The Arts Society Rutland
Previous Lectures 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. Thursday 21st June 2018 Addition payment required Anniversary Celebratory Lecture and Lunch at Stanford Hall Intoxicating Cocktail Mary Alexander BA (Hons) MA Between the wars, Paris was the hub of cutting edge experiments  in the visual and performing arts. The city became a magnet for international creative talent, including African-American musicians escaping the restrictions of racial segregation and Prohibition at home. The new 'jazz hot' brought together audiences from the artistic avant- garde, the music halls and the exotic cabarets of Montmartre. A vibrant modernist design style emerged from this dynamic cultural fusion. We will meet the artists, designers, musicians, dancers and impresarios and recreate how it felt to be in the middle of this exciting new cocktail of talent. Click here for the booking form Art Deco influences Thursday 17th May 2018 William Orpen (1878-1931) Still an Outsider Ann Clements BA, FRSA Major Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen, KBE, RA, RHA  was an Irish artist who worked mainly in London. Orpen was a fine draughtsman and a popular, commercially successful, painter of portraits for the well-to-do in Edwardian society, though many of his most striking paintings are self-portraits - right. During the First World War, he was the most prolific of the official artists sent by Britain to the Western Front. There he produced drawings and paintings of ordinary soldiers, dead men, and German prisoners of war, as well as portraits of generals and politicians. Most of these works, 138 in all, he donated to the British government and they are now in the collection of the Imperial War Museum. Background on William Orpen Tate page on Orpen. Thursday 19th April 2018 Vivaldi in Venice Peter Medhurst GRSM, ARCM Vivaldi is the one Baroque composer whose music is a  direct reflection of the city in which it was composed. Listen to a Vivaldi concerto and hey presto you are transported directly to the heart of 18th century Venice. The reasons for this are many – Vivaldi’s passion for colour, display and spectacle in his music; the unusual way in which Venice solved its problems with the poor and the homeless; Vivaldi’s health problems and his eccentricities as a man and a priest. Against the luxurious backdrop of 18th century Venice, and with live musical performances, this lecture explores the amazing world of Vivaldi’s music - music that is as intrinsically Venetian as the canvasses of Canaletto. Click here to go to Peter Medhurst’s own web page. History of the Medici    (fully booked) Douglas Skeggs MA (Cantab) Wednesday 11 April 2018 Egleton Bird Watching Centre, LE15 8BT No synopsis available yet. The Medici family banking business Review of this study day Guardian article on an exhibition on the Medici family at the National Gallery in 2011 Thursday 15th March 2018 From Egg to Bacon : English Painting 1850-1950 Linda Smith BA ( Hons) MA This talk gives an account of developments in British painting (and the occasional sculpture) from the days of the Pre-Raphaelites to the aftermath of World War Two. This was a particularly fertile period in the history of art, and the talk pays particular attention to the way in which developments in Paris were received by the London art world; and how British artists contributed to the exciting exchange of new ideas. Above: Past & Present No.1 Egg Tate Some of the artists mentioned and/or discussed (but always subject to change): Augustus Egg, The Pre-Raphaelites, James Tissot, Albert Moore, James McNeil Whistler, Gwen John, Augustus John, Walter Sickert, The Bloomsbury Group, The Vorticists, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon. Above: Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944. Bacon Tate Background to August Egg Background to Francis Bacon Thursday 15th February 2018 Romancing the Rails: British Railway Posters On Track with the World's Best Charles Harris B.Sc Iowa State The Flying Scotsman, Golden Arrows, Belles and Pullmans; no wonder Betjeman still stands in awe at St Pancras. Covering the Golden Age of British Railways, the era of the Big Four 1923 – 1947, this lecture celebrates the most romantic period of our British travel history. You’ll see how the best travel posters connect with your heart and your mind, and how they have closely reflected the evolution of British holidays. National Railway Museum Posters web site Thursday 18th January 2018 To the Far Side of the World, (James Cook's third and final voyage in 1776) Peter Warwick The moving story of Captain Robert Falcon Scots’ last and fatal Terra Nava expedition to the Antarctica and the ‘race’ to the South Pole. The lecture assesses Scot’s leadership abilities and challenges the widely held view that he was a bungler. The centenary of Scott’s death was in March 2012. Click here to read Captain Scotts last letter. Monday 18th December 2017 (additional payment required) The Christmas Story through paintings at the National Gallery Caroline MacDonald-Haig MITG Dip Hist of Art The Christmas period is the time when Christians celebrate their joy at the birth of Jesus. They believe that his birth fulfilled the Old Testament promise that a Messiah, Christ, would be born. The story of the Nativity, first told in the New Testament gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke, has inspired artists to create some of the most affectionate, gentle and intimate images, which can be enjoyed by everyone. The paintings help to bring to life the story of the family’s struggle to deliver the child and keep him safe from harm, inviting us to share the emotions and joyous celebrations of the original Christmas. Gossaert, The Adoration of the Kings, 1510-15 Follow the Christmas story through paintings at the National Gallery via their web site. This will be our last Christmas event (for next year our 30th anniversary we have planned a Summer lecture and lunch). Thursday 16th November 2017 The Most Infamous Family in History : The Borgias Sarah Dunant BA MA DLitt Murder, poison, corruption and incest: all perfect ingredients for sensational popular culture. But in an age known for its brutality and church corruption were the Borgias really so bad? This lecture reveals the real family that dominated the Papacy and Italian politics during the last decade of the 15th century: the charismatic figure of Pope Alexander VI, living inside his sumptuously decorated apartments, the career of his son, Cesare, cardinal, general, employer of Da Vinci and the model for Machiavelli’s The Prince, and the journey of Lucrezia Borgia from “the greatest whore in Rome” to a devout and treasured duchess of the city Ferrara. Sometimes truth is more intoxicating than myth. Painting by John Collier, "A glass of wine with Caesar Borgia", from left: Cesare Borgia, Lucrezia, Pope Alexander, and a young man holding an empty glass. The House of Borgia The History of the Family Thursday 19th October 2017 The Art of the Joke Susie Harries BA (Hons ) M.Litt Artists have always used jokes to make serious statements – about themselves, about the world, about the nature of art. This lecture looks at artists’ jokes through the ages, from medieval monks doodling graffiti in the margins of manuscripts to Banksy turning supermarket walls into social satire. Caravaggio put his own face on Goliath’s severed head as an apology for a racy lifestyle, Michelangelo hid a self- portrait in the Crucifixion of Saint Peter.  When Van Gogh attacked formal art education and Salvador Dali got at Picasso, they did it in paint. Trompe l'oeil, parody, visual puns, the moustache on the Mona Lisa - all in fun, all deadly serious: artists' jokes tell you a lot once you know. Michelangelo’s Crucifixion of the Saint Peter Click here for the article on the above self portrait. VISIT TO LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL and ERASMUS DARWIN HOUSE Wednesday 25th October 2017 Lichfield is the only English Cathedral with three spires built in the heart of the country’s most creative county during the industrial revolution. Explore the stunning Cathedral and discover a rich world of history and architecture. The close is one of the most complete in the country and includes a medieval courtyard which once housed the men of the choir. After a hearty lunch of soup, crusty bread, cake, tea/coffee in the restaurant, we are but a short distance from Erasmus Darwin House. Erasmus Darwin, Grandfather of Charles Darwin, who was one of the foremost physicians of his time, built a network of powerful associates in the industrial revolution. He was one of the founders of ‘The Lunar Society’ whose members included Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Josiah Wedgewood and Josiah Priestley. Click here for the web site of Lichfield Cathedral Click here for the web site for the Erasmus Darwin House Wednesday 4 October 2017 Simon Rees Backstage at the Opera   Opera requires the work of composers, librettists, conductors, directors, designers, wardrobe, wig and prop technicians, as well as orchestra, chorus, soloists, stage crew, and an audience in front of which to perform. Simon Rees has been given access to the photographic collection of his former employers, Welsh National Opera, which illustrate every step of the production process. Opera requires the work of composers, librettists, conductors, directors, designers, wardrobe, wig and prop technicians, as well as orchestra, chorus, soloists, stage crew, and an audience in front of which to perform. Simon Rees has been given access to the photographic collection of his former employers, Welsh National Opera, which illustrate every step of the production process. This lecture traces opera productions from costume designs and set models through to the making of costumes and sets, and rehearsals in the studio and auditorium. Thursday 21st September 2017 Pots and Frocks, the World of Grayson Perry Ian Swankie 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. Royal Academy of Art page on Grayson Perry NADFAS interview with Grayson Perry by Judith Quiney 2014 on the Tapestries Exhibition Thursday 15th June 2017 The Sacred Art of Ancient China Jon Cannon 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. Temple of Heaven, Beijing   Thursday 18th May 2017 How Does Your Garden Grow Mr Shakespeare Caroline Holmes A Shakespeare garden is a themed garden that cultivates plants mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare. In English-speaking countries, particularly the United States, these are often public gardens associated with parks, universities, and Shakespeare festivals. Shakespeare gardens are sites of cultural, educational, and romantic interest and can be locations for outdoor weddings. RHS page on Shakespeare’s plants A list of al the plants mentioned by Shakespeare Thursday 20th April 2017 Faber and Faber, Ninety Years of Excellence in Cover Design Toby Faber MA MBA Since its foundation in 1925, Faber and Faber has built a reputation as one of London’s most important literary publishing houses. Part of that relates to the editorial team that Geoffrey Faber and his successors built around them - TS Eliot was famously an early recruit - but a large part is also due to the firm’s insistence on good design and illustration. This lecture traces the history of Faber and Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs. Early years brought innovations like the Ariel Poems – single poems, beautifully illustrated, sold in their own envelopes. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was an emphasis on typography, led by the firm’s art director Berthold Wolpe; his Albertus font is still used on City of London road signs. In the 1980s, the firm started its association with Pentagram, responsible for the ff logo. Along the way, it has employed some of our most celebrated artists as cover illustrators – from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. Click here to go to the Faber & Faber web site Click here to learn more about the history of Faber Wednesday 29 March 2017  Study Day Roger Mitchell on The Art and Architecture of the American West There will be an exhibition at the Royal Academy The Art of 1930s America which tells the story of a nation in flux. Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm Friday 10am – 10pm  Click here for their web site Thursday 16th March 2017 Let There be Light Alexandra Drysdale BA (Hons ) MFA Over 4.6 Billion years ago a star was born and our sun started to shine. Soon after this the Earth and our other planets were formed and light began its eight minute flight to Earth. Science and art have moved forward together in the quest to understand light as can be seen in representations of rainbows or contemporary Black Holes. For artists light can express emotions, from El Greco’s light of spiritual ecstasy to the dangerous darkness of Caravaggio, from Turner’s sublime sunlight to Samuel Palmer’s melancholy moonlight. Australian Impressionism uses a different colour palette to European Impressionism. Stonehenge was built to worship the sun, and today James Turrell makes light temples in art galleries and Dan Flavin makes altarpieces from fluorescent tubes. Let me enlighten you as to how artists have painted temporal and spiritual light through the Ages. James Turrell Deer Enclosure at the YSP Thursday 16th February 2017 Old Buildings : Fakes and Fallacies Philip Venning MA FSA FRSA OBE Historic buildings are often not what they seem, or how we confidently and wrongly believe they ought to look. Were old houses ever built with reused ships’ timbers? Are black and white ‘Tudor’ buildings mainly a 19th century fashion? Is the appearance of many familiar historic castles as much the product of the restorers? How many of the claimed ‘secret tunnels’ from the basement to the docks or church actually exist? As well as examining some of the popular myths about old buildings the lecture will discuss the tricky philosophical issues of authenticity, and the point at which a genuine historic building is so renewed that it effectively becomes a replica. Drawing on examples from throughout the country the lecture will challenge some received wisdom, and offer some surprises. Old building in Caen, France Seven fake houses More fake buildings Doug Gillen proved to be a very popular lecturer in January and I have been asked by several people for the name of the Alternative London Walking Company he works for. It is not his Company, so if you book you may not get Doug, but you could mention his name.    We are hoping to arrange a walk for members in the future. The Alternative London Walking Company’s web site is www.alternativeldn.com or you can e-mail info@alternativeldn.com Doug Gillen Hidden Canvasses: Street Art and the City Street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. The term gained popularity during the graffiti art boom of the early 1980s and continues to be applied to subsequent incarnations. Stencil graffiti, wheatpasted poster art or sticker art, and street installation or sculpture are common forms of modern street art. Video projection, yarn bombing and Lock On sculpture became popularised at the turn of the 21st century. The terms "urban art", "guerrilla art", "post-graffiti" and "neo-graffiti" are also sometimes used when referring to artwork created in these contexts.  Traditional spray-painted graffiti artwork itself is often included in this category, excluding territorial graffiti or pure vandalism. Right: More than three meters above east London's Sclater Street is a mural of sprinter Usain Bolt, captured in explosive color by artist James Cochran.  The street artwork, more than four meters high and six meters wide, is a dramatic sight, designed by Cochran to celebrate London's Olympic Games. Background of Street Art ‘Street Art’ exhibition at Tate Modern 2008 The Story Behind Banksy Wheatpaste art posters Deco emerged from the inter war period when rapid industrialisation was transforming culture. One of its major attributes is an embrace of technology. Thursday 21st January 2016 The Elgin Marbles Dr tephen Kershaw BA (Hons) PhD The ‘Elgin Marbles’ is a popular term that in its widest use may refer to the collection of stone objects – sculptures, inscriptions and architectural features – acquired by Lord Elgin during his time as ambassador to the Ottoman court of the Sultan in Istanbul. More specifically, and more usually, it is used to refer to those sculptures, inscriptions and architectural features that he acquired in Athens between 1801 and 1805. These objects were purchased by the British Parliament from Lord Elgin in 1816 and presented by Parliament to the British Museum. Web site created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
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The Arts Society Rutland