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. Visit to ‘Edward Bawden and Me’ exhibition at The Higgins Gallery, Bedford on Thursday 13th June 2024 The Keeper of Fine Art will take us on a guided tour of the exhibition, which showcases some of the biggest names in British art, illustration, ceramics and textiles. The stunning exhibition features their artistic responses, seen alongside the Bawden work which inspired them. 22nd May 2024 Gavin Plumley John Singer Sargent, The Private Radical Whether drawing duchesses or portraying princes, John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) was high society’s leading portraitist. Flaunting a consummate technique, his luxurious canvases mirrored his subjects’ wealth. Yet beneath the dazzling veneer of works such as Madame X, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit and Lady Agnew of Lochnaw lurks a much rawer world by far. Sargent certainly scandalised Parisian society and the city’s Salon with his frank depictions of human sexuality, yet he was even more modern than they might have feared. This talk charts the artist’s life and his prolific output, showing that, like the era he came to represent, Sargent was always on the cusp of seismic change. Study Day 19th April 2024 Three Tudor Themed Lectures Professor Jonathan Foyle Former curator at Hampton Court and presenter of the BBC2 series Climbing Great Buildings and Channel 4’s Secrets of the Palaces 24th April 2024 Suzanne Perrin The Art of the Kimono; Japanese Signs, Symbols, and Stories The Kimono advertised your rank and status, wealth and taste, and complex symbols and stories abound in the lavish decoration of textiles and fabrics used for men’s and women’s clothing from 17th to 19th centuries 27th March 2024 Helen Ritchie British Studio Pottery; a concise history An overview of the British Studio Pottery movement, exploring handmade pottery in Britain from the last decades of the nineteenth century to the present day, including the work of the Martin Brothers, Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie, Alison Britton and Grayson Perry. 28th Febuary 2024 Andrew Hopkins The Kennedy Whitehouse; Art, Architecture, and Gardens of Camelot Following the 60th anniversary of the assignation of JFK, this talk is about the White House’s most celebrated twentieth century residents. The tragic end of his presidency has tended to overshadow the astounding aesthetic and artistic changes made during the Kennedy’s relatively brief tenure in the presidential residence. Apart from the wonderful film tour of the residence made by Mrs Kennedy and still shown to visitors today, the Rose Garden was a fine creation by Jackie and her friend, the renowned garden designer Bunny Mellon. So too, the interiors were restored seriously, based on historical research and items belonging to the house throughout its history were purchased and returned, even in many cases gifted back by patriotic individuals. Take a trip down memory lane and visit Camelot in this richly illustrated talk. Click here to see Jackie Kennedy’s interiors 24th January 2024 Clare Phillips Decadence and Dreams; Jewellery from around 1900 The decades around 1900 witnessed a fascinating variety of styles and produced some of the most elegant pieces of jewellery ever made. Diamonds and pearls - the mainstay of European court jewellery - were arranged in garlands and ribbon bows of incredible delicacy. At the same time symmetry was challenged by the sinuous lines of Art Nouveau, and the ‘one colour theory’ long practised in European jewellery was undermined by a fascination with unusual gemstones and a more luxuriant sense of colour. The lecture will explore the distinctive styles of great jewellers such as Cartier, Fabergé, Tiffany and Lalique, and examine also the contrasting aesthetic of Britain’s Arts and Crafts Movement with its celebration of traditional craftsmanship, unfaceted stones and hand-beaten metals. 22nd November 2023 Matthew Sturgis Oscar Wilde: A life in Epigrams Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was one of the great figures of the late nineteenth century: a poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, wit and subversive thinker. He lived a life crowded with incident, spanning great success and humiliating failure. This talk charts a way through his life and achievement by examining, and contextualizing, half a dozen of his celebrated epigrams, from ‘Every day I find it harder and harder to live up to my blue china’ to ‘I am fighting a battle to the death with my wallpaper: one of us will have to go.’ This will be the last meeting of the 2022/23 membership year The AGM will be held before the meeting 25th October 2023 Kirsty Hartsiotis A Beautiful Book: William Morris's Kelmscott Chaucer Discover the fascinating and complex story behind William Morris’ last masterpiece, the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, and his collaboration with his great friends the printer Emery Walker, who inspired him to start the Kelmscott Press, and helped him set it up, and artist Edward Burne-Jones, who provided the 87 illustrations in the book. This lavishly illustrated talk takes you through both the story of the book and the press, and also explores the personalities who came together to work on it. VISIT Wednesday 6th September £35 for members Visit to Compton Verney To see the Quentin Blake Exhibition Sir Quentin Blake (b.1932) is one of the most celebrated illustrators and writers of children’s books working today. Over the course of a career spanning several decades, Blake has illustrated more than 500 books, bringing to life treasured literary characters in his unmistakeable style and inspiring generations. Showcasing over 70 original illustrations, this exhibition takes inspiration from recurring themes in Blake’s work – birds, fantastical flying creatures and the joy of exploring in nature – as well as the flying creatures that call Compton Verney’s grounds home. The Houses & History of the East Riding of Yorkshire 4 days from £514 Departing 15th September 2023 . Half board accommodation . All excursion travel & guided tours included . Most entrance fees included . Blue Badge guide on Days 2 & 3 . Executive coach throughout 27th September 2023 Two Gustavs: Mahler and Klimt Gavin Plumley Gustav Klimt and his colleagues broke away from the imperially endorsed art institutions in Vienna in 1897 and founded the Secession. That was the same year that Gustav Mahler arrived to take charge of the Opera House in the city. Comparing these two totemic fin de siècle talents, this lecture places Klimt and Mahler in context, asking what fundamentally links and, indeed, divides them. 26th July 2023 Steve King (Summer Social, additional charge, venue - Upton Steel County Cricket Ground) I bet you think this song is about you? It’s a famous line from a well-known 1970s hit about male vanity written by Carly Simon, but was it inspired by one of her lovers? Who inspired the Beatles classic Here, There and Everywhere, and what is the link between Midnight Train to Georgia and Charlie’s Angels? Songs are often inspired by individuals in the lives of composers and some individuals have inspired more than one composer. All is not always as it seems - in this lecture the identities of the people who inspired some of the world’s best known songs are revealed. 28th June 2023 David Haycock The England of Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) Watercolourist, muralist, ceramicist and wood-engraver, Eric Ravilious was one of the most distinctive young British artists working between the two World Wars; he is also an artist who is of increasing interest and popularity, as recent exhibitions and sales of his work have revealed. This lecture explores Ravilious’s career, looking both at his place in the long tradition of watercolour painting in England, as well as within the social and cultural context of England in the 1920s and ‘30s, leading up to his untimely death as an official war artist in Iceland in 1942. 24th May 2023 Janusz Karczewski-Slowikowski The Genius of Robert Adam An examination of neo-classic furniture in the context of the Grand Houses and rooms for which it was intended. Adam’s name has become an epithet for his architectural and interior design work, which is characterised by a remarkable and often overwhelming expression of stylistic and chromatic unity. Neither a furniture designer nor maker, he did, however, design a number of pieces for specific locations within his room designs. His style was interpreted and adapted by celebrated cabinetmakers, who produced furniture that made “charming harmony” with his interiors. STUDY DAY: Thursday 11 May 2023 Venue: The Coplow Centre, Billesdon, LE7 9FL The Story Of Wine, Its History, Glasses And Rituals Speaker: Andy Mc Connell The Glassware Specialist From The Antiques Roadshow Cost: £35.00 per person including tea and coffee Bookings should be made using the form below. You are welcome to bring guests. A non refundable handling charge of £10.00 will be made in the event of a cancellation after 30 April. 26th April 2023 Simon Seligman 'O Paxton!' - How Chatsworth's Victorian genius Joseph Paxton came to put the world under glass When the Duke of Wellington witnessed Joseph Paxton at work at Chatsworth, he exclaimed “I’d have liked that man as one of my generals.” Paxton was one of the most inventive and influential figures of the 19th century, whose most famous masterwork, the Crystal Palace of 1851, is considered by significant contemporary architects like Sir Norman Foster to be ’the birth of modern architecture’. Born into a humble farming family, as gardener, engineer, designer, architect, publisher, railway investor and MP, Paxton was to leave his mark on Victorian Britain like few others. For more than 30 years he worked at Chatsworth, supported by his formidable wife Sarah, enhancing it with innovative buildings and garden designs in a close partnership with his patron the 6th Duke of Devonshire. His boundless energy and vision found its greatest expression in his radical design for the Great Exhibition, where the ‘industry of all nations', and a dazzled populace, gathered under his vast glass structure. My lecture celebrates the man and his achievements which have profoundly influenced architecture ever since. 22nd March 2023 Clare Phillips Easter Presents from Faberge Of exquisite design and unfailing ingenuity, the Easter eggs made by Fabergé for the Russian Imperial family rank amongst the most extravagant and wonderful examples of the goldsmith’s art. Each year from the mid-1880s to 1917 major events or simple themes were commemorated in these eggs - from the opening of the Trans-Siberian railway to the icy beauty of a Russian winter; from the tercentenary of the Romanov dynasty to the domestic pleasure of petit-point embroidery. Carl Fabergé drew on the most skilled designers and craftsmen who worked with an astoundingly wide variety of materials. This lecture will be a celebration of these great works and the techniques by which they were created, and will also explore the range of more modest Easter gifts and the wider context of how Easter was celebrated in Orthodox Russia in the decades leading up to the Revolution. 22nd February 2023 Dr John Stevens The Art of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is arguably the most important Indian artistic figure of the modern era. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, claimed that he had two gurus: Gandhi and Tagore. A renowned poet, novelist, composer and painter, Tagore is also the only person in history to have written the national anthems for two countries (India and Bangladesh). He became a global sensation when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, the first non-European to do so. This lecture provides an introduction to Tagore’s remarkable life and work, including his novels, poetry, songs and paintings. It also explores the role Tagore’s art played in the story of India’s fight for independence. 25th January 2023 Sophie Matthews Music in Art So many of our historical references for musical instruments can be found in works of art. Not only can these windows into the past show us what the instruments looked like but also the social context in which they would have been played. Music and different instruments also play a strong role within symbolism in art. Visit to Cambridge, including a tour of Kings College Tuesday 28th March 2023 The organised part of the day consists of an introductory tour of Kings College Chapel, which includes seeing the worlds largest fan vaulted ceiling and wonderful stained glass from the time of Henry VIII. This will be followed by a guided walking tour of some iconic sights of Cambridge. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy other attractions that Cambridge has to offer, for example, the Lucie Rie exhibition at Kettles Yard or ‘Islanders’ at the Fitzwilliam. 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