Past Lectures & visits Visit THURSDAY 09 May 2024 Fully booked Private Guided Tour of Deene Park House with lunch + explore gardens at your leisure in the afternoon Make your own way to Deene Park, Deene, Corby NN17 3EG for 10.15am £30 per person includes refreshments on arrival, the tour and a soup & sandwich buffet lunch. 23 May 2024 CHRIS GARIBALDI The Architecture of Inigo Jones, John Webb and William Samwell Whilst Inigo Jones (1573–1652) became Surveyor of the Kings Works in 1611, John Webb (1611–1672), his sometime pupil, assistant and natural successor, failed to secure the same formal role. Webb was nevertheless one of the most important and influential architects working in England in the mid-seventeenth century and was responsible for many important royal commissions. Designing part of the palace of Greenwich for Charles II and alterations to the Queen’s House in 1662, he also completed significant alterations at Belvoir Castle, home to the Dukes of Rutland, between 1654 and 1668. During the same period his work influenced that of the gentleman architect William Samwell (1628–1676) who built the palace at Newmarket between 1668 and 1671. Based on recent research, this lecture looks at the relationship between the work of these three architects for their respective royal and aristocratic patrons and places them in the context of pre-Civil War and Restoration architecture more generally, examining their lasting legacy and influence. 25 April 2024 LUCIA GAHLIN ‘Wonderful things!’ Tutankhamum’s Tomb and Treasures The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter in 1922 was arguably the greatest archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. The name of this boy-king conjures up wonderful imagery and mysterious tales of the pharaohs. In this lecture I shall explore this unusual tomb and its iconic treasures. I shall examine the design and decoration of the most famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings. I shall discuss Carter’s discovery of the tomb, and explore what happened to the incredible wealth of funerary goods found inside. I shall survey these fabulous treasures, from Tutankhamun’s golden shrines to his ornate board games. 28 March 2024 CHRIS ASLAN How to get down from a Yak - Adventures in Central Asian Nomadic Textiles Houses made from wool that warm in the depths of winter, carpets that tell stories, woven bands that appease ancestors, embroideries that ward off evil, and kilims that store kitchenware, with everything ready to be packed and carried on yak, or camel at a moment’s notice; the little-known nomadic textile cultures of the Kyrgyz, Turkoman and Karakalpak are explored in this lecture, along with the rise and fall of nomadism and where nomadism fits within the modern world. Chris also shares from his own experience of working with nomadic yak herders in the High Pamirs for three years. 25 January 2024 LOIS OLIVER Rosa Bonheur: animal painter extraordinaire One of the most celebrated artists of her time, French painter Rosa Bonheur had an extraordinary gift for painting animals that brought her international fame and recognition. Her works fetched exceptionally high prices on both sides of the Atlantic, and in 1865 she became the first woman to be awarded the légion d’honneur, France’s highest of merit. Defying convention, Bonheur obtained official police permission to wear men’s clothing, so that she could study animal anatomy in the male-only spaces of livestock sales. Her most famous work ‘The Horse Fair’ displays such dynamism that when it was exhibited at the 1853 Paris Salon, one critic wrote that he had to suppress the urge to jump out of the way of the galloping horses. Such was its fame, that Queen Victoria requested a private viewing at Buckingham Palace. Bonheur’s commercial success enabled her to buy the Chateau de By, near Fontainebleau, where she lived with her lifelong companion Nathalie Micas, establishing a studio and menagerie, that included sheep, gazelles, monkeys, and three lions. This lecture offers an in-depth account of her extraordinary life and work Rosa Bonheur, Lion (the Lookout) Photo Wiikmedia Commons November 23 2023 PAULA NUTTALL Isabella d’Este: 1st lady of the Renaissance Isabella d’Este (1476-1530), Marchioness of Mantua, known to her contemporaries as ‘the world’s First Lady’, was one of the leading women of the Italian renaissance. She was stylish, cultivated, feisty and – in her own words – ‘hungry for art’. As a female patron in a male-dominated world, she is an exceptional figure: paintings by Mantegna decorated her study, she sat for her portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, scoured Italy for classical antiquities and stole a statue by Michelangelo from her Urbino in-laws. Drawing extensively on contemporary anecdote, this lecture looks at Isabella’s life, personality, predilections and peccadilloes, and of course at the masterpieces of art she owned. Study Day TUESDAY 17 OCTOBER 2023 The Houses of Parliament: 1000 Years of a British Icon Caroline Shenton In the Wilson Auditorium, Oakham School, LE15 6QT £35 per person, including a sandwiches and cake lunch and drinks 10.00 - 10.30: Registration and coffee/tea/biscuits 10.30 - 11.40: Lecture 1 “The Day Parliament Burned Down”: the old Houses of Parliament from the medieval period to 1834. 11.50 -13.00: Lecture 2: ” Mr Barry's War”: building the new Houses of Parliament from 1834 to 1860. 13.00 - 13.45: Sandwich & cake lunch break with coffee/tea/water available. Also a chance to view the display and books. 13.50 - 15.00: Lecture 3: “From the Suffragettes to Restoration and Renewal” from 1860 to 2023. This is Caroline’s flagship and most popular study day that covers a thousand years of the history, art and architecture of Britain’s most famous building. Beginning with its medieval origins as a royal palace, we will see the complex transformed into the Tudor Houses of Parliament; burned down in 1834; rebuilt by Barry & Pugin, damaged in the Blitz and then finishing with an update on the current multi-billion pound plans to restore this great survivor for the 21st century. Caroline will bring along a selection of artefacts from the old and new Palaces, and signed copies of her award-winning books will be available for purchase at 40% discount. October 26 2023 JUSTIN REAY Sensation and Sensibility: Depictions of the Industrial Age by Joseph Wright of Derby Britain in the 18th century saw an unprecedented growth in industry, technology and scientific discovery, building the foundation of its wealth and power. Industrialists and natural philosophers – the name at the time for physical and chemical scientists – became famous, and their world was painted by Joseph Wright of Derby. The son of a well-to-do professional family in the small county town in the Midlands, Wright was well placed to observe the development of the burgeoning industries of the area and to befriend the self-made entrepreneurs creating them. Combining his depictions of industry and science with an original approach to light, these subject paintings became popular in Wright’s lifetime. Justin discusses the key events of the early industrial and scientific eras, and describes Wright’s ground-breaking, artistically accomplished and historically valuable paintings. September 28 2023 SUE JACKSON The Cultural Heritage of the Huguenots The Huguenots came to England in huge numbers in the late 17th century bringing a wide variety of skills - as silk weavers, silversmiths, clock makers, opticians, bankers, gilders, ironworkers, horticulturists etc. Names such as Paul de Lamerie, Samuel Courtauld and Jean Tijou spring to mind. In virtually all areas, they were innovators and more advanced than the English who were forced to improve their own skills or go out of business. Although the majority settled in London, others found their way to East Anglia, Macclesfield and Canterbury. This talk examines their lasting legacy. August lecture will be at Greetham Valley Golf Club. August 24 2023 NICHOLAS REED Not just smoke and mirrors: The Magical Art of Camouflage in Warfare This lecture is a follow-up to my lecture on “War Artists, Spies and the Art of Deception”. Camouflaging of ships in wartime was invented in WW1 by the artist Norman Wilkinson. But it was a professional conjurer who accomplished the impossible by hiding the Suez Canal in WW2. Find out how he did it! followed by the Summer lunch. We hope that most of you will stay for the lunch after the lecture and this needs to be booked in advance please. Application form available June 22 2023 Live and on Zoom at 11.00 am JOANNA MABBUTT The Field of Cloth of Gold: 6.000 Englishmen in France for 18 days - How did they do it. In June 1520 Henry VIII and Francis 1 meet to ratify an Anglo-French alliance and celebrate the betrothal of Henry’s daughter Mary to the Dauphin. The two handsome ‘Renaissance Princes’ are in their 20s with similar reputations in military prowess, sport and patrons of the arts. Both have imperial ambitions and are eager to display themselves as magnificent nobleman and warrior kings. Each brings an entourage of 6,000 to a field south of Calais for 18 days of various events and entertainments staged to display the skill and splendour of each King and country. The logistics of transporting, accommodating, ordering, feeding and watering, protecting and entertaining the English contingent for this spectacular event is staggering and the supply chain, often through the City of London Guilds, is equally fascinating. 3,217 horses shipped across the ‘Narrow Sea’ to Calais; a vast quantity of wood sourced from Flanders and floated along the coast; a huge temporary palace is built on stone foundations with brick and timber-framed walls reaching to 40 feet. Royal palaces were virtually emptied of their silver, gold, tapestries and furniture to decorate the temporary palace, other principal tents and a chapel (with an organ); gold and silver cloth, velvet and sables, jewels and pearls were imported to ‘dress and impress’. How was it all achieved? May 25 2023 Live and on Zoom at 11.00 am CAROLINE RAYMAN Stranger than Fiction: The Mysterious Disappearances of Great Jan Van Eyck Altarpiece of Ghent Painted between 1430 and 1432 by Jan van Eyck, and possibly his brother Hubert, for St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent; also known as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, this altarpiece was, over the ensuing seven centuries, stolen no less than thirteen times. This lecture tells the extraordinary story of these thefts, culminating with the final one which took place during the Second World War, when it was stolen, along with many other treasures from all over Europe, by Adolf Hitler for the magnificent museum he intended to build in his name in his home town of Linz. Thursday 11 May 2023 Private Guided Tour of Boughton House with Lunch + explore gardens at your leisure in the afternoon £35 per person includes refreshments on arrival, the tour and hot one-course buffet lunch. Please respond by Thursday 27 April LATEST The tour of the House is over 2 floors and will start promptly at 11am and last an hour and a half. After lunch, members are free to explore the gardens at their leisure. There is no charge for walking in the gardens which should be vacated by 4pm. The House does offer exclusive group garden tours at £6 per person - if there are any members who would like to join a garden tour they should make their own arrangements directly with the House. Members who do not wish to visit the gardens are free to leave after lunch. April 27 2023 Live and on Zoom at 11.00 am ROGER BUTLER Lost Canals - A story of Romantic Decay There are currently 2,100 miles of canal in the UK but there were more than 4,000 miles in the 1830s. Many canals fell into decline when the railways arrived but their legacy lives on… old buildings with new uses, unusual features which form unexpected landmarks, lost lock flights that resemble Inca ruins... learn about the gigantic Foxton Inclined Plane or the canal that ran right by Alton Towers. And some canals were quite remarkable… the Tamar Manure Canal, the Louth Navigation and the bizarre Somerset Coal Canal. They are all very much part of our national heritage. March 23 2023 Live and on Zoom at 11.00 am JO WALTON ‘So they do cook after all!’. Ravilious, Bawden and the great Bardfield Artists In 1932 the artist Edward Bawden and his wife Charlotte moved into Brick House, in the Essex village of Great Bardfield, initially sharing the house with another artistic couple, Eric Ravilious and Tirzah Garwood. It was to be the beginning of a fascinating artistic community. In the years before and during the Second World War painters, printmakers and designers settled in the village, relishing the peace while remaining within easy reach of London. While Bawden and Ravilious saw active service as War Artists (Ravilious dying in 1942), other artists captured the soon-to-change world of rural England through the Recording Britain project. By the mid-1950s a diverse, innovative but highly creative group had made Bardfield their home – much to the bemusement of the local villagers, who found the complex relationships and artistic focus of the newcomers rather baffling. In 1954 the artists invited the public into their homes and studios to see their work, starting the increasingly popular ‘Open Studios’ movement that now covers the country, and persuading some of their neighbours that artists could be quite normal people after all February 23 2023 Live and on Zoom at 11.00 am RUPERT WILLOUGHBY Marathon! One of the world’s most popular athletic events commemorates Pheidippides’s epic run from the battlefield of Marathon to his native Athens. Apart from the amazing courage of Pheidippides, why remember a battle that took place over two and a half thousand years ago? Since the 19th century, historians have argued that it was a crucial event, one that had decided ‘the whole future of human civilisation’. As John Stuart Mill put it, ‘the Battle of Marathon, even as an event in English history, is more important than the Battle of Hastings’. Rupert re-creates the background and the battle itself in thrilling detail. He looks at the various ways in which ancient Athens has influenced our art and culture, and argues that Marathon was, indeed, the battle that saved ‘Western Civilisation’. Eye- opening, edge-of-your-seat stuff. January 26 2023 Live and on Zoom at 11.00 am SARAH BURLES Lord Fitzwilliam and his bequest to Cambridge The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge was founded on the death of Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam in 1816, five years after the Dulwich Picture Gallery and eight years before the National Gallery in London. His bequest included paintings, drawings, prints, medieval manuscripts and books and, in addition, a sum of money to build “a good substantial museum repository for the increase of learning”. Who was Lord Fitzwilliam? How did he acquire his extensive collection? What prompted him to leave it to the University of Cambridge and why was Napoleon partly responsible for the founding of one of the great regional museums? These, and many other questions, will be answered in a lecture that will also discuss some of the key works in Lord Fitzwilliam’s bequest. Photo:The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge Roger Kidd Wikimedia
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Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.
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