Past Lectures & Visits Visit to Houghton Hall Estate, Norfolk Thursday 19th September 2019     Key Features: HOUGHTON HALL was built in the Palladian era for Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole with architecture and furnishings reflecting his wealth and power. It is the home of the 7th Marquess of Chomondeley, a descendant and his family. The five acre, award winning walled GARDEN has a wealth of features including rustic temples and fountains designed by Julian and Isabel Bannerman. The HENRY MOORE Foundation exhibition in the gallery, the state rooms and outdoors provides the special art focus this year. The SOLDIER MUSEUM displaying 20,000 lead models and the NORFOLK by DESIGN exhibition are housed in the Stables. Contemporary OUTDOOR SCULPTURES by various artists can be found in the grounds. September 17th 2019 Dr Steve Kershaw The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Two tombs, a couple of statues, one temple, a garden and a lighthouse have become celebrated as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. But how much do we know about them? Why and how were they chosen? And, given that six out of the seven were destroyed long ago, can we recreate their size, beauty and majesty, and the shock and awe that they generated? Combining literary and artistic evidence for the monuments with examination of the sites where they once stood, this talk will try to make the vestigial traces of their grandeur come to life once again. This is the last lecture in the Membership Year 18 June - Ian Swankie FROM BRONZES TO BANKSY: AN ARMCHAIR TOUR OF PUBLIC ART AND STREET ART London has a world-class reputation for art in its many galleries, but this is a talk about the remarkable range of art outside in the streets. We tour around the capital discovering some of the most interesting works. They range from huge and expensive commissions to unofficial graffiti, which is sometimes audacious and often playful, but they all have a place in our society. We look at why art is there, how it has developed over the years and discover many hidden gems. London’s Street Art & Graffiti web site Top Ten place to see Street Art 16 April – Linda Smith GREAT TARTS IN ART: HIGH CULTURE & THE OLDEST PROFESSION A mixture of art-historical analysis and scandalous anecdote, this lecture takes a generally light- hearted look at changing attitudes to sexual morality down the ages, by examining the portraits and careers of some of history’s most notorious mistresses and courtesans. It also charts the rather complex and ambiguous attitudes of art and society towards the numerous anonymous working girls at the lower end of the scale, by investigating how they have been represented in art at different times and places from the 17th to the 20th century. Parisian prostitutes in Art Prostitute/Slavery web site 19 March – David Phillips INCOME & INSPIRATION: FINANCIAL SECRETS OF THE MASTERS It’s almost taboo to mention money in art gallery wall labels, yet in reality artists were as pre- occupied with cash as the rest of us. We watch the tug of war between creativity and credit in financial vignettes from five centuries, including a role for Charles Dickens as a virtuoso financial advisor solving a little local difficulty for William Holman Hunt. We look at prices for new art in relation to the cost of living for both artists and patrons in the past and conclude by wondering whether today’s colossal world art market is to the benefit or at a cost for creativity. Report on Art prices for 2016 10 most expensive artists 19 February – Anthea Streeter DAME ZAHA HADID Before her untimely death in 2016, Dame Zaha Hadid was one of the most distinguished architects in the world. She was also a talented designer. As well as receiving numerous awards and honours, she received the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 2004; the UK's most prestigious architectural award, the RIBA Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011; and the Royal Gold Medal in 2015. In 2012 she was made a Dame for services to architecture. Zaha Hadid’s work is exciting because she developed a new form of architecture: she set architecture free by rejecting 90 degree angles. Her early abstract paintings are of particular interest because in them she began to create her visionary world where there is no definition, lines converge, and gravity disappears – all conceived before the advent of advanced computer software.  From her early sharp-angled buildings she developed a fluid architecture, where floors, ceilings, walls - and even furniture - all form part of the overall design. Thus many of her later structures are extruded to the most extreme organic shapes in what she called a “seemless fluidity”.  The lecture tells the story of this pre-eminent architect. We move around the world to look at some of her completed works, including her most famous building in the UK, the Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics in 2012, as well as unexecuted designs. Members who have a keen interest in cutting-edge design will be mesmerised by the daring yet brilliant structures of Dame Zaha Hadid. Zaha Hadid Architects own web site Guardian article on Zaha Hadid 15 January – Leslie Primo FOREIGNERS IN LONDON 1520-1677: THE ARTISTS WHO CHANGED THE COURSE OF BRITISH ART Why were foreigner painters preferred by the aristocracy in London to native-born English painters, why did foreigners come in the first place, what was their motivation, and what was the impact of foreigners in London on English art and art practise? The lecture will look at the various formats and uses of art, tracing foreign artists from the Tudor period through to the Renaissance and Baroque, looking at their origins and how they came to work in England. It will examine the contributions of artists such as Holbein, Gerrit van Honthorst, Marcus Gheeraerts the younger, Lucas and Susanna Horenbout, Isaac Oliver, Paulus van Somer, van Dyck, Peter Lely, and Rubens. This lecture will look at how these artists influenced the British School of painting and assess their legacy. Short Bibliographic Reading List: Campbell, Caroline, (Ed) Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision, (The Courtauld Gallery, 2012) Finaldi, Gabriele (Ed), Orazio Gentileschi at the Court of Charles I, (Museo de Bellas Atres de Bilbao, 1999) Foister, Susan, Holbein in England, (Tate Publishing, 2006) Hearn, Karen, Marcus Gheeraerts II Elizabethan Artist: In Focus (Tate Publishing, 2002) Hearn, Karen (Ed), Van Dyck & Britain, (Tate Publishing, 2009) Jaffé, David, with Ede, Minna Moore, Rubens: A Master in the Making, (National Gallery Company Ltd, 2005) Waterhouse, Ellis, Painting in Britain 1530-1790 (Yale University Press, 1994) There were no lectures in December. 6 November – Gillian Hovell DIGGING DEEPER IN POMPEII WITH THE 'MUDDY ARCHAEOLOGIST' A wider look at the many kinds of art found in the homes and streets of Pompeii. A thoroughly modern world is revealed, one full of material goods and works of art, in which craftsmanship and artistry were draped around the Romans themselves and amidst their everyday lives. We explore how the Empire provided materials and the opportunity for this wealth of art to be accessible to more people than ever before. Its survival gives us a glimpse of the Roman Empire, in all its vastness, and reveals how Pompeii’s burial captured a moment in time when the Empire was a multicultural, vibrant and growing power that reached into the lives of everyone, rich or poor. Looking at the future for Pompeii 27 November – Sophie Oosterwijk SINNER OR SAINT? THE CHANGING IMAGE OF MARY MAGDALENE Who was Mary Magdalene? Western artists such as Hugo van der Goes, Donatello, Caravaggio and Titian depicted a bewildering variety of depictions of the saint: as an opulently dressed former courtesan holding a jar of ointment, but also as a repentant sinner, sometimes revealingly dressed yet clasping a skull and crucifix, or with her body entirely covered by hair. Guido Reni, Penitent Magdalene, c. 1635 The saint as we know her in the West is actually a conflation of four different female characters from the gospels, including the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Luke 10), the woman who was cured of seven demons (Luke 8), and the woman to whom the risen Christ first appeared (Mark 16). Mary Magdalene by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys Moreover, there are also medieval legends, such as the story that she was the bride at the biblical wedding at Cana or that she travelled to France after the Crucifixion and ended her life in penitent seclusion in Provence. This lecture will explain the fascinating stories and startling depictions of this popular saint in western art. History of the image of Mary Magdalene BBC page on religion depiction of Mary Magdalene Visit to Burton Constable Hall and Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. Tuesday 23rd October 2018 Burton Constable Hall is a large Elizabethan country house with 18th and 19th century interiors, and a fine 18th century cabinet of curiosities. The Hall, a Grade I listed building, is set in a 300 acre park designed by Capability Brown. The Hall has been the home of the Constable family for over 400 years. During the eighteenth century William Constable elected to spend a fortune re-fashioning his house in the taste of the day.  A number of items were purchased from Thomas Chippendale for the Hall, and also for the Constable’s London House, which was later brought to Burton Constable Hall. 2018 is the three hundredth anniversary of Thomas Chippendale’s birth, and Burton Constable is one of a small number of venues taking part in the Chippendale 300 Festival. The Ferens Art Gallery is a well-regarded provincial gallery which hosts both a permanent collection and visiting exhibitions. 16 October – James Wright CASTLES OF NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Based on a four year research project, which culminated in a popular book on the subject (Nottinghamshire County Council 2008), Castles of Nottinghamshire looks in detail at the lesser known earthworks and ruins of lost castles and fortified manor houses in the county. The subject is set in the context of wider castle studies and focuses on both documentary sources and fieldwork to tell the often surprising story of aristocratic life in in Medieval Nottinghamshire. List of Castles & Houses in Nottinghamshire 1st Lecture of our new membership year. 18 September – Denise Heywood SACRED ART OF BURMA The temples, iconography, sculptures, textiles, dance performances, literature, landscapes and people of Burma are infused with the spirit of Buddhism. This gentle philosophy, preaching peace and serenity, has inspired some of the greatest art and architecture in the world, nowhere more so than in Burma, now known as Myanmar. This lecture shows the artistic glories of temples throughout the country, their spires, statues, carvings, murals and rituals. It illustrates the religious symbolism of exquisite textiles and compelling dance ceremonies. Background of Myanmar Background to Burma Buddhism After the AGM June 19th LINDA SMITH Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves: the Representation of the Working Classes in Art This lecture looks at ordinary working people: skilled and unskilled workers in both urban and agricultural environments, craftsmen, artisans, shopkeepers, domestic servants, entertainers, prostitutes, beggars, paupers, slaves. Throughout the history of western art, they have always been there: for centuries as mute observers, background detail or comic relief. But as the world changes, art changes, and this talk will discuss the move of low-life subject matter from the despised and vulgar fringes of popular taste into the respectable mainstream; and out again into political radicalism and avant- garde edginess. This Da Vinci drawing might be "Scaramuccia, king of the gypsies” Grayson Perry talking to the Telegraph about working class art Gypsies in art Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
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