Power, Propaganda and Men in Tights

Elizabeth 1 - Marcus Gheeraerts

Tuesday 23rd October 2018


Portraiture dominated the Tudor period and significant artistic developments were made by talented immigrants such as Hans Holbein and Marcus Gheeraerts. The lecture explores the symbolism in paintings of the great monarchs and personalities of the age. Religious  subjects and the early beginnings of landscape painting are also featured.

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Goldwork: The Story of Britain and Gold

Queen Victoria Jubilee Spoon Gold

Tuesday 27th November 2018


The desire for gold is an essential part of human history and the search for, and use of it, is a key to understanding how people and places across the world have connected. This lecture will explore some of the key facts of this story from its geology via ancient to modern craftsmanship. The role of Britain in this global story has rarely been investigated but it had an important part to play.

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Fine Art of Crime: Art Theft and Repatriation

Vermeer The Concert

Tuesday 22nd January 2019


The media promote an image of suave and sophisticated gentlemen art thieves but in reality the art thief is no aristocrat. Stealing Fine Art and antiques provides the criminal with a high value commodity, often poorly protected. Malcolm Kenwood was Recoveries Director of the Art Loss Register and was a former policeman and private investigator. He will enlighten us to the activities of the criminal underworld and the part specialist law officers have in tracing, finding and repatriating stolen items.

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The Elgin Marbles: A History of Meaning

Elgin Marbles

Tuesday 26th February 2019

Lecturer: ALAN READ

In June 1816 the House of Commons voted for the nation to acquire the collection of antique sculptures assembled by Lord Elgin, most notably those from the Parthenon.  It was a controversial decision. This lecture examines why the sculptures were so sought-after, the circumstances through which Lord Elgin 'acquired'  them and the events which led to their purchase for the British Museum two hundred years ago.

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Fakes, Forgeries and Reproductions: Understanding Chinese Porcelain

Qing Dynasty Imari Porcelain

Tuesday 26th March 2019


Prices for Chinese art have rocketed in recent years. More than £50 million was paid for a vase in a British auction house - and not paid for! Paul Harris collects Chinese art and visits China regularly. He will explain some of the pitfalls in seeking to acquire these beautiful objects and explain the markings, faults and other characteristics which enable the expert to determine the real age of an object. Examples of Chinese artefacts will be shown at the lecture.

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The World’s Most Expensive Art

Jackson Pollock Number 17a

Tuesday 23rd April 2019


This lecture is about the top end of the art market and will examine some beautiful and varied art. These works would not have achieved such high prices if they were no good. We will see works by Picasso, Rembrandt, Klimt, Bacon, and Pollock and look at the buyers and sellers, the backstory of the works and the reasons for changing hands.  Are they really worth hundreds of millions of pounds?

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L.S. Lowry: Should We Celebrate His Contribution to British Art?

Going to Work LS Lowry

Tuesday 28th May 2019


Those who dislike Lowry point to his simplistic depiction of the north-west and its people; those who like him refer to the snobbery of his detractors. This lecture will describe Lowry's life and explain his art and techniques through a discussion of a selection of his paintings. It will conclude with an assessment of his contribution to British art.

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A Carpet Ride to Khiva: 15th Century Carpet Designs from Persian Illuminated Manuscripts

Chris Alexander

Tuesday 25th June 2019


This is a narrative approach to the revival of 15th century carpet designs from the illuminated manuscripts in Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan. Illuminations on vellum - containing the only surviving representations of textiles from this era - flourished, despite the Islamic prohibition on representative art. This lecture examines the traditional role of carpet weaving and embroidery in the social lives of Central Asian women and how social and political influences led to the decline of textile production.

Posted by vivalogue in Lectures