Past Meetings Here are details of our past meetings, to give you an idea of the variety and scope of the lectures. Also members might like to use the links to find out more. 27th April 2022 Cindy Polemis Surrealist Women Overshadowed by the likes of Salvador Dali,René Magritte and Max Ernst, there was a host of intriguing Surrealist female artists including Frida Kahlo, Meret Oppenheim and Leonora Carrington, who embraced surrealist ideas and created extraordinary and haunting works with a unique and distinguished conceptual energy. Self-Portrait Leonora Carrington, 1938 Click here for more information on Meret Oppenheim 23rd March 2022 Suzanne Perrin Woodblock Prints of the Edo Period: Hokusai and Hiroshige (18th -19th century) The Edo period (1603-1868) was the highpoint for crafts of all kinds including woodblock prints. Of all the artists working in Edo, Hokusai and Hiroshige were the most innovative and prolific, creating extraordinary and beautiful images that are still revered today. 23rd February 2022 at Sue Townsend Theatre for 7.45 Karin Fernald The Shakespeare of Dogs' Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873) In his heyday, the animal artist Edwin Landseer was hugely celebrated and loved for his dogs and Highland stags; later, for his lions in Trafalgar Square. He was a child prodigy; aged 5 years old he made a detailed study of a foxhound which astounded everybody; later he became known for his vivid and varied textures of animal skin, hair and fur, which he achieved with special brushes, keeping their design a secret. He was a party man, with party tricks; with his left hand he could draw a horse’s head and with his right a stag’s head complete with horns – at the same time! Most widely appreciated for his dogs, he could paint comic dogs, tragic dogs and in- between dogs, and he became known - with some justification - as the Shakespeare of Dogs. He was socially much in demand with the aristocracy and with Royalty, teaching the Queen and Prince to etch. But after awhile it all gets too exhausting; the celebrated artist feels happier up in the Highlands of Scotland. He ends up stressed, drunk and mad, comparing himself to one of his own hunted stags. Nobody can get him to behave except his neighbour Mrs Pritchard, an elderly widow said to look like “a very small monkey, with bright blinking eyes and a merry mouth.” When Sir Edwin died they named a pub after him; they buried him in St Paul’s Cathedral, and someone put black wreaths around the necks of those lions in Trafalgar Square. Click here to find more about Landseer Wed 15 Dec – Nigel Bates – In the kingdom of Sweets On Zoom Log on from 7:15 Curtain up 7:30 The Nutcracker ballet has delighted audiences at Christmas for many decades yet was deemed a failure at its initial performances. This lecture is based on the current Royal Ballet production and takes a look at how this ballet takes its rightful place on stage and how the music of Tchaikovsky along with story-telling, dance, design and stage ingenuity come together to make this the most magical escape for everyone. Wed 24 Nov - Georgina Bexon – The Story of Modern Indian Art On Zoom Log on from 7:15 Curtain up 7:30 At Indian Independence in 1947 a group of talented and determined artists set out to create a new art for a new country, with a radical view of how Indian art could speak to its audience. The movement, known as the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, created an art very much for and of its time. It offers an exploration of how art in the subcontinent threw off the yoke of colonial influence to create modern masterpieces and a thriving global business. Day excursion We are resuming day excursions with a visit on Tuesday 2 November to Compton Verney to see two exhibitions: Grinling Gibbons: Centuries in the Making, and John Nash: The Landscape of Love and Solace. The Gibbons exhibition celebrates the remarkable legacy of the ‘Michelangelo of Wood’ and marks the tercentenary of his death. Gibbons carved with unsurpassed realism that could literally fool the eye. John Nash was one of a small number of artists who were Official War Artists on both World Wars. He was also a keen plants man and botanical artist, a judge at Chelsea Flower Show and a teacher at the Royal College of Art and Flatford Mill. We shall not hire a coach for this visit. Participants will be asked to self drive. The notice of the visit will be issued at the end of this month. Wed 27 Oct (Please ignore the previous date shown, it was incorrect) Julian Halsby – Amadea Modigliani and Bohemian Paris 1906 – 1920 The lecture looks at Modigliani’s early development and his arrival in Paris from 1906 until his death in 1920 He became a close friend of Utrillo, Picasso, Max Jacob and many other painters who made up Bohemian Paris. The lecture looks at how he developed a highly individual style of his own, and his haunting portraits and sensual nudes while exploring the Bohemian life of Montmartre. September 22nd 2021 7:30 on Zoom the last lecture of the 2020/21 Membership year. Timothy Walker The Subtle Science and Exact art of using colour in English garden design – why gardening can rank as a fine art 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. Lectures will continue to be held over Zoom until January. This is because the capacity of the Sue Townsend theatre was severely restricted by the social distancing measures in force until recently. The capacity of the theatre was limited to 40 or so people with two empty seats between members of the audience. The committee therefore took the decision in the summer that we should continue with lectures over Zoom until the New Year. June 23rd 2021 7:30 on Zoom Catharine Wallace Art in a Cornish Church: Annie Walke and the artists who made paintings for St Hilary’s Church The Reverend Bernard Walke was the Catholic/Anglican vicar of St. Hilary Church for twenty years. In that time he and his wife the painter Annie Walke (1888-1965) befriended many of the artists living and visiting Cornwall at the time and invited them to make paintings for the church. This lecture looks at the work of Annie Walke and works by other artists such as Ernest Procter and Roger Fry that were made for St. Hilary's. Wed 26th May 2021 7:30pm on Zoom Ian Swankie Pots and Frocks: The World of Grayson Perry Best known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment, a Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character. He’s possibly one of the world’s best-known contemporary artists. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks. Click here for more information on Grayson Perry 28th Apr 2021 7:30pm on Zoom Ian Cockburn Moorish Architecture: The Legacy of a Vanished Kingdom The Alhambra of Granada, the Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alcazar of Seville are the three most impressive monuments to the architectural creativity of the Moors in Spain, but there are many other examples worthy of mention too. The classical origins that influenced the Moorish style are less well-known, but fascinating to explore, as too is the unique interior decorative style developed by the Moors, which gives their architecture its beauty and exotic appeal – an appeal so strong that the Christians sometimes copied it, even as they slowly reconquered the territory from its Islamic rulers. This lecture provides a comprehensive introduction to the peninsula’s Moorish architecture. 24th Mar 2021 7:30pm on Zoom Julia Marwood The Women of the Manchester Art Gallery Women have always been involved in art - as patrons, collectors, sources of inspiration, art historians, critics and of course as creators - but the traditional narrative of art history has ignored many women artists or have treated them as surprising exceptions to the rule that women just don’t create great art. This means that women are under-represented in most great art collections. This lecture uses works in Manchester’s collection - by both men and women – to explore how women and their lives have been represented over time. Click here for Manchester Museum web site 24th Feb 2021 7:30pm on Zoom Mark Ovenden 150 years of London Underground Design Covers surprising attempts to create some graphic unity, even in the 1860s and 70s, expansion of the Underground and the need to create some cohesion between the different operating companies. For instance Leslie Green's architecture and the Arts & Crafts movement, Frank Pick, Edward Johnston's typeface, Charles Holden's architecture and the Streamline Moderne/Art Deco movement, the New Works Programme, post war austerity/design, Victoria Line, loss of Johnston & rescue by Kono, Jubilee Line Extension/architecture, creation of TfL, recent schemes and future works including the Elizabeth Line/Northern Line extension to Battersea etc.. January 27th 2021 7:30pm on Zoom Nicholas Merchant Eileen Gray, an Irish Rebel Imagine, late 19th century Southern Ireland, a young girl of “good family”, living in an 18th century mansion, a tranquil rural existence. It sounds idyllic, the sort of life colour supplements write about with floods of purple prose. This was the life of the subject of this lecture, as the 19th century drew to its close. In 1900 Eileen’s Mother took her to the Exposition Universelle in Paris, and as the saying goes “she never looked back”. An imaginative, and determined girl, Eileen was determined not to see Enniscorthy again. She enrolled in the Slade School of Art, progressed to learn the true art of lacquer in Paris and after the First War became one of Paris’s most recherché and sought-after designers. Not for her the stuffed Victorian furniture of her home but for her, what we now call, “cutting-edge” design. In her studio in the rue Bonaparte she created works which rivalled all the great 20th century furniture makers of Paris. The Art Deco Exhibition of 1925 was the turning point of her life, and the world became aware of her. Ever restless, she built in the late 20’s an extraordinary house at Roquebrunne which became the envy of one of the best- known architects of the period, Le Corbusier. This is a fascinating story of the girl from Enniscorthy, who became one of the most innovative designers of the 20th century. Click here to find out more about Eileen Gray 2020 Wed 9th Dec Rosamund Bartlett Grandfather Frost and the old New Year: a Russian Christmas Where better to spend Yuletide than in snowy Russia? Imagine yourself wrapped in furs, speeding along in a troika, bells ringing, as you come home from church after celebrating the end of the 40 day Christmas fast. This lecture explores the traditional religious and folk customs associated with Christmas in Russia before the Revolution, the secular celebrations introduced to Russia by Peter the Great, the drastic changes introduced in Soviet times by Stalin, and what Christmas means to Russians today. Wed 28th Oct Rupert Willoughby Threads of History: The World of the Bayeux Tapestry Commissioned by the Bishop of Bayeux who fought at Hastings, executed by skilled English craftsmen, the Bayeux Tapestry is the last survivor of a vanished art form. Rupert Willoughby presents a lively introduction to the tapestry – so much more than the story of Hastings – in which he unravels some of its mysteries, places it in the context of its age and firmly establishes it as a landmark in the history of Western art. With its lively illustrations of languid, party-loving, moustachioed Englishmen, of the cavalcades of noble huntsmen and of the snorting Norman cavalry poised to charge into battle, the Tapestry is the next best thing to a moving picture from the time. The link will be emailed to members a few days before the event. Click here to find out more about the Bayeux Tapestry 23rd September Helen Ritchie Making Visions: the jewellery of artist Charles Ricketts An in-depth look at the unique jewellery created by flamboyant artist Charles Ricketts at the turn of the twentieth century. His intricate and richly-enamelled neo-Renaissance pieces were designed as gifts for his many friends including May Morris and the fascinating couple known as Michael Field. On Zoom at 7:30 on Wednesday 23rd. The link will be emailed to members a few days before the event. 26th February 2020 Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe Raphael, a god amongst painters [Raphael 500 year centenary] Raphael’s is one of the most famous names in art history, and until the late 19th century to emulate him was the goal for most artists succeeding him. Yet today he is not as well known as this might suggest. Is this because his biography is less dramatic than Caravaggio’s? or his career less tormented than Michelangelo’s? or is it because his qualities are difficult to define - the elusive qualities of grace, harmony and idealised beauty. This lecture asks “what is the magic of Raphael?” It takes a fresh look at Raphael, exploring what he achieved, and looking, as if for the first time, at the beauty and grace of his work. It will examine his astonishing ability to grow and transform himself over the years of his career, and whose tragically early death leaves us wondering – had he lived, what would have come next? Click here to find out more about Paphael 22nd January 2020 Evelyn Silber A Risky Business - marketing modern art early 20th century London George Bernard Shaw during his early spell as an art critic, advised an artist friend ‘Unless you can say, “This is the very thing for your splendid dining room” you have no chance. That is why it is more important to dine out than to study painting.” Only a handful of bold London dealers in the pre-1945 period persisted. Picasso’s first one man show in London was a commercial disaster though that of Matisse in the same gallery had a been a huge success. This talk abounds in incidents of outrage, hilarity and adventurous collecting. 27th November 2019 Aliki Braine Same Old, Same New… You might think it's easy to spot the difference between contemporary and historical art, but how about what they have in common? Can old masters help us understand works such as 'the pile of bricks' and 'the unmade bed'? This lecture explores whether the old masters can help us understand modern works, and whether artists' intentions and strategies have really changed across the centuries. 23rd October 2019 (new membership year) Alan Read Very Bad for Art? The Impact of the Great War on Three British Artists Hearing of the declaration of the First World War, Augustus John turned to Bomberg and said, “David, this news of the outbreak of war is going to be very bad for art.” This lecture considers the truth of that prophesy among three British artists who had first-hand experience of the Great War and whose work was profoundly affected by it: David Bomberg, Christopher Nevinson and William Orpen. Study Event at New Walk Museum Tuesday 1st October 2019 We have been lucky enough to secure access to a number of craftwork objects, currently in storage and forming part of the Harry Peach DRYAD Collection. There will be a short introduction to the collection and then an opportunity to look more closely at a representative selection of about 25 objects, including basketry, textiles and wooden items. This is a rare and not to be missed opportunity and numbers are limited to 30 people. The programme for the morning is as follows: 10.30am Arrival for coffee and biscuits (own transport) 11.00-12.30 Study event to take place in the Lord Mayors Room 25th September 2019: AGM* Lois Oliver Edouard Manet & Music Music was a constant theme in Manet’s life and art. His wife Suzanne Leenhoff was a gifted pianist, and regular musical soirées were held at the Manet family home. His pictures of musicians and their audiences range from major early canvases depicting itinerant gypsy musicians and Spanish dancers, through to paintings encompassing the full range of Parisian musical culture, from private performances to street entertainment, café concerts and the Paris Opera. Bringing together Manet’s art and the music that inspired him (including Spanish flamenco, Haydn string quartets, Wagner piano reductions, café songs, and opera highlights) this lecture immerses you in Manet’s world. Visits and Study Days (click here see photos from the trip to Cardiff) 9 September 2019 3 days 2 nights visit to Cardiff For photographs of the trip see the menu • 4* central Cardiff hotel • Half board accommodation • Tredegar House • Cardiff & Cardiff Bay – guided tour • Senedd, National Assembly Building – guided tour • National Museum & Art Gallery of Wales – guided introductory tour • Cardiff Castle – guided tour • Castell Coch 24th July 2019 (Summer Social - Cricket Ground) Please note change of venue and lecturer John Ruskin: His Impact, Achievement and Legacy. David Cross. This year is the bicentenary of the birth of John Ruskin. The lecture will be followed by a one course savoury buffet supper, with a glass of wine or juice, followed by tea or coffee and mints, all for the price of £19.50 per ticket. Click here for a booking form and directions 26th June 2019 John Iddon Vincent van Gogh in Britain From March to August 2019 Tate Britain will open its first Van Gogh exhibition since 1947. His stay in Britain changed his vision of the world and himself, encouraging him to become an artist. This is an exciting opportunity for us to reveal the impact Britain had on Van Gogh as well as the enormous influence he had on British artists. Click here for the TATE page about the exhibition. 22nd May 2019 Susan Owens Royal Collectors: Victoria and Albert & their Art Queen Victoria and Prince Albert expressed their love for each other through art. Every birthday and Christmas they exchanged gifts of paintings, sculpture and jewellery, and they commissioned artists to record their lives together at Balmoral and Osborne House. They were keen amateur artists, sitting side-by-side to draw and to try their hand at etching. And they took pleasure in arranging their collection of portrait miniatures, drawings and prints in a special room the prince designed at Windsor Castle. We will look not only at glamorous paintings by Landseer and Winterhalter, but also at the lesser- known watercolours the couple took pleasure in arranging in their treasured ‘souvenir albums’. This lecture tells the story of these royal patrons and collectors who were every bit as passionate about art as they were about each other. Sensual portrait Victoria gave to Albert by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73) The Royal Collection web page on Victoria & Albert’s love of Art. Visit to Boughton House and Estate on Tuesday 4th June 2019 This remarkable house, home to the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, is a blend of intimate and grand, drawing its inspiration from the Palace of Versailles. It is home to many beautiful works of art, including those by El Greco, Van Dyke and Gainsborough, stunning furniture and Mortlake tapestries. It is also rich in examples of Huguenot craftsmanship. Beyond the house there are beautiful gardens and a landscape unlike any other. The estate tour enables an opportunity to view historic villages, Montague family monuments and the famous Eleanor Cross. Members £49 / Guests £51, all inclusive. Please book by April 17th For further details and booking form click here. 24th April 2019 Isabella Image Diocletian’s Palace at Split The late antique emperor Diocletian saved the empire from collapse by instituting a new system of government. However, his most enduring legacy was probably his wide-ranging building schemes which included renovation work at Palmyra, Luxor and the existing Senate House in the Roman Forum. This lecture looks at his monumental palace at Split (modern day Croatia) including the domed mausoleum and the southern facade along the sea front. We will also consider its impact on the young architect Robert Adam, leading to him publishing illustrations of the building and subsequently to its influence on neo-classicism and 18th century architecture. Find out more about the Palace at Split Photos of Split 27th March 2019 Nicholas Watkins The Horse, Modernity and Modern Art from George Stubbs (1724-1806) to Mark Wallinger (born 1959) The horse is so rooted within the psyche of the Western imagination that it has maintained its expressive power, as the current production of War Horse so eloquently testifies. The lecture traces major themes from Stubbs, the greatest horse painter of all time, to Degas, Duchamp- Villon’s Large Horse, a modern metaphor of horsepower, Munning’s horses as defining images of Englishness, Picasso’s agonised horse in its death throes in Guernica (1937) which expresses the horrendous destruction of the city in the Spanish Civil War. The lecture concludes with the very diverse ways in which our leading contemporary artists have made use of the expressive power of the equestrian image. Mark Wallinger’s gigantic 50 metre high horse will soon loom over the Kent countryside in Ebbsfleet. 27th February 2019 Brian Stater Women behind the Lens 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. Click here for information on Annie Leibovitz Click here for the V&A page on Julia Margaret Cameron Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
Web site and mobile phone pages designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training
The Arts Society Leicester
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Web site and mobile phone pages designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training