|9th September 2019
||“In the Kingdom of the Sweets: all about The Nutcracker”. Delighting audiences at Christmas in the Royal Opera House for many decades, yet it was deemed a failure at its first performances. We take a close look at how this well-loved ballet now takes its rightful place on stage and how the music of Tchaikovsky along with story-telling, design and dance all come together to make the most magical escape for young and old alike. Includes several performance video clips.
|7th October 2019
||“Undressing Antiques” Many of us would say “Antiques. I don’t understand them and they’re beyond my budget. They’re not for me.” Mark Hill, who has made many appearances on The Antiques Roadshow will provide us with a persuasive introduction to encourage us to reconsider this view; buy antiques and integrate and use them in our homes. He will explore the state of the antiques market and consider the different meanings of the word value. We will then take a look at what current and future generations of collectors are buying; why they are buying it and how they are displaying it.”
|11th November 2019
||“People, Places and Piazzas. The Life and Art of Charles Mackie.” - A comprehensive survey of his life and the development of his art, from his early struggles as an artist up to his final recognition as RSA and RSW. The people he met — Gauguin, Vuillard, Hornel- and the places he painted — Kirkcudbright, Normandy, Venice — form the core of the talk. The illustrations used cover all aspects of his oeuvre - watercolour, oil, tooled leatherwork woodblock prints and sculpture. A journey with this 'forgotten man' of Scottish art will provide evidence of his skill as a colourist and reclaim his place in art's pantheon.”
|9th December 2019
||Wallpapers -a decorative art-including William Morris. Wallpaper is often regarded as the Cinderella of the Decorative Arts – the most ephemeral and least precious of the decorations produced for the home. Yet, the history of wallpaper is a long and fascinating subject that dates back to the 16thcentury and encompasses a huge range of beautiful patterns created both by anonymous hands and by some of the best-known designers of the 19th and 20th centuries. This lecture explores the history and development of this product from earliest times up to the present day from the first black and white patterns, the creation of elegant flock hangings, the fashion for Chinese hand-painted papers, the introduction of machine-printing, the designs of Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the taste for Modernist and Contemporary designs in the 20th century.
|13th January 2020
||To be Confirmed
|10th February 2020
||“Courtesans in the Art of Venice” — This lecture is based on extraordinary research showing how thousands of women were forced to enter convents against their will in order to save their families the cost of their dowries. This was matched by huge growth in the number and wealth of Venetian Courtesans, who flourished in this distorted society and who were notorious throughout Europe. Illustrated with paintings by Pietro Longhi, Gabriel Bella, Francesco Guardi and others.
||Patsy Erskine Hill
|9th March 2020
||“Debo” -- Mitford, Cavendish, Devonshire Duchess, Housewife
Deborah Devonshire, the youngest of the Mitford sisters and wife of the 11th Duke of Devonshire, was hefted by marriage to one of Europe’s greatest treasure houses, Chatsworth. In the second half of the 20th century, in partnership with her husband, she imbued it with a spirit, elegance and sense of welcome that transformed it from being the worn-out survivor of decades of taxation, war and social change into one of the best-loved, most-emulated and popular historic houses, gardens and estates in the country. This lecture pays tribute to an astonishing life.
|13th April 2020
||“The GPO Film Unit”. An entertaining lecture covering the birth of documentary films with many clips from Victorian and Edwardian films, through the 1920s experimental Soviet era to the 1930s GPO Film Unit. Under John Grierson, the Scottish father of documentaries, the unit produced 129 films in seven years, including the iconic Night Mail with poetry by W H Auden and music by Benjamin Britten. Why was the unit established and what was the influence on Britain’s view of itself? This is the Night Mail crossing the border…
|11th May 2020
||“Mad Men and artists — How the advertising industry exploited fine art” Fine art has provided advertisers and their agencies with a great deal of material to use in their creative campaigns. This lecture describes some of the processes by which these advertisements have been created and why the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo have been a particularly rich source. From the Renaissance through to the present-day fine art continues to provide opportunities to enhance Brand imagery with admiration, humour, satire and irony- although on occasion not always entirely successfully.
|8th June 2020
||“Musical Adventures in Russia: In Search of the Snow Maiden Leokadiya Kashperova” For a historian, there can be little to match the excitement of discovering a forgotten treasure. Dr Griffiths's eventful research across Russia to unveil the Romantic figure of Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940), composer and concert pianist (previously known only as 'Stravinsky's piano teacher'), offers the perfect example. Kashperova's re-discovered music establishes her as the earliest-known female Russian composer of international stature. (Rimsky-Korsakov's affectionate nickname for her was 'Snow-maiden'.) Kashperova's lyrical music and Griffiths's research were selected by BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) for inclusion in their 2018 celebration of 'Five Forgotten Female Composers'. This presentation offers narrative, images and musical performance at the piano illustrating 'what it takes' to recover the life and works of a composer whom History has completely forgotten. Until now?