UP TO A POINT – IN SEARCH OF PYRAMIDS IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND
From Inverness to Cornwall, from Pembrokeshire to Norfolk, from the Antrim Coast to County Cork, the pyramids of Britain and Ireland are little-known but of great variety and interest. This talk, which will include local examples, sets the pyramids of Britain and Ireland in their historical perspective and tells the story of the mausoleums, memorials, garden ornaments, pumps, wellheads, boat houses, beacons, sculptures, churches, offices, shops, sports halls, swimming pools, cinemas, navigation marks and general pyramidal oddities that turn up in the most unexpected places. Their builders range from eccentrics to engineers, via martyrs, philanthropists, ghosts, kings, musicians, heroes and villains. The talk uncovers forgotten corners of history and highlights unusual discoveries, like Britain’s only castiron pyramid, a Scottish Formica pyramid, an Irish pyramid that sheltered the IRA and a Welsh one made of road signs. Whether you have an interest in architecture, landscapes, gardening, Freemasonry, New Age ideas, scandalous family histories or just in what prompts people to place triangles together to make an interesting structure, Up to a Point will surprise and inspire you.
Studied English at Birmingham University and taught for several years before joining the Countryside Commission as Co-ordinator of its National Parks Campaign. Worked for the Central Office of Information in Leeds before setting up own public relations company. Author of ‘Up to a Point – in search of pyramids in Britain and Ireland’ and has written and contributed to several books for the AA. Writes regularly for BBC Countryfile Magazine, is chairman of Ripon Civic Society and lectures on architectural and related subjects.
Image: The Pyramids of Arklow letscelebrateireland
JANUARY 17th 2018
THE LEGACY OF HENRY MOORE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS IN BRITAIN
This lecture looks at two dominant types of response to Moore and his work in Britain since 1945. Artists either made work about Moore, critically and conceptually appropriating aspects of his work, or they made new work through Moore, developing the formal language of sculpture and some of the values that Moore held dear. Artists of all persuasions in Britain have been making work either “about” or “through“ Moore’s work and some have subtle ways of combining and blending both.
DR JON WOOD
Dr Jon Wood is an art historian and curator specialising in modern and contemporary sculpture. He has written extensively on Brancusi , Moore, Picasso and Giacometti . Jon did his post-graduate studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art and works at the Henry Moore Institute where he directs the research programme and has curated many exhibitions.
FEBRUARY 21st 2018
EVERY STADIUM SHOULD HAVE AN ART GALLERY: THE HISTORY AND ROLE OF ART IN RELATION TO SPORT
The ancient Olympics featured the arts and the modern Olympics originally awarded gold medals for art as well as sport. Artists have been inspired by sport to express their interest in human movement, physicality and spectacle, while sport has used art to celebrate and promote its achievements. This illustrated presentation explores some of these links and the aesthetic and cultural relationships between art and sport.
DR DOUG SANDLE
Dr Doug Sandle, a chartered psychologist, is a retired researcher and academic and for many years taught artists, designers and architects the psychology of visual perception and aesthetics. Dr Sandle is the founder of Field of Vision, bringing together individuals from both art and sport to explore and promote the relationship between the two. Dr Sandle is also founder of and chaired an arts programme for Leeds Rugby and Leeds Rhinos Foundation.
MARCH 21st 2018
SURREALISM IN BRITAIN: UNCANNY LANDSCAPES
French surrealists in the 1920’s and 1930’s looked for instances of the marvellous in the urban environment. Its British equivalent preferred to draw upon the natural world for motifs and source materials, in paintings, photography, sculptures and found objects . The irrational forces of nature at work in strange rock formations, in the shapes of bones, shells and sea creatures and in plants and tree growth fascinated artists like Eileen Agar, Paul Nash, Edward Wadsworth and FE McWilliam. The surrealist concept of change found a focus in the British landscape: the accidental form encountered while walking in the country, or beach-combing at the coast. This lecture will explore the British Surrealists‘ interest in nature made strange and uncanny, as a source of wonder but also of anxiety: extraordinary but troubling.
DR JULIA KELLY
Dr Julia Kelly was educated at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute in London. She has taught at the Universities of Manchester and Hull and is currently Research Associate at Loughborough University. She has published on surrealism , art and anthropology, modern and contemporary sculpture and the history of museums and galleries.
APRIL 18th 2018
READING SHAKESPEARE, HOT OFF THE PRESS
What was it like to read a newly published play by Shakespeare? This talk discusses Shakespeare in print during his lifetime, asking whether Shakespeare was really as popular as we assume, and identifying his role in the development of drama as something to read as well as, or even instead of, something to see. It will be illustrated with pages from early editions of the plays, from the earliest, Titus Andronicus in 1594, to the collected editions now known as the First Folio and published posthumously in 1623.
DR EMMA SMITH
Emma Smith was born and educated in Leeds and now teaches Shakespeare and early modern literature at the University of Oxford. Her most recent book is Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book, Oxford University Press 2016.
MAY 16TH 2018
ELEPHANTS AND ARCHBISHOPS
Synopsis: To follow.
DR CHRISTOPHER DE HAMEL
Dr de Hamel has doctorates from both Oxford and Cambridge Universities and has written over 100 books and articles on mediaeval manuscripts which have been translated into numerous languages. He was responsible for all catalogue and sales of illuminated manuscripts at Sotheby’s for twenty five years and is probably the best known expert on medieval manuscripts in the world.
JUNE 20th 2018
THE PRESIDENTIAL LECTURE
THOMAS CHIPPENDALE: MASTER CRAFTSMAN AND ENTREPRENEUR – A TERCENTENARY LECTURE
The lecture will explore the life and work of Thomas Chippendale (1718–1779), Britain’s most celebrated furniture maker and designer. We chart his emergence from the vernacular traditions of Wharfedale to becoming the undisputed master of the metropolitan styles of fashionable London via his great book of designs, The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director. His genius for fine craftsmanship and elegant design, providing his clients with some of the most beautiful furniture ever made, did not prevent some financial near-disasters. The lecture coincides with the major Tercentenary exhibition at Leeds Museum, co-curated by the speaker.
James Lomax, M.A., A.M.A., F.S.A., is the retired Curator of Collections at Temple Newsam House. He was educated at Downside and Cambridge and trained at the Study Centre for the History of the Fine and Decorative Arts. He is interested in all aspects of fine and decorative arts and has written extensively and curated many exhibitions. His publications include A Victorian Chatelaine: Emily Ingram of Temple Newsam and Treasures of the English Church (Goldsmiths Hall, 2008). He is former Honorary Editor of the Furniture History Society, former Chairman of the Silver Society and is Honorary Curator of the Chippendale Society. Most importantly James is President of LDFAS.
SEPTEMBER 19TH 2018
JAPONISM TO MODERNISM: HOW JAPANESE STYLE CHANGED WESTERN ART
The term Japonism was coined for all types of work created with a Japanese theme, from paintings and prints to furniture, interiors, architecture and gardens. This formed the basis for the design movement ‘Modernism’ that was to shape our world in the 20th and 21st centuries . Japanese style was here to stay and brought about a new form of British and European design aesthetic.
Suzanne is a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Brighton Art and Cape Town, South Africa. She teaches on the Asian Art courses at the British Museum and the V&A and she founded Japan interlink in 1995 to promote the understanding of Japan in education and culture. Sarah has studied in Japan and has led tours there and in other parts of the world.
OCTOBER 17TH 2018
LIVING WITH HISTORY
A richly illustrated talk, tracing the development of the residential interior from the 17th to the 21st century and examining ways in which historical spaces may be re-interpreted to accommodate contemporary living. An inspirational selection of interiors is presented as stylish and successful examples of this approach to interior design.
Anthony holds a Master of Design Degree from the Royal College of Art and has over 30 years of international experience in interior design education and decorative arts management. He is an accredited NADFAS lecturer, Freeman of the City of London , Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, a Member of the British Institute of Interior Design, a Member of the European Academy of Design and an Education Committee Member of the Society of Garden Design.
NOVEMBER 21ST 2018
LUSTREWARE – FROM THE MIDDLE EAST TO WILLIAM DE MORGAN
This lecture will explain the miraculous aesthetic and technological ceramic miracle from its origin in19th century Iraq through Egypt and Syria, across the Mediterranean to Southern Spain / Andalusia and to Italy. The technique is revived in 19 century Europe and in Britain with the superb creations of William de Morgan
Sarah read modern history at Oxford University and worked as a historian and journalist specialising in the Middle East and more recently in the Islamic world including leading special tours to the region.
JANUARY 18TH 2017
ISLAM AND THE MOSQUE
The development and spread of Islam following the death of the prophet Mohamed led to the adoption of one particular building type for all Muslims, the Mosque. The lecture begins with the life of the Prophet and the astonishing spread of Islam after his death. The early Islamic monuments of Jerusalem and Damascus will be examined, as well as the spread to North Africa from where the religion spread to Spain and the building of the great mosque at Cordoba.
DR. TOM DUNCAN
Tom Duncan studied History of Art and Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at Trinity College, Dublin. He has lectured at university level and to many heritage and arts organisations.
Image: By Pentocelo – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org
HOGARTH – A HARLOT, A RAKE, AND A MARRIAGE
William Hogarth (1697-1764) aspired to be a great society painter of his age. However, his sense of humour and social conscience threw this off course. He succeeded in becoming a great British printmaker, using prints “to reform the reigning vices” of his age. Here, Hilary Williams, who lectures for The British Museum and the Wallace Collection, will look at his series of compositions: the Harlot’s Progress; the Rake’s Progress; and the Marriage-à-la-Mode, with their related drawings, prints, and paintings, to see how Hogarth developed his themes and reflected the luxury and poverty of Georgian Britain.
Formerly Print Room Superintendent at the British Museum, now Art History Education Officer. Lectures for BM, London Borough of Bexley and Wallace Collection. NADFAS liaison officer at British Museum. Founding Artistic Director North Kent Evening DFAS. Guides Special Interest Private Tours of State Apartments Buckingham Palace.
Image: The Tate Britain, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org
OPERA, THE MELTING POT OF CULTURE
The talk charts opera’s close connection with the society that is paying for it. The talk moves from the 17th and 18th century preoccupations with princely patronage, classical plots, courtly manners, high voices, enormous costumes and happy endings – through the gear change of the war and revolution to the 19th century concerns of nationalism, epic themes and doomed heroines. The talk is based on years of writing articles, programme notes, and lecturing for the Royal Opera House and the BBC.
Sarah Lenton has spent her working life in the theatre, principally at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and English National Opera. She writes programme articles and websites, she gives lectures on the operas and ballets in the rep. and does live opera broadcasts and podcasts for BBC Radios 3 and 4. She has written and directed many shows, including more than 20 for the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre and for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. She is also a cartoonist.
Image: By Leslawdutkowski (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
GRAYSON PERRY, FROCKS AND POTS
Widely known for his appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry RA is now a core part of the art establishment. Ten years after winning the Turner Prize he gave the brilliant BBC Reith Lecture in 2013. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he is able to tackle difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s works, his exciting and thought provoking exhibitions, and we’ll look at the character inside the flamboyant frocks.
A Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. Also a qualified and active freelance London guide and a member of both the City of London and Westminster Guide Lecturer Associations. Clients include NADFAS and WEA groups, Transport for London, the National Trust and London Open House. In 2012 he established a weekly independent art lecture group in Richmond and gives talks on a variety of subjects.
FABER AND FABER – ITS DESIGNS AND HISTORY
Since its foundation in 1925, Faber and Faber has built a reputation as one of London’s most important literary publishing houses. Part of that relates to the editorial team that Geoffrey Faber and his successors built around them – TS Eliot was famously an early recruit – but a large part is also due to the firm’s insistence on good design and illustration. This lecture traces the history of Faber and Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs. Early years brought innovations like the Ariel Poems – single poems, beautifully illustrated, sold in their own envelopes. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was an emphasis on typography, led by the firm’s art director Berthold Wolpe; his Albertus font is still used on City of London road signs. In the 1980s, the firm started its association with Pentagram, responsible for the ff logo. Along the way, it has employed some of our most celebrated artists as cover illustrators – from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. Slides will range from book covers, advertisements and photos of key individuals, to illustrations of the concepts behind the designs. The talk will also be peppered with personal insight and anecdote. Faber and Faber is the last of the great publishing houses to remain independent. As the grandson of its founder, I grew up steeped in its books. I was managing director for four years and I remain on the board. I am passionate about the firm’s success, and intensely proud of my association with it.
Has written two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US, and given lectures associated with these two subjects at venues including The Victoria and Albert Museum, Bath Theatre, The Library of Congress and the Huntington Library, as well as a number of literary festivals. His career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. Is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music, a trustee of Yale University Press (UK) and a director of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society.
Image: By Faber & Gwyer – From Faber and Faber’s T. S. Elliot collection on Flickr, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org
THE ART AND SCANDALOUS LIVES OF THE BLOOMSBURY GROUP
The art of the three main ‘Bloomsbury’ artists (Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Roger Fry) cannot be separated from their extraordinary lives. They, along with their literary and other intellectual companions (Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey and John Maynard Keynes, amongst others) were part of a movement, the popular name for which became widely used only after the death of around half its members.
Lecturer and Guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, and for Tate on cruises. Lecturer at Dulwich Picture Gallery and scriptwriter for the Living Paintings Trust (art for the blind and partially-sighted). Lecturer can provide digital projector if required.
Image: by Unknown photographer, vintage snapshot print, July 1915
WHEN BRITAIN CLICKED – FAB PHOTOS FROM THE SWINGING SIXTIES
British photography enjoyed a golden age in the 1960s. Young, talented newcomers broke out of the conventional studio to revolutionise perceptions of fashion, portraiture and popular culture. This lecture looks at a range of superb images from photographers such as David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Lewis Morley, Tony RayJones and Jane Bown.
His chief interests lie in photography, architecture and history and he combines all three in his lecturing career. He has taught at University College London, since 1997 and became a NADFAS lecturer in 2003. He is a member of the Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography and an exhibition of his own photographs has been staged at UCL. In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the skills of some great photographers of the past, he has begun to work with a pre-War Leica camera, as used by his great hero, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and many others.