Our 2010-2011 Study Days

Thursday 18th November 2010

South West Area Event

Sicily - Cross Roads of the Mediterranean
Elizabeth Gordon

Mrs. Gordon told us of the turbulent history of the island. She says that a 13th century King of Sicily wrote ‘God would not have chosen Palestine for his own if he could have seen my own Kingdom of Sicily’. He was not wrong!

Almost everyone has trampled across it during the course of history, from the Greeks to Garibaldi, all leaving tokens of their presence. It is no accident that Sicily is peppered with beautiful Doric temples, Greco-Roman theatres; magnificent Roman floor mosaics; dazzling Byzantine wall mosaics and churches built, by of all people Norman Kings! The Normans during their occupation of the island were vastly outnumbered by the Byzantine and Arab inhabitants, but had the good sense to preserve the best of all cultures they found and to incorporate it into their own.

The countryside clothed with wild flowers is ravishingly beautiful, this stunning and unique island is packed full of history and has been drawing historians and visitors for many years. Mrs. Gordon has visited the island over 20 times, has lived in Italy for 17 years and has lectured widely in both this country and America.

9th March 2011

Bankrolling the Renaissance: A History of the Medici Family.
Douglas Skeggs

Ambitious, greedy and occasionally corrupt, the Medici were a successful but not always attractive dynasty. Yet without their love of art and their almost limitless wealth we might never have seen the works of Donatello, Botticelli and Michelangelo. This Special Interest Day looked at the legacy of this fascinating family, who sponsored the Florentine Renaissance, without whom it might never have existed.

Venue: The Public Hall Liskeard

Format: Study day - 9.30 - 3.00

Friday 25th March 2011

Musee d'Orsay and its Collection
Margaret Davis M.A.

Mrs. Margaret Davis - a Tutor in Art History - looked at the conversion of the ornate Gare d’Orsay railway station of 1900 into the Musée d’Orsay which opened in 1986. The museum displays one of the finest collections of Impressionist paintings in the world and also contains furniture, sculpture, jewellery, and large traditional late 19th century French oil paintings.

Mrs. Davis explained how the new eventually superseded the old assisted by daring collectors and dealers. Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, scandalous at the time, was discussed in relation to other aspects of the collection. Key Impressionist works in the collection were introduced.

After lunch the Impressionist collection was explored further followed by a look at the widely diverse group of artists categorized as Post Impressionist. Whether or not you had been to the museum in Paris you enjoyed this enlightening study day!

Venue: Maritime Museum Lecture Theatre, Falmouth

Format: Study day - 10.30 - 3.00

Thursday 28th April 2011

South West Area Event

The English parish church: A social and architectural history with particular reference to churches in the South West.
Andrew Davies

Mr. Davies is the Extra Mural Tutor for the London and the Open Universities, and an author, broadcaster and contributor to many radio and television programmes. With the large number and huge variety of churches in the South West this popular and well known NADFAS lecturer delivered a lecture which was of interest to us all.

Format: Study day - 10.30 - 3.30