Past Lectures & Visits 2022 21st June 2022 Guildhall Theatre and Zoom at 10:50 AGM followed by Roger Butler Hidden World of Canal Heritage (including the Grantham & Nottingham Canals) This lecture examines the unique buildings and structures associated with the UK’s canal network, with a vast array of distinctive designs, landmark features and unusual artefacts: only the National Trust and the Church of England have more listed structures than our canals. Look out for lock flights and lighthouses; cottages and clock towers; warehouses and lots of whimsical architecture - our canals delight the eye and refresh the spirit. 16-18 May 2022 Visit: 20th century Yorkshire Arts Tour This tour was a resounding success for participants, thanks to the young leader provided by Travel Editions: much to be recommended. 15 June 2022 Visit: Croxton Kerrial Church and Archaeological Site This event was most enjoyed by the 29 participants, who separated into 2 groups, taking turns following the Discovery Trail in The Church of St Botolph and St John the Baptist (see details on our Trails of Discovery page); and touring the Archaeological Site in the village Church of St Botolph and St John the Baptist, Croxton Kerrial 17th May 2022 Guildhall Theatre and Zoom at 10:50 Helen Doe Merchant Ship Figureheads Why were they created and what and who did they represent? In the 19th century sailing ships with their colourful figureheads were a regular sight but now just a few figureheads survive. 19th April 2022 Guildhall Theatre and Zoom at 10:50 Jo Banham Papers from Peking: A History of Chinese Wallpapers Chinese wallpapers represent the most beautiful and sumptuous of wall decorations ever made. They first appeared in London in the late 17th century as part of the larger trade in Far Eastern lacquer, porcelain and silks, and rapidly came to dominate the market for luxury wallcoverings for the next hundred and fifty years. Unlike European wallpapers, Chinese papers were hand-painted and featured large- scale, non-repeating pictorial scenes of Chinese society and exotic plants and birds. Such was their reputation that before long European manufacturers were producing printed imitations, and the naturalism and detail of their designs suggested new standards of excellence to which wallpaper could aspire. This lecture explores the passion for Chinese and Chinoiserie wallpapers, and the role that they played in interior decoration from the early 18th to the mid 19th centuries and their revival in the mid 20th century and today. 15th March 2022 Guildhall Theatre and Zoom at 10:50 Richard Thomas The Bronzes of Ife and Benin: And an Historical review of the Art of Nigeria Africa is not generally associated with great Art but Nigeria is the home of 3 major artistic traditions: the 2,000 year-old Nok terracottas of the North, the Bronzes of Ife from the 12- C15th and the later Benin Bronzes. Richard lived in Nigeria in the 1960s, near Ife, and became familiar with the Art of Ife and Benin and the role they played in society. The art, the technology (using the lost wax process) and the cultural relevance of the Bronzes will be illustrated and discussed in the Lecture. 15th February 2022 Barbara Askew Windsor Castle from Medieval Fortress to Royal Palace This lecture traces the development of Windsor Castle from an 11th century fortress into a magnificent palace and illustrates how it has been successively enlarged, adapted and rebuilt by monarchs from Henry II to Queen Elizabeth II. 18th January 2022 11am See notice below Caroline Shenton Packing Up the Nation This is the gripping and sometimes hilarious story of how a band of heroic curators and eccentric custodians saved Britain’s national heritage during our Darkest Hour. As Hitler’s forces gathered on the other side of the Channel to threaten these islands, men and women from London’s national museums, galleries and archives forged extraordinary plans to evacuate their collections to safety. Utilising country houses from Buckinghamshire to Cumbria, tube tunnels, Welsh mines and Wiltshire quarries, a dedicated team of unlikely heroes packed up their greatest treasures in a race against time during the sweltering summer of 1939, dispatching them throughout the country on a series of secret wartime adventures, retold in this talk. 2021 23rd November 2021 & AGM at 10:30 Please note new date Sandy Burnett Celebrate, Rejoice, Rise Up – Christmas in Bach’s Leipzig Sandy Burnett’s close relationship with Bach’s music stretches back for decades; between 1997 and 2010 he directed a complete cycle of Bach’s sacred cantatas in West London. In this illustrated talk he explores how Bach brings the Christmas story alive in his Weihnachtsoratorium or Christmas Oratorio, written for Lutheran congregations in 1730s Leipzig. An overview of Bach’s life and achievement precedes a close look at this magnificent work which draws on various forms ranging from recitative, arioso, aria, chorale, and instrumental sinfonia through to full-blown choruses which are infused with the joyous spirit of the dance. 2nd November 2021 Chris Alexander Unravelling the Silk Road: A Textile Journey CHRISTMAS LECTURE Wool, cotton and silk have each played a crucial role in the fortunes of Central Asia. Wool created the clothing and housing needed by the great nomadic cultures that were to dominate Middle Asia. Silk was more valuable than gold and used as currency, creating a network of trading routes that led to the first outbreak of globalisation. Cotton was the cause of Russian and then Soviet Colonisation and continues to cause controversy today as well as human misery and environmental catastrophe The felts, carpets, embroideries, robes and veils of the Silk Road stratified wealth, displayed religious and political entrenchments and changed the fortunes of this fascinating part of the world; a meeting place between Mohammed and Marx. 19th October 2021 Brian Stater Women Behind the Lens: Outstanding Female Photographers & their Contribution to the Art of Photography The work of women photographers has often been unfairly neglected. This lecture seeks to correct that by examining the contribution of three outstanding British practitioners; Julia Margaret Cameron, a Victorian pioneer; Jane Bown, a brilliant portraitist; and Fay Godwin, who excelled in landscape photography. We also explore the work of two highly influential Americans: Dorothea Lange, who produced brilliant documentary images and Annie Leibovitz, who continues to both surprise and delight her audience. A free 2-session STUDY DAY has been arranged for Tuesday 5th October – Jonathan Foyle HOW TO THINK ABOUT MEDIEVAL CHURCHES Venue: The Ballroom, Guildhall Grantham & Visit to Parish Church of St Wulfram A Two-Session Study Day for Members of The Arts Society Grantham as a “thank-you” for your loyalty over the past year! 21st September 2021 Timothy Walker The Subtle Science & Exact Art of Colour in English Garden Design In 1882 Gertrude Jekyll wrote a short but seminal article in The Garden in which she urged the readers to “remember that in a garden we are painting a picture”. As an accomplished watercolour artist, Miss Jekyll was familiar with the principles of using colours, but she felt that in gardens these principles “had been greatly neglected”. This talk looks at how to apply these principles in designing a border, but it also looks at the ways in which a border is different from a painting. However, it goes further than this and looks at how contemporary work of the likes of Turner, Monet, Rothko, Jackson Pollack evolved in parallel with ideas about what a garden or border should look like. After the AGM 15th June 2021 10:50 for 11:00 on line 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. 18th May 2021 10:50 for 11 on line 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. 20th April 2021 10:50 for 11 on line 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. 6th March 2021 10:30 on line 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. 16th February 2021 10:30 on line 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. 19th January 2021 Snake Davis A Life in Music: West to East & Back 10:30 on line 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. Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
The Arts Society Grantham
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Web site and mobile pages designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome Handshake Computer Training