April – The Chair – 2000 Years of Sitting Down!

23rd April 2024

The Chair - 2000 Years of Sitting Down!

This engaging talk looks at the history of the chair and ‘sitting solutions’, charting the humble to high design, from antiquity to the 21st century. Never again will you take your seat for granted!


Lecturer:  Marc Allum

Marc Allum is a freelance art and antiques journalist, writer and broadcaster based in Wiltshire. He is shortly to begin his 23rd year as a specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow and has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes. Marc regularly writes for mainstream magazines and is an author, antiques consultant and lecturer. He also runs a fine art valuation and consultancy service. Marc has his own unique style with interests ranging from pre-history to modern design and is a self-confessed collectaholic. He has a passion and reputation for divining the unusual through ‘a desire to connect with history through the interpretation and pursuit of objects and their origins’. Marc has lectured widely for many years to a number of different organisations in both the public and charity sector, including travel companies, The National Trust, The WI and many literary festivals including Cheltenham, Bath, Wells and Petworth. Marc is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.







Posted by John Finn in Lectures

May – Not Just a Pile of Old Stones: Contemporary Art and the English Stately Home

28th May 2024

Not Just A Pile Of Old Stones: Contemporary Art And The English Stately Home

In this talk, I discuss the recent proliferation of contemporary art on display in Britain’s stately homes and parklands. Focussing on works which have been collected or exhibited in different ways at notable estates such as Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth House and Houghton Hall during the 21st century, I explore the fascinating dialogue between landscape, architecture and the vibrant art of today. Among the major international artists I look at are Ai Weiwei, Jennie Holzer, James Turrell, Rachel Whiteread as well as British Turner Prize winners, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst and Richard Long


Lecturer: Anna Moszynska

I am a London-based lecturer and writer specialising in contemporary art. During the 1990s, I oversaw the development of the first British Master’s Degree in the subject at Sotheby’s Institute. I have also taught at institutions including The City Lit, the Royal Academy and Tate London, as well as lecturing in cities ranging from Dubai to New York. I currently teach at academic institutions in London and Paris and run my own courses. My books include Abstract Art (1990, enlarged ed. 2020) and Sculpture Now (2013), both published by Thames & Hudson. I enjoy introducing art to audiences in a lively and approachable way to make modern and contemporary art both accessible and interesting.








Posted by John Finn in Lectures


25th June 2024


Looking in detail at the Franks Casket this lecture unlocks this enigmatic box, considering its mysteries and riddles and asking what it might mean. Looking at the carvings, the runes and the stories on the box, thinking about the whale at its core and asking questions about who might have used this incredible object, we will examine the casket closely for its symbols and significance.

Lecturer: Meg Boulton

Meg Boulton completed her AHRC funded PhD at the University of York in 2013, specialising in the Art and Architecture of the Anglo-Saxon World. Her doctoral research looked at the conceptualisation, construction and depiction of sacred space in the early medieval period but wider interests span the Medieval to the Post-Modern, with an emphasis on space and surface - from Anglo-Saxon stone, to Inuit Sculpture, to television adaptations of Agatha Christie's novels. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh; with recent positions at Leeds, York and Oxford in the areas of Art and Architectural History, Visual Culture and Museum Studies.








Posted by John Finn in Lectures


23rd July 2024


Before the Normans invaded in the 11th century, Sicily had been colonised by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Visigoths and Islamic tribes from North Africa. This lecture looks at the island’s historic role as the crossroads between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East – and how the different cultural strands were woven together by the Normans during their remarkably enlightened rule, which saw Palermo become one of the most important cities in Europe.

Lecturer: Richard Whincup

Richard is a professional artist who graduated in English and Art History from York University in 1986. From 1988-1994 he lectured at the adult education departments of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities, and then went on to become a full-time figurative artist, executing large-scale public commissions, and exhibiting widely throughout the UK. He now lives and works in Chichester, West Sussex.








Posted by John Finn in Lectures