Our 2014-2015 Study Days

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Wednesday 17 June 2015

20th Century Sculpture
Linda Smith

Time: Study day: 10.00am - 15.30pm

Synopsis: Session One: 1900-1930: The day started by looking at the crucial influence of Rodin in rejuvenating the sculptural tradition, and moved on to examine the reaction of the avant-garde, which was engaging more directly with materials and absorbing the influence of non-western cultures. Cubism, which changed sculpture forever, was explained in detail, as were the forward-looking ideas of the Futurists and Russian Constructivists, and the parallel re-emergence of traditional forms in the 1920s.

Session Two: 1930-1960: The hugely important figure of Giacometti introduces Surrealism, which is set against simultaneous developments in abstraction, and the rise of totalitarian art in the thirties. In the post-war period, British sculpture was particularly strong, and the work of Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and others was covered. The United States became the centre of the art world in the forties, so this section finished by looking at the work of David Smith, the pre-eminent American sculptor of the period.

Session Three: Sculpture since 1960: This section began by looking at the cool and detached attitudes of sculptors inspired by modern consumer culture, both in Europe and the United States, and also at the severe and restrained forms of minimalism. These both sit in stark contrast to the organic materials and highly personal symbolism of artists like Joseph Beuys and Eva Hesse. Land Art and Performance Art were featured, and the closing section looked at more recent works, some thought-provoking and challenging, others simply spectacular and beautiful.

Venue: Alverton Hotel, Truro

Organised by: South West Area

Cost: £30 to include coffee on arrival hot and cold finger buffet lunch

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Thursday 16 April 2015

On either side of No man's land : British and German Artists of the 1914 - 1918 War
Claire Ford-Wille

Time: Study day: 10.00am - 15.30pm

Synopsis: We experienced some of the emotions expressed by those in the thick of it during the ghastly conflict and carnage of World War One.

Venue: Buckfast Abbey Conference centre

Organised by: South West Area

Cost: £35 included coffee on arrival, departure and a two course lunch

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Friday 27 February 2015

Treasures of Prague
Claire Ford-Wille

Time: Study day: 10.00am - 15.30pm


Unlike so many other major cities in World War II, Prague was never bombed and forty years of Communism have helped to preserve the city from major redevelopment. Upon two occasions in its history it was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, in the 14th and 16th centuries.

The city of Prague is composed of five towns straddling the wide grand River Vlatava, so wonderfully conjured up in Dvorak's music. High on the hill on one side of the river is the Hradchin or Castle area, below which and sloping down to the river in a maze of curving streets lined with palaces is the Mala Strana. Across the river are the remaining three towns, the mercantile area of the Old Town, the New Town, dating to the 14th century and the Jewish Town.

There are outstanding examples of architecture from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance and the Baroque periods and beyond to the Art Nouveau of the late 19th century.

Czech painting has a special character all its own, whether the large glowing works of Master Theodoric or the rich manuscripts produced at the end of the 14th century and seen beautifully displayed in the Convent of St. Agnes.

Paintings by international artists such as Durer, Bronzino and Rembrandt are to be found in another well arranged gallery, while 19th and 20th century paintings are housed in the Trade Fair Palace, itself an important piece of early 20th century architecture which inspired Le Corbusier.

The Study day encompassed not only the architecture, sculpture and painting of Prague but also the other cultural aspects of this mysterious and beautiful city.

Venue: National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

Organised by: Falmouth DFAS

Cost: £28 to include morning coffee, light buffet lunch and afternoon coffee/tea

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Thursday 27 November 2014

Art & The Great War
Frank Woodgate

Time: SPecial Interest Day: 10.00am - 15.30pm


The horrors of the First World War had a profound effect on the artists who fought in it, and they produced powerful images of the war and its aftermath. In the 1920s, many artists on the allied side returned to traditional subjects such as tranquil landscapes, while German artists produced powerful polemics against post-war deprivation, the treatment of war-wounded and rising militarism. This Day of Special Interest examined the art of both sides before, during and after the war which in 1914 was expected ‘to be over by Christmas’.

Apart from powerful works by artists such as Paul Nash and Christopher Nevinson in England, and Max Beckmann and George Grosz in Germany, the 1916 meeting of artists and intellectuals in neutral Switzerland resulted in the nihilistic, anti-art movement known as Dada, which deliberately set out to shock and offend. This movement led into Surrealism and still influences artists today.

Session 1: Before the war; late-19th century hope and optimism, early 20th century avant-garde art, and intimations of war. Fauvism, German Expressionism, Futurism.

Session 2: Painting, sculpture, photography and posters produced by British, French, German and Commonwealth artists during and after the war.

Session 3: The aftermath; differences between ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. Call to Order, Neue Sachlichkeit and Dada. Concerns over German militarism and the rise of Nazism.

Venue: The Great Room, Alverton Hotel, Truro

Organised by: South West Area

Cost: £30 (included coffee and a light lunch)

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Thursday 30 October 2014

Jewellery from Elizabeth 1st to Elizabeth Taylor
John Benjamin

Time: Study day: 10.00am - 15.30pm


As you probably know, John Benjamin is a stalwart member of the BBC Antiques Roadshow programme is a most entertaining lecturer on Jewellery. The theme for the day was 'Jewellery from Elizabeth 1st to Elizabeth Taylor' and he will discuss and value items of participants jewellery in the afternoon.

The day was organised into three sessions and began with coffee at 10.00 am

The morning sessions was two lectures.

After lunch, John undertook an ‘Antiques Roadshow’ assessment and valuation.

Members were invited to take an item (only one) of jewellery. (Only 50 items could be discussed)

Venue: Tiverton Hotel, Blundells Road, Tiverton (EX16 4DB)

Organised by: South West Area

Cost: £35.00 included a two course lunch and coffee

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Thursday 16 October - 13 November 2014

The Story of Art – In the Footsteps of Gombrich Part 2: The Church Triumphant to a Crisis of Art - 14th to Late 16th Centuries
Dr Geri Parlby and Jeni Andrews-Fraser, MA

Time: Study day: 10.30am - 15.30pm


Following on from the success of the course run in October 2013, this was the second in the 3 Part series.

These parts can be taken independently of each other.

Each part was 5 day-long sessions for 5 weeks (each Thursday) from October 16 2014.

This is the Second of a 3-part course providing a chronological survey of the history of art, examining the religious, ritual, social and political contexts in which the art was created.

Part 1: Covered Pre-history to the 11th century, including primitive, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek and Roman art, through the Byzantine period to the Gothic.

Part 2: considered the period from the 14th to the late 16th century, starting with Giotto and the early Renaissance and continuing up to the time of the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

Part 3 will run in 2015 and looks at the art and architecture produced in the Baroque period and that of the ‘Enlightenment’ (17th and 18th centuries).

Part 2: The Church Triumphant to a Crisis Of Art - The 14th to the Late 16th Centuries.

Session One: Giotto and the flowering of Renaissance art. From Brunelleschi and perspective to Jan Van Eyck and the mastery of oil painting

Session Two: Tradition and innovation – 15th century Italian Masters and the spirit of adventure from Alberti to Botticelli

Session Three: Tradition and innovation II – Northern Renaissance from the 15th to early 16th century

Session Four: Harmony attained – Tuscany and Rome in the early 16th century

Session Five: Light and colour – Venice and northern Italy in the early 16th century

Venue: Merchant House, Truro

Organised by: South West Area

Cost: £125 (for Part 2)