Previous Lectures We 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. 9th May 2024 Mark Temple A Picture Tour of Woodhouse Eaves and its neighbours. Changes over 100 years House party at Beaumanor Hall, Woodhouse Eaves in 1926. Photo: WikiMedia Commons 11th April 2024 Keith Bonser Caravaggio Painter Extraordinaire, Flawed Genius &…..? Murderer. My presentation is a very personal account of how Caravaggio came into my life. This journey embraces the story of his life and his paintings, and epitomises the ability of Art to inspire anyone. The core presentation is followed by an interactive open discussion on related topics. For example; The Betrayal of Christ; A painting ‘lost’ for almost 400 years, found by chance in Dublin 1990 No body, no grave, no record of his death. How did Caravaggio die? Caravaggio and his models, including himself Did Caravaggio’s alleged bi-sexuality, trigger a sequence of events which directly led to his premature death? Malta; A year on the island which promised so much, but ended in disaster Caravaggio and Costanza Colonna; A bond that helped him throughout his life and very nearly saved him …….., but not quite. 14th March 2024 (date changed) Ralph Hoyle Mid 18th Century English Rococo Silver, it’s Social Context, and the Adventures of it’s Owners and Makers Ralph's interest is mid eighteenth century English Rococo silver. He brings with him the pieces he is going to talk about for the listeners to handle and examine, together with a comprehensive collection of power point images, with close ups of features of interest. The Huguenot influence on this most decorative period is discussed, where new silversmith techniques fused with new designs; together with methods of manufacture, interpreting the engraved heraldry of the items, and the social context. He makes the talk entertaining as well as informative by taking the audience on a journey to uncover the original owners by tracing the heraldry, shows portraits of them, and reveals some of the life story associated with them; fabulously wealthy aristocrats and middling sorts, they variously had a stint in the Tower of London, had tragic family circumstances, had their descendants gamble away their estates, found their wife in a bed she should certainly not have been in, or were dragged to their death in an overturned carriage... Knowing the exploits of these original owners of these pieces adds considerably to their interest and brings another dimension to the handling. This format also lends itself to study sessions, particularly a small group at a single table, where a greater range of pieces can be shown, and discussed in more detail, together with a session looking at silver wine labels*; their evolving design from the 1730s, how wars with France determined the wines that were drunk, and how some makers families supplied them for several generations. * Also known as decanter labels. Originally introduced to identify the contents of opaque and dark coloured bottles. 8th February 2024 Tyler Butterworth What a Carry On! From the son of Peter: come and hear the history and art of the Carry On films from within the family. The remarkable untold story of Carry On actor Peter Butterworth, and his wife, Britain’s first female tv impressionist Janet Brown, best known for her impression of Mrs Thatcher. Using classic film and tv clips, personal mementos, and rare photographs and letters from his family’s unseen collection, Tyler reveals the private story behind his parents’ public lives. It’s a journey that takes in MI9, the building of a theatre in the notorious WW2 Prisoner of War camp Stalag Luft III, nights at Chequers with a Prime Minister, This Is Your Life, and many more moments in their long, shared life in the theatre. 11th January 2024 Paul Roberts Last Supper in Pompeii. For the Romans, life meant getting together to eat and drink, in a pub, in a simple flat or at a banquet in a triclinium or grand dining room. Last supper in Pompeii celebrates the Roman love affair with food and wine, in a journey from fields and vineyards to markets and shops, from tables to toilets and the tomb. We visit the fertile vine-filled slopes of Vesuvius, then going into the bustling city, past shops and bars, we enter the home, with its grand reception rooms, and lovely garden filled with flowers and fountains. We recline in the dining room, with exotic food and fine wine, surrounded by Greek-style luxury; beautiful silver, mosaics and frescoes. But don’t go in the kitchen! No fridge, no running water, no hygiene (and an open cess pit next to the cooker!). Lastly we look at how Roman ideas and customs on food caught on in Roman Britain. Along with Roman gods of fertility and wine come exotic imports like pepper, figs and finest fish sauce. We witness the birth of the British beer industry and even see the British dead, feasting into the afterlife, like all good Romans. Seize the day - Carpe diem!! Come and celebrate the Roman love of food & wine (For some of us things never change!!) with Paul the Head of the Dept of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology. 14th December 2023 Peter Ross The Curious History of Christmas Food The foods we eat at Christmas have a long, curious and visually spectacular history. This lecture narrates and illustrates that history from Medieval boar’s head and brawn, by way of highly decorated seventeenth century mince pies to the almost forgotten Twelfth Night Cake. Medieval illuminated manuscripts, paintings and prints from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, and illustrations from cookery books provide us with images of some of the lost glories of the British Christmas feast. 9th November 2023 Nigel Bates They make no noise. What is it that conductors do that makes orchestras respond in so many different ways? Is it a good baton technique? A strong personality? The way they look? And why are there relatively few women found on the podium? And why are the conductors paid so much more than anyone else on the concert platform? Drawing on history and his own musical experiences from well over six thousand performances and recordings, Nigel seeks out some answers. This lecture contains some rare video footage of conductors in rehearsal and performance. Essentials in Conducting. Karl Wilson Gehrkens Public domain 12th October 2023 Caroline Bendix The Conservation of National Trust Libraries The National Trust’s collection of some 600,000 books in 170 locations is cared for by property staff, volunteers and freelance conservators, working together to maintain the libraries in good working condition. Managing the environment, tracking down pests, creating conservation techniques that are discreet, and stabilising the collections for use are the main elements. Conservation evolves as the books’ use evolves, e.g. the catalogue is now available on-line and more researchers require access. The increased wish to use the books for visitor engagement projects provides further challenges. Given that most of the books have not been restored, the collection provides a physical history of the book trade and of the interaction between books and their owners/readers that is difficult to match elsewhere, so the conservation of books as objects is as important as preserving their texts. 14th September 2023 Gavin Plumley Bruegel - The Seasons & The World In 1565, Pieter Bruegel the Elder was commissioned to create a series of paintings for a dining room in Antwerp. The images, charting the course of a year, changed the way we view the world through art. Landscape had previously been a decorative backdrop to dramas both sacred and profane. But in Bruegel's hands the landscape and our interaction with it became the focus. Looking at paintings such as The Return of the Herd, Hunters in the Snow and The Gloomy Day, this lecture explores how Bruegel pioneered a whole new way of thinking about the environment and our individual places within a shifting cosmos. 8th June 2023 Barbara Askew Happy & Glorious: The 70th Anniversaries of the Accession & Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth 11 2022 is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and 2023 marks the 70th Anniversary of her Coronation, events which are unique in the history of our nation. This lecture celebrates these events and looks at the evolution of the coronation ceremony from Saxon times to that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It examines the different stages of the ceremony from the Recognition through to the Homage and explains the significance of the different items of the Coronation Regalia. Finally, the lecture gives an account of the ill omens and memorable mishaps which have occurred at coronations throughout the centuries and ends with the coronation of Her Majesty the Queen, the first to be genuinely witnessed by the people through the medium of television. May 11 2023 Annalie Talent Great & Small: Writers, Their Pets & Other Animals He prayeth best, who loveth best/All things both great and small… Samuel Taylor Coleridge From Robert Burns’s mouse to Shelley’s skylark; from Wordsworth’s butterfly to Keats’s nightingale; throughout the Romantic period, animals often inspired great writing. This lecture focuses on the creatures that have been loved, lost and immortalised by some of our greatest writers. We begin in the 18th century, with Gilbert White recording in minute detail the behaviour of his pet tortoise, Timothy. We then turn to the Romantics - including Byron, who wrote more movingly about his love for a dog than he did for any woman. We end by taking a look at some Victorian writers’ pets, and discover how these animals inspired their owners – and other authors. Along the way, we explore why writing about animals increases during the Romantic and Victorian periods, and what this tells us about changing attitudes towards them during this time. Byron’s dog 13 April 2023 Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe on Copies, Curtains and Ways of Looking at Paintings How does our experience of living with and looking at works of art today compare to the viewing experience of earlier centuries? You may never have given a thought to how you enjoy a painting, or what it is that you value in it, let alone wonder whether that enjoyment was different in the past. This lecture will consider the very different conditions in which paintings were displayed and enjoyed in earlier centuries, as well as the very different responses that they evoked. It draws on the evidence in paintings themselves for the many surprising ways in which people handled, hung, used or responded to the art that they owned. From concealing their paintings with a small curtain, to the lighting by candle or window, and the grouping of copies together with originals, this talk will present some of the more unexpected ways that people responded to a picture. 9th March 2023 Mark Hill (from the Antiques’ Road Show) “Hot Stuff! The Birth of Studio Glass” Studio Glass is the manufacturing system that dates from 1962 when techniques were developed for small individual studios to create their own items instead of needing factories to do this. Mark says that Studio Glass is his collecting passion, and he will explain all of this with illustrated examples. 9th February 2023 Janusck Karczewski-Slowikowski Are you sitting Comfortably? - The History of the Chair A lecture on the development of the chair in terms of its construction and style from ancient times through to the 19th century and also its use as a symbol of power and authority in courtly ritual. 12th January 2023 Jacky Klein A Picture a Day – Peggy Guggenheim. The Birth of Mid Century Modernism This is the story of how the socialite and muse Peggy Guggenheim became one of the greatest collectors in the history of modern art. Friends with the leading cultural figures of her day – including Cecil Beaton, Jean Cocteau, Barbara Hepworth, Scott Fitzgerald, Ian Fleming, Djuna Barnes and Igor Stravinsky – she was photographed by Man Ray and Andre Kertesz, took advice from Marcel Duchamp and married – among others – the artist Max Ernst. She moved with ease between the social elites of New York and the bohemia of Paris. This talk asks why it was that – seemingly out of the blue – Guggenheim started collecting contemporary art in the 1930s? What impact did her subsequent galleries in London and New York have on artists and the wider art world? How and why did her name become inextricably linked with the city of Venice? And how did a New York heiress play such a pivotal role in the making of mid-century Modernism? 8th December 2022 Graham Jones A Very Ceremonial Christmas Find out, in this very light-hearted lecture, about the various ceremonial events that take place around Christmas time. Carol services, concerts and even Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace and Windsor all play their part. How do the Chelsea Pensioners prepare and celebrate the festive season? All will be revealed so, come along and feel wrapped in a blanket of Christmas loveliness. This followed our traditional mince pie and a glass of wine or juice for each member, and was a superlative, but light- hearted, lecture about the various ceremonial events that take place around Christmas time. Carol Cervices, Concerts Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace and Windsor, the Chelsea Pensioners and many others. He used multiple video clips and had a genuine mastery of the PowerPoint System. 10th November 2022 Mariska Beekenkamp—Wladimiroff Women in the Dutch Republic Independent, vocal and brave, the Dutch women were different enough for various 17th century visitors to Holland to note in their diaries and letters that they had never seen anything like it! What set them apart and why, this one hour lecture will illustrate the pragmatic Dutch and their strong women. October lecture - last minute change to programme Dancing in Valentia: The surpassing elegance of Santiago Calatrava, Starchitect. “Starchitect” is a portmanteau word used to describe architects whose celebrity and critical acclaim have transformed them into idols of the architecture world and may even have given them some degree of fame among the general public! Starchitects twinkle in constellation as they rebuild the universe. Santiago Calatrava (b.1951) has designed in every continent. His admirers claim that he has fused art, design, architecture, sculpture, and engineering. His airports, bridges, shopping malls, palaces of art and culture, his railway stations too, lift the heart with excited pleasure. His practice is in Switzerland, but he began in Valencia which he has transformed with a bridge, an opera house, and museums. And there is a footbridge by him in Salford. 8th September 2022 Peter Ross Shakespeare’s First Folio 1623 How was one of the most important books in the English Language created by Shakespeare’s friends and fellow actors seven years after his death? How was the book put together, what was missing and without it would we have truly have lost eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays? This lecture looks at the creation of the book, its structure and design, the people involved in the extraordinary project and the subsequent history of some of the copies and their distribution across the world. 9th June 2022 John Benjamin At the Sign of the Falcon:The Life & Works of Harry Murphy Goldsmith, Silversmith & Unique Englishman H G Murphy’s greatest misfortune was to die just before the start of the Second World War. The designs and inspirations of the pre-war era were simply seen as passé and totally out of keeping with the new spirit of modernism which quickly grew after the Festival of Britain in 1951. Harry Murphy served his apprenticeship under Henry Wilson, probably Britain’s greatest designer goldsmith of the Arts and Crafts era. Here he learnt a wide range of skills and techniques including enamelling, gem-setting and polishing, niello, engraving and hammering. From 1928 until his death in 1939 he worked from retail premises in Marylebone, London, known as the Falcon Studio where he designed and created a prodigious amount of silverware for the corporate, civic and private sectors as well as some truly startling gold, silver and enamel jewellery inspired by nature, architecture, the Ballet Russes and the vibrancy of the Jazz Age. 12th May 2022 Rupert Dickens Through a Glass Darkly - Vermeer & The Camera Obscura The tranquil and meditative paintings of Johannes Vermeer are among the best-loved artworks in the world. Relatively little is known about the master from Delft but that has not deterred a torrent of publications about him, both fictional and scholarly. One of the most hotly debated topics in Vermeer literature is his supposed use of the camera obscura. We will tackle this controversy head on by investigating the history of optical devices in art and examining the latest theories on Vermeer’s technique. It will be a great opportunity to look at Vermeer’s beguiling body of work afresh through a different lens. 14th April 2022 Ian Swankie Pots & Frocks - "The World of Grayson Perry - from Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure” Best known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire,
Web site and mobile phone pages created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
The Arts Society Charnwood