Monday, 27 January 2020
SWEET SWAN OF AVON’: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND HIS TURBULENT WORLD
In his tribute to Shakespeare on the publication of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623, Ben Jonson addresses him as ‘Sweet Swan of Avon’ , ‘Thou Star of Poets’ and ‘Not of an Age, but for all Time’. 400 years after Shakespeare’s death his words still have the power to thrill, to move, to uplift the soul. In fact, it’s said that a Shakespeare play is being performed somewhere in the world every minute of every day. In this lecture we explore what is known about his life in the turbulent and often dangerous world of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, and look at the development of English Renaissance theatre. We will also focus on some of the portraits purporting to be of Shakespeare and examine the theories behind them.
Monday, 24 February 2020
A TOUR OF BIG BEN
Big Ben is one of the most iconic buildings in the world – it identifies the UK and democracy in the Western world. But there is a lot more to this tower than the beautiful external gothic architecture; and Tim will prove this to you. Using stunning images, he will take you on a virtual tour of the interior, saving you the effort of climbing 334 spiral stairs. He will explain the historical background and discuss the friction between the often controversial personalities involved in the building and designing of the tower. Tim will then take you behind those magnificent clock faces; show and explain the workings of the enormous clock mechanism; before finally taking you into the belfry and presenting before you – Big Ben, the most famous bell in the world! After all that excitement Tim will ensure you safely descend the stairs ready for your well-earned cup of tea!
Monday, 16 March 2020
VIVALDI IN VENICE
Vivaldi is the one Baroque composer whose music is a direct reflection of the city in which it was composed. Listen to a Vivaldi concerto and hey presto you are transported directly to the heart of 18th century Venice. The reasons for this are many – Vivaldi’s passion for colour, display and spectacle in his music; the unusual way in which Venice solved its problems with the poor and the homeless; Vivaldi’s health problems and his eccentricities as a man and a priest. Against the luxurious backdrop of 18th century Venice, and with live musical performances, this lecture (or study day) explores the amazing world of Vivaldi’s music - music that is as intrinsically Venetian as the canvasses of Canaletto.
Monday, 27 April 2020
RIVIERA PARADISE: ART, DESIGN AND PLEASURE IN THE 1920S
Since the 19th century English high society had 'wintered over' on the Côte d'Azur, but always left by April. In the early 1920's, however, an intoxicating mix of artists, writers, musicians and international visitors, inspired by a mythological seascape of luminous colours, created a new summer season. Sun tans and sportswear soon became 'de rigueur' in the chic new coastal resorts, villas and hotels. This liberating playground of ideas across the visual design arts was stimulated by impresarios Serge Diaghilev and Paul Poiret. Traditional boundaries were torn down. Matisse, Picasso, Dufy, Cocteau, and Chanel merged the worlds of fashion, theatre and interiors. Cole Porter, Scott Fitzgerald, and the intriguing Gerald and Sara Murphy, introduced an American perspective and attracted an influential new set of discerning atrons and collectors. We will 'time travel' to meet them.
Monday, 25 May 2020
JOAQUIN SOROLLA: PAINTER OF LIGHT
One of the most extraordinary Spanish artists from Valencia; Joaquin Sorolla has become better known more recently. He lived from 1863 to 1923 and created a world full of light and colour which delights the senses. Sometimes a social painter he was more concerned with capturing light falling on bodies and sea-scapes and his wonderful technique will be considered in this colourful lecture. His final Visions of Spain now in New York will also be shown.
Monday, 21 September 2020
A PORTRAIT OF JEWELS. FOLLOWING MISSING TREASURES THROUGH CANVAS
Andrew was inspired to produce this lecture after visiting the National Portrait Gallery, and seeing all the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, in all their finery, and wondering where were and what are all the jewels that they wore.
Among the many jewels he traces, Andrew follows some pearls that belonged to Catherine De Medici then Mary Queen of Scotts, Queen Elizabeth Ist and now are worn by Oueen Elizabeth II. Also a spectacular diamond that belonged to King Charles Ist, later worn by Marie Antoinette, which was stolen then purchased by a Russian Aristocrat and later mounted in a tiara by Cartier for an American Heiress, when she became a British member of parliament! Jewel hunting has never been more fascinating.
Monday, 26 October 2020 (live on Zoom)
Stella Grace Lyons
CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH – MORE THAN JUST A TEA ROOM!
Did you know that when Charles Rennie Mackintosh died, his entire estate was valued at just £88? Glaswegian-born Mackintosh, a designer, architect and artist, was the foremost Celtic exponent of Art Nouveau, and had a considerable influence on European art. But he is an even more enigmatic figure today than when he was alive. Both Mackintosh's, and his wife Margaret Macdonald’s work has a distinctive character, one that captures the transition between the Victorian era and the Modern age. This talk will consider both, Charles and Margaret's life, work and legacy.
Monday, 30 November 2020
LAST SUPPER IN POMPEII
For the Romans, life meant getting together to eat and drink, in a pub or at a banquet. This talk, based on the 2019-2020 exhibition Last supper in Pompeii at the Ashmolean Museum Oxford, celebrates the Roman love affair with food and drink - a journey, from fields and vineyards to markets and shops, from tables to toilets and the tomb.