Summary of current events

Unravelling The Silk Road

Wed 9th February 2022

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: Chris Alexander

Wool, cotton and silk have each played a crucial role in the fortunes of Central Asia. Wool created the clothing and housing needed by the great nomadic cultures that were to dominate Middle Asia. Silk was more valuable than gold and used as currency and cotton was the cause of Russian and then Soviet Colonisation and continues to cause controversy today as well as human misery and environmental catastrophe. Learn how the Silk Road changed the fortunes of this fascinating part of the world.

Unravelling The Silk Road

Sir John Betjeman

Wed 9th March 2022

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: Andrew Davies

Sir John Betjeman was a stimulating combination of poet, historian, writer, broadcaster, conservationist, campaigner, performer and all-round 'good egg'. Above all, his enthusiasm for people and places was infectious.This lecture explores Sir John's places, both the victories (St Pancras, Albert Bridge, Spitalfields) and despair at the failures (Euston Arch, Coal Exchange). We remember too his friends such as John Piper and also his tangled private and emotional life.

Sir John BetjemanSir John BetjemanSir John Betjeman

From Bronzes to Banksy

Wed 13th April 2022

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: Ian Swankie

London not only has a world-class reputation for art in its many galleries, but also a remarkable range of art outside in the streets. This ranges from huge and expensive commissions to unofficial graffiti, which is sometimes audacious and often playful, but they all have a place in our society. We look at why art is there, how it has developed over the years and discover many hidden gems.

Ian Swankie is an official guide for several London museums and a freelance guide for London, and also a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

From Bronzes to BanksyFrom Bronzes to BanksyFrom Bronzes to Banksy

Morocco Blues: Why and How Morrocco Got Painted Blue

Wed 11th May 2022

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: Elizabeth Gowing

This lecture focuses particularly on the stories behind the blue pigment used for the fishing boats and doorways of photogenic Essaouira on the Moroccan coast, and the Majorelle Blue developed and patented by French artist Jacques Majorelle in Marrakech in the 1920s. The story of Morocco’s blues takes us from Berber veils to Yves Saint-Laurent via Modernist Orientalist art, German cigarettes and a very special snail.

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The Art of Dining: a Look at Dining Style from Pompeii to Today

Wed 8th June 2022

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: Clive Stewart-Lockhart

Humans have been very good at recording how and what we eat through the ages and this talk looks at these themes starting with the frescoes of Pompeii and Herculaneum up to the modern day. The lecture looks at the objects involved with the eating presenting of food and wine, beginning with a banquet in Pompeii and finishing with the present day.

The Art of Dining: a Look at Dining Style from Pompeii to Today

Previous Lectures

Tribal Bags, Fabulous Bags- The Antique Weavings & Dowry Bags of the Persian & Central Asian Nomads

Wed 13th January 2021

By: Brian Mac Donald

Winslow Homer and the Art of New England

Wed 10th February 2021

By: Brian Healey

Miniature Adults? Images of Childhood in Western Art

Wed 10th March 2021

By: Sophie Oosterwijk

The Northern Powerhouse

Wed 14th April 2021

By: Mark Ovenden

Twigs Way

Wed 12th May 2021

By: Mary Delany

Magnificent Mosaics-Window into the Colourful Roman World

Wed 9th June 2021

By: Christopher Bradley

Painting with Light: Stained glass in the Age of George III

Wed 13th October 2021

By: Martin Ellis

The Field of the Cloth of Gold: 6,000 Englishmen in France for Eighteen Days - How Did They Do It?

Wed 10th November 2021

By: Joanna Mabbutt

Grinling Gibbons, Carver to the Crown

Wed 8th December 2021

By: Caroline Knight

Fine Art Forgery, Craftmanship or Conjuring Trick

Wed 12th January 2022

By: David Phillips