Lectures

English Delftware Drug Jars

English Delftware Drug Jars

English Delftware Drug Jars

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Lecturer: Briony Hudson 

In Paynted Pots is Hidden the Deadliest Poyson
English Delftware Drug Jars

Blue and white tin-glazed earthenware has long been admired and collected for its attractive appearance, but this lecture goes further by examining English delftware with a pharmaceutical purpose. Drawing on examples from collections at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, this talk will provide a beginner's guide to these beautiful yet practical vessels. By placing them in their wider historical context, Briony will also demonstrate that delftware drug jars have an undervalued role to play in understanding medical practces in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Posted by John Finn in Lectures

Textiles of Bhutan

Textile of Bhutan

Textiles of Bhutan

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Lecturer: Zara Fleming

Zara Fleming is art historian, exhibition curator, tour guide and lecturer with specialist knowledge of Buddhist art, focusing on the art and culture of Tibet, Mongolia and the Himalayas. Whilst she is not a textile specialist per se, she has never the less been involved with Tibetan and Bhutanese culture for many years. Initially based at the V & A and then affiliated with Bonn University, working on a project cataloguing the Tibetan, Himalayan and Mongolian collections in UK museums.

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The Unique Terracotta Army: The Emperors Soldiers for the Afterlife

Textile of Bhutan

The Unique Terracotta Army

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Lecturer: Hanne Sutcliffe

The awesome discovery of over 7,000 life-size terracotta soldiers, guarding the tomb of the first emperor of China is the most momentous archaeological find this century. First discovered in 1974, the excavations have revealed row upon row of soldiers, horses, even officers and a general – an army so large that it needed 700,000 labourers to construct it. Each soldier has different head features and most are over 6 feet tall. The Qin Emperor was a despotic but remarkably intelligent man. He ordered the Great Wall to be built, built a road network covering all of China, canals and over a hundred palaces. The Qin emperor wanted his empire to last for a thousand years and it did. The lecture includes the layout of the famous four pits, the weapons of the time and how the Emperor won his fantastic Empire

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The Art of Opulent Travel

Opulent Travel

The Art of Opulent Travel

Tuesday September 27th 2022

Lecturer: Andrew Prince

This lecture relates how an aristocrat would travel in the past.

Lavish modes of transport would involve taking not only clothes, but food, furniture, cooking facilities, tents, horses, and the like, not just for himself but for his travelling household too. Lavish modes of transport were used for travel between different estates.

Andrew illustrates how diplomatic meetings between rival kings were turned into a contest to see who could outshine each other in displays of the finest silks, silver, jewellery and accommodation

 

Andrew Prince gave our society fascinating lecture on the jewellery he had made for the television series "downton". You may remember he showed us several items of jewellery which he had made for the series.

 

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BREUGHAL, THE SEASONS AND THE WORLD

BREUGHAL, THE SEASONS AND THE WORLD

Tuesday October 25th 2022

Lecturer: Gavin Plumley

In 1565, Pieter Breughal the Elder was commissioned to create a series of paintings for a dining room in Antwerp. The images, charting the course of the year, changed the way we view the world through art.

Landscape had previously been a decorative backdrop to dramas both sacred and profane. In Breughal’s hands the landscape became the focus. This lecture explores how Breughal introduced a new way of thinking about the environment and our individual places within a shifting cosmos.

 

Gavin Plumley is a writer and broadcaster, appearing on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and contributing to newspapers, magazines, opera and concert programmes worldwide. He lectures widely about the culture of Central Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries.

 

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FROM TCHAIKOVSKY TO TIN PAN ALLEY

From Tchaikovsky to Tin Pan Alley
– uplifting music for Christmas –

Tuesday,  November 22nd 2022

Lecturer: Sandy Burnett

To start our seasonal celebrations, musician and broadcaster Sandy Burnett is on hand to share his selection of much-loved Christmas tunes. Expect an hour of the finest festive music from across the globe – his selections include sparking moments from Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker, a heart-warming ballad from Mel Tormé, something from Soweto, a heavenly chorus from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Leipzig, an illustration of the English carol tradition at its finest  and something more cynical from Eartha Kitt…

Sandy is one of the UK’s most versatile music commentators, enjoying a career that combines broadcasting, performing and lecturing. After studying at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and working as music director for the RSC, National Theatre and in London’s West End, he is a highly sought after double bassist on the London jazz scene, and was appointed the Academy of Ancient Music’s Hogwood Fellow for the 2018-19 season.

 

 

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The Architecture of the British Raj is Remarkable. – Let’s Celebrate

24 January 2023 

The Architecture of the British Raj is Remarkable. - Lets Celebrate

Lecturer : Anthony Peers

This lecture starts with an examination of evolving attitudes in India (as well as in the UK) towards the British Empire, and towards the buildings which survive as testament to its achievements. A whistle stop tour is then made of the very best colonial buildings in Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Delhi and elsewhere. The  focus is on Bombay, reflecting on Anthony’s experience of having masterminded a British Government backed project to restore that city’s magnificent George Gilbert Scott designed university buildings. The telling of this mid-Victorian building’s story - its design (in England), construction, history and, of course, its restoration – provide useful start-points from which to consider the broader historical, cultural and architectural context. Bombay’s economic boom of the 1860s coincided with the high point of the Gothic Revival.

 

Anthony Peers is a freelance historic buildings' consultant, educated as an Architectural Historian at Manchester University and trained in building conservation at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, York. After two years with SAVE Britain's Heritage, where he wrote Deserted Bastions, he worked with the English Heritage Listing Division on the review of military buildings and in the mid 1990s was employed by the DTI in Bombay, India, setting up and running an innovative project to repair George Gilbert Scott's university buildings and training local architects and craftsmen in conservation techniques and philosophy. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Deputy Chairman of the Ancient Monuments Society.

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The Magic of Pattern

The Magic of Pattern

28 February 2023

The Magic of Pattern

Lecturer : David Phillips

From the Alhambra to William Morris, patterns can be gorgeous, yet pattern has often been dismissed as “mere ornament” in comparison with painting. We will discover that is a mistaken view as we look at the ideas that inspired some of the great pattern inventors and traditions from around the world.  Whilst some glorious effects depend on very simple patterning procedures, others can be wonderfully clever as we watch patterns evolving across the screen in beautiful animations.

David Phillips studied History at Oxford, and from 1968-82 worked for Nottingham Castle Museum. From 1982-98, Lecturer in Museum Studies and Art History at University of Manchester. Published a book about museum practice with Manchester University Press, Exhibiting Authenticity (1997).

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Vaux le Vicomte, fit for a King – The inspiration behind Versailles Palace

28 March 2023

Vaux le Vicomte, fit for a King
The inspiration behind Versailles Palace

Lecturer :  Carole Petipher

French 17th century chateau design owes much to one man; the ambitious visionary Nicolas Fouquet who is still somewhat of an enigma today. He seemed invincible but made one grave error of judgement which was to lead to his downfall. He employed the country’s best talent to commission a spectacular chateau for himself. In doing so he completely outshone the Sun King; Vaux le Vicomte presented a radical new look for the century whilst Versailles was nothing more than a humble hunting lodge at the time. The story that ensues is legendary. This lecture explores innovative garden design and architecture together with lavish interiors to tell the shocking story.

Carole Petipher is an experienced guide and lecturer on combined history and art tours in France with 20 years experience. Having lived and worked on a number of bespoke river vessels and converted barges, there she has used them as a platform from which to research her lectures.  She employs art in all its guises to explore the characters who shaped France and likes to delve behind the scenes to discover hidden truths.

 

Posted by John Finn in Lectures

Tantrums and Tiaras

Tantrums and Tiarras

Tantrums and Tiaras

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Lecturer: Nigel Bates

This lecture is a look at backstage life at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the pressures faced by performers, be they singer, dancer, conductor or musician, including several performance video clips. It explores how the building copes with the demands of modern productions and examines audience expectations both inside and outside of the theatre. It looks at some of the highs and tries to understand some of the lows that have been the fortune of this world-class performing venue over the years.

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Nikolaus Pevsner and The Buildings of England

Pevsner - The Buildings of England

Pevsner in Yorkshire : Nikolaus Pevsner and the Buildings of England

Tuesday 22 March 2022 

Lecturer: Susie Harries 

Nikolaus Pevsner was the Grand Old Man of English art history for almost thirty years – in on the radio, in the lecture hall and, of course, as the author of The Buildings of England.

How did he do it? In 1940 he was a young German refugee from Hitler in a British internment camp outside Liverpool; in 1970 he was Professor Sir Nikolaus, Reith lecturer and Slade professor. It was an extraordinary journey – almost as extraordinary as the journey Pevsner made, county by county, to catalogue and summarise, county by county, every architecturally significant building in England.

Wherever you zoom in, anywhere in England, Pevsner has been there. He’s visited, analysed, recorded – and commented: he was a man of few words but definite opinions. He has provided all the materials to start a conversation - people rarely agree with all his views - and he’s made it easy to tailor a talk to suit any organisation. The scope for illustrations is endless.

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A Concise History of our Great British Public Parks

Pevsner - The Buildings of England

A Concise History of our Great British Parks

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Lecturer: Paul Rabbitts

This really is a fascinating insight into the history of one of our greatest ever institutions - our Great British Public Park. We have all enjoyed them at some time in our lives but what do we really know about them? What are their origins? This talk illustrates their origins from the great Royal Parks to the Pleasure Gardens of the eighteenth century, to their Victorian heyday. It discusses what makes a great park, it’s ‘parkitecture’ with examples of lodges, lakes, bandstands, fountains, lidos, palm houses and to their wonderful floral displays, to their great decline in the sixties, seventies and eighties. However, the subsequent revival has led to a major shift in interest in our parks and once again we are very much in love with them. This is a highly illustrative lecture accompanied by slides with examples of parks from across the UK.

Posted by John Finn in Lectures