The Arts Society Rutland
We will be archiving the lectures as we go through the year, so you can look back on
lectures, perhaps look at some of the links associated with them.
January 16 2020
The Roaring Twenties: Art, Design and High Society
Like its name, the Roaring Twenties was a loud
and boisterous decade, marked by novelty,
modernity and huge social, technological, and
economic change. Following the dark days of
the Great War, it spawned a generation of
wealthy and privileged Bright Young Things
who were determined to shock and who broke
with the conventions of the past to pursue a
life of hedonism and promiscuity, fuelled by an
endless round of champagne, cocaine, parties
Women wore fur coats and cloche hats, donned new boyish fashions and had short,
cropped hair. Men drove fast cars, mixed cocktails and smoked American cigarettes.
Society ate in new restaurants like The Trocadero, danced the Charleston in
ballrooms like the Savoy, and drank in clubs like the Embassy and the Café de Paris.
Valentino, Tallulah Bankhead, and Noel Coward emerged as major celebrities through
the growing popularity of cinema and the stage.
The Roaring Twenties was also a period of enormous vitality in art and design.
Fashionable society was immortalised by portraitists like John Lavery and Cecil
Beaton who brilliantly captured the glamour of the age. Leisure, pleasure and the
excitement of jazz were portrayed in paintings by Burra and Roberts, while the speed
of the city and travel were explored in work by McKnight Kauffer and Nevinson.
Furniture and decoration showed the influence of Cubism, Vorticism and other styles
associated with the avant-garde, while events like the discovery of Tutankhamun’s
Tomb ushered in an obsession with all things Egyptian and Oriental. This lecture
aims to conjure up the energy and originality of the decade and to explore the lives
of its leading figures and examples of its most innovative art and design.
Photo: Roaring 20s©Allan Watkin
Click here for more information on the 1920s
December 19, 2019
The Christmas Tree: From Forest Fir to Festive Feature
The Christmas Tree presents us with over five centuries of art and meaning. Vital to
the imagery of both the pagan world and Christianity, its significance emerges in
Norse yuletide, ancient Rome and with the early-medieval saints, before its diverse
strands were drawn together to symbolize the modern Christmas. It is wrapped in
legend, from the Icelandic sagas to St Boniface, from the Mystery Plays to Martin
Luther. In art, the forest fir has made the transition from Viking rock carvings to
German Romanticism and Scandinavian naturalism, on its way to finding its place as
an icon of our modern festival. Decorated and shimmering with light, it has brought
Christmas from outside the home into the heart of the family, it has drawn soldiers
together across No-Man’s Land, and it continues to symbolize its essential, timeless
message of Peace on Earth.
The History of Christmas Trees
November 21, 2019
Flowers of The Fields: The World of Paperweights
Glass paperweights, with their trapped secret interiors, hold a special fascination for
everyone whether they are glass enthusiasts or not. This talk outlines their history
from their introduction in Venice, to the classical period of French weights from
Baccarat, Saint Louis and Clichy in the middle of the 19th century and ending with
some of the modern weights from the famous Scottish factory of Caithness. An
explanation of how weights are made will reveal the huge technical skills involved in
Click here for the Caithness Glass web site
Wednesday, 2nd October, 2019
Art and Revolution: Romanovs to Stalin
Before the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in 1917, Russian artists staged a
daring revolution of their own by changing the language of art. Suddenly they
became the leaders of the European avant-garde.
At the time of the Revolution, some, like Stravinsky, Goncharova and Roerich, chose
to remain in emigration, in the hope of one day returning to Russia, while others,
like Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich, went on to play a leading role in early Soviet
culture, amidst utopian hopes for a bright future. This lecture will explore the major
developments in Russian art in the early revolutionary years.
Click here for further information and a booking form.
October 17, 2019
Dr. Graham Griffiths
Musical Adventures in Russia: In Search of The Snow-Maiden Leokadiya
For a historian, there can be little to match the excitement of discovering a forgotten
treasure. Dr Griffiths’s eventful research across Russia to unveil the Romantic figure
of Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940), composer and concert pianist (previously
known only as ‘Stravinsky’s piano teacher’), offers the perfect example.
Kashperova’s re-discovered music establishes her as the earliest-known female
Russian composer of international stature. (Rimsky-Korsakov’s affectionate nickname
for her was ‘Snow-maiden’.) Kashperova’s lyrical music and Griffiths’s research were
selected by BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) for
inclusion in their 2018 celebration of ‘Five Forgotten Female Composers’. This
presentation offers narrative, images and musical performance at the piano
illustrating ‘what it takes’ to recover the life and works of a composer whom History
has completely forgotten. Until now.
Leokadiya Kashperova music
Wednesday, 25th September, 2019
Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum and A Visit to the “Back to Backs”
World class museum in the heart of Birmingham city centre.
Click here for the Birmingham Art Gallery web site
Carefully restored, atmospheric 19th-century courtyard of working people's houses
Click here for the National Trusts Back to Back houses
September 19, 2019
Under the Open Sky: Newlyn, Falmouth and Lamorna Artists 1880 - 1940
This lecture gives an overview of art in Cornwall from the late19th century to the
start of the Second World War that was created in and around the remote villages of
Newlyn and Lamorna in West Cornwall and the port of Falmouth.
It begins with the Social Realism of artists such as Walter Langley and Frank Bramley
who captured the harshness of life for families in the fishing community of Newlyn.
This lecture then looks at the fame that artists such as Stanhope Forbes achieved
both at home and abroad in the 1880s and 90s with his depictions of village life and
his fascination with capturing low light levels. It also surveys the maritime art of
Henry Scott Tuke and Charles Napier Hemy who were based in Falmouth, 28 miles
east of Newlyn.
Some of the artists created magical fantasies rather than images of stark realism
and the colourful Pre-Raphaelite inspired creations of Elizabeth Adela Forbes, Henry
Meynell Rheam and Thomas Cooper Gotch are included here.
The influence of the Forbes School of painting, which was established in 1899 at
Newlyn by Stanhope and his wife Elizabeth, is shown in the work of some of their
students such as Dod and Ernest Procter.
More information on the Lamorna Artists
May 16, 2019
Cathedrals with Particular Mention of Peterborough and Lincoln
During the thirteenth century, Lincoln Cathedral was amongst the greatest building
projects in England and despite a series of disasters, from an earthquake to war and
robbery, we have inherited a magnificent and relatively unscathed masterpiece of art
and architecture. Through its sheer size and complexity, the cathedral’s beauty can
be difficult to understand. But through writing the book Lincoln Cathedral: Biography
of a Great Building the speaker offers a fresh and coherent analysis of the
Peterborough Cathedral web site
Lincoln Cathedral web site
Wednesday, 10th April, 2019 Visit
The Higgins Museum, Bedford and John Bunyan’s house
The Higgins Bedford is Bedford's art gallery and museum. It's a place to explore
collections of fine & decorative arts, world-class watercolours, local stories and find
out about great Bedfordians. Changing exhibitions mean there is always something
new to see.
Click here for the Higgins Museum web site
John Bunyan wrote a book that transformed literature, and inspired people the world
over; The Pilgrim’s Progress. Imprisoned for his beliefs, as a prisoner of conscience,
his books and personal example helped transform the way ordinary people
worshipped, empowering them and their communities.
From rural Bedfordshire to world-renown, from pulpit to prison, and from fiery
sermons to tales of great beasts and giants – his life and times make for an amazing
and colourful story.
Click here for the John Bunyan Museum web site.
Wednesday, 24th April, 2019 Study Day
Women in Art
This Special Interest Day will be fascinating. It will look at how Traditional Art History
has viewed Women in a world where the academic subject has been dominated by
Stereotypes including the Virgin, (pure wife, loving mother), Venus, (Eve and ‘the
fallen woman’) will be explored. Research over the past few decades has changed
the subject of Art History as well as the Arts we see on display in Galleries and
Picnic after the Special
April 18, 2019
Jewelled Journeys: The Art of Opulent Travel
Throughout history, travelling has been used as a way to display wealth, power,
status, as well as a useful tool to control over mighty subjects.
Today, we take a journey as a matter of course, not thinking much of a distance of a
hundred miles or more. In the past it was very different as an Aristocrat had to take
not only clothes, but food, furniture, cooking facilities, tents, and the like, not just
for himself and family but his household as well.
In this talk, Andrew shows the many lavish and opulent accessories and modes of
transport that were used by Monarchs and Aristocracy alike, to ease travel while on
their seasonal “progress” to and from each others estates, and where diplomatic
meetings between Kings turned into a contest of rivals to see who could out do each
other in the finest accommodation, jewels, silks, retinue and luggage train.
March 21, 2019
Victoria and Albert: Art and Love
This lecture celebrates the 200th Anniversary of the births of Queen Victoria and
Prince Albert who were first cousins and born just three months apart in 1819. Their
shared enthusiasm for art and music endured throughout the twenty-two years of
their marriage and they demonstrated their love through the works of art and
jewellery they gave each other for birthdays, Christmases and anniversaries. Victoria
and Albert understood and appreciated sculpture more than any of their
predecessors since Charles I.
They furnished and extended Buckingham Palace, made significant changes to
Windsor Castle and commissioned three other royal residences, Balmoral,
Sandringham and Osborne – the single most important example of their shared
taste. Theirs was a partnership of patronage by a monarch and her consort which is
unique in the history of the British monarchy.
The wedding of Albert & Victoria
February 21, 2019
Threads of History: The World of The Bayeux Tapestry
Commissioned by the Bishop of Bayeux who fought at Hastings, executed by skilled
English craftsmen, the Bayeux Tapestry is the last survivor of a vanished art form.
Rupert Willoughby presents a lively introduction to the tapestry – so much more
than the story of Hastings – in which he unravels some of its mysteries, places it in
the context of its age and firmly establishes it as a landmark in the history of
With its lively illustrations of languid, party-loving, moustachioed Englishmen, of the
cavalcades of noble huntsmen and of the snorting Norman cavalry poised to charge
into battle, the Tapestry is the next best thing to a moving picture from the time.
A reproduction of the tapestry in HD
January 17, 2019
Whistler, Wilde and Sargent - The Talent in Tite Street
London’s Tite Street was one of the most influential artistic quarters in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A staggering amount of talent thrived in
just this one street in Chelsea, including James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde,
John Singer Sargent, Robert Brough, Glyn Philpot, Augustus John, Romaine Brooks
and Gluck. Throughout its turbulent history it remained home to innumerable artists,
writers, suffragettes, queers and madmen. Here Whistler was bankrupted, Oscar
Wilde imprisoned and Frank Miles went mad. This lecture ties together the private
and professional lives of its inhabitants to form a colourful tapestry of art and
More information on Tite Street
and its inhabitants.
London Borough of Chelsea web site
Web site and mobile phone pages created and maintained
by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
To see this page please view on a computer
screen or on a tablet in landscape view.
Web site and mobile phone pages designed, created and
maintained by Janet Groome Handshake Computer Training
Special interest days