Lecture Programme

Our programme of lectures below include some clearly identified as on-line via Zoom:

Date Event
Tuesday 12th October

Architecture of the British Raj (Anthony Peers)

imageThe buildings of the British Raj have a fascinating history and we will explore the most impressive and unusual buildings of Madras (Chennai), Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta). There will also be a brief look at the grandest of imperial buildings (William Emmerson’s Victoria Memorial in Calcutta and Edwin Lutyens’s Viceroy’s House, New Delhi) concluding with the efforts being made to preserve the buildings of the British Raj.

Tuesday 9th November

From Chocolate Box to Jackson Pollock: The Materials and Techniques of Constable’s Exhibited Oils of the 1820s-30s (Sarah Cove)

imageConstable’s ‘six-footers’ include some of his most famous and iconic paintings: The White Horse (1819), The Haywain (1821), The Leaping Horse (1825) and Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (1831). Their compositions are derived from small pencil drawings and oil studies and, for each, Constable painted a full size oil sketch. These unique and extraordinary creations in the early 19th century were unseen by all but his family and closest friends during his lifetime.

For more details of the lecture, see the poster

Tuesday 14th December

Magic lanterns to MGM; the birth of the silver screen (Dr Geri Parlby)

imageThe moving image has been a powerful source for imagination from the first moment a magic lantern flickered into life in the 17th century. We will be looking at how the Motion Pictures industry first developed throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries and how it was inspired by, and inspired in turn, some of the greatest artists of the early 20th century.

Tuesday 11th January

Mayhem in the Cathedral (Christopher Rogers)

imageShute Barrington was a man of little patience and very fixed ideas. Consecrated Bishop of Salisbury in 1782, he commissioned the fashionable architect James Wyatt to undertake a comprehensive ‘restoration' of the Cathedral between 1789 and 1792. Half a century later, George Gilbert Scott was engaged in another round of restoration, to meet the needs of a more informed and a more liturgically minded society. The controversial work of both architects will be evaluated, especially in the light of modern concepts of restoration.

Tuesday 8th February

Gypsies, tramps and thieves; the representation of the working classes (Linda Smith)

imageThroughout the history of western art, working people have always been mute observers, as background detail or comic relief. This includes skilled and unskilled workers in both urban and agricultural environments, craftsmen, artisans, servants, entertainers, prostitutes, beggars, paupers or slaves. As the world changed, these images moved from the despised and vulgar fringes of popular taste into the respectable mainstream and back out again into political radicalism and avant-garde edginess.

Tuesday 8th March

The Age of Jazz (Sandy Burnett)

imageJazz is one of music’s most important genres: a fascinating blend of rigorous structure, free-wheeling creativity, close-knit ensembles and imaginative improvisation. The early years of jazz up to the Second World War had disparate influences which lay behind its emergence. Musical illustrations range from the blues, ragtime and the very first jazz recordings through to classics by Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the dawn of the Swing Era.

Tuesday 12th April

Discovering MacDonald Gill; architect, artist and printmaker (Caroline Walker)

imageMacDonald 'Max' Gill, younger brother of sculptor Eric Gill was famed for his pictorial map posters for London Underground and painted map panels for landmark buildings such as Lindisfarne Castle and the Palace of Westminster. His architectural legacy lives on in the arts and crafts cottages he designed in rural Sussex and Dorset while the alphabet and badges he created for the standard military headstone are familiar to all.

Tuesday 10th May

Zaha Hadid; architectural superstar (Colin Davies)

imageFuture architectural historians will surely recognize Dame Zaha Hadid as one of the most important architects of the early 21st century. She was born in Iraq and her reputation was global, but she made Britain her home. This story of her career ranges from the visionary projects of the 1980s, through the years of frustration when her designs were considered unbuildable, to the prolific crop of successful projects built all over the world in the last decade of her life.

Tuesday 14th June

Pierrot heroes; the evolution on British seaside entertainment (Dr Tony Liddington)

imageFor 50 years, from the end of the 19th Century until the 2nd World War, almost every British seaside resort had a Pierrot troupe, renowned for their flowing white satin costumes, black pom-poms and conical hats: they provided songs and sketches in the open air for generations of seaside family audiences. Their origins, evolution and legacy in contemporary pop music and comedy is explained, together with music, archive materials and unique visual imagery.

Tuesday 12th July

Tantrums and tiaras (Nigel Bates)

imageAll performers at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden face great pressure, be they singer, dancer, conductor or musician. We see how the building copes with the demands of modern productions and examine audience expectations both inside the theatre and out. Fully illustrated by audio and video clips including some of the highs, and lows, of this world-class performing venue over the years.