2008-2009


Our 2008-2009 Lecture Programme

September 2008

The artful pot
Louise Irvine

For our first lecture of this season the lecturer showed us how the reaction to the Great Exhibition and its extravagance with tasteless mass production developed into a movement towards a return towards skilled craftsmanship and sound design principles. Pottery was considered a valid means of artistic expression; the Martin Brothers, William de Morgan and other artists backed by the commercial factories of Doulton and Pilkington became the Art Nouveau movement. These examples of artisan pottery are now extremely valuable.

October 2008

Sir Alfred Munnings – Master among horsepainters
Nicholas Bagshawe

The lecturer is a well known NADFAS lecturer and he gave us a treat with this lecture on a man who was president of the Royal Academy and who painted some wonderful paintings with unparalleled understanding of the anatomy of the horse. He had friends in Newlyn, where he stayed and worked with artists such as Laura Knight. He was an East Anglian landscape painter -  a colourful man and a colourful painter

November 2008

Europe’s best kept secret – The painted monasteries of Bulgaria
John Osborne

Bulgaria’s rich and varied cultural history deserves to be better known. John Osborne informed us how the well – preserved medieval monasteries, part of the orthodox tradition of religious art in South East Europe, have their own local and regional characteristics. The lecture illustrated fascinating developments in fresco and icon painting, as well as their development surrounded by Thracian tombs, public buildings of the roman period and vernacular architecture from the Ottoman era – beautifully conserved in Bulgaria’s towns and villages to the present day.

December 2008

The green man in myth and art
Dr David Bostwick

Dr Bostwick is well known to us, and in this lecture he talked about the Green Man, widespread across Europe as an ornament in medieval churches and secular buildings, a pagan nature god, absorbed into Christian imagery. Since Tudor times actors dressed in leaves have appeared in plays and celebrations, and this is thought to indicate a survival of belief in the old nature spirits and fertility gods. The lecturer will reveal the fascinating truth.

January 2009

The houses and gardens of Bordeaux
Helen McCabe

February 2009

Beneath the city streets – London’s unseen history
Peter Lawrence

This lecture gave a fresh look at London, its history and expansion from the Roman period to more recent times. The lecturer is a Freeman of the City of London and an Adult Education tutor in history, architecture and environmental studies, so is well qualified to delve into the past through archaeology and written documents.

March 2009

English watercolours 1750 – 1860
Brian Cairns

This period of watercolour painting, with its beautiful and subtle landscapes, capture every nuance of the rich and varied climate of the countryside. There are many fine painters such as Gainsborough, Turner and Constable, and as the lecturer is a watercolorist himself, he was able to show us the various styles and techniques in chronological order. During the Study Afternoon, which followed the lecture, he gave a demonstration of various techniques used by different artists.

April 2009

The great twelve
Fenella Billington

This was an introduction to the Senior Livery Companies of the City of London, their medieval origins and their role in modern society. The lecturer showed us the treasures of the Companies, and told us about the support they give to charitable causes, as well as the part they play in the field of education. Only Liverymen and Livery women may elect the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London, and they support many ceremonial occasions.

May 2009

Homer’s world of heroes
Neil Faulkner

Until the late 19th century scholars thought that Greek history began in 776 BC with the first Olympics, and Homer’s tales were assumed to be pure fiction. However, the artistic treasures in the famous “shaft – graves” and elsewhere revealed the reality behind Homer’s account of the Trojan war. The lecturer used literature and archaeology to reconstruct the lost world of the Greek Bronze age – the world of Agamemnon, Helen, Achilles, Hector and Odysseus.

June 2009

AGM
Taking a Likeness – The art of the eighteenth century portraitist
Lizzie Darbyshire

The lecturer compared and contrasted the works of Ramsay, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Wright of Derby. Drawing on visual evidence and contemporary writings, she explored the painters’ response to the demands of the artistic tradition and their innovative approaches to portraiture.