Previous Programme & Events
Listed below are past leactures and events held by The Arts Society Northamptonshire:
7.45pm: Alan Reid: Godfrey Kneller: Court Painter or Hasty Slobberer?
Marking his tercentenary, this lecture looks at the life and work of Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723), the leading portraitist of Stuart and early Georgian England. His ambition was only exceeded by his productivity: there are stories of as many as fourteen sitters in a single day and that at his death, three hundred years ago, there were 500 unfinished portraits in his studio. Such reliance on assistants produced many rather indifferent works and in 1815 James Northcote dismissed the majority of Kneller’s portraits as ‘hasty slobbers…scarcely fit to be seen’. But the sheer volume of work should not taint our opinion of a painter who produced portraits of seven successive British monarchs, the definitive portrait of Isaac Newton, the Kit Kat portraits and the Hampton Court Beauties. Kneller’s achievement as a painter was actually quite remarkable.
7.45pm: Caroline Levisse: Seurat’s La Grande Jatte
From 1884 to 1886 Georges Seurat worked on what became the first Neo-impressionist painting: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. While working on it, Seurat devised his famous pointillist technique, applying the paint dot by dot, and using colour theory to choose his colours. His aim was to achieve compositions as harmonious and luminous as possible. This stylistic innovation startled the audience and Seurat was soon designated as the leader of a new rebellious school of painting. This lecture focuses on the technical aspect of La Grande Jatte as well as its iconography. Through this analysis we will unveil key aspects of Seurat’s personality, Neo-Impressionism, and the late 19th century Parisian art scene.
7.45pm: Lynne Gibson: How to Look at Art: A Strategy for Interpretation
Would you like to develop your confidence in looking at Art?? Put away the head-phones, take your nose out of the catalogue and discover a strategy for looking at Art. The strategy is a flexible approach to interpreting any piece of art work, giving you the confidence to become an active, rather than a passive, viewer. It is a tool for life: simple and effective. We will put it into practice by looking at a range of works from across the history of Western Art. Your questions and observations will be welcomed and encouraged. This lecture is a must for anyone interested in visiting galleries, exhibitions and art museums. It will, quite simply, help you to ‘see’ more! Learn to trust your own eyes, and enjoy Art to the full.
7.45pm: Simon Cottle: From Patronage to Innovation: British and European Glass 1450-1900
The glass of Italy, France, the Lowlands and the Holy Roman Empire stand in stark contrast to that of Britain. The elaborate styles and diverse forms, let alone the difference in the composition of the glass itself, marks out the traditions of the various countries. This lecture reveals the development of British glass alongside that of Europe and shows that how the influences of each country emerged almost as one in the 19th century as glassmakers and decorators using the ideas of their fellow Europeans sought to out-rival each other.
7.45pm: Rosalind Whyte: Contemporary Artists: Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor
Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor are amongst the most well-known sculptors working in Britain today and have both had major commissions for public works of art. With a wide range of inspirations and motifs, the work of these two artists provides an interesting insight into contemporary views and preoccupations in Britain. This lecture will look at examples of both artists’ work, exploring the common ground between them, and the differences in style, technique and themes.
7.45pm: Sarah Burles: Kettle’s Yard: A Masterpiece of Curatorship
Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge has been described as “one of the country’s most intimate and spellbinding museums, the collection of one man and his unerring eye; restorative, homely yet life-changing”. This man was H.S. ‘Jim’ Ede, curator, writer, collector and friend to artists. In1957, he opened his Cambridge home to university students as “a living place where works of art could be enjoyed… unhampered by the greater austerity of the museum or public art gallery.” His curated home remains, by and large as he left it, characterised by its unique atmosphere, fascinating juxtapositions and personal connections. This lecture will discuss the life of Jim Ede, his collecting, his vision for Kettles Yard and its enduring legacy.
7.45pm: Roger Agnew: “ A 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. 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.
7.45pm: Stella Lyons: Moonlight and Mortality: The enigmatic works of Joseph Wright of Derby
Was Joseph Wright of Derby Britain’s answer to Caravaggio? He was a painter of light; candlelight, moonlight and fire. But he also painted another kind of light, the light of knowledge. His magical works give us an insight into a unique period of time; the British enlightenment. Wright of Derby shows us a society on the brink of change, when a shift was taking place between religious ways of thinking, to a more ‘scientific’ approach. His works raise poignant questions about ethics, morality and man’s power over life and death.
7.45pm: Eamonn Gearon: THE SAHARA AS PALIMPSEST.
A CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST DESERT, FROM ROCK ART AND MYTH, TO THE DESERT FATHERS, SONS OF THE DESERT, KLEE AND MATISSE, SCHULTZ AND LUCAS. Eamonn Gearon is an author, historian, and recovering journalist, who lived and worked across the greater Middle East. As well as living in the Sahara with the Bedu, Eamonn conducted a number of solo, camel-powered expeditions … and has never lost money when re-selling a camel!
7.45pm: David Philips: “Oh yes it is””Oh no it isn’t”: Unresolved Questions of Authenticity
We look in detail at the human stories and the evidence pro and con in some notoriously undecided disputes. The Metropolitan Museum called a press conference to denounce their own ancient bronze horse as a forgery, then exonerated it … almost. The Turin Shroud is a fascinating object whatever your take on it. The Getty Museum frankly labelled the Kouros they bought as either Greek from the 5th century BC, or as a modern forgery - we just don’t know. Disputes are erupting with such frequency that the most topical cases we look at by the time this lecture gets delivered may not yet have hit the headlines.
7.45pm: Tim Schroder: City Livery Companies: The origins of the great Twelve
The livery companies of the City of London are best known today as charitable organisations. But in their early days their focus was on their trades, acting as a cross between modern trade unions and regulators. The companies were (and still are today) jealously mindful of their place within the order of precedence, from the Mercers’ Company at number one to the recently founded Art Scholars at number 110. Within this hierarchy the top dozen, known as ‘the Great XII’ have always had a special prestige. This lecture is told from the inside, as it were. Given by a former Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company (number five), it explores the mystery of the origins of this order of precedence.
7.45pm: Eileen Goulding: The Treasures of Tutankhamun
When Howard Carter first peered through a hole into the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 he was asked if he could see anything – “Yes, wonderful things!” was his reply. The tomb itself was poorly decorated but the funerary goods that helped the young pharaoh enjoy the afterlife in true kingly fashion are some of the most exquisite treasures ever discovered. In this lecture you too will discover their beauty, hear about their exciting discovery and the diary entries made by Carter, learn of the symbolism in their design, the materials used with expert craftsmanship and what has become of them.
7.45pm: Ann Benson: Coton Manor, Northamptonshire: A History of its Gardens
This richly illustrated lecture is based on Ann’s research and tells how Coton Manor and its surrounding designed landscape have developed – and survived ‒ from Domesday to the present. It covers the ravages of Civil War when the ancient house was razed to the ground, Restoration when the house was rebuilt in 1662 from stone salvaged from nearby Holdenby House, and ownership by an American heiress and her English husband, who are the grandparents of the current owners, Susie and Ian Pasley-Tyler. It’s rare to find a garden that has been in one family for nearly a century, and rarer still for that garden to become nationally acclaimed.
7.45pm: Jo Mabbutt: Behind the London Livery Companies; Objects and Stories
Over the centuries the Livery Companies of the City of London have accumulated fascinating treasures. Quirky, little known and intriguing, from illuminated ordinance books to cups for toasting and chains of office plus objects which represent their craft and trade reveal their history and their vital importance to the commercial life of the City of London. Reinventing themselves despite ravages of fire and warfare, challenges to their monopolies and the disappearance of certain trades, today they are revived and thrive with 31 modern companies formed since 1945. Surprisingly 42 Halls have survived or been rebuilt. These historic buildings, the setting for the private life of the Livery, retain commissioned portraits, furniture, silver and stained glass. Rare and curious items reveal the stories behind some of the world’s oldest crafts and guilds which have kept pace with modern times and are still very relevant today.
Lecture in memory of Dianne Hodson
7.45pm: Karin Fernald: The Shakespeare of Dogs: Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-73)
In his heyday, the animal artist Edwin Landseer was hugely celebrated and loved for his dogs and Highland stags; later, for his lions in Trafalgar Square. He was a child prodigy; aged 5 years old he made a detailed study of a foxhound which astounded everybody; later he became known for his vivid and varied textures of animal skin, hair and fur, which he achieved with special brushes, keeping their design a secret. He was a party man, with party tricks; with his left hand he could draw a horse’s head and with his right a stag’s head complete with horns – at the same time! Most widely appreciated for his dogs, he could paint comic dogs, tragic dogs and in-between dogs, and he became known - with some justification - as the Shakespeare of Dogs. When Sir Edwin died they named a pub after him; they buried him in St Paul’s Cathedral, and someone put black wreaths around the necks of those lions in Trafalgar Square.
7.45pm: Harry Venning: The Art of the Cartoonist
In 'The Art Of The Cartoonist' Harry will be tracing the history of his profession with examples from early practitioners like Cruickshank and Hogarth, to more contemporary artists such as Giles and Schulz, bringing events right up to date with cartoons produced fresh on the page that day! Yes, Harry will be drawing live. Prepare to hear some tricks of his trade, learn where to put eyebrows for maximum effect and discover exactly what the Eskimo brothers said in The Funniest Joke Ever (possibly).
7.45pm: Alan Read: The inventors of Christmas
Everyone knows the ingredients of a traditional Christmas: gathering round the Christmas tree, pulling crackers, eating Christmas pudding and mince pies. Those last-minute cards sent to people you’ve not seen all year. These are the festive celebrations with which most of us grew up and they still hold a special magic as representing the timeless Christmases of days gone by. But where did they start? This lecture looks at the characters and personalities of the people who began those traditions or introduced them to this country.
Lecture in memory of Margaret McLain
7.45pm: Janet Gough: How to Pick a Favourite Church
As former Director of churches and cathedrals for the Church of England, Janet has chosen one church from every Church of England diocese to illustrate the incredible story of our churches bound up with the story of England over the last 1400 years and shares with the audience how they might select their own favourites, together with the many joys and some of the challenges in maintaining England's extraordinary ecclesiastical heritage.
7.45pm: Caroline Rayman: Catherine de Medici, Poor Queen, the story of three in a marriage.
Catherine de Medici, the only woman ever to rule France, married Henry, second son of King Francis I. This was a dazzling match for a Florentine "daughter of merchants". However the young bride arrived in a strange country only to find her new husband completely uninterested in her due to "a third person in the marriage". She had enemies in the French court and life was a great struggle. After many unhappy years, she became ruler of France (three of her sons would rule after her) and mother-in-law to Mary Queen of Scots. This is the story of the very sad life of a brave woman and how she survived huge indignities and her enemies.
7.45pm: Dr Paul Stamper: 'England’s Historic Countryside: 'Ploughmen, Improvers and Romantics'
The lecture covers the changing English countryside over 5,000 years. It will illustrate types of countryside which are – or were – commonplace, and conversely specific sites and places which illustrate the exceptional. Contemporary – that is historic – quotations will capture our ancestors’ perceptions of place. The high-quality digital images will include modern photographs alongside a variety of historic images including estate maps, paintings, and early photographs.
7.45pm: Denise Heywood: 'Shimmering Splendour: Silk in Southeast Asia'
Luxurious, sumptuous silk, beloved of kings and courts, priests and princesses, is a miracle of nature. But its origins were sacred, a gift from the gods, to cover holy manuscripts, adorn sacred dancers in rituals and protect wearers with auspicious symbols. This lecture shows the origins of silk, most dazzling of all natural creations, revealing its transformation from silkworm cocoons, dyed and woven in glorious colours and complex patterns.
7.45pm: Eveline Eaton: 'The Bayeux Tapestry: The World’s Oldest Comic Strip'
Everyone is aware about “1066 and all that” without necessarily knowing the exact facts about this momentous event. This lecture will present in details the historical, cultural and artistic aspects of that unique masterpiece, the Bayeux Tapestry, which provides posterity with such a startling testimonial of peoples’ lives in the late Viking age.
7.45pm: Gavin Plumley: ' The Two Gustavs: Mahler and Klimt'
Gustav Klimt and his colleagues broke away from the imperially endorsed art institutions in Vienna in 1897 and founded the Secession. That was the same year that Gustav Mahler arrived to take charge of the Opera House in the city. Comparing these two totemic fin de siècle talents, this lecture places Klimt and Mahler in context, asking what fundamentally links and, indeed, divides them.
SPECIAL EASTER LECTURE
7.45pm: Shirley Smith; The Art of Durer ‘A journey into the man and his world’.
Albrecht Dürer was a painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician and theorist and is regarded as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. But he was also the first artist north of the Alps to paint a signed self-portrait while his watercolours are the first autonomous landscape paintings. This lecture will study the works of this master which remain icons to this day.
7.45pm: Alice Foster: 'The Great Italian Masters: Raphael-1483-1520'
Last year was the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death.
From his early years in Urbino, to Perugia under the tutelage of Perugino, Raphael's early work is characterised by clear drawing, a serene beauty and often an elegiac mood. Celebrated in Florence, he was invited to Rome by the Pope, where his mature work in the Vatican apartments shows heroic, larger than life figures in accomplished spatial settings. Raphael died almost 500 years ago and his work remains as fresh, and as moving as when the images were first painted. Alice Foster presents a profile of this great Italian Master, described by Giorgio Vasari as "a mortal god".
7.45pm: Linda Smith: 'Kicking and Screaming: A Brief History of Post-War British Art'
This lecture explains what has been going on in British art since 1945, when Francis Bacon caused ‘total consternation’ with his raw and visceral canvasses. His work was part of a wider phenomenon called the ‘Geometry of Fear’ by a leading critic of the day. From that point, the talk tracks key moments in British art decade by decade, through the curious mixture of modernism and pastoralism which is associated with the Festival of Britain; on to the explosion of Pop Art and Conceptualism in the 1960s and 70s, through to the 1980s and 90s, which gave us the notorious Sensation exhibition and the Turner Prize, and on to the present day.
7.45pm: Chris (Snake) Davis: ‘A LIFE IN MUSIC, WEST TO EAST AND BACK’
Saxophonist Chris ‘Snake’ Davis is a UK solo artist and session musician who has graced records and tours by hundreds of artists from TakeThat to Paul McCartney and Lisa Stansfield. His lecture will include live demonstrations of a large selection of saxophones flutes and ethnic woodwinds, with illustrations and an outline of their origins and history. He will talk about the business and the art of music, life on the road, and how his love of music has opened doors to Japanese culture. He plays quietly, no need to fear for your ears!
7.45pm: Gillian Hovell: 'Io Saturnalia: Happy Christmas the Roman Way'
Early Christians celebrated Christmas at the same time as the ancient Romans were feasting and partying for their pagan Saturnalia festival. Many of the pagan habits were therefore absorbed into our Christmas traditions. Present-giving, holly and even party-hats all have their origins in this 2000 year old party. This talk will revel in artwork that is ancient and modern as we unwrap the images and stories behind our festive season.
7.45pm: Mark Hill: 'Undressing Antiques'
“Antiques. I don’t understand them and they’re beyond my budget. They’re not for me.” A persuasive introduction to buying antiques and integrating and using them in today’s homes. The state of the antiques market and the different meanings of the word value are considered, and we take a look at what current and future generations of collectors are buying, why they are buying it and how they are displaying it.
7.45pm: Annamaria Dall’Anese : Roman London
In Annamaria’s virtual Roman London tour she presents the amphitheatre, the excavations at N1 Poultry, the fort and wall, as well as the Mithraeum. These are all sites that are located in central London, but are off the beaten track of tourists. Annamaria also contextualises the information by giving you a sense of what living in Roman London was like.
7.45pm: Peter Aiers: 'Parish Churches: The Real Treasure of England'
Historic parish churches have the most profound relationship with their location. These buildings hold the hopes and fears of communities for over 1000 years. This talk will give a quick refresher to the architectural development of the parish church and then look at some of the quirks, treasures and stories that historic churches contain.
7.45pm: Sandy Burnett: 'Bravos and breastplates'
The Evolution of Opera
Starting with a look at the origins of opera in Italy, this overview takes in the spectacles of the French Court during the reign of the “Sun King” and pokes its nose into opera houses across Europe in the Baroque era. Sandy examines the legacy of those two creative giants of the nineteenth century, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, and takes us up towards our own time, where surtitles and HD cinema transmissions have made opera more widely accessible than ever before.
7.00pm: Young Arts Fund Raising : Drinks and Mince Pies
7.45pm: Mary Rose Rivett-Carnac: 'Uncovering the Nation’s Hidden Oil Painting Collection'
Art UK was set up to catalogue every oil painting in public ownership in the UK. This unique and ambitious project involved visiting 3,000 collections across the country and photographing over 212,000 paintings. These paintings are reproduced in an acclaimed series of hardback catalogues entitled Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. The paintings are freely available to view on the Art UK website (www.artuk.org). The lecture offers an insider’s view of the project and describes some unusual collections visited, intriguing paintings uncovered, detective work involved and assistance given by NADFAS members.
7.00pm: New Members Gathering
7.45pm: Shirley Smith: 'Leonardo’s Women'
Leonardo da Vinci’s images of women are among the most renowned works of art of the Italian Renaissance. This lecture, designed to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his death, will study his revolutionary rendering of the female figure and how he harnessed the interplay of light and shadow to produce images that combine the spiritual with the sensual, the mystical with the mysterious.
7.45pm: Andrew Davies: 'The Art of the Poster: The Poor Man’s Gallery?'
Your Country Needs You. Skegness Is So Bracing. Careless Talk Costs Lives. Alexander Korda Presents. Shell, Pears Bubbles Soap, the Guinness toucan, the Bisto Kids - the British poster has informed, entertained and instructed ever since Toulouse-Lautrec and the arrival of the colour poster showed what was possible.We will savour this colourful, vibrant and often overlooked art form which reveals just how we lived, worked and played over the last century and more.
7.45pm: Anne Sebba: 'That Woman or The Duchess of style: Time to reassess Wallis Simpson'
Was she simply a clothes horse for dress designers and jewellery makers or did she have a heart that has never been fairly understood? Anne Sebba will also tell the story of how, in the context of the 1930s, this woman with three husbands was unacceptable as Queen of England and of the Empire. Anne will also explore who this woman was and what was the power she had over King Edward Vlll. Seventy five years since the Abdication in 1936, it is now time to reassess That Woman.
7.45pm: Ian Swankie: 'Pots and Frocks- The World of Grayson Perry'
From Essex Potter to Superstar National Treasure.
Widely known for his appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry RA is now a core part of the art establishment. Ten years after winning the Turner Prize he gave the brilliant BBC Reith Lecture in 2013. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he is able to tackle difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s works, his exciting and thought provoking exhibitions, and we’ll look at the character inside the flamboyant frocks.
7.45pm: Anthony Buxton: 'The Art of the Home'
As the nature and view of domestic life has altered over the past centuries so too has the symbolic role of the home in art, from the virtuous context for religious narratives in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to the portraiture of polite society in the eighteenth, moral posturing in the nineteenth and new concepts of the home and family in the twentieth century. This lecture takes examples of the diverse depiction of the home over the centuries to explore how domestic life has changed as also its depiction and symbolic role in art.
7.45pm: Laura de Beden: 'La Mortella, Sir William and Lady Walton’s Italian Garden Paradise'
La Mortella, “the place of myrtles”, was a rocky outcrop acquired in 1956 by the British composer William Walton in search of peace and quiet to compose his music. Lady Walton wrote that La Mortella is a garden of sounds – poetic, mysterious, serene and joyous. All the more true as thanks to her indefatigable efforts and unwavering loyalty, La Mortella is now the active centre of the William Walton Foundation. There will be colourful anecdotes and music too.
7.45pm: Anthony Russell : 'The Mystery of Holbein’s The Ambassadors'
Holbein’s Ambassadors is recognised by the National Gallery of London as one of its greatest treasures. It dates from a tradition in the arts when no object was without meaning and symbolism. However, practically all of this meaning has been lost to the modern observer. This lecture considers the tempestuous circumstances of its creation and the hidden messages concealed within it. The painting tells us much about the state of Europe at the time and the hopes and fears of its major players.
7.45pm: Dr Gordon Prestoungrange: 'The Community Art of Prestonpans-Scotland'
Prestonpans in Scotland has a significant 1000 year industrial history that came to an abrupt end in the 1960s when the town's two remaining pits and associated activities closed. 4,000 jobs were gone in a decade from a population of just 8,000. By the 1990s the town's industrial heritage assets had been destroyed. As Gordon Prestoungrange became infeft he was strongly urged to 'live in the past' - thus began the programme that honours that 1000 years of community history in the belief that it could give the town back a determined sense of place. It was to be achieved 'through the arts' - any and all of them.
7.45pm: Ian Keable: The Corked Conjurer: 'Comedy, Contempt and Credulity in Georgian England'
Would you pay money to see a man climb inside a bottle? People in 1749 did when a newspaper advertisement claimed that a conjurer would do just that. A riot broke out at the theatre when the spectators discovered they had been duped; the Bottle Conjurer hoax,inspired satirical prints right through to the 19th century, connecting it to Napoleon and the infamous trial of his wife, Queen Caroline, for adultery, by George IV. William Hogarth even referenced it in a painting, but it proved so controversial that the intended print was not produced until 35 years after his death.
7.00pm: Young Arts Fund Raising : Drinks and Mince Pies
7.45pm: Christopher Bradley: 'Three Wise Men, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh'
The Adoration of the Magi was one of the most popular religious subjects for the great artists and we follow their work over nine centuries. The term 'Magi' refers to the Zoroastrian priest-sages, anonymous wise men who specialised in medicine, religion and astronomy. We investigate how they travelled from 'The East' - variously identified as any country from Arabia to Persia.
7.00pm: New Members Gathering
7.45pm: Adam Busiakiewicz: 'The Queen of instruments: The Lute within Old Masters’ Painting'
The lute holds a special place in the history of art: painters of the Italian Renaissance depicted golden-haired angels plucking its delicate strings, evoking celestial harmony; throughout the seventeenth century, the instrument continued to play a key role in emphasising the intimate, debauched and transient pleasures of interior scenes by Jan Steen and portraits by Frans Hals. This lecture looks at the lute, and other musical instruments, as devices to express various aspects of the human character throughout the ages.
7.45pm: Gavin Plumley: 'German Art and Culture between the Wars'
Gavin lectures widely about the culture of Central Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. After World War I, artists and architects were in a state of flux, just like the world they inhabited. Yet, out of crisis came a stimulating period of artistic endeavour. Contemplating painters such as max Beckmann, Otto Dix and Christian Shad, alongside the experiments of the Bauhaus, new film technologies and the sultry stylings of Marlene Dietrich, this talk looks at German-speaking Europe during the inter-war years.
7.45pm: Frank Woodgate: 'David Hockney-Blondes Have More Fun'
David Hockney has become a ‘national treasure’. Although a fine draughtsman, he first came to fame in the early 1960s for his graffiti-like paintings. The late 1960s and early ’70s saw him painting in a number of different styles, from the precise naturalism of Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy to works paying homage to his great hero, Pablo Picasso. With all his media and style changes, Hockney continues to delight and enchant people from all walks of life.
7.45pm: Caroline Shenton: 'The Day Parliament Burned Down'
Caroline is an archivist, historian and author. In the early evening of 16 October 1834, to the horror of bystanders, a huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament, In front of hundreds of thousands of witnesses, the great conflagration destroyed Parliament's glorious old buildings and their contents. Based on the acclaimed book of the same name, this talk takes the audience through the gripping hour-by-hour story of the fire through contemporary depictions of the disaster by Turner, William Heath and others.
7.45pm: Julian Richards: 'Inspired by Stonehenge'
This lecture explains why Stonehenge must be regarded as architectural in its layout and construction, embodying techniques that for centuries convinced antiquarians that it could not have been built by ‘primitive’ ancient Britons but must be a product of ‘sophisticated’ Romans. Blake, Turner, Constable and Moore are amongst those who have all been drawn to this magnificent ruin, resulting in a diverse catalogue of images and impressions.
7.45pm: Leslie Primo: 'Foreigners in London 1520-1677'. The artists who changed the course of British art
Why were foreigner painters preferred by the aristocracy in London to native-born English painters, why did foreigners come in the first place, what was their motivation, and what was the impact of foreigners in London on English art and art practise? The lecture will look at the various formats and uses of art, tracing foreign artists from the Tudor period through to the Renaissance and Baroque, looking at their origins and how they came to work in England.
7.45pm: Philip Warner: 'A history of Leather and the National Leather Collection.'
Philip was appointed Curator at the National Leather Collection in 2015. The National Leather Collection was founded over 70 years ago. This lecture combines two stories: the world story of leather and the story of the museum established to tell that tale. The story spans 4500 years-from early Theban garments to the finest designers and craftspeople using leather today.
7.45pm: Sally Sheinman: 'An Artist's Story from Wall Street to Winning an International Prize.'
Sally is an American living in Northamptonshire for more than 30 years. After graduation, she worked in Wall Street for the largest gold/silver dealership in the world. She came to the United Kingdom to reorganise their London offices and then met her second husband. The rest is history...
7.45pm: Susan Jackson: ' The Art of Snow and Ice.'
The bleak midwinter held little appeal to the artist for many centuries until Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow in the 16th century. From pristine backdrop to the tempestuous snow storms of Turner to the capturing of ‘snow effect’ by the Impressionists, the ability of artists to convey snow as a symbol of peace but also of grandeur and terror is compelling.
7.00pm: Young Arts Fund Raising : Drinks and Mince Pies
7.45pm: Jeanne Dolmetsch: ' A Christmas Pie'
Granddaughter of Arnold Dolmetsch, pioneer of the Early Music Renaissance. Trained by her father Carl Dolmetsch to play recorder, viol and harpsichord and studied violin and piano at the Royal Academy of Music. Specialist in the interpretation and performance of 16th, 17th and 18th century music and has given concerts and lecture recitals worldwide. For many years worked as a craftsman at the Dolmetsch Musical Instrument workshop and from 1972-2001 was assistant director and then director of the Haslemere Festival of Early Music, founded by her grandfather in 1925.
7.00pm: New Members Gathering
7.45pm: Anna Sebba: 'Les Parisiennes: How Women Lived, Loved and Died in Paris from 1939-49'
Biographer, historian and author of eleven books who lectures to a variety of audiences in the US and UK. A former Reuters foreign correspondent, Anne is now a broadcaster - she presented a BBC R3 documentary about the pianist Harriet Cohen and for Radio 4 the documentary "Who was Joyce Hatto?" - she regularly appears on television talking about her books, mostly biographies including Jennie Churchill, William Bankes, Laura Ashley and Wallis Simpson. The latter, published as That Woman, was an international best seller. Her latest book is a history of Paris between 1939-49 through women's eyes published in 2016 as Les Parisiennes How the women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940’s. Anne is a former chair of Britain's 9,000 strong Society of Authors.
7.45pm: Susan Owens: 'Ghosts!'
Writer and freelance curator with a degree in English literature from Somerville College, Oxford, a Masters in History of Art from the Courtauld and a PhD from University College London. Formerly Curator of Paintings at the V&A, where she was responsible for oils, watercolours and drawings from 1800 to the present day. Previously worked for the Royal Collection as Assistant Curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle.Age of Discovery (2007. Co-authored with David Attenborough, Martin Clayton and Rea Alexandratos), and Watercolours and Drawings from the Collection of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother(2005).
7.45pm: Sarah Dunant: 'The most infamous family in history: The Borgias'
Read history at Cambridge, then as a cultural journalist and critic worked in radio and television on such programmes as Kaleidoscope (BBC Radio 4), Meridian (BBC World Service), The Late Show (BBC 2), Art Beat (Capital Radio), and Night Waves (BBC Radio 3). Has taught renaissance studies at Washington University, St Louis, is a visiting tutor on the MA in creative writing at Oxford Brooks, and has lectured around the world at festivals and conferences. Also a novelist, having produced five novels set within the Italian Renaissance.
7.45pm: Alexandra Drysdale: 'The History of Blue in art'
An art historian and a professional artist specialising in painting, sculpture and performance. Her lectures combine art historical knowledge with personal expertise in aesthetics and artistic techniques. Art from all periods, including examples of her own work, is examined from an artist's point of view. This entails a perceptive analysis of a painting's structure, its meaning, and its relationship to the history of art. She puts a particular emphasis on studying the symbolic language of the imagination. BA (Hons) Fine Art from Chelsea School of Art and an MFA from Cambridge School of Art.
7.45pm: Stephen Duffy: 'The Founders and Treasures of the Wallace Collection'
Educated at New College, Oxford, and formerly Senior Curator of the Wallace Collection where he had particular responsibility for exhibitions and nineteenth-century paintings. He has given countless tours of the Collection for visiting groups (including NADFAS) and many lectures on its art and other related subjects. His latest publication, The Discovery of Paris, is a book on early nineteenth-century watercolour views of Paris by major British artists.
7.45pm: Gary Shaeffer: 'The Cooper Collection'. Three Generations of Northamptonshire Photographers
Gary is a Company Director of the Overstone-based Popperfoto, the largest privately held photographic collection in Europe, including much of the extant output of the Northamptonshire Coopers. He is also one of the few remaining active Blue Badge Guides in the County who survived a comprehensive course of study on All Things Northamptonshire and passed its attendant examinations to be awarded his Badge by The Duke of Gloucester
7.45pm: Anthea Streeter: 'The London's Changing Skyline'
Anthea's special interest is architecture and design in the 20th century. She studied Fine and Decorative Arts in London and continued her studies at Harvard University. It was while at Harvard, where there was great enthusiasm for American Design, that she became interested herself in 20th Century architecture. Since returning from America she has taught on courses in Oxford and London, lectured on the Country House Course in Sussex, and for several private groups around the country.
7.45pm: Dr Steve Kershaw: 'Troy'. Myth, History and Archaeology
As a Classics Tutor for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Professor of History of Art for the European Studies Program of Rhodes College and The University of the South, Steve has spent much of the last 30 years travelling extensively in the world of the Greeks and Romans both physically and intellectually.
7.45pm: Aliki Braine: 'Nature makes paintings'. A Look at Anthropomorphic Landscapes
Aliki studied at The Ruskin School of Fine Art, The Slade School of Fine Art, and the Courtauld Institute, where she was awarded a distinction for her masters in 17th century painting. She is a freelance lecturer for the National Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Tate Galleries, Courtauld Gallery and Wallace Collection. She regularly exhibits her photographic work internationally.
7.00pm: Young Arts Fund Raising : Drinks and Mince Pies
7.45pm: Dr Annie Gray: 'The Development of the Christmas Dinner from Edward I to Edward VII'
Annie is a food historian with degrees from Oxford ,York and Liverpool. She works across the heritage industry, as a consultant on food and dining, as well as the use of live interpretation and the presentation of sites to the public. She leads a team at Audley End House (English Heritage), cooking and interacting with the public in the guise of servants in 1881. She has appeared on programmes such as The Great British Bake Off. She is a regular panellist on Radio 4's The Kitchen Cabinet.
7.00pm: New Members Gathering
7.45pm: Jasleen Kandhari: 'From Yama to Oni', Ghosts and Demons in Asian Art
Jasleen is lecturer and tutor of Asian Art History and Textiles for Oxford University's department of Continuing Education and a contributing editor of Indian textiles for the Textiles Asia Journal. Formerly a Curator of Asian collections at the University of British Columbia, the Museum of Anthropology in Canada. She has also worked for the British Museum and the British Library in curatorial and research positions. She is an expert in the artistic heritage of South Asia. She has published several academic articles in the field of Asian art and textiles.
7.45pm: Linda Collins: '100 Years of Modern Art' (1900-2000) with Scepticism and Humour!
Linda was employed by the Historic Royal Palaces for more than twenty years before becoming an independent lecturer and lecture organiser. She holds a BA(hons) in Early Italian art, and an MA in the works of Georges de la Tour. She is a curator of the paintings in the Royal Collection particularly in the New Cumberland Art Gallery at Hampton Court Palace. She works as a freelance lecturer at the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Modern
7.45pm: Daniel Evans: 'Palladio' - Villas for the Agricultural and Cultural Elite
Daniel was previously Head of History of Art at Wycombe Abbey School and is now a lecturer at Cheltenham College. He is an award-winning travel guide throughout Italy as well as in Paris and London. He studied at the University of Manchester, and has over 10 years of lecturing experience including talks to the Art Fund, Pembroke College, (Cambridge University) and Art History Society (Durham University).
7.45pm: Pamela Halford: ' Banksy: Street Art?'
Pamela is a freelance lecturer. She studied Art History and Art Historical Research at Bristol, Oxford and the Victoria and Albert Museum. She has lectured to the National Trust, The National Gallery and various Art and Historical societies. She was previously a researcher/scriptwriter/director for the BBC.
7.45pm: Sally Hoban: 'The Age of Jazz'. Art Deco Fashion and Style
Sally is a visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and has lectured extensively on art, design and antiques throughout the UK. Has broadcast on BBC Two and BBC Four, presents regular history programmes in the Midlands and her publications include Miller's Collecting Modern Design (2001).
7.45pm: James Bolton: 'From Picturesque to Paxton' The changing style of gardens in the early 19th Century
James Bolton has been a NADFAS lecturer since 1995 and had organised garden study days and tours in UK and Europe. His CV also includes Head Gardener, Old Rectory, Farnboroughl; Faculty Director, Design History, Inchbald School of Design;Garden Designer 1992-. Garden Mania, James’s book on garden ornaments, was published in 2000.
7.45pm: David Winpenny: 'Up to a Point' Pyramids in Britain and Ireland
David Winpenny taught for several years before joining the Countryside Commission as Co-ordinator of its National Parks Campaign. After working for the Central Office of Information in Leeds, David set up his own public relations company. He has contributed to several books for the AA, writes regularly for BBC Countryfile Magazine and lectures on architectural and related subjects.
7.45pm: Nicholas Merchant: 'Edwin Lutyens' Architect to Dolls, Dukes & Dynasties
Nicholas Merchant has worked for some of the major auction houses in London as well as running his own book business. His particular interest is 18th century furniture and country houses. Nicholas lectures extensively in the USA, South Africa, Europe and UK. He is the Art Fund’s West Yorkshire Representative.
'Open meeting' free to guests
7.45pm: Dr Nicholas Watkins: 'Gauguin, Bonnard & the Nabis and the triumph of a Decorative aesthetic in the 1890’s'
Dr Nicholas Watkins is Emeritus Reader in the Department of the history of Art and Film, University of Leicester. Dr Watkins has written numerous publications, he regularly contributes to the Burlington Magazine and other leading art journals. He lectures extensively to universities, museums, art galleries and art societies.
7.00pm: Young Arts Fund Raising Drinks and Mince Pies
7.45pm: Harry Fletcher: 'The Circus through the eyes of Artists across the Centuries'
Harry Fletcher is a practising artist whose work was shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Harry has tutored three courses for the Open University and has led art appreciation courses across Europe. As Head of Art and Design in a comprehensive school, he taught A-level Art, the history of art, the history of printmaking and the history of architecture.
6.45 pm: New Members Gathering
7.45pm: Roy Smart: “Another Icarus” The Rise and fall of Percy Pilcher and The Art of Flight
Roy is a retired naval officer and pilot who, during his career in the Fleet Air Arm, was air director of many great national memorial events including the televised D Day, VE and VJ Day commemorations attended by the Queen and fifty heads of state, together with flying displays and aviation events. He has a lifelong interest in art and history and is a strong supporter of NADFAS.
7.45pm: Douglas Skeggs: 'Nicholas and Alexandra' Tyrants and Martyrs of Imperial Russia
Douglas Skeggs has a degree in Fine Arts from Cambridge. He is a writer, artist and TV presenter. Douglas lectures to many London art courses and he is the Director of the New Academy of Arts. He has written 6 novels.
7.45pm: Ann Peerless:'Vietnamese Paintings and The French Connection'
Ann Peerless is a guest lecturer on cruises and for the Art Fund. Ann has also lectured for the V&A, British Museum and University of Kent. She is a Senior Lecturer in Art Coloma College of Education. Ann was commissioned by the Government of India and Air India for design work and photographic exhibitions.
7.45pm: Susie Harris: 'Pevsner in Northamptonshire'
Susie Harris is a writer, editor and lecturer, specialising in 20th century culture and the arts. Susie has published eight books on subjects including official war art, opera and the composer Elisabeth Lutyens. The most recent is the biography of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner. She lectures to a range of audiences, from the Imperial War Museum to Cheltenham Literary Festival and the Victorian Society.
7.45pm: Oliver Everett: 'King George 111' The most Cultured Monarch
Oliver Everett was educated at Cambridge University and, from 1982 to 2002, was Librarian at the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. Oliver wrote the official guidebook and audio tour of Windsor Castle, taught a course on its history and was an adviser to a television programme concerning the Castle. He has also assisted with two books on aspects of the Royal Collection. Oliver lectures extensively in Britain and abroad.
7.45pm:Chloe Sayer: ‘Gold of the Gods’ Treasures of South America; The Search for El Dorado
Cloe is a freelance specialist and author in the art and culture of Latin America. A Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. She has curated several exhibitions and assisted on TV documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. She has lectured in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.
7.45pm: Professor Neil Kent: ‘City of the Tsars’ The Glorious Architecture of St. Petersburg
Neil is currently lecturing, teaching and researching at Cambridge University and was Professor of European History and Culture at the Russian Academy of Art. He has published numerous books and articles on art, architecture and culture.
7.45pm: Dr. David Bostwick: ‘The Green Man in Art and Myth’
David is a lecturer and consultant in the cultural history of the Medieval, Tudor and Stuart periods. He is a former keeper of the Social History Collections at Sheffield City Museums, Consultant to the National Trust, English Heritage and Historic Scotland and a visiting lecturer at the University of Glasgow.
7.45pm: Evelyn Eaton: ‘Dresden Today’ Art & Architecture
Eveline has a BA Hons from the Courtauld Institute. She is a freelance lecturer in Fine Arts and tour-guide to Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Côte d'Azur, Normandy and New York. Born in Germany, she was recently elected Chairman of the Dresden Trust, an organisation helping with the rebuilding of Dresden.
6.45pm:Young Arts Fund Raising : Drinks and Mince Pies
7.45pm: Janet Canetty-Clarke : ‘Pipers & Tune’ John & Myfanwy Piper and the music of Benjamin Britten
Janet trained at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She now lectures in Music for Continuing Education Department of Sussex University and Cambridge University. She was Conductor Emeritus of The Sussex Chorus for 37 years.
6.45pm: New Members Gathering
7.45pm: John Benjamin: ‘A History of Jewellery from’ Elizabeth 1 to Elizabeth Taylor
John is a fellow of the National Association of Goldsmiths’ Institute of Registered Valuers. He is also a fellow of the Gemmological Association and holds the Association’s Diamond Diploma. In 2000, he became a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company. He is author of Starting to Collect Antique Jewellery. He lectures, writes, and has presented on BBC Antiques Roadshow since 1991.
7.45pm: Malcolm Deacon: ‘Faith Stone’ The Buildings of Sir Thomas Tresham
Malcolm is a well known local Northamptonshire historian and author.
7.45pm: Mrs Julia Korner: ‘The Conservation of Paintings’ - Polychrome Sculpture & Frames
Julia Korner is a specialist in fine art conservation and restoration of paintings, sculptures and frames. She set up Christie’s Maritime Department in 1987 and developed it to its current pre-eminence in the international auction world. She is also an international art dealer, valuer and lectures for Christie's Education.
7.45pm: Dr. Mervyn Miller: ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’- American Architect Supreme
Mervyn has a Bachelor of Architecture with a PhD in of Urban Planning. President of Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust and is the Architectural Advisor to the Lutyens Trust. He is a long standing lecturer for NADFAS and has published several books the most recent being English Garden Cities: An Introduction, for English Heritage.
7.45pm: Edward Saunders - 'Petra' The Rose Red City
Edward is an international lecturer in the history of art and architecture and has worked for such organisations in the U.K. as London University, The Wallace Collection, The National Trust, NADFAS and Christie's and is a frequent lecturer on tours and cruises throughout Europe for specialist travel companies,
7.45pm: William G. Forrester - The Rothschild's of Waddesdon Manor
William is a registered guide and lecturer for Cumbria, London and the City of London. His publications include Access in London (2003) Guide to The Lake District (1991) and Time Out Book of London Walks (1998). He has written and presented programmes for Central TV. Thames TV and BBC Radio 4
7.45pm: Janusz Karczewski-Slowikowski - The Age of Mahogany - The Golden Age of English Furniture
Janusz Karczewski-Slowikowski is a freelance lecturer and researcher in English furniture history and also an antique dealer. He has lectured on antique furniture since 1975 and lectured to over 300 NADFAS Societies including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, The Hague and Spain.
7.45pm: Brian W. Macdonald Tribal Rugs
Brian worked in Iran during the 1970's and travelled extensively throughout that country as well as Afghanistan and Turkey. He is one of the few world dealers who has spend time 'in the field'. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for his work amongst the Persian tribes. His book, Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent was published in 1997.
7.45pm: Simon H Cottle - Toast to Toast: English drinking glasses of the 18th century
Simon is a leading international specialist, author and lecturer in British and European Glass. Currently the Director of European Ceramics and Glass at Bonham's Auctioneers, London. Formerly Head of European Ceramics and Glass at Sotheby's.
7.00pm: Christmas Social and Young Arts fundraising 'Drinks and Mince Pies'
7.45pm: Caroline Macdonald-Haig The Christmas Story through paintings at The National Gallery
Caroline is a Design and Decorative Arts journalist and author. Also a London Blue Badge Guide who specializes in themed tours.
7.45pm: Dominic Riley - The Great Omar Binding - that was lost on The Titanic
He is a professional bookbinder. He lectures regularly to colleges, art centres and at antiquarian book fairs in both the U.K. and USA.
7.45pm: Dr. Colin Lattimore - History of English Porcelain
Dr. Lattimore, a medical practitioner trained at University College Hospital London. For many years he has also had a wide interest in the English decorative and applied fine arts and has lectured extensively for extra mural boards of various universities and written several books on a variety of subjects.
7.45pm: Eveline Eaton - Picasso: Giant of the 20th Century Art
Eveline is a Freelance Historian whose lectures and guided tours take her all over Britain, the European Continent and the United States
7.45pm: Sally Hoban - Enamelling: The history, technique and key examples of Enamelling
Sally Hoban is a design, antiques, art, and public relations consultant. She is the author the book Miller’s Collecting Modern Design.
7.45pm: Ian Pickford - Collecting Silver
Ian has written many books on the subject of Silver, including the very useful Jackson's Hallmarks with silver and gold marks from 1300 to the present day. He lecturers extensively and has made guest appearances on The Antiques Roadshow.
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