Lectures

Summary of current events



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

Wed 13th October 2021

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: Martin Ellis

This talk tells us one of the great untold stories of stained glass history – the blossoming of pictorial painted glass in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many ancient churches contain glass of the period, often unrecognised or unrecorded. The work of Francis Eginton, the most celebrated and productive glass painter of his generation is a focus of the lecture.

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

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

Wed 10th November 2021

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: Joanna Mabbutt

In June 1520 Henry VIII and Francis 1 meet to ratify an Anglo-French alliance and celebrate the betrothal of Henry’s daughter Mary to the Dauphin. Both have imperial ambitions and are eager to impress. This talk focuses on the event that brought an entourage of 6,000 from each country to a field in Calais for eighteen days of pomp and ceremony. The logistics had to be seen to be believed!

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

Grinling Gibbons, Carver to the Crown

Wed 8th December 2021

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: Caroline Knight

Gibbons (1648-1721) came to England from the Netherlands, and developed a virtuoso style of carving, well suited to the Baroque interiors of late 17th century England. This talk tells us about his work, including his limewood carvings with their festoons of fruit, flowers, fish and game which embellished Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, and Kensington Palace, as well as country houses such as Petworth and Belton.

Grinling Gibbons, Carver to the CrownGrinling Gibbons, Carver to the CrownGrinling Gibbons, Carver to the Crown

Fine Art Forgery, Craftmanship or Conjuring Trick

Wed 12th January 2022

10:30 am and 12:30 pm

By: David Phillips

Fake scientific and documentary evidence can play as big a role in forgery scandals as clever fabrication of the artwork itself, as we discover in a “ripping yarns” survey featuring the familiar Tom Keating and Van Meegeren amongst a supporting cast of exotic rogues. We come right up to date with the Greenhalghs of Bolton.

Fine Art Forgery, Craftmanship or Conjuring Trick

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 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.

From 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 and a protected mollusk...

Morocco Blues: Why and How Morrocco Got Painted Blue

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