Lectures 2018/19 Membership Year Lectures start at 11.00am with coffee from 10.15am and are held (except in August and December) at Victoria Hall, Oakham 2018 25 October & AGM (The last lecture in the current membership year) Edward Saunders Petra, the Rose Red City Petra, built within the Biblical mountains of Edom in southern Jordan, is one of the most extraordinary and memorable sites of the ancient world. It was once the centre of a great civilisation established by a people called the Nabateans, who came into the area from the Arabian peninsular about 500 BC, and their surviving tomb monuments, carved from the solid rock, still astound and overwhelm today. In contrast, Palmyra, to the north in the Syrian desert and east of Damascus, boasts a vast assembly of ruins scattered across the desert floor, which, with their richly- carved ornament and the splendour of the column-lined streets, evoke the grandeur and ostentation of the late Roman Empire. As Petra began to decline in the 2nd century AD, so Palmyra rose to its height, but both cities at first succumbed to a diminution of trade as the Roman Empire itself began to fall apart, and then they were successively demolished by a series of earthquakes from the 6th century onwards. Recommended Reading: Petra and Palmyra by Iain Browning, published by Chatto and Windus. UNSCO web site page on Petra National Geographic page on Petra New Membership Year 22 November Sophie Oosterwijk right Peasant Pastimes? The Art of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel) the Elder was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaker from Brabant, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (so called genre painting); he was a pioneer in making both types of subject the focus in large paintings. He was a formative influence on Dutch Golden Age painting and later painting in general in his innovative choices of subject matter, as one of the first generation of artists to grow up when religious subjects had ceased to be the natural subject matter of painting. Above: The Peasant Wedding Pieter Bruegel the Elder 1567 Lectures are subject to change, but the site will be updated as soon as we know of any changes. January 24th 2019 Douglas Skeggs Klimt and the Viennese Succession Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objects d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods. Click here to see Klimt’s complete works & read more about him February 28 Castles of Nottinghamshire James Wright Based on a four year research project, which culminated in a popular book on the subject (Nottinghamshire County Council 2008), Castles of Nottinghamshire looks in detail at the lesser known earthworks and ruins of lost castles and fortified manor houses in the county. The subject is set in the context of wider castle studies and focuses on both documentary sources and fieldwork to tell the often surprising story of aristocratic life in Medieval Nottinghamshire. Click here to find out about the latest developments March 28 250 years at the Royal Academy Rosalind Whyte In 2018 The Royal Academy of Arts celebrates its 250th anniversary, so it is an opportune time to explore its history and the role it has played in the development of British art.  We will look at the position of artists in London before and after the formation of the Academy in 1768 and some of the characters involved, from the first President, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and other establishment figures, to artists who have taken a more oppositional stance, whether individually, such as Reynolds’ great contemporary and rival Gainsborough, or as a group, such as the (initially) clandestine Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of young rebel artists who sought to subvert the Academy from within.  Like any important institution, the Academy has been embroiled in intrigue and controversy over the course of its history and no scandal or outrage will remain unexposed as we trace the history of one of Britain’s most important cultural bodies, from inception to the present day. Click here for the Royal Academy web site. April 25 The Lute – Queen of Instruments Adam Busiakiewicz 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; in the sixteenth century, during the rise of humanism, the lute was a becoming pastime of educated courtiers, as depicted by the likes of Holbein and Titian; 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. Portrait of a Jester with a Lute  Artist Frans Hals May 23 An overview of the Life and Work of William Morris Fiona Rose William Morris (1834–1896) was the single most influential designer of the nineteenth century. Morris was a political theorist, scholar, translator and publisher, environmental campaigner, writer and poet as well as an outstanding designer. When he was dying, his physician said, ‘he is dying of being William Morris, of having lived the life of ten men in the body of one’. This illustrated talk includes an overview of his early life, marriage, family, homes, and the work of his firm Morris & Co. & The Kelmscott Press. This lecture takes a look at not just the business man but the man. Find out more about William Morris and his designs. June 27 The Lunar Society Sally Hoban The Lunar Society of Birmingham, whose members included Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestly and their friend Josiah Wedgwood, were both artists and scientists and their legacy of experimentation in the late 18th and early 19th centuries helped give us the modern industrial world we know today. This lecture discusses the relationship between art and science in the Lunar Circle, with examples drawn from subjects including painting and drawing and Matthew Boulton’s silver. The lecture also discusses the virtually unknown women connected with the Lunar Circle, including Elizabeth Stockdale Wilkinson (1799 – 1871), who was involved in early photography in Birmingham, and the poet Anna Seward (1747 – 1809). The Lunar Society still meets today, click here for their web site. August 22 When Cotton was King: the architectural legacy of nineteenth century Manchester Brian Healey 'Cottonopolis’ as it became known, was the world’s first industrialized city that enjoyed unstoppable growth for much of the last century. With it came grand commercial and civic buildings on a scale and of a quality never witnessed in the city before. This lecture examines the extraordinary variety of such buildings and shows how their architects and stonemasons brought directly into the streets of Manchester the golden age of Pericles, the architecture of Renaissance Italy and the Gothic of the Grand Canal. It goes into a detailed study of the allegorical sculpture and decoration of many of these buildings, many of which have fascinating stories to tell and which were designed by eminent architects such as Charles Barry and Alfred Waterhouse even before they went on to make names for themselves in the capital itself. Click here for more information on Cottonopolis September 26 Medieval: Escaping from God Giles Ramsey Giles Ramsay is an independent theatre director and producer who specialises in creating new work with artists in developing countries.  He is the Founding Director of the charity Developing Artists  (www.developingartists.org), a Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham University and Course Leader in Theatre at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Giles has run theatre projects in Botswana, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Kosovo, Palestine, Mexico, Thailand and Zimbabwe and given numerous talks for institutions ranging from The Foundation for Mexican Literature in Mexico City to The Royal College of Physicians in London.  He regularly lectures on the history and practice of theatre on the QE2 as it sails from New York to the UK.  Giles combines academic analysis with hands on experience to bring a unique insight to the world of theatre. Lecture synopsis to follow. October 24 The Guggenheims: A Dynasty of Art Collections Andrew Hopkins What other family in the twentieth  century managed to amass such extraordinary art collections, and design or purchase such astounding buildings to display their collections? Compared to the Frick and Gulbenkian, individual collections displayed in single museums, the Guggenheim name was transformed in the late twentieth century into a brand, some would say a chain. With celebrated museums in New York, with the flagship Solomon R. Guggenheim landmark on Fifth Avenue, together with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, the family foundation did not stop there. They commissioned the celebrated building by Frank Gehry in Bilbao, which opened in 1997, and which is now considered a masterpiece of modern architecture and design. Other expansion plans have not fared so well, with outposts in Las Vegas and Berlin closing after some years, and new building projects in Vilnius and Helsinki have been abandoned after opposition by residents, who were not persuaded they needed a Guggenheim in their city. This lecture looks at the beginning of both Solomon’s and Peggy’s collections in New York City, with artists they acquired such as Kandinsky and Pollock, and traces the development and expansion of their collections over more than half a century, by which time the Guggenheim name had become synonymous with some of the most inspiring art and museums in the world. Hilla von Rebay with the Guggenheims and the artist Kandinsky  Click here for the history of the family and their wealth New membership year 2019/2020 November 28 IO Saturnalia: Happy Christmas the Roman Way Gillian Hovell Early Christians celebrated Christmas at the same tie 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.
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.
Lectures 2017/2018 Membership Year Lectures start at 11.00am with coffee from 10.15am and are held (except in August and December) at Victoria Hall, Oakham 2018 25 October & AGM (The last lecture in the current membership year) Edward Saunders Petra, the Rose Red City Petra, built within the Biblical mountains of Edom in southern Jordan, is one of the most extraordinary and memorable sites of the ancient world. It was once the centre of a great civilisation established by a people called the Nabateans, who came into the area from the Arabian peninsular about 500 BC, and their surviving tomb monuments, carved from the solid rock, still astound and overwhelm today. In contrast, Palmyra, to the north in the Syrian desert and east of Damascus, boasts a vast assembly of ruins scattered across the desert floor, which, with their richly-carved ornament and the splendour of the column-lined streets, evoke the grandeur and ostentation of the late Roman Empire. As Petra began to decline in the 2nd century AD, so Palmyra rose to its height, but both cities at first succumbed to a diminution of trade as the Roman Empire itself began to fall apart, and then they were successively demolished by a series of earthquakes from the 6th century onwards. Recommended Reading: Petra and Palmyra by Iain Browning, published by Chatto and Windus. UNSCO web site page on Petra National Geographic page on Petra New Membership Year 22 November Sophie Oosterwijk  Peasant Pastimes? The Art of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel) the Elder was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaker from Brabant, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (so called genre painting); he was a pioneer in making both types of subject the focus in large paintings. He was a formative influence on Dutch Golden Age painting and later painting in general in his innovative choices of subject matter, as one of the first generation of artists to grow up when religious subjects had ceased to be the natural subject matter of painting. Above: The Peasant Wedding Pieter Bruegel the Elder 1567 January 2019 Douglas Skeggs Klimt and the Viennese Succession Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objects d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods. Click here to see Klimt’s complete works & read more about him. February 28 Castles of Nottinghamshire James Wright Based on a four year research project, which culminated in a popular book on the subject (Nottinghamshire County Council 2008), Castles of Nottinghamshire looks in detail at the lesser known earthworks and ruins of lost castles and fortified manor houses in the county. The subject is set in the context of wider castle studies and focuses on both documentary sources and fieldwork to tell the often surprising story of aristocratic life in Medieval Nottinghamshire. Click here to find out about the latest developments March 28 250 years at the Royal Academy Rosalind Whyte In 2018 The Royal Academy of Arts celebrates its 250th anniversary, so it is an opportune time to explore its history and the role it has played in the development of British art.  We will look at the position of artists in London before and after the formation of the Academy in 1768 and some of the characters involved, from the first President, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and other establishment figures, to artists who have taken a more oppositional stance, whether individually, such as Reynolds’ great contemporary and rival Gainsborough, or as a group, such as the (initially) clandestine Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of young rebel artists who sought to subvert the Academy from within.  Like any important institution, the Academy has been embroiled in intrigue and controversy over the course of its history and no scandal or outrage will remain unexposed as we trace the history of one of Britain’s most important cultural bodies, from inception to the present day. Click here for the Royal Academy web site. April 25 The Lute – Queen of Instruments Adam Busiakiewicz 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; in the sixteenth century, during the rise of humanism, the lute was a becoming pastime of educated courtiers, as depicted by the likes of Holbein and Titian; 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. Portrait of a Jester with a Lute  Artist Frans Hals May 23 An overview of the Life and Work of William Morris Fiona Rose William Morris (1834–1896) was the single most influential designer of the nineteenth century. Morris was a political theorist, scholar, translator and publisher, environmental campaigner, writer and poet as well as an outstanding designer. When he was dying, his physician said, ‘he is dying of being William Morris, of having lived the life of ten men in the body of one’. This illustrated talk includes an overview of his early life, marriage, family, homes, and the work of his firm Morris & Co. & The Kelmscott Press. This lecture takes a look at not just the business man but the man. Find out more about William Morris and his designs. June 27 The Lunar Society Sally Hoban The Lunar Society of Birmingham, whose members included Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestly and their friend Josiah Wedgwood, were both artists and scientists and their legacy of experimentation in the late 18th and early 19th centuries helped give us the modern industrial world we know today. This lecture discusses the relationship between art and science in the Lunar Circle, with examples drawn from subjects including painting and drawing and Matthew Boulton’s silver. The lecture also discusses the virtually unknown women connected with the Lunar Circle, including Elizabeth Stockdale Wilkinson (1799 – 1871), who was involved in early photography in Birmingham, and the poet Anna Seward (1747 – 1809). The Lunar Society still meets today, click here for their web site. August 22 When Cotton was King: the architectural legacy of nineteenth century Manchester Brian Healey 'Cottonopolis’ as it became known, was the world’s first industrialized city that enjoyed unstoppable growth for much of the last century. With it came grand commercial and civic buildings on a scale and of a quality never witnessed in the city before. This lecture examines the extraordinary variety of such buildings and shows how their architects and stonemasons brought directly into the streets of Manchester the golden age of Pericles, the architecture of Renaissance Italy and the Gothic of the Grand Canal. It goes into a detailed study of the allegorical sculpture and decoration of many of these buildings, many of which have fascinating stories to tell and which were designed by eminent architects such as Charles Barry and Alfred Waterhouse even before they went on to make names for themselves in the capital itself. Click here for more information on Cottonopolis September 26 Medieval: Escaping from God Giles Ramsey Giles Ramsay is an independent theatre director and producer who specialises in creating new work with artists in developing countries.  He is the Founding Director of the charity Developing Artists  (www.developingartists.org), a Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham University and Course Leader in Theatre at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Giles has run theatre projects in Botswana, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Kosovo, Palestine, Mexico, Thailand and Zimbabwe and given numerous talks for institutions ranging from The Foundation for Mexican Literature in Mexico City to The Royal College of Physicians in London.  He regularly lectures on the history and practice of theatre on the QE2 as it sails from New York to the UK.  Giles combines academic analysis with hands on experience to bring a unique insight to the world of theatre. Lecture synopsis to follow. October 24 The Guggenheims: A Dynasty of Art Collections Andrew Hopkins What other family in the twentieth century managed to amass such extraordinary art collections, and design or purchase such astounding buildings to display their collections? Compared to the Frick and Gulbenkian, individual collections displayed in single museums, the Guggenheim name was transformed in the late twentieth century into a brand, some would say a chain. With celebrated museums in New York, with the flagship Solomon R. Guggenheim landmark on Fifth Avenue, together with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, the family foundation did not stop there. They commissioned the celebrated building by Frank Gehry in Bilbao, which opened in 1997, and which is now considered a masterpiece of modern architecture and design. Other expansion plans have not fared so well, with outposts in Las Vegas and Berlin closing after some years, and new building projects in Vilnius and Helsinki have been abandoned after opposition by residents, who were not persuaded they needed a Guggenheim in their city. This lecture looks at the beginning of both Solomon’s and Peggy’s collections in New York City, with artists they acquired such as Kandinsky and Pollock, and traces the development and expansion of their collections over more than half a century, by which time the Guggenheim name had become synonymous with some of the most inspiring art and museums in the world. Hilla von Rebay with the Guggenheims and the artist Kandinsky  Click here for the history of the family and their wealth New membership year 2019/2020 November 28 IO Saturnalia: Happy Christmas the Roman Way Gillian Hovell Early Christians celebrated Christmas at the same tie 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.
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.