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PROGRAMME OF LECTURES AND VISITS
NEWS AND RECENT EVENTS

 

LECTURE PROGRAMME 2021 -2022

The following lecturers have been contracted to speak either in person in the Civic Centre or via a zoom presentation depending on the coronavirus conditions at the time.

Members will be advised by email.

2021

13th October 2021

Alexandra Epps - LIVE IN THE CIVIC CENTRE

THE GOLDEN SECTION - DIVINE PROPORTION IN ART AND ARCHITECTURE

For thousands of years the mystery of the Golden Section has inspired thinkers from all disciplines - artists and architects, mathematicians and musicians. Discover the secrets of its sacred geometry and beauty within creations from the classical to contemporary.

10th November

Christopher de Hamel

MEDIEVAL ILLUMINATED BOOKS OF HOURS

Books of Hours are the most famous late medieval illuminated manuscripts. They are private prayer books for domestic use at home, and they often include enchanting illustrations and decorated borders, sometimes with scenes of daily life in the Middle Ages. The lecture looks at what a Book of Hours comprises and how they were used and who commissioned them. It shows how we can date and localise surviving manuscripts. It discusses how and where Books of Hours were actually made, and it follows through the various stages of writing, painting and illuminating a medieval manuscript. “Immerse yourself in the medieval world of Christopher de Hamel” (Sir David Attenborough’s advice on life, quoted in The Evening Standard on his 90th birthday).

2022

12th January 2022

Ross King

ÉDOUARD MANET AND THE ORIGINS OF IMPRESSIONISM

This illustrated lecture examines how Impressionism was born in Paris in the 1860s through a great rivalry between the painters Édouard Manet and Ernest Meissonier, known as ‘the two poles of art’. Meissonier was the most famous and financially successful painter of the nineteenth century, hailed for his meticulous precision and obsessive attention to historical detail. Manet, on the other hand, was reviled by the critics and mocked by the public for works such as Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe and Olympia. The context between the two men was not just about artistic expression; it was also about competing visions of a world drastically changed by technology, politics and personal freedom.

9th February

Cynthia Coleman Sparke

RUSSIAN REVIVAL ENAMELLING: AN OVERVIEW OF STYLES AND TECHNIQUES WITH A FOCUS ON FEODOR RÜCKERT, SUPPLIER TO THE HOUSE OF FABERGÉ

We turn from the glittering court of St. Petersburg towards heroes and maidens, racing troikas, and onion-domed churches set in snowy landscapes.

The myths and fairytales of Russia were distilled into objects created to satisfy Faberge’s Moscow clientele. Their forms were drawn from the wooden implements of seafaring warriors. Meanwhile, their ornament was influenced by traders whose saddlebags brought textiles, metalwork and print sources to the capital. The resulting historic revival was embraced by the empire’s most successful merchants and industrialists. The turn away from Western influences and towards native traditions was reflected in the rich enamels of Feodor Rückert.

9th March

Meri Arichi

RIMPA ART: LITERARY INSPIRATION FOR DESIGN

With the establishment of military government in Edo (present day Tokyo) in the early 17th century, Japan enjoyed a long period of peace and prosperity. Artists in Kyoto flourished with a new vigour to satisfy the demand of the newly affluent townspeople. The Rimpa artists were unique in the way that they were not tied with a teacher-pupil relationship, but they shared the style and the visual language that were inspired by the courtly literary themes from the past. The distinctive style of Rimpa Art is characterized by the abstraction of natural elements and the bold asymmetrical composition. The Rimpa style is considered by some as “the most quintessentially Japanese” art. This lecture will analyse the masterpieces by the Rimpa artists, and discuss what makes them “Japanese”.

13th April

Tony Rawlins

BAROQUE ON A ROLL: CLASSICAL MUSIC IN THE MODERN MEDIA.

Tony talks talk about the increasing popularity of classical music, especially amongst young people. He shows examples of how classical music enhances the mood - the drama, the tension, the romance - of feature films. He shows examples of how it has made many TV commercials truly memorable. He describes how a piece by an obscure 17th century German composer has become our number one favourite at weddings and funerals. And to finish he shows how classical melodies and chord sequences have been borrowed for a huge number of popular hit records. (He plays guitar and sings for this part).

11th May

Joanna Banham

THE MANY FACES OF WILLIAM MORRIS

William Morris was a man of prodigious energy, talent, and versatility. He was a designer, a craftsman, a writer, a lecturer, a conservationist and a revolutionary socialist. He is best-known today for his wallpapers and textiles but he also designed embroideries, stained glass, mural decoration, books and tapestries. His over-arching passions were a love of art and making, and a hatred for what he perceived as the greed and inequality that characterised contemporary society. This lecture reviews his life, ideas and achievements, exploring the highlights of his career and his relationships with his wife Jane, and other artists and designers with whom he worked and the reasons why he is still so influential today.

8th June

Nicole Mezey

THE ART OF STAINED GLASS

The work of art is not just a symbol of creative genius but a historical object and the result of a laborious process of creation. This lecture looks at the development of stained glass, its purpose, the process by which it was created and some of the extraordinary survivals. From vast cathedrals to tiny chapels, we concentrate on the great achievements of the Middle Ages but consider, too, the reasons for the decline in popularity of this once

pre-eminent art form and some of the projects in which it has been reconsidered and revived.

13th July

John Iddon

LUCIAN FREUD: THE ART AND THE MAN

Possibly the greatest figure painter of the second half of the 20th century, Lucian Freud, also led an extraordinary life, from his family’s escape from the Hitler regime in the 1930’s to his colourful and combative life in London. This talk will look at his unforgettable paintings (many of which have a penetrative scrutiny that is almost the visual equivalent of his grandfather Sigmund’s analysis of patients) as well as his relations with his models and fellow artists.

14th September

10.00am ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

10.30am

Rupert Dickens

THE CURIOUS WORLD OF PIETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER

More than four centuries after his death the work of this intriguing artist continues to fascinate us. Bruegel’s brief career introduced new subjects of landscape and everyday life. But these apparently innocent and joyous pictures contain hidden social and political messages which are being rediscovered by scholars. An early biographer spoke of “Peasant Bruegel” and gave the impression of a naïve chronicler of folklore. But Bruegel is increasingly seen as an innovative artist providing a circle of humanist patrons with sophisticated and multi-layered compositions. This lecture will delve deeper into Bruegel’s work by exploring the most recent research.

12th October

Brian Stater

ARCHITECTURE + PHOTOGRAPHY = ART

According to one leading architect, “the modern architectural drawing is interesting, the photograph is magnificent, the building is an unfortunate but necessary stage between the two. This lecture introduces photographers who crystallised the architects’ vision in images that are both works of art and shape our opinion of the buildings they depict. These photographers include Dell and Wainwright from Britain, Julius Shulman in the United States and Lucien Hervé in France. The lecture also examines photographers who recorded rural churches, barns and cottages to create a lyrical vision of Britain. Prominent in this group are Edwin Smith, Frederick Evans and Eric de Maré, a friend and drinking companion of John Betjeman and widely considered to have been the poet’s favourite photographer.

9th November

Roger Askew

“OH FOR THE WINGS OF A DOVE” THE LIFE OF A CATHEDRAL CHORISTER

Our rich cathedral choral tradition is unique. Drawing on his own experience as a chorister in Wells Cathedral, Roger will give a lively insight into the life of a cathedral chorister. The lecture will explore the development of the tradition from medieval times to the present. It will be illustrated with examples of some of the finest choirs of the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

VISITS

We are hoping to resume coach travel in 2022 but the visits programme cannot be finalised until the Covid situation becomes clearer. Once we are confident to go ahead and book tours, we will let you know in good time in meetings and by email. Bookings will normally be taken TWO meetings prior to the visit date. Payment for visits is by CHEQUE ONLY please. Members are welcome to bring a guest if there is space available. We still have the option of arranging virtual visits, if necessary.

The Arts Society Tring Park cannot be held responsible for any personal accident, loss, damage or theft of members’ personal property. Members are covered against proven liability to third parties.

 

 

 

 

GREENWICH

The start of our guided tour of the museum
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Under the Cutty Sark
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The Queen's House, overlooked by Elizabeth I
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The Tulip staircase in the Queens House