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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Hidden Treasures of the Cotswolds

Woodchester Mansion

Tuesday 26th March 2019

Lecturer: MIKE HOPE

Beyond the much visited villages of the Cotswolds are hidden treasures - Mike Hope introduces some of the highlights of the region, including the National Arboretum and the Armed Forces Memorial, the Badminton Estate, Warden Hill Church and its stained glass, and the unfinished Victorian Gothic masterpiece that is Woodchester Mansion.

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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.

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Sicilian Baroque

Noto Cathedral Sicily

Sicilian Baroque

Tuesday 23rd July 2019


This new, additional lecture for the 2019-2020 season will explore Baroque architecture in Sicily, which came to flamboyant fulfilment during the surge of rebuilding following the devastating earthquake of 1693. Local architects created a characteristic baroque style that is unique to the island of Sicily.

Posted by vivalogue in Lectures