire and also towards the buildings which survive as testament to its achievements. Bombay University Garden, circa 1890 April 11th THE MIS-SHAPEN PEARL: AN OVERVIEW OF THE MUSIC OF THE BAROQUE PERIOD SANDY BURNETT Starting in 1607 with Monteverdi’s astonishing opera Orfeo, and ending in 1759 with the death of that great “English” composer George Frideric Handel, the Baroque era produced music of great brilliance and emotional depth. In helping to navigate us through its choppy waters, Sandy draws on his experience as broadcaster, conductor and hands-on practical musician. His in- depth exploration of this fascinating period of Classical music draws on hand-picked images, autograph scores and recorded musical illustrations, with a special focus on the work of Johann Sebastian Bach. Click here for background on the baroque period music. SPRING OUTING 2019 Thursday April 4th BOUGHTON HOUSE, KETTERING GOLDEN JUBILEE The present Duke of Buccleuch welcomes his guests as follows:- ‘It is with great pleasure that my wife and invite you to Boughton House and Gardens, home to my Montagu ancestors since 1528. The House is famous for its internationally renowned Art Collection and full fascinating history. Beyond the House, you will find beautiful gardens and a landscape unlike any other. We hope you enjoy the peace and serenity of these areas of the Estate including the recently restored Grand Etang, or Great Lake and its fountain.’ The cost for the day is £47 per person - this includes the House tour and the Estate tour, morning coffee and biscuits, afternoon tea and cake, the coach fare, all gratuities and any administration costs. March 14th THE WALLACE & FRICK COLLECTIONS AND THEIR CONNECTION WITH KNOLE HILARY WILLIAMS Raffle for Heritage Volunteers Amazingly the connoisseurship which led to the sumptuous collections at the Wallace Collection in London and the Frick in New York, is linked by a circle of patrons, dealers and taste. Apart from Sir Richard and Lady Wallace and the American industrialist Henry Clay Frick, there was someone who worked for them all, who then left a related fortune to the mother of Vita Sackville-West. Therein lies a great story. Click here to read about the Wallace collection scandal. February 14th BREAD & CIRCUSES: FUN, FROLIC AND FREAK SHOWS IN A MULTI-MEDIA FORMAT LIBBY HORNER It’s all Juvenal’s fault. A political strategy for keeping the masses happy – give them food and entertainment. So they had gladiators and exotic animals and chariot races – mostly pretty cruel and violent – but they also had plays and pantomimes and public baths. The Circus Maximus was huge, seating 350,000 people and one could exit via the gift shop. In 1768 the circus was reinvented in Britain by Philip Astley and celebrates its 250 th anniversary in 2018 – think of those legendary names Bertram Mills, Chipperfields and Billy Smart. Find fun, frolic and freak shows in my inimitable innovative multi-media format lecture, combining art (Laura Knight, Georges Roualt etc), photographs, archival film, songs, music and quotations from writers and poets. There might even be some bread. Click here for the history of the Circus December 13th THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS RE-VISITED THROUGH ITS ILLUSTRATORS JOHN ERICSON Raffle for C.R. Funds The beauty of Kenneth Grahame’s prose is widely acknowledged but the story is so full of wonderful imagery that it almost demands to be illustrated. First published in 1908 without illustration, the classic tale of Ratty, Mole, and the incorrigible Mr Toad has been in print ever since. What is less well known is that it has been illustrated by more than ninety artists – making it the most widely illustrated book in the English language. However, ‘Willows’ is a far more interesting book than its popular and often young audience might appreciate. It deserves recognition as a novel in which adult readers will find not just humour and entertainment but wisdom and meaning. In this engaging presentation we will revisit the story as depicted by numerous well known illustrators such as E H Shepard, Arthur Rackham, Robert Ingpen, Val Biro and Inga Moore. Where appropriate we will compare and contrast the same scene in the book through the eyes of different artists, a study known as ‘comparative illustration'. We will also explore how the story came to be written for Grahame’s son Alastair and the interesting but ultimately tragic life of Kenneth Grahame. More about the book and its illustrators. November 8th DAZZLING DUFY: RAOUL DUFY - A LUMINOUS FEAST MARY ALEXANDER Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) was a key player in early twentieth century avant garde art, design and literary/theatrical circles in Paris. As a widely travelled polymath, Dufy's charismatic personality, wit and curiosity about the world was infectious. His imagination and technical virtuosity - across a range of media including painting and lithography, posters, book illustration, theatrical set design, textiles and fashion, ceramics and large murals - cut across all conventional boundaries. Whether a small intricate woodcut illustrating a love poem, or the truly gigantic 1937 world fair murals depicting the role of electricity in the modern age, the effect is mesmerising. Dufy defies categorisation, constantly innovating and experimenting with new materials and effects. His analysis of the visual world is sophisticated and joyous in equal measure. Perhaps this goes some way to explain why some later critics fail to grasp its complexity and pigeonhole him a 'decorative artist', or misunderstand the irony in his witty yet gentle caricatures of elegant social life. Above Deauville, Drying the Sails (1933) Raoul Dufy at the Tate October 16th Visit to CROMFORD MILLS, DERBYSHIRE STUDY DAY October 22nd AT GREAT PONTON VILLAGE HALL Chris Bradley TREASURES OF THE SILK ROAD The Silk Road extended for over 8,000 kms, acting as a highway for beliefs, ideas, inventions and art, whilst silk was just one of the many products traded for 1,400 years. Buddhism spread throughout Central Asia and there are wonderful paintings from the Magao Caves at Dunhuang and the 'Caves of the Thousand Buddhas' at Bezeklik. Samarkand and Bukhara are the beginning of the great Islamic buildings that continue through Persia and Syria. Along the way we see traditional murals, ceramics, statues, carpets, architecture, mosaics, tile-work, rock carvings and of course, silk itself. Click here for more about the Silk Road October 11th ART BEHIND BARS: THE ROLE OF THE ARTS IN THE CYCLE OF CRIME, PRISON AND RE-OFFENDING ANGELA FINDLAY Bring & Buy for C.R. Funds Years of working as an artist within the Criminal Justice System in England and Germany have given Angela unique insights into the destructive and costly cycle of crime, prisons and re- offending. In this thought-provoking talk she offers a deeper understanding of the minds, lives and challenges of offenders. And, with extraordinary slides of art projects and prisoner’s art, she demonstrates how within the process of creating art of any discipline, there are vital opportunities for offenders to confront their crimes and develop the key life skills so essential in leading a positive and productive life. A frequent response to this talk has been “I had no idea!” and indeed it casts light onto areas of our society where the Arts are not only visual, decorative, or commercial, but absolutely vital, hugely relevant and potentially life-changing. This talk is moving, informative and very original. Interspersed with personal accounts of humorous or slightly horrifying situations, Angela talks have kept audiences across the country engrossed. Click here for Angela’s web site September 13th 2018 SECRETS OF THE ROYAL PAVILION: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF GEORGE IV’S REGENCY PALACE JACKIE MARSH-HOBBS Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is one of the most famous and exotic buildings in Britain, attracting over 300,000 visitors per year from all over the world. Built for King George IV as his retreat from the formality of his duties as Prince Regent, its majestic Indian architecture is beautifully complemented by the chinoiserie interior. It took John Nash eight years to transform Henry Holland’s neo-classical Marine Pavilion into a spectacular palace, started for the Prince Regent and finished for him when he was the King in 1823. The extravagant lavish interior was completed by an army of craftsman, producing a staggering about of rich decorative detail, clever effects and gilding. Furniture was designed and made to be part of the decorative schemes throughout the palace, records show how various firms worked together on individual pieces. In 1850 Queen Victoria sold the Royal Pavilion to the Town Commissioners after the building had been stripped of its contents, consequently changing the palace from royal residence to civic building. Today the Royal Pavilion has been returned to its original splendour, beautifully restored and furnished, including many original artefacts on permanent loan from the royal collection. My lecture looks at the amazing history of the Royal Pavilion its secrets, struggles and magnificent interior decoration, whilst looking behind closed doors. Click here for The Royal Pavilion web site 14 June Simon Inglis AGM A Healthy Body in a Healthy Mind - sporting spectacles of Victorian Britain. This lecture argues that the modern Olympics owe more to Victorian Britain than to classical Greece. With their love of rules and regulations, often allied to their passion for gambling, British pioneers of the 19th century revolutionised the way ordinary people ‘played the game’. WG Grace made cricket a national obsession. The Scots refashioned ancient games such as goff, foot-ball and bowlis. The invention of the lawnmower and of vulcanised rubber heralded the invention of lawn tennis. Artificial ice rinks, shale running tracks, indoor swimming pools and landscaped golf courses – all were made possible by Victorian innovators. Thereafter, British manufacturers packaged and marketed these new recreational pastimes and sold them to eager audiences overseas. A century that began with bull-baiting and cock-fighting ended in ‘rational recreation’ and mass-spectator professional sport. Albion, not Olympia, provided the real model for what was to follow. Click here for more information on Victorian sporting events BBC site on Victorian sports
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