Lectures 2018 | THE ARTS SOCIETY WEYBRIDGE (formerly Weybridge Decorative & Fine Arts Society)

Programme of Lectures
These talks take place at Whiteley Village Hall at 10.30am

Wed 10th January 2018

Denys Lasdun and the National Theatre: Architectural Masterpiece or was Prince Charles right after all?

Alan Read
Art Historian and Gallery Guide

There will be Drinks for new members after this lecture
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The architecture of the Royal National Theatre divides opinion so much that it once appeared twice in a poll of the buildings of London – in the top ten best and the top ten worst. Famously, Prince Charles once described it as a nuclear bunker. Was he right? The lecture looks at the life and work of Denys Lasdun, including other buildings he designed, but focuses on the National Theatre and pleads for an appreciation of the austere beauty of this architectural masterpiece. 

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Alan Read holds a masters and a first class honours degree in History of Art from Birkbeck College. Is a gallery guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and National Portrait Gallery, and has lectured at the NPG, Penlee House (Penzance), Plymouth City Art Gallery, Croydon Clocktower and the Bridewell Institute. He is also a London Blue Badge Guide and City of London Guide and has conducted walking tours for the Twentieth Century Society, the National Trust and team London Bridge.
Wed 14th February 2018

This is Wren - the Classical, the Baroque, and the City of London Churches

Tony Tucker
London Guide and Lecturer
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This lecture analyses Wren’s life and his career as a scientist, astronomer and architect. It features all his buildings in London, Oxford and Cambridge, before focusing on his City of London churches. In addition to photographs of most of Wren’s buildings, the lecture includes original research into the work of architects in Rome and Paris, which influenced Wren and provided much of his inspiration. 

Image: St-Lawrence-Jewry
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MA in Modern History from Oriel College, Oxford, Qualified City Guide and former Chairman of the City of London Guide Lecturers Association and Trustee of the Friends of the City Churches (FCC). Lectures to various City institutions, the FCC, U3A, and various historical associations.  Leads regular guided walks for the City of London Corporation, the Friends of the City Churches and numerous private groups. Publications include The Visitor’s Guide to the City of London Churches  (2006) and regular contributions to Cityguide magazine and the FCC Newsletter.
Wed 14th March 2018

Turbulence and Stillness: the art of Rogier van der Weyden

The Rt. Revd Christopher Herbert
Lecturer and former Bishop of St Albans
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Rogier van der Weyden was one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance. He brought to his work consummate skill, and a lively capacity to explore the boundaries of painting. He created some hauntingly lovely portraits, especially of young women, and his religious pieces are marked by profound psychological and spiritual insight. He lived in politically dangerous and exciting times; yet he was also fascinated by the stillness of monastic life. He worked in the tension between outer turbulence and inner stillness and, as a result, has left for us paintings which are breathtaking in their beauty. 

Image: Weyden - St Ivo
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Christopher Herbert has lectured at the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute, King’s College, London, Westminster Abbey, and the University of Rikkyo in Japan, and at churches and cathedrals throughout England and in Italy. Was until recently Bishop of St Albans and a member of the House of Lords. He has an MPhil and PhD in Art History from the University of Leicester. Created Visiting Professor in Christian Ethics in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, and has also been awarded two honorary doctorates and is an honorary citizen of Fano, Italy.
Wed 11th April 2018

Jewels that catch an Expert’s eye

Joanna Hardy
BBC Antiques Roadshow jewellery expert
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There are some jewels that are special, but why? It may be because of their exquisite manufacture, or even their magical story of discovery. Jewellery can be inspiring, breath taking or simply understated to grab the attention of an expert. But one thing they will all have in common is good craftsmanship. The jewels I have chosen have all passed through my hands and range from antique to contemporary, with each being as diverse as the stories that lie behind them. 
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Joanna Hardy has over 30 years experience working with jewellery beginning her career as a goldsmith before joining De Beers as a rough diamond valuer. Joanna then went to work in Antwerp as a polished diamond dealer before joining Philips the auctioneers in London. She then moved to Sotheby’s in Bond Street and for fourteen years was their senior jewellery specialist and auctioneer where she was responsible for jewellery auctions worldwide in New York, Geneva and London. 
Wed 9th May 2018

“As if by Magic”: the Secrets of Turner’s Watercolour Techniques

Nicola Moorby
Art Historian and Curator

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J.M.W. Turner was arguably the greatest practitioner in watercolour the world has ever seen and his achievements still represent the benchmark for artists working today. Yet he left frustratingly few written records of his processes and was notoriously reticent about his methods. One brave soul apparently once asked him the key to being a successful artist and it is recorded that he rather grumpily replied ‘The only secret I have is damned hard work’! This lecture examines Turner’s watercolour practice in detail, unlocking the mysteries behind his exceptional effects. In addition to showcasing the diversity and richness of his achievements in the medium, we will look at his experimental approach to techniques and some of his tools and materials. 

Image - Turner: The Thames at Weybridge
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An independent art historian specialising in British art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She studied at the University of York and Birkbeck College, London. Formerly a curator at Tate Britain she has curated a number of exhibitions and has published widely on J.M.W. Turner, including contributions to the forthcoming online catalogue of the Turner Bequest. She is also co-editor and author of How to Paint Like Turner (Tate Publishing, 2010). In addition, she has published on Walter Richard Sickert and is co-author of Tate's catalogue of works by the Camden Town Group.
Wed 13th June 2018

The Shakers of North America: Their Beliefs, Architecture and Artefacts

John Ericson
Lecturer and Academic

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In this popular talk John Ericson tells the extraordinary story of the Shakers of North America, exploring their beginnings, what they believed and how they lived their lives before examining examples of their wonderful buildings and furniture. For it is only with such an understanding of their devout faith and way of life that we can begin to appreciate their intriguing legacy.
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Formerly a lecturer at the University of Bath where he was Director of Studies in the School of Education with responsibility for the professional development of teachers. He has worked extensively overseas as an educational consultant and this has given him the opportunity to give lectures and presentations at conferences all over the world. In 2008 and again in 2011 he undertook extensive lecture tours of Australia and he has been a popular speaker on The Arts Society's circuit for a number of years.
Wed 8th August 2018

Expressionism - Emotion versus Intellect

Eveline Eaton
Lecturer and Tour Guide

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The story of Expressionism begins as a reaction against Impressionism – an idea first explored by the Post-Impressionists (Gauguin, van Gogh, Cézanne and Seurat) and then taken up by young French and German artists in the turbulent times of the early twentieth century. By means of bright colour and bold brushwork, the ‘Wild Beasts’ or ‘Fauves’ (Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck) expressed their ideas in a highly aggressive mode. The German Expressionists in Dresden (Kirchner and the ‘Brücke’ group) and in Munich (Kandinsky and the ‘Blue Riders’) also looked to the importance of African/Oceanic ‘primitivism’ and the decorative elements of painting and sculpture to produce a forcefully emotional art which nevertheless was justified by intellectual argument.

Image - Munch: The Sick Child
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BA Hons Courtauld Institute; Diploma:Study Centre for the History of Fine & Decorative Arts. Freelance lecturer in Fine Arts and tour-guide to Berlin, Dresden, Munich. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dresden Trust.
Wed 12th September 2018

The Imperial Easter Eggs of Carl Fabergé

Toby Faber
Former MD of Faber & Faber

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Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Fabergé made fifty jewelled eggs – Easter presents from Russia’s last two emperors to their wives. Since the brutal murder of the last tsar and his family in a Siberian basement, these eggs have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: both supreme examples of the jeweller’s art and the vulgar playthings of a decadent court. After going missing in the Revolution, most of the eggs re-emerged in the store-rooms of the Kremlin, where they were immediately identified as a source of much-needed foreign exchange. Their subsequent history holds up a mirror to the twentieth century and encompasses Bolsheviks and entrepreneurs, tycoons and heiresses, con-men and queens. Eggs have been sold and smuggled, stolen and forged. Now, as they return to Russia, their history – like that of Russia itself - seems to have come full circle. Then there are the eight eggs which remain missing. What prospect is there that they will ever emerge, and if they do, will anyone believe that they are genuine?
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Has written two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé's Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US, and given lectures associated with these two subjects at venues including The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Library of Congress and the Huntington Library, as well as a number of literary festivals. His career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press and the Copyright Licensing Agency.
Wed 10th October 2018

Coffee 9.30 for 10.00am

Annual General Meeting
followed by

Alla Mode: Mid-20th Century Italian Ceramics

Mark Hill
BBC Antiques Roadshow expert and author

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Stylish and colourful, Italian ceramics of the 1950s–70s reflect the many developments in ceramic design and modern art of the period. Although made in large quantities and exported across the world, until now little has been known about the companies, designers and influences behind them. Major makers from Bitossi to Fantoni to the many factories on San Marino are covered, and the identity of an important, forgotten factory is revealed.
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Studied History of Art & Architecture (BA Hons), and began his career as a porter and Junior Cataloguer at Bonhams, before moving to Sotheby's where he was a Specialist in the Collectors' Department. Became director of an internet company forming and running a ground-breaking deal with eBay Live Auctions. Was co-author of the internationally published Collectables Price Guide with Judith Miller from 2002-17. Founded his own publishing company in 2005 and has since published over 12 books on specialist subjects in 20th century design and decorative arts. A Miscellaneous expert on the Antiques Roadshow since 2007, and has co-presented three primetime factual TV series on antiques and collecting for BBC2. An auctioneer running 20th century design auctions in partnership with Dawsons Auctioneers. Has lectured across the world, including at the V&A in London, and contributed to many newspapers, magazines, radio and TV programmes. A Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars and a Freeman of the City of London.
Wed 14th November 2018

Edouard Manet & Music

Dr Lois Oliver
Curator, Broadcaster & Violinist
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Music was a constant theme in Manet’s life and art. His wife Suzanne Leenhoff was a gifted pianist, and regular musical soirées were held at the Manet family home. His pictures of musicians and their audiences range from major early canvases depicting itinerant gypsy musicians and Spanish dancers, through to paintings encompassing the full range of Parisian musical culture, from private performances to street entertainment, café concerts and the Paris Opera. Bringing together Manet’s art and the music that inspired him (including Spanish flamenco, Haydn string quartets, Wagner piano reductions, café songs, and opera highlights) this lecture immerses you in Manet’s world.

Image - Manet: Spanish Singer
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Dr Lois Oliver studied English Literature at Cambridge University, and History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, completing an MA in Venetian Renaissance Art and writing her doctoral thesis on The Image of the Artist, Paris 1815-1855. She worked at the Harvard University Art Museums before joining the curatorial team at the V&A and then the National Gallery where she co-curated the major exhibition Rebels and Martyrs: the image of the artist in the nineteenth century (2006) and a series of touring exhibitions. Currently Assistant Professor in History of Art at the University of Notre Dame in London, and a Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute, she writes audio and multimedia tours for clients including the National Gallery, National Maritime Museum, Royal Academy and Tate, and has appeared on TV programmes for the BBC and Channel 5, as well as broadcasting on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. Also a keen violinist, she plays regularly with orchestras including the Endellion Festival Orchestra.
Wed 12th December 2018

Bottoms up! A history of Wine, its Rituals and its Vessels

Andy McConnell
BBC Antiques Roadshow glass specialist

There will be Christmas Drinks and Mince Pies after the lecture
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Image: Shang Dynasty bronze ritual wine vessel
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Has dealt in antiques since adolescence, but served an apprenticeship in journalism. After working in music, film and television, he returned to writing in 2004 as the author of the acclaimed tome The Decanter, An Illustrated History of Glass From 1650. He followed this in 2006 with Miller's' 20th Century Glass.He writes regularly for journals as diverse as  The Times  and  Glass Circle News  and runs Britain's largest antique and vintage glass gallery in Rye, Sussex. He is best known as the distinctly humorous glass specialist on BBC's evergreen Antiques Roadshow and has recently completed his sixth series.
Enquiries about the Programme can be sent by email to our Programme Secretary, Stephen Hayes, at progsec@theartssocietyweybridge.org.uk. The lectures are for The Arts Society Weybridge members only.


Hall opens 10.00 am Coffee is served 10.00 – 10.20 am Lecture begins 10.30 am promptly

The Arts Society Weybridge 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.