Previous LecturesWe will be archiving the lectures as we go through the year, so you can look back on lectures, perhaps look at some of the links associated with them.December 9th 2021 7:30Roger AskewA Right Royal Christmas: How our Royal Families have celebrated Christmas through the ages.Our royal families have celebrated Christmas throughout their long history, from William the Conqueror making sure of his claim to the English throne by being crowned in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. Feasting on a spectacular scale characterised medieval Christmases – we read of extraordinary culinary delicacies served to Henry II, crane’s flesh, peacocks and herons. Present-giving always marked the season, from the extravagant – the City of London presented Richard II with a camel and a pelican – to the witty – Mrs. Thatcher sent the Queen a pair of yellow washing-up gloves having seen Her Majesty doing the dishes without any. The Royal Christmas Broadcast is now an established part of our celebrations and we shall hear extracts from George V’s, George VI’s and our present Queen’s addresses.November 11th 2021 7:30Chantal Brotherton-RatcliffeHistorical Painting Materials & Techniques 15th - 18th CenturiesThe 14th century artist Cennino Cennini recommended using “the chicken bones that you will find under the dining table” for making charcoaled bone black to paint with. His treatise, The Artists’ handbook, gives us an understanding of some of the surprising materials which any artist had to master before he could begin to paint, such as the tail of a squirrel to make his paintbrushes. But many of these materials were difficult to use and have an effect on the finished look of paintings from the centuries before industrial processes changed the artist’s world. This lecture will explain the techniques and the reasons for some of the features of 15th and 16th century paintings which may seem odd to our modern eyes. October 14th 2021 7:30 at our normal venueRoger Butler Canal History & Heritage This lecture provides a colourful introduction to the secret world of our 2000-mile inland waterway network and looks at all aspects of their exceptional artistic, architectural and engineering vernacular with special reference to our local canals. He will range from sweeping aqueducts to tiny bollards; from colourful historic narrowboats to 'Roses and Castles' artwork; from grand World Heritage Sites to quirky listed buildings. A well-known architectural historian once described our canals as a 'poor man's art gallery'.Note from our Chairman:On 14th October we were again back in our normal venue in Quorn at 7.30pm to hear Roger Butler give his lecture on Canal History & Heritage This lecture provided a colourful introduction to the secret world of our 2000-mile inland waterway network and looked at all aspects of their exceptional artistic, architectural and engineering vernacular This ranged from sweeping aqueducts to tiny bollards; from colourful historic narrowboats to 'Roses and Castles' artwork; from grand World Heritage Sites to quirky listed buildings. A well-known architectural historian once described our canals as a 'poor man's art gallery', and the art was indeed striking.At the end of his main lecture, he gave us an additional ten minutes on our own local canals with entrancing photos taken some 60 years ago, these were compared with present day views of the same scenes. We found ourselves looking at them completely afresh!September 9th 2021 7:30 at our normal venueHoward Smith Eagle & Dan Dare – The Art of Frank Hampson This is the extraordinary story of a million selling boy’s magazine created by a vicar and an art student in 1950. 20% of the readers were girls. This is the backstory of why and how they created this ground-breaking magazine and then sold it to Hulton Press.The lead story of Dan Dare was the only one to have its own full studio producing the weekly double-page spread. See how this studio worked and the graphic tricks artist Frank Hampson used to create reality. Why did the Ministry of Defence order six copies each week and what prize did David Hockney win in 1950? All is revealed in this lecture which obviously has some space elements in it – but it is really an amazing story of achievement, with artwork, ephemera and vintage film clips.DAN DARE. Situated on the corner of Lord Street and Cambridge Arcade is this bronze bust. The Plaque reads:- DAN DARE, Eagle Magzine's most famous character, dedicated to, Marcus Morris, Frank Hampson, creators of the children's weekly. Eagle Southport. Donated by the Eagle Society 2000. CC Peter Hodge*June 10th 2021 7:30Tony FaberThe Imperial Easter Eggs of Carl Faberge - Before the RevolutionBetween 1885 and 1916, Carl Fabergé made fifty jewelled eggs – Easter presents from Russia’s last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: both supreme examples of the jeweller’s art and the vulgar playthings of a decadent court. Given almost total artistic freedom, Fabergé and his designers had to conform to only three rules: that each year’s Easter present should be egg-shaped, that it should contain some surprise to amuse or delight its recipient, and that it should be different from any predecessor. Their maker’s relentless search for novelty also means that they provide a fabulously quirky illustrated history of the decline of the Romanovs. The lecture is illustrated with pictures of the Romanovs and their palaces, and, of course, with photographs of the eggs themselves.May13th 2021 7:30Geri ParlbyThe Subtle Art of Fake NewsFake News has been around since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs and art has always been one of its favourite media.In this talk I will be uncovering the subtle art of spin and propaganda in art from the glories of Ancient Mesopotamia to the Norman Conquest and then onto Elizabethan England and the dark days of Nazi Germany.Every picture tells a story—whether it is true or not is an entirely different matter.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.April 8th 2021 7:30Jennifer Toynbee-HolmesThe Art of DanceSince the birth of the earliest human civilisations, dance has been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations, a method of healing and a means of expression and entertainment. Using stills and video clips we take a look at dance as an art form from its earliest beginnings; through the birth and rapid development of ballet throughout Europe, the explosion of modern dance in the early 20th century a time of unprecedented creative growth for dancers and choreographers and with the growth of post-modernism from the 1960s the expansion of street dance, hip-hop, break dancing and rock dance.March 11th 2021 7:30Lars Tharp The Captain, The Duchess & their 23,000 Children: London’s Great Foundling HospitalIn the early 1700s, shipwright Thomas Coram gave up his business in Massachusets. Returning to London he was appalled to encounter babies regularly abandoned in the streets. He began to lobby for the provision of a hospital for ‘foundlings’ and for babies at risk of infanticide. The great and the good weren’t interested. But Coram persisted; and the result was the Foundling Hospital in what came to be known as “Coram Fields” near Tavistock Square which is well worth a visit.Click here for the Foundling Hospital website.February 11th 2021 7:30Monica Bohm-DuchenInsiders/Outsiders: Refugees from Nazi Europe & British visual culture.Despite the traumatic nature of their dislocation and the obstacles they often encountered on arrival in the UK, those who fled here from Nazi-dominated Europe in the 1930s and 1940s made a deep, pervasive and long-lasting contribution to British culture. Focussing on the visual arts, this lecture will examine the nature of this contribution, embracing not only familiar names such as Gombrich, Kokoschka, Moholy-Nagy, Schwitters and Heartfield, but also lesser-known figures such as Albert Reuss, Josef Herman and Marie-Louise von Motesiczky. January 14th 2021 7:30Ian Swankie Great Railway Stations-Evoking the Spirit of Romance & Adventure.If you think of St Pancras International or New York Grand Central you imagine long romantic journeys. You know they are special places promising excitement and adventure. But there are dozens of other glorious stations in the UK and abroad. We will take a journey around some of the most evocative and splendid stations in the world. We will look not only at the magnificence of the architecture and the brilliant engineering but will discover numerous artworks within the stations and examine many depictions of stations in art – like Claude Monet’s Gare St Lazare or William Powell Frith’s Paddington. It may sound a bit anoraky, but it’s definitely not. It’s lavish, colourful and fun. Thursday 10th December 2020 (hopefully with wine & mince pies) 7:30Ian GledhillThe Magic of Pantomime (by an actor who understudied Julian Clary, talking about the only British form of theatre) The history of this enduring and peculiarly British institution, from its origins in 16th century Italian commedia dell’arte through the influence of 19th century music hall, to the family shows that are still much loved today. On the way we examine the origins of some of the stories used in pantomime as well as such traditions as the (female) principal boy and the (male) pantomime dame. The talk is interspersed with personal anecdotes from the speaker’s years of working (and appearing) professionally in pantomime.Thursday 12th November 2020David Wright A Brief History of Wine Wine has been part of our global society for over 7,000 years, and the story tells of its origin and appearance in all civilisations across the Mediterranean and through Europe. There is rich evidence of the rôle wine has played in these societies and how it became an important component of faith, well-being and festivity. From the kwevris of Georgia in 5,000 B.C., the symposia in ancient Greece, the thermopolia of Pompeii, the hospices of Europe, to the dining tables of fine society, wine has been ever present. Drawings, paintings, engravings, buildings, pottery and wine labels themselves all contribute to the story.Wednesday 14th October Zoom Study Day, 11 for 11.30amBarry Venning Patinbrushes at Dawn - the World’s Greatest Artistic Feuds, Rows and Quarrels” (2 lectures)Session-1 12 noon – 1pm Session-1 Renaissance to Turner vs ConstableThe modern concept of the artist as a genius rather than a craftsman developed during the Renaissance, and so it is no coincidence that the era saw some of the bitterest (and earliest) recorded artistic feuds. The first session begins by looking at the bitter, lifelong rivalry between the great sculptor, Ghiberti, and the architect, Brunelleschi, then considers Michelangelo’s appalling behaviour towards colleagues such as Raphael, Perugino, Francia and, above all, Leonardo da Vinci. The Renaissance also witnessed the founding of the earliest academies of art, and these often became the arenas in which personal and professional rivalries were fought out. At the Royal Academy in London, rows and feuds rumbled on for over a century, including JMW Turner’s bitter dispute with his fellow landscapist, John Constable.Session 2 1.30 – 2.30pm Session-2 The last 150 years to Banksy vs RobboDuring the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the academies became increasingly irrelevant. The most exciting and challenging art and ideas were produced by a host of avant-garde artists, groups and critics who were often at loggerheads with one another. The second session begins with Whistler’s epic dispute with John Ruskin, which led to the most famous (and funniest) libel trial in British legal history. We move on to consider Salvador Dali’s spat with the Surrealist leader, Andre Breton, the artist John Latham’s brilliant take-down of the American critic, Clement Greenberg and the art dealer Ileana Sonnabend’s titanic battle with the federal government of the USA. We finish the day with the bitter but wonderfully entertaining feud between the graffiti artists, Banksy and Robbo.Thursday 8th October 2020 at 7.30pm Timothy Walker The Subtle Science and Exact Art of Colour - English Garden DesignThis lecture was very well received; the mechanics of its Zoom delivery went off without any hitches, and the all-important coloured images came across very vividly.In 1888 Gertrude Jekyll wrote a short but seminal article in The Garden in which she urged the readers to “remember that in a garden we are painting a picture”. As an accomplished watercolour artist, Miss Jekyll was familiar with the principles of using colours, but she felt that in gardens these principles “had been greatly neglected”. This talk looks at how to apply these principles in designing a border, but it also looks at the ways in which a border is different from a painting. However, it goes further than this and looks at how contemporary work of the likes of Turner, Monet, Rothko, Jackson Pollack, and Hockney evolved in parallel with ideas about what a garden or border should look likeOur first lecture of the Covid19 period on ZoomThursday 10th September 2020Jo MabbuttThe Fields of the Cloth of Gold In June 1520 Henry VIII and Francis 1 met to ratify an Anglo-French alliance and celebrate the betrothal of Henry’s daughter Mary to the Dauphin. The two handsome ‘Renaissance Princes’ were in their 20’s with similar reputations in military prowess, sport and patrons of the arts. Both had imperial ambitions and were eager to display themselves as magnificent nobleman and warrior kings. Each brought an entourage of 6,000 to a field south of Calais for 18 days of various events and entertainments staged to display the skill and splendour of each King and country. The logistics of transporting all of this, including, 3,217 horses to Calais is staggering! Our Royal Palaces were virtually emptied of their silver, gold, tapestries and furniture to decorate the temporary palace.2020 is the 500th Anniversary of this extraordinary event.Thursday March 12th 2020Barry VenningWith a little help from their friends (Art work and the Beatles)This is a journey through the 60’s in music and images, following the Beatles from the Hamburg Reeperbahn in 1960 to Abbey Road in 1969. The band was always fascinated by the visual arts - the ‘fifth Beatle’, Stuart Sutcliffe, was a prodigiously talented painter - and they also learned very early on that artists and designers could help promote their image and their music. The Beatles rise to global fame was aided and recorded by an impressive roster of photographers, including Astrid Kirchherr, Bob Freeman, Robert Whitaker, Angus McBean and Linda McCartney. The innovative covers for releases turned album design into an art form in its own rightThursday 20th February at 11.30am Helen Rhodes Textiles, Patterns & PaintingsHelen is a well-recognised local artist who gained a First-Class Honours Degree in textile design from Loughborough College of Art; her popularity stems from a distinctive combination of simple, yet familiar images, a dash of gentle humour and wonderful rich textured colours.Some of the inspiration for Helen's work comes from a fascination with the history of textile design especially that of the Elizabethan era. The torn edges of some of her paintings hint at it being part of a much larger piece giving the viewer an added sense of mystery.This session was a combination of lecture and practical demonstration with hands-on encounters with her materials and methods.Thursday 13th February 2020Jane Gardiner Through the Glass Darkly (A history of glass through the eyes of the artist)This lecture explores the way in which artists over the centuries have included transparent glass objects in their paintings, taking huge delight in capturing the shadows and reflections seen within the glass as well as displaying their skill in portraying what lies behind and beyond. It will include the remarkable depiction of glass objects in Roman wall-paintings, works by artists such as Titian, Veronese and Caravaggio - where both the Gods of Olympus and the disciples are seen drinking out of fragile Venetian cristallo - and the proliferation of glass drinking vessels in Dutch still-life paintings.Thursday 9th January 2020 Paul Jagger Treasures of the Livery Company Halls of London The City of London is home to some forty Livery Company Halls, almost as many as existed immediately prior to the Great Fire of London. Many of the Halls succumbed to the fire, others to the Blitz, they all contain a wealth of treasures in art, sculpture, stained glass, silverware and furniture. Collectively the Livery Companies are custodians of an immense array of treasures of national significance.
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