Our next lecture on November 11 has changed from that published in this year’s programme. Due to copyright issues, that lecture cannot be broadcast on Zoom, but Sarah Cove, our lecturer, has agreed to do a different one which we hope you will enjoy .
It is called Fakes and Fortunes (Or - Have I discovered a Constable in my attic?).
Sarah Cove has been instrumental in the attribution of three significant Constable oils for BBC1’s Fake or Fortune? series, appearing in 2014 and 2017. In 2014 she set up a Facebook page that is hugely successful in raising awareness of her research so that now she is regularly contacted by people that think they have a found a previously unknown Constable!! Some have, some have not, as you will see in this lecture which gives a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how such decisions are made and will describe some extraordinary successes but also crashing disappointments. Stories will include, at opposite extremes, a hugely publicised oil sketch reputedly worth £250,000 that turned out to be a copy and the chance discovery of a fabulous, almost abstract, oil study of the 1830s that had formerly belonged to an American G.I.
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.
'BRING IN THE FUNNY HATS’: CULTURE AND CLOTHING IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT AND VERMEER
The 17th century was a Golden Age for Dutch art. Middle-class merchants and high-minded citizens fuelled a market for art that told sacred stories. Wealthy burghers flocked to have their portraits painted to celebrate their wealth and status. Rembrandt catered to this class of patron by producing paintings of people in rich and exotic dress. In his self-portraits he used clothing to create character, but were these costumes real or imaginary? Through investigation of key works by Vermeer and Rembrandt we ask did such artists merely have well-stocked ‘dressing-up’ boxes, or really well-stocked imaginations?
HISTORY OF CARTOONS: FROM WILLIAM HOGARTH TO PRIVATE EYE
The first time the word cartoon was used in the sense that we know it today was in 1843 in Punch magazine. But the employment of satire, caricature, speech bubbles and the writing of captions had been around long before then. In this talk Ian tracks the early stages of cartoons and how, through the works of Hogarth and James Gillray, they gradually evolved. Copious illustrations abound from the masters of their craft such as John Tenniel, John Leech, David Low, Vicky, Ronald Searle, Heath Robinson and Giles; and, bringing it right up to date, with Gerald Scarfe, Steven Bell and Peter Brookes.
CREATING AN IMAGINARY WORLD - THEATRE DESIGN FROM TEMPLE TO PLAYHOUSE, INTO THE PICTURE FRAME AND OUT AGAIN
Theatrical scene design is one of the world's most beautiful, varied and lively art forms. In his talk, Bertie looks at the relationship between actor and audience and how this transformed the space and architecture of theatre throughout the ages, beginning with the Greeks and their remarkable innovations to pageants, masques, liturgical drama, through the science of perspective, to court theatre. A quick glance at Commedia Dell'arte before entering the Elizabethan stage of the Globe and the Fortune and arriving at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. From great architects such as Inigo Jones and Frank Matcham, to practitioners such as Granville Barker and Gordon Craig and designers Cecil Beaton and Oliver Messel, Bertie brings to life the magical world of theatre.
SUTTON HOO AND THE MASTER WORKSHOP OF THE WUFFINGS
An exploration of some of the artistic and technical wonders found aboard the funeral-ship berthed beneath Mound One at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, burial place of the Wuffing kings of East Anglia. The central theme will be the superb jewellery of gold, garnet, and blue glass, which reveals such a brilliant synthesis of styles. These masterworks appear to have been made in the East Anglian royal workshop for the king who lay in state in this treasure-laden ship, thought most likely to have been Rædwald (died c.624), Wuffing king and overlord of all England.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE IN DOCKLANDS - PAST AND PRESENT
Over the last 25 years, the Docklands area of London has been transformed. Here are not only some of the great Georgian industrial warehouses and dock buildings, but state-of-the-art office buildings by the great architects of today. Canary Wharf is also a dramatic and witty sculpture park. Even the lamp posts, benches, pavements, planters and ventilation shafts are specially commissioned and designed to the highest standards.
TWENTIETH CENTURY SCULPTURE
This lecture traces the development of sculpture in the twentieth century, from large lumps of marble at one end to unmade beds at the other, and explains how and why this trajectory happened. Key developments like Cubism, Primitivism, Surrealism and Pop Art all affected sculpture, and are carefully explained with a wide range of illustrations.
THE TREES WAVE, THE CLOUDS PASS - VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882- 1941) ON ART, LIFE, LONDON AND BUYING SUSPENDERS
Virginia Woolf never painted or drew. But her writing was much influenced by artists of her day, in particular her beloved sister, Vanessa Bell. In her novel To The Lighthouse Woolf vividly describes the thoughts and feelings of a young artist as she works. And she enjoyed walking in London. According to her heroine Mrs Dalloway “Really it’s better than walking in the country!” With paintings by Vanessa Bell, Walter Sickert, Spencer Gore, Robert Bevan, Malcolm Drummond and other members of the Camden Group of artists.
10.00am ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
IMPRESSIONISM IN MUSIC & ART
As the word ‘impressionism’ was first used in painting as a term of abuse, so the first recorded use of the word in connection with music – in 1887 regarding Debussy’s Printemps – was derogatory as well. However, by 1905, the term was applied frequently to musical compositions and it was Debussy himself who maintained that music was able to put impressionist’s theories into practice more fully than painting was able to do, since music could represent the play of light fluidly, where as painting could only present it statically, and therefore unnaturally. This new lecture examines some of the great works of Debussy (Preludes, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune) as well as key works by Fauré and Ravel, side by side with the world of late 19th century French art (Monet, Degas, Renoir, Manet) to determine whether or not there is a link between impressionism in music and impressionism in art.
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.
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).
Unfortunately, owing to Coronavirus, it has not yet been possible to arrange any outings or trips for 2021. When the situation regarding coach travel becomes clearer, we shall try to arrange a few outings, and would hope to manage three or four.
If it is possible to arrange something, we will let you know in good time in meetings or via Mailchimp.
IN THE MEANTIME
Kate and Rowena have arranged some "virtual" events which just demand sitting in front of your computer and watching a zoom programme. These events are free to Tring Park Arts Society members.
At the moment the following activities are planned which we know you will enjoy.
Details of how to participate will be emailed to you a couple of days in advance.
Wednesday January 27th
10.30am "FINE" ART QUIZ with Kate and Rowena
Wednesday February 24th
10:30am VIRTUAL TOUR OF BATH with expert Blue Badge Guide, Maeve Hamilton Hercod
Wednesday March 17th
10:30am VIRTUAL TOUR of the London pubs along the River Thames
Wednesday April 21st
10:30am VIRTUAL TOUR - SHAKESPEARS' LONDON
2:00pm VIRTUAL TOUR - of the Dorsodouro area of Venice with expert guide Luisella Romeo
Wednesday June t.b.c.
Will we perhaps be able to resume real visits? Let’s wait and see nearer the time!
Watch this space
At 10.15am. on Wednesday 8th September, just before our zoom lecture by the wonderful Peter Medhurst, we will hold our annual AGM. Once again we will be restricted to zoom at home but this will be an event you won't want to miss.
Your paperwork for the AGM is available now by
1st March 2018