PROPOSED LECTURE PROGRAMME 2020/21 Membership year The following lectures are most likely to be on Zoom. Keep checking back for the latest information. During Lockdown there are some lectures available for free for everyone. Click here to see what lectures are available. This lecture will be on YouTube and the link to this lecture is being sent out direct to members shortly, but if you don’t receive the link please contact Carole Brownridge. CHRISTMAS LECTURE 24th November 2020 Leslie Primo Journey of the Magi: Origins, Myth & Reality – The True Story of the Three Kings There have been pictorial representations of The Magi from as early as at least the 6th century, such as depictions in Byzantine ivories with origins in places such as Constantinople. Indeed, a vast array of artists, such as Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450-1516), Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), Pieter Bruegel the Elder (active 1550/1; died 1569), Albrecht Dürer (1471- 1528), Masaccio (1401- 1428/9?), and Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) to name but a few, have been clearly fascinated by story and its possibilities when it comes to visual depictions. Above: James Tissot - Journey of the Magi - Minneapolis Institute of Arts However, these depictions over this vast period of time have been anything but consistent. All the aforementioned artists will be mentioned in this lecture, as I seek to will unravel the myth and the iconography behind the proliferation of the story of the adoration of the magi from its Eastern and pagan roots to its current Christian interpretation. To aid my examination of this story, and to trace the changes in iconography and depictions of the kings themselves, I will be illustrating it with a variety beautiful works of art, images made across many centuries that will illuminate this fascination as never before. The lecture will begin by looking at the etymology behind the term ‘magi’ and how it has come down to us and what is now means in contemporary society. This lecture will then look at the changing iconography behind the depictions of the story and the various meanings behind these changes in its iconography, not to mention the changes in the story of the adoration of the magi itself. Moving on the lecture will then look at the origin of the names of the magi and the significance of their gifts to the Christ Child. Following this exploration of the fundamental roots of the story I will then come to the issue of the inclusion of the black king, where he came from, why he would be included, how significant was he and how European artists tackled the problem of depicting this magus when they themselves had little or no knowledge of such people of colour. Finally, I will examining the actual origins of the story and how much of a bearing does that story, as we understand it, have on the actual story written in the Bible. To examine this final question, I will contrast the relevant passages the biblical with images from many sources to help clarify the difference between those and the example images. This final part of my lecture will set out to ask what it is we want this story to mean and why do we hold on to the legendary story rather than biblical tale in our mostly Western secular society. Reading list Ainsworth, Maryan, W. Ed, Man, Myth and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance, (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010) Campbell, Lorne, The Sixteenth Century Netherlandish Paintings with French Paintings Before 1600, (National Gallery Company Limited, 2014) Devisse, Jean, The Image of the Black in Western Art – Vol.2 (William Morrow and Company, 1979) Kaplan, Paul, H. D., The Rise of the Black Magus in Western Art, (Bowker Publishing Co, 1983, 1985) Schiller, Gertrud – translated by Janet Seligman, Iconography of Christian Art, Vol.1 (Lund Humphries, 1971) Seznec, Jean, The Survival of the Pagan Gods: The Mythological Tradition and its Place in Renaissance Humanism and Art, (Princeton University Press, Mythos series, New Jersey, 1995) 2021 Obviously due to problems planning during the 2020 lock down these lectures may be subject to change 19th January 2021 Snake Davis A Life in Music: West to East & Back Saxophonist Chris ‘Snake’ Davis is a UK solo artist and session musician who has graced records and tours by hundreds of artists from Take That to Paul McCartney and Lisa Stansfield. His lecture will include live demonstrations of a large selection of saxophones flutes and ethnic woodwinds, with illustrations and an outline of their origins and history. He will talk about the business and the art of music, life on the road, and how his love of music has opened doors to Japanese culture. He plays quietly, no need to fear for your ears! Snake will talk a little about the business end of music and how being on stage is the icing on the cake, and thrilling - but getting to that stage is a serious and potentially deadly business. He tells how playing music has helped him stay healthy and sane over four decades. How music crosses over from the spiritual to the secular worlds. And how his life has been enriched as his love of music has opened doors to Japanese culture and musical history. He is quite comfortable playing to up to 60,000 people in stadiums with the likes of The Eurythmics and Eikichi Yazawa but never happier than when in front of a small audience in a small theatre, Arts Centre or Village Hall. He says ‘I got into music, like most folks, because it gave me a wonderful special feeling that I wanted more of. Now after all these years of making music, sharing it, studying it, I have gained a huge breadth of knowledge and experience that I very much enjoy sharing. This is more easily done at an Arts Society lecture than at an evening theatre show.' Click here for information about Snake Davis’s live performances on every Saturday and Sunday evening at 7pm. 16th February 2021 Andrew Prince Royal Jewels and The American Heiress: Antique Treasures for the New World In this talk Andrew shows that with the turbulent political times between 1870 and 1929 culminating with final collapse of the European and Russian Monarchies, countless astonishing art and jewel collections were dispersed looted or sold. Fortunately this coincided with the growing wealth and power of America’s millionaires, who were themselves intent on creating palaces of their own, filling them with the greatest paintings and furniture and weighing down their wives and providing their daughters with a dowery of the finest of royal jewels. Andrew explains how many of these fabulously wealthy heiresses married into the British Aristocracy, bringing many of the treasures with them, and how with the decline of the British Empire and Aristocratic power these legendary jewels have again been parted with and now can be seen in the world's great museums, for all to enjoy. 16th March 2021 Felicity Herring A Journey to Egypt & the Holy Land with David Roberts In 1838 David Roberts, the son of an Edinburgh cobbler, travelled up the Nile as far as Abu Simbel then back to Cairo. He was the first western artist to record the great statues of Rameses II, the Temple of Amun and the statues of Amenhotep III. He then travelled from Cairo across the Sinai desert to the Holy Land. His paintings of Petra were the first that Europeans had seen of this wonder of the ancient world. He went on to Jerusalem, Nazareth, Tyre and Baalbec. David Roberts’s paintings of his epic journey influenced travellers for a generation. David Robert Aboo Simbel drawing 20th April 2021 David Phillips The Magic of Pattern 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 what a mistaken view that is as we look at the ideas that inspired some of the great pattern inventors and traditions from around the world. We’ll see that 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. Honeysuckle printed fabric designed by William Morris. (Details from Linda Parry, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement: A Sourcebook, 1989.) 18th May 2021 Jonathan Foyle Lincoln Cathedral – Building Mary’s Paradise During the thirteenth century, Lincoln Cathedral was amongst the greatest building projects in England and despite a series of disasters, from an earthquake to war and robbery, we have inherited a magnificent and relatively unscathed masterpiece of art and architecture. Through its sheer size and complexity, the cathedral’s beauty can be difficult to understand. But through writing the book Lincoln Cathedral: Biography of a Great Building the speaker offers a fresh and coherent analysis of the cathedral’s evolution. This talk shows how this wonderfully inventive structure embodied changing ideas about the Virgin Mary, the Queen of Paradise, to whom it was dedicated. Lincoln cathedral - west front by Thompson, A. Hamilton: “The Cathedral Churches of England” (1925) After the AGM 15th June 2021 Steven Desmond The Historic Gardens of the Italian Lakes There are many illustrious gardens on the shores of Lakes Como and Maggiore in the mountainous far north of Italy. Those included in this lecture include a 16th-century parterre and water staircase; a baroque garden in the middle of a lake; two gardens made by rival Napoleonic grandees; and a garden created by two Edwardian romantics as a theatre for sharing their love of art and nature. These achievements and others are set in a climate ideal for garden-making among some of the world’s noblest scenery, where Wordsworth, Liszt and Bellini found inspiration. It could work for you. Above: taliano: Villa Carlotta, il giardino con visto di lago by Shan Chen Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome Handshake Computer Training Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome Handshake Computer Training
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3th November 2020 This lecture will be on YouTube and the link to this lecture is being sent out direct to members shortly, but if you don’t receive the link please contact Carole Brownridge. CHRISTMAS LECTURE 24th November 2020 Leslie Primo Journey of the Magi: Origins, Myth & Reality – The True Story of the Three Kings There have been pictorial representations of The Magi from as early as at least the 6th century, such as depictions in Byzantine ivories with origins in places such as Constantinople. Indeed, a vast array of artists, such as Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450-1516), Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), Pieter Bruegel the Elder (active 1550/1; died 1569), Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Masaccio (1401-1428/9?), and Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) to name but a few, have been clearly fascinated by story and its possibilities when it comes to visual depictions. Above: James Tissot - Journey of the Magi - Minneapolis Institute of Arts However, these depictions over this vast period of time have been anything but consistent. All the aforementioned artists will be mentioned in this lecture, as I seek to will unravel the myth and the iconography behind the proliferation of the story of the adoration of the magi from its Eastern and pagan roots to its current Christian interpretation. To aid my examination of this story, and to trace the changes in iconography and depictions of the kings themselves, I will be illustrating it with a variety beautiful works of art, images made across many centuries that will illuminate this fascination as never before. The lecture will begin by looking at the etymology behind the term ‘magi’ and how it has come down to us and what is now means in contemporary society. This lecture will then look at the changing iconography behind the depictions of the story and the various meanings behind these changes in its iconography, not to mention the changes in the story of the adoration of the magi itself. Moving on the lecture will then look at the origin of the names of the magi and the significance of their gifts to the Christ Child. Following this exploration of the fundamental roots of the story I will then come to the issue of the inclusion of the black king, where he came from, why he would be included, how significant was he and how European artists tackled the problem of depicting this magus when they themselves had little or no knowledge of such people of colour. Finally, I will examining the actual origins of the story and how much of a bearing does that story, as we understand it, have on the actual story written in the Bible. To examine this final question, I will contrast the relevant passages the biblical with images from many sources to help clarify the difference between those and the example images. This final part of my lecture will set out to ask what it is we want this story to mean and why do we hold on to the legendary story rather than biblical tale in our mostly Western secular society. Reading list Ainsworth, Maryan, W. Ed, Man, Myth and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance, (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010) Campbell, Lorne, The Sixteenth Century Netherlandish Paintings with French Paintings Before 1600, (National Gallery Company Limited, 2014) Devisse, Jean, The Image of the Black in Western Art – Vol.2 (William Morrow and Company, 1979) Kaplan, Paul, H. D., The Rise of the Black Magus in Western Art, (Bowker Publishing Co, 1983, 1985) Schiller, Gertrud – translated by Janet Seligman, Iconography of Christian Art, Vol.1 (Lund Humphries, 1971) Seznec, Jean, The Survival of the Pagan Gods: The Mythological Tradition and its Place in Renaissance Humanism and Art, (Princeton University Press, Mythos series, New Jersey, 1995) 2021 Obviously due to problems planning during the 2020 lock down these lectures may be subject to change 19th January 2021 Snake Davis A Life in Music: West to East & Back Saxophonist Chris ‘Snake’ Davis is a UK solo artist and session musician who has graced records and tours by hundreds of artists from Take That to Paul McCartney and Lisa Stansfield. His lecture will include live demonstrations of a large selection of saxophones flutes and ethnic woodwinds, with illustrations and an outline of their origins and history. He will talk about the business and the art of music, life on the road, and how his love of music has opened doors to Japanese culture. He plays quietly, no need to fear for your ears! Snake will talk a little about the business end of music and how being on stage is the icing on the cake, and thrilling - but getting to that stage is a serious and potentially deadly business. He tells how playing music has helped him stay healthy and sane over four decades. How music crosses over from the spiritual to the secular worlds. And how his life has been enriched as his love of music has opened doors to Japanese culture and musical history. He is quite comfortable playing to up to 60,000 people in stadiums with the likes of The Eurythmics and Eikichi Yazawa but never happier than when in front of a small audience in a small theatre, Arts Centre or Village Hall. He says ‘I got into music, like most folks, because it gave me a wonderful special feeling that I wanted more of. Now after all these years of making music, sharing it, studying it, I have gained a huge breadth of knowledge and experience that I very much enjoy sharing. This is more easily done at an Arts Society lecture than at an evening theatre show.' Click here for information about Snake Davis’s live performances on every Saturday and Sunday evening at 7pm. 16th February 2021 Andrew Prince Royal Jewels and The American Heiress: Antique Treasures for the New World In this talk Andrew shows that with the turbulent political times between 1870 and 1929 culminating with final collapse of the European and Russian Monarchies, countless astonishing art and jewel collections were dispersed looted or sold. Fortunately this coincided with the growing wealth and power of America’s millionaires, who were themselves intent on creating palaces of their own, filling them with the greatest paintings and furniture and weighing down their wives and providing their daughters with a dowery of the finest of royal jewels. Andrew explains how many of these fabulously wealthy heiresses married into the British Aristocracy, bringing many of the treasures with them, and how with the decline of the British Empire and Aristocratic power these legendary jewels have again been parted with and now can be seen in the world's great museums, for all to enjoy. 16th March 2021 Felicity Herring A Journey to Egypt & the Holy Land with David Roberts In 1838 David Roberts, the son of an Edinburgh cobbler, travelled up the Nile as far as Abu Simbel then back to Cairo. He was the first western artist to record the great statues of Rameses II, the Temple of Amun and the statues of Amenhotep III. He then travelled from Cairo across the Sinai desert to the Holy Land. His paintings of Petra were the first that Europeans had seen of this wonder of the ancient world. He went on to Jerusalem, Nazareth, Tyre and Baalbec. David Roberts’s paintings of his epic journey influenced travellers for a generation. David Robert Aboo Simbel drawing 20th April 2021 David Phillips The Magic of Pattern 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 what a mistaken view that is as we look at the ideas that inspired some of the great pattern inventors and traditions from around the world. We’ll see that 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. Honeysuckle printed fabric designed by William Morris. (Details from Linda Parry, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement: A Sourcebook, 1989.) 18th May 2021 Jonathan Foyle Lincoln Cathedral – Building Mary’s Paradise During the thirteenth century, Lincoln Cathedral was amongst the greatest building projects in England and despite a series of disasters, from an earthquake to war and robbery, we have inherited a magnificent and relatively unscathed masterpiece of art and architecture. Through its sheer size and complexity, the cathedral’s beauty can be difficult to understand. But through writing the book Lincoln Cathedral: Biography of a Great Building the speaker offers a fresh and coherent analysis of the cathedral’s evolution. This talk shows how this wonderfully inventive structure embodied changing ideas about the Virgin Mary, the Queen of Paradise, to whom it was dedicated. Lincoln cathedral - west front by Thompson, A. Hamilton: “The Cathedral Churches of England” (1925) After the AGM 15th June 2021 Steven Desmond The Historic Gardens of the Italian Lakes There are many illustrious gardens on the shores of Lakes Como and Maggiore in the mountainous far north of Italy. Those included in this lecture include a 16th- century parterre and water staircase; a baroque garden in the middle of a lake; two gardens made by rival Napoleonic grandees; and a garden created by two Edwardian romantics as a theatre for sharing their love of art and nature. These achievements and others are set in a climate ideal for garden-making among some of the world’s noblest scenery, where Wordsworth, Liszt and Bellini found inspiration. It could work for you. Above: taliano: Villa Carlotta, il giardino con visto di lago by Shan Chen
Programme for 2020/21