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 There is no lecture in December. Please note change of order for lectures in January & February. 2018 25 January Anthony Penrose The Boy Who Bit Picasso As a child Antony Penrose first met Picasso when he visited the Penrose family home of Farley Farm, in Chiddingly, East Sussex in 1950. They became instant friends and invented their own boisterous game of pretend bull fights. In the excitement Antony bit Picasso, and Picasso bit him right back, but it did not spoil the friendship and during the many visits he made to Picasso’s homes in France Antony felt very much at home. He loved the menagerie of pets – the live ones and those Picasso made as sculptures that seemed alive. Antony’s parents were Roland Penrose, the curator and biographer of Picasso, and Lee Miller, the photographer. Picasso painted her portrait six times and she photographed him more than 1,000 times and her images illustrate Antony’s entertaining and amusing account of life around Picasso. This lecture also covers the process of writing and the design of the book which has been very favourably reviewed and is a best seller. Link to the Penrose Farley Farm web site Guardian article on Antony Penrose 22 February Jon Cannon Sacred Art of Ancient China Join me to tour the religious art and architecture of China. We will see examples of work of the great faiths that dominated the history of that great civilisation, including the ancient, indigenous Confucian and Taoist traditions; the image-rich Mahayana version of Buddhism that has been hugely influential in the country for two thousand years; and the distinctive Chinese responses to Christianity and Islam.   At the heart of this rich, and often precociously humanistic culture lay a series of concerns of truly ancient origin: the maintenance of harmonious relations between men and Heaven; respect for one’s family, including the spirits of one's ancestors; and the role of the Emperor as the fulcrum of life in the ‘central Kingdom’, a role as much spiritual as secular.   During the lecture we will visit mountain-tops decorated with Confucian calligraphy; some of the oldest wooden buildings in the world — the Buddhist temples of Wutaishan, built in the eighth century and with their decoration and sculpture intact — and Mandarin’s gardens, their design infused with symbolism from Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian traditions. These between them comprised the ‘three teachings’ (San Jiao) encouraged by the imperial Chinese state.   Even today, Beijing’s layout is  recognisably that of a sacred city designed around the palace and sacrificial altars associated with the imperial cult: we will see what remains of these, and ponder the role of religion in China’s modern, secular and rapidly developing state. By the end of the hour, you will have a clear and vivid idea of the enormous significance of religion for the Chinese arts. Beijing travel guide 22 March Maggie Campbell Pederson Ivory and Tortoiseshell – Past Users and present bans Ivory and tortoiseshell are two  organic gem materials that have often been used together, and that today share very similar trade bans. This talk will look at the use of the two materials through the ages, the animals from which they are derived, some of the imitations that have been used, and how to recognise fakes. The talk is richly illustrated. An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory’ ... part of Zimbabwe’s ivory stockpile. Photograph: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP Guardian article on recent ban changes WWF article on ivory ban Telegraph article on Ivory sales 26 April Suzanne Fagence Cooper Pioneering Women Photographers From the earliest days of photography, women claimed this  new art for their own.  This lecture offers a new vision of the Victorians, seen through the lenses of pioneering women.  Above: Photo by Julia Margaret Cameron. Left: WW1 Photograph taken by war photographer Olive Edis It includes the intimate fantasies of Clementina, Lady Hawarden; the soft-focus story-telling and images of Empire made by Julia Margaret Cameron; and radical portraits captured by the Suffrage campaigner Olive Edis. More on Julia Margaret Cameron More on Lady Howarden More on Olive Edis 24 May Hilary Guise Marc Chagall and the supremacy of Blue No synopsis yet. Background on Marc Chagall Marc Chagall, 'The Green Donkey' 1911 28 June Patsy Erskine Hill The British at the Court of the Tsars Spies, Merchants and Adventurers…    Before the eighteenth century, foreigners were feared as unholy, and very few had ever entered Russia. In 1700, however, Russia needed help: Peter’s army was a disorganized rabble with no military tradition and no discipline; he had almost no coastline, and thus no navy; his countrymen were illiterate and fearful of progress. Foreigners were hired in to help in all these fields, and British merchants became increasingly numerous. Later, when Russia became a world power, it attracted ever-growing numbers of tourists and adventurers, lured by its exoticism, tales of stupendous aristocratic wealth, and sometimes, its remoteness from the long arm of British justice. Above: Ivan IV of Russia Shows His Treasury to Jerome Horsey (Alexander Litovchenko, 1875) English house in Moscow English Silver at the Court of the Tsars Background to trade between Russia and Britain Background of the London Muscovy Company There is no lecture in July. 23 August Lecture and Summer Lunch (the lecture is included in your membership).  We hope you will join us for our Summer Lunch afterwards, there is an additional cost for the lunch. Elizabeth Merry Town Mouse, Country Mouse: Art and Nature in the work of Beatrix Potter The only daughter of well-off parents, Beatrix Potter’s childhood was spent in almost complete seclusion in West London. The ordered formality of the household made no concessions to the demands of children, so Beatrix and her brother Bertram created their own absorbing creative world upstairs in the nursery and schoolroom. Inspired by summers spent in Scotland and the Lake District, she became a passionate amateur naturalist, drawing, painting, dissecting and examining whatever flora and fauna she and Bertram could smuggle back into the London house. By the time she was a young adult, still living at home, unmarried and still very much under the jurisdiction  of her parents, her watercolour paintings of botanical and zoological subjects were meticulous, detailed and accomplished. She could undoubtedly have become a professional botanist indeed a paper of hers on the spores of Fungi was read out at the Linnaean Society of London in 1897, but because she was a woman her theories were dismissed. It was with the creation of Peter Rabbit that Beatrix Potter’s private world became the key to her future independence; and those unique and exquisitely illustrated little books have ensured her place among the Immortals of children’s literature. Beatrix Potters web site 27 September Peter Darty Victorian Furniture and Interiors Queen Victoria’s long reign brought England into the 20th Century. It was a period studded with a range of decorative styles, including revivals of Gothic, Elizabethan, Baroque and Rococo. By 1840, the Industrial revolution was well under way and the true Victorian period had arrived. The high point of this period was the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851. With exhibits from all over the world, the machine was an important factor in the construction of many of the items. Novelty was much in vogue, furniture made in papier maché, bent wood, steel, brass, cast iron, horn and even coal was on display and found a ready market with the rising middle classes. More houses were built and more furniture and artefacts were produced than at any time before or since. The consumer society was born. This period ended with the creation of the Arts and Crafts movement with designs by William Morris, Ashbee, Voysey, Mackmurdo, Liberty, Norman Shaw and Christopher Dresser. National Trust article on Victorian interiors 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. The Peasant Wedding Pieter Bruegel the Elder 1567 24 January 2019 Douglas Skeggs Klimt and the Viennese Succession No synopsis yet.
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.
Lectures start at 11.00am with coffee from 10.15am and are held (except in August and December) at Victoria Hall, Oakham This is no lecture in December. 2018 Please note the change around of the January & February lectures. 25 January Anthony Penrose The Boy Who Bit Picasso As a child Antony Penrose first met Picasso when he visited the Penrose family home of Farley Farm, in Chiddingly, East Sussex in 1950. They became instant friends and invented their own boisterous game of pretend bull fights. In the excitement Antony bit Picasso, and Picasso bit him right back, but it did not spoil the friendship and during the many visits he made to Picasso’s homes in France Antony felt very much at home. He loved the menagerie of pets – the live ones and those Picasso made as sculptures that seemed alive. Antony’s parents were Roland Penrose, the curator and biographer of Picasso, and Lee Miller, the photographer. Picasso painted her portrait six times and she photographed him more than 1,000 times and her images illustrate Antony’s entertaining and amusing account of life around Picasso. This lecture also covers the process of writing and the design of the book which has been very favourably reviewed and is a best seller. Link to the Penrose Farley Farm web site Guardian article on Antony Penrose 22 February Jon Cannon Sacred Art of Ancient China Join me to tour the religious art and architecture of China. We will see examples of work of the great faiths that dominated the history of that great civilisation, including the ancient, indigenous Confucian and Taoist traditions; the image-rich Mahayana version of Buddhism that has been hugely influential in the country for two thousand years; and the distinctive Chinese responses to Christianity and Islam.   Even today, Beijing’s layout is recognisably that of a sacred city designed around the palace and sacrificial altars associated with the imperial cult: we will see what remains of these, and ponder the role of religion in China’s modern, secular and rapidly developing state. By the end of the hour, you will have a clear and vivid idea of the enormous significance of religion for the Chinese arts. Beijing travel guide 22 March Maggie Campbell Pederson Ivory and Tortoiseshell – Past Users and present bans Ivory and tortoiseshell are two organic gem materials that have often been used together, and that today share very similar trade bans. This talk will look at the use of the two materials through the ages, the animals from which they are derived, some of the imitations that have been used, and how to recognise fakes. The talk is richly illustrated. An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory’ ... part of Zimbabwe’s ivory stockpile. Photograph: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP Guardian article on recent ban changes WWF article on ivory ban Telegraph article on Ivory sales 26 April Suzanne Fagence Cooper Pioneering Women Photographers From the earliest days of photography, women claimed this new art for their own.  This lecture offers a new vision of the Victorians, seen through the lenses of pioneering women.  Above: Photo by Julia Margaret Cameron. Below: WW1 Photograph taken by war photographer Olive Edis It includes the intimate fantasies of Clementina, Lady Hawarden; the soft-focus story-telling and images of Empire made by Julia Margaret Cameron; and radical portraits captured by the Suffrage campaigner Olive Edis. More on Julia Margaret Cameron More on Lady Howarden More on Olive Edis 24 May Hilary Guise Marc Chagall and the supremacy of Blue No synopsis yet. Background on Marc Chagall Marc Chagall, 'The Green Donkey' 1911 28 June Patsy Erskine Hill The British at the Court of the Tsars Spies, Merchants and Adventurers…   Before the eighteenth century, foreigners were feared as unholy, and very few had ever entered Russia. In 1700, however, Russia needed help: Peter’s army was a disorganized rabble with no military tradition and no discipline; he had almost no coastline, and thus no navy; his countrymen were illiterate and fearful of progress. Foreigners were hired in to help in all these fields, and British merchants became increasingly numerous. Later, when Russia became a world power, it attracted ever-growing numbers of tourists and adventurers, lured by its exoticism, tales of stupendous aristocratic wealth, and sometimes, its remoteness from the long arm of British justice. Above: Ivan IV of Russia Shows His Treasury to Jerome Horsey (Alexander Litovchenko, 1875) English house in Moscow English Silver at the Court of the Tsars Background to trade between Russia and Britain Background of the London Muscovy Company There is no lecture in July. 23 August Lecture and Summer Lunch (the lecture is included in your membership).  We hope you will join us for our Summer Lunch afterwards, there is an additional cost for the lunch. Elizabeth Merry Town Mouse, Country Mouse: Art and Nature in the work of Beatrix Potter The only daughter of well-off parents, Beatrix Potter’s childhood was spent in almost complete seclusion in West London. The ordered formality of the household made no concessions to the demands of children, so Beatrix and her brother Bertram created their own absorbing creative world upstairs in the nursery and schoolroom. Inspired by summers spent in Scotland and the Lake District, she became a passionate amateur naturalist, drawing, painting, dissecting and examining whatever flora and fauna she and Bertram could smuggle back into the London house. Beatrix Potters web site 27 September Peter Darty Victorian Furniture and Interiors Queen Victoria’s long reign brought England into the 20th Century. It was a period studded with a range of decorative styles, including revivals of Gothic, Elizabethan, Baroque and Rococo. By 1840, the Industrial revolution was well under way and the true Victorian period had arrived. . This period ended with the creation of the Arts and Crafts movement with designs by William Morris, Ashbee, Voysey, Mackmurdo, Liberty, Norman Shaw and Christopher Dresser. National Trust article on Victorian interiors 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. 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. The Peasant Wedding Pieter Bruegel the Elder 1567 24 January 2019 Douglas Skeggs Klimt and the Viennese Succession No synopsis yet.
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.
Lectures 2017/2018 Membership Year