Past MeetingsHere are details of our past meetings, to give you an idea of the variety and scope of the lectures. Also members might like to use the links to find out more.27th March 2019Nicholas Watkins The Horse, Modernity and Modern Art from George Stubbs (1724-1806) to Mark Wallinger (born 1959)The horse is so rooted within the psyche of the Western imagination that it has maintained its expressive power, as the current production of War Horse so eloquently testifies. The lecture traces major themes from Stubbs, the greatest horse painter of all time, to Degas, Duchamp-Villon’s Large Horse, a modern metaphor of horsepower, Munning’s horses as defining images of Englishness, Picasso’s agonised horse in its death throes in Guernica (1937) which expresses the horrendous destruction of the city in the Spanish Civil War. The lecture concludes with the very diverse ways in which our leading contemporary artists have made use of the expressive power of the equestrian image. Mark Wallinger’s gigantic 50 metre high horse will soon loom over the Kent countryside in Ebbsfleet. 27th February 2019 Brian Stater Women behind the Lens The work of women photographers has often been unfairly neglected. This lecture seeks to correct that by examining the contribution of three outstanding British practitioners; Julia Margaret Cameron, a Victorian pioneer, Jane Bown, a brilliant portraitist and Fay Godwin, who excelled in landscape photography. We also explore the work of two highly influential Americans: Dorothea Lange, who produced brilliant documentary images and Annie Leibovitz, who continues to both surprise and delight her audience. Above: The Queen at 90 by Annie LeibovitzClick here for information on Annie LeibovitzClick here for the V&A page on Julia Margaret Cameron23rd January 2019 Giles Ramsay David Garrick: Actor and Impresario David Garrick: Actor and Impresario.Following the trauma of the English Civil War came the Restoration, a period of loucheness and scandal. With the return of a King and the arrival of the first English actresses the foundations were set for a more modern theatre to emerge in the 18th century under the influence of the greatest actor/manager of the age - David Garrick.Click here for information on David Garrick28 November David BostwickFashion and Friendships: The Embroideries and Decorative Schemes of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bess of HardwickFrom1569 to 1584 Mary was held in the custody of George, Earl of Shrewsbury. His wife, Bess of Hardwick, shared a love of embroidery with the captive queen. Over the years they devised some of the most important Elizabethan embroideries to survive: wall-hangings, table-carpets and cushion-covers. This lecture reveals the hidden messages in their designs and in the decorative schemes at Elizabethan Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall, and tells the amazing story of Bess and her fabulous French furniture! Visit to Kettles Yard and Murray Edwards College30th October 2018Kettle’s Yard is a remarkable house filled with beautiful objects, once the home of Jim and Helen Ede, and now owned by the University of Cambridge. Jim and Helen’s collection of C20th British and European Art, Ceramics, Glass, Textiles, Furniture and found and natural objects are uniquely displayed in a delightful domestic setting. The newly opened gallery space is a stunning location for the exhibition of Richard Pousette - Dart, a contemporary of the Edes. Murray Edwards College (formally New College) has one of the finest collection of work by women artists, which includes Paula Rego, Maggie Hambling and Barbara Hepworth.Click here for more information and a booking form.24th October 2018 Linda Smith Who Are You Looking At? Twentieth Century Art and Feminism We will examin some late nineteenth-century images of women to show some of the ways in which the early avant-garde challenged and subverted European traditions in art, and discusses the parallel rise of the cult of Bohemia and what that meant for women trying to succeed as artists. This provides background for a look at the difficulties women had making their voices heard in the 1950s, and moves on to explain the confrontational strategies employed by feminist artists in the 1970s, comparing them with the more nuanced attitudes of more recent feminist art.Click here for 15 female artists who shook Paris.26 September 2018Burlington House and the History of the Royal Academy of ArtsStephen Richardson MA Burlington House on London’s Piccadilly has been the home of the Royal Academy of Arts since 1868. Although the Academy was already 100 years old when it took up residence, it is not commonly known that the building has a long and fascinating history of its own. This talk focuses on the origins of Burlington House, from construction in the 1660’s for a courtier to King Charles II; re-fashioning as a Palladian mansion for Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington; its association with architects and artists such as William Kent and Sebastiano Ricci; further re-development by the Cavendish family during the Regency period, and its ultimate role as the home of the United Kingdom's leading 'society for promoting the Arts of Design'.The talk also examines the reasons behind the founding of the Royal Academy, its own early history and its Olympian era during the time of eminent Victorian artists such as Leighton, Millais and Frith. Burlington House web siteThe history of Burlington HouseThe Art & Historic Houses of Newcastle & the North East (Sold Out)3 days from £289 Departing 3rd September 2018•The Bowes Museum – guided tour•The Angel of the North•Newcastle upon Tyne – guided tour•Baltic Centre – guided tour•Shipley Art Gallery – guided tour with included coffee & cake•Great Exhibition of the North 2018 (entrance fee not included)•Laing Gallery – guided tour•Newby Hall – guided tourCost includes•4* Newcastle hotel •Half board accommodation•All excursions & guided tours included•Entrance fees to most places of interest included•Blue Badge Guide on Day 2•Executive coach throughoutClick here for a full itinerary and a booking form.25 July 2018: Social evening - separate booking and payment required. Further details later.The Fascinating World of Playing CardsYasha Beresiner LL.B Surprisingly today’s playing cards date back to 1377. Decks from 1475 still survive. The English deck is of French origin and the Company of Makers of Playing Cards was founded in 1628 to protect English makers from French importations. Cards were used as a medium of communication, propaganda or education: the 1678 Titus Oates plot is illustrated on a 52 card deck published at the time and known as The Horrid Popish Plot. Francis Barlow illustrated the cards depicting Marlborough's Victories in 1707. Modern cards follow in these old traditions with some wonderful collectors’ decks of today. 27 June 2018The Silver Thread: Silver Filigree and Traditional Art in KosovoElizabeth Gowing MA From the early Kosovan silver mines which are mentioned in Dante, through the twentieth century politics over Kosovo’s mines which resulted in both a war and a golf course, a silver thread winds through Kosovo’s history. Its most intricate tanglings are in the country’s cultural capital, Prizren, where a seventh generation of filigree artisans use ‘filum’ and ‘granum’, zigzags, ‘mouse-tooth’ designs and other twists and turns to magic lacy creations from dull sticks of raw material. The results – in boxes, buttons, jewellery, religious ornamentation and the talismans of superstitition – are a fine narrative of Kosovo’s history and traditions.Background to Filigree in Kosovo with videosThe art of FiligreeUS Council article5 June 2018 Rockingham CastleGuided Tour of the Castle £35 for members and £37 for Guests23 May 2018Treasures and Curiosities of the Royal Library at Windsor CastleOliver Everett The Library is primarily used by the Queen to show to her guests after dinner parties at Windsor Castle. This is because it is so full of a great range of fascinating objects associated with the history of Britain and the Royal family. The lecture gives a tour of the Library similar to that experienced by the Queen's guests. The Library is open to academic researchers but not to the general public. The lecture therefore constitutes a rare opportunity to see its rooms and treasures. These treasures include beautiful and rare books and manuscripts; books with personal royal associations; old master drawings (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Holbein, Canaletto) and watercolours; jewellery; insignia of Orders of Chivalry; miniature paintings; clocks; fans; maps; the shirt in which Charles I was executed; and the Queen's description (when Princess Elizabeth, aged 11) of her father's Coronation in 1937. Royal Collection web site25 April 2018Wanderings among the Nomadic Tribes of Iran and Afghanistan: Searching for the Woven Art and Symbolism of the NomadsBrian MacDonald FRGS My time spent in Iran and Afghanistan during the 1970s, began to foster a passion for the wonderful woven art produced by nomads on basic ground looms. My subsequent visits were spent travelling and searching amongst nomadic tribes for these exquisite 19th century weavings, which have become harder to find and have now virtually disappeared amongst the tribes themselves.This lecture illustrates the woven art of the nomads as they moved over the lands they have travelled for generations. We will have the opportunity of seeing their way of life and looking at the 19th century rugs and utilitarian weavings, similar to those which I discovered during my forays into the different tribal territories.During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, some tribal weavers began to weave the devastation and violence they saw into their carpets. The popularity of these soon spread, and it gained recognition as a form of Afghan folk art. In this war rug, Mujahideen combat a devil representing the USSR.Background to the history of carpets from the regionReviving the carpet weaving skillsPersian rugs28 March 2018Cultural Anxieties and Ritual Protection in High Status Early Modern HousesJames Wright FSA The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were marked by a radical increase in the numbers of accusations of witchcraft throughout Europe. Evil incarnate was a very real fear for the populace and this led to a raft of folk-traditions being employed to protect house and home from possession. Using the case studies of the Tower of London and Knole, Kent this lecture presents and explains how the houses of the rich were given spiritual protection from demonic forces.Symbols found at KnoleNorwich Castle protection spellsThe rituals of house protectionArticle from BBC about the practice of hiding shoes in buildings.28 February2018Shaken by an Earthquake: Igor Stravinsky, the Ballet Russes and the Astonishing 1913 Premier of the Rite of SpringSandy Burnett The story of one of the greatest creative collaborations of all: Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, whose team of dancers, choreographers, and costume and set designers transformed expectations of what a night in the theatre could be, and the circumstances behind its most notorious stage work of all. Sandy examines the build-up to the Rite of Spring’s première in Paris, takes a look at the original costumes, plays excerpts from this fascinatingly inventive score, and explores what divided opinions of that first-night audience quite so dramatically. No, nothing could top the riot at the Rite in 1913…Telegraph article on the Rite of Spring24 January 2018The Hitler Emigres: Their Impact on British Artistic and Cultural LifeDaniel Snowman What do these have in common: The Penguin Pool at London Zoo; the Glyndebourne and Edinburgh Festivals; the publishers Phaidon and Thames & Hudson; Pevsner's Buildings of England; "The Red Shoes" and the Amadeus Quartet? Each was created by émigrés from Central Europe who found refuge in Britain. Artists, architects, film makers, musicians, publishers, historians, psychologists and scientists: all brought something of their continental legacy to Britain. Their collective talent was enormous and their influence far in excess of their numbers. Review from the Guardian on Danel Snowman’s book on Hitler Emigres22 November 2017Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: The Golden Age of Mexican PaintingsChloe Sayer BA (Hons.) Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957) have iconic status in Mexico. Rivera's intricate visual narratives, rich with allegory and symbolism, adorn the walls of public buildings. Inspired by Aztec and Maya imagery, and by early Italian fresco painting, his vast murals combine social criticism with faith in human progress. Kahlo's work, unlike Rivera's, is small in format. Arguably Mexico’s most original painter, she made herself the principal theme of her art. Her paintings reflect her experiences and dreams. This lecture surveys the work of both artists; it chronicles their turbulent marriage and Mexico's history after the 1910 Revolution.Nude with Calla Lilies (Rivera) Self Portrait (Kahlo)Background on RiveraBackground on Kahlo25 October 2017Hidden Canvases - Street Art and the CityDoug Gillen BA (Hons.) Doug Gillen’s YouTube, blog and TV channel can be accessed here.His ‘Restoring Banksie’ video is well worth seeing, click here to see it.Street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. The term gained popularity during the graffiti art boom of the early 1980s and continues to be applied to subsequent incarnations. Stencil graffiti, wheatpasted poster art or sticker art, and street installation or sculpture are common forms of modern street art. Video projection, yarn bombing and Lock On sculpture became popularised at the turn of the 21st century.The terms "urban art", "guerrilla art", "post-graffiti" and "neo-graffiti" are also sometimes used when referring to artwork created in these contexts. Traditional spray-painted graffiti artwork itself is often included in this category, excluding territorial graffiti or pure vandalism.Right: More than three meters above east London's Sclater Street is a mural of sprinter Usain Bolt, captured in explosive color by artist James Cochran. The street artwork, more than four meters high and six meters wide, is a dramatic sight, designed by Cochran to celebrate London's Olympic Games. Background of Street Art‘Street Art’ exhibition at Tate Modern 2008The Story Behind BanksyWheatpaste art postersWeb site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
Web site and mobile phone pages designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
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Web site and mobile phone pages designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training