Programme 2021-2022

8th September 2021

VILLAS IN ROMAN BRITAIN: THE ARCHITECTURE AND ART OF A REMOTE ROMAN PROVINCE

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The villas of Roman Britain exist in their hundreds but only a very few are visible today. Recorded and excavated from places as far apart as Devon and county Durham, these country houses range from modest farmhouses to palaces. With a small number of exceptions most reached their largest extents and greatest level of decoration in the late third and fourth centuries. The villas were where the wealthiest displayed their status by investing in extravagant mosaics that depicted mythological and religious scenes alongside abstract motifs. Here they held court at the heart of their rural estates, capitalizing on their control of local politics and economies.

Guy de la Bédoyère is a historian and archaeologist well-known for his frequent appearances on Channel 4’s Time Team.  A published author and well-travelled lecturer, Guy is an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

13th October 2021

THE GENIUS OF RAPHAEL

Raphael Self Portrait

Raphael Self Portrait, Uffizi, Florence

This lecture charts the meteoric rise to prominence of the artist Raphael (1483-1520). In 1500, aged seventeen, Raphael entered the workshop of the successful Umbrian artist Pietro Perugino and so began his emergence as one of the greatest masters of the High Renaissance. While lacking his older rivals Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Michelangelo Buonarroti’s (1475- 1564) advantage of being born and trained in Florence, he was generally admitted to be their equal. Raphael’s early work is analysed alongside his commissions in Florence and for the Papacy in Rome which demonstrate the genius of his extraordinary talent.

Dr James Lindow was the first Renaissance PhD from the Royal College of Art and the V&A. He lectures widely in the UK and overseas and is currently a fine art underwriter in the City. His book entitled The Renaissance Palace in Florence: Magnificence and Splendour in Fifteenth-Century Italy was published by Ashgate Press in 2007.

10th November 2021

A TOUR OF BIG BEN

Big Ben

Big Ben is one of the most iconic buildings in the world – it identifies the UK and democracy in the western world. But there is a lot more to this tower than the beautiful external gothic architecture. You will be taken on a virtual tour of the interior and learn about the historical background and the friction between the often-controversial personalities involved in the building and designing of the tower. Tim will then take you behind those magnificent clock faces to show and explain the workings of the enormous clock mechanism before finally presenting Big Ben, the most famous bell in the world. 

Tim Redmond spent his earlier career as a detective in the Metropolitan Police, finally retiring as a Detective Superintendent and as the first police adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

On retirement Tim became a City of London tour guide and worked on tours around the UK before becoming a guide within the Palace of Westminster, specialising in tours of Big Ben. His many guests on tours of the clock tower have included people such as Michelle Obama, Bill Gates and members of both houses of parliament.  He continues to talk on many aspects of history and stories relating to parliament.

 8th December 2021

THE ART OF SNOW AND ICE: HOW ARTISTS TRANSFORMED THE WINTER LANDSCAPE

The Art of Snow and Ice

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Sue Jackson began her career in academic art and design publishing, Sue is a Fellow of the Huguenot Society, a Freeman of the City of London, a tutor at the City Literary Institute and a Blue Badge guide.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. 

12th January 2022

STICKY TAPE, MOTHS AND MEN – THE PROBLEMS THEY CAUSE AND THE REMEDIES TO USE

Picture Restoration

The three main culprits that cause damage to textiles are in the title. This lecture, although light hearted in approach, illustrates a more serious consequence to problems caused. Viewing a variety of textile items, the expertise of a Textile Conservator shows how these problems are overcome with advice given on prevention.

Jacqueline Hyman gained textile conservation experience with the Museums’ Service. She established a freelance studio in 1982, is listed in ICON’s Conservation Register and is an Accredited Conservator-Restorer. She lectures and gives study days/courses for The Arts Society, Embroiderers’ Guild, Lace Guild, Antique Collectors’ clubs and others. She has appeared on Channel 4, BBC 2 and the Discovery Channel.

9th February 2022

BEAUTY IN TRUTH—THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION

Botanical Illustration

Many people now carry a phone with a camera capable of taking very high-quality pictures, and yet the painting of botanical specimens persists with new Florilegium Societies still being formed.  Why is a drawing and painting still considered to be superior to a digital image?  This talk looks at the history of botanical illustration from the early herbals 1,500 years ago to the present day, taking in the lives of both the artists and the plants immortalised in the artwork.

Timothy Walker was director of the Oxford University Botanic Garden from 1988 to 2014. Botanic gardens are often described as living museums, and garden curators lecture about them in the same way as museum curators talk about their collections. Since 2014 he has been a college lecturer and tutor at Somerville College Oxford. Gardens are often thought of a place where science and art meet on equal terms and Tim’s lectures investigate this relationship.

 9th March 2022

THE MUSIC OF TROOPING THE COLOUR

Military Music

This lecture represents a personal account of preparing the music for The Queen’s Birthday Parade from music selection, rehearsals and the big day itself, including an insight into how it all works. It looks at the relevance of music for such an event in today’s modern world.

Dr Graham Jones MBE started his professional life as a musician in the British Army and retired as the Senior Director of Music, Household Division and Director of Music, Coldstream Guards a position unequalled throughout military music in Great Britain. He has recorded over 40 albums and commissioned over 30 new works for wind band. He pioneered a music education programme with the University of Salford for military musicians leading to a Master of Music in Performance degree.

Since 2012 Graham has been guest conductor, adjudicator, guest speaker, lecturer, clinician, recording consultant and educator. Artist Director of London International Band Week, music consultant to Henley Music Festival, resident conductor of the British Imperial Orchestra, visiting conductor in residence at Troy University, Alabama, USA and guest lecturer on cruise ships. 

Graham’s charitable work supports the Royal British Legion and the Army Benevolent Fund.

13th April 2022

‘LES TROIS GRANDES DAMES’ OF IMPRESSIONISM: MARIE BRACQUEMOND, MARY CASSATT AND BERTHE MORISOT

Dames of Impressionism

Musée Marmotin, Paris

Sarah Burles studied History of Art at Cambridge University and University College London. She has had a career in museum and gallery education, establishing new services in three different museums before working at the Fitzwilliam Museum for many years.  The Impressionists were an innovative and radical group of artists who took Paris by storm in the 1870s. Using new colours and techniques, they created paintings of modern life which shocked and horrified the art establishment. Often overshadowed by their male contemporaries, Marie Bracquemond, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt all exhibited regularly at the Impressionist exhibitions alongside artists such as Monet, Renoir and Degas. In 1894 they were given the title “Les Trois Grandes Dames d’Impressionisme” by the art critic Gustave Geffroy. This lecture will discuss the lives of each of these artists and their work, revealing their skill and originality as well as their willingness to take risks, despite the additional obstacles they faced as women.

Sarah is the founder of Cambridge Art Tours, which runs tours and courses in and around East Anglia, and has led tours to Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and America. She offers online art history courses to audiences all over the world. 

May 2022

No lecture – Devon Holiday, and Study Day to be advised.

8th June 2022

PAUL NASH AND THE LANDSCAPE OF MYSTERY

Paul Nash

National Portrait Gallery

Colin Pink has a BA in Philosophy and Politics and a MA in the History of Art. He specialises in the interrelationship between the history of ideas and the history of art and has lectured on aspects of modern art at a wide range of cultural organisations. He also curates exhibitions and has published two books of poetry: Acrobats of Sound, 2016 and The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament, 2019.Paul Nash is one of the most important British modernist artists. He is often associated with art movements such as Neo-Romanticism and Surrealism but his work remains hard to categorise. He worked as a war artist in both the First and Second World Wars and forged his own distinctive approach to landscape.