SPITHEAD ARTS

Arts Appreciation Society

Past Lectures

Below see below a sample of previous lectures.
 

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH: HIS MUSIC AND HIS LIFE (FEBRUARY 2022)

Stacks Image 1578
Peter Medhurst's work as singer, pianist and lecturer-recitalist has taken him all over the world, and in the last few years he has toured New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, and made frequent tours in Europe. He has also presented events at the Barbican, St John's Smith Square, and the Royal Festival Hall on various musical subjects including The Beethoven String Quartets, Mozart Operas, Vermeer's Music Lesson, and 18th Century Venetian Art and Music. He has directed presentations at the Wallace Collection, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, linking the visual arts with the world of 17th & 18th century music making. He has regularly appeared on radio programmes and has made various recordings. He has also lead tours abroad for small groups of art and music connoisseurs.

Lecture
Johann Sebastian Bach: His music and his life
(1685 – 1750)
Music lovers generally regard JS Bach as the greatest of early 18th century composers. In fact, he is so important in the history of music that we close down the Baroque period with his death in 1750. This lecture goes beneath the surface of Bach's music to decode some of his musical symbolism, to reveal some of his working methods and to highlight some of his aesthetic goals.

Stacks Image 1580

OCEAN LINERS 1800 - 1950: SHIPS THAT CHANGED OUR LIVES (OCTOBER 2022)

Stacks Image 1127
Dr James Taylor studied at the Universities of St Andrews and Manchester. He is a former curator of paintings, drawings and prints, and co-ordinator of various exhibitions and galleries, at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Also lecturer and ship's historian on board cruise ships. His many publications include illustrated histories of Marine Painting and yachting art.

Lecture
Ocean liners 1800 -1950
The vision and genius of Isambard Kingdom Brunel underpins this global story of hopes and dreams, disasters and triumphs. A wide range of ships are featured including Great Britain and Great Western, Lusitania and Mauretania, Olympic and Titanic and, arguably Britain's most popular liner, the Queen Mary, brought to life through a diverse range of artworks, including some striking Art Deco Posters.
Stacks Image 1129

ANTIQUES AND THEIR VALUE (NOVEMBER 2022)

Stacks Image 1531
Peter Raw joined the antiques world in 1960 when he left school. He qualified in 1965 and worked for 25 years in Fleet and 25 years in Winchester auctioneering and valuing. He was a member of the BBC Antiques Road Show between 1985 and 1990. He has given numerous talks on antiques to a great variety of organisations. In his lecture he will look at “Antiques and their Value”.


Lecture
‘Antiques and their Value’

JAMES ABBOTT MCNEIL WHISTLER "THE GENTLE ART OF MAKING ENEMIES"(JANUARY 2023)

Stacks Image 1549
Douglas Skeggs read Fine Art at Magdalene College Cambridge and has been a lecturer on paintings since 1980. In that time he has given many lectures to universities, colleges and art societies in Britain and Europe. He has written and presented various TV documentaries, notably the Omnibus programme on ‘Whistler’ and the exhibition video on ‘William Morris’. Three one-man exhibitions of his paintings have been held in England and Switzerland. He has published five novels, including his popular book on Monet, ‘River of Light’.


Lecture

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”

Self assured, affected and irreverent, the owner of a razor sharp wit, Whistler scandalized London society during the 1870s. American by birth, he trained as an artist in Paris where his bohemian lifestyle made him one of the personalities of the city. Annoyed by the criticisms of his work at the Salon des Refuses he moved to London only to find the English even more opposed to his ideas. The lecture explores the paradox of this man whose flamboyant and eccentric ways made him both admired and detested in equal measure and yet whose quiet, meditative paintings ultimately assured him a place alongside Oscar Wilde as one of the high priests of the Aesthetic Movement.
Stacks Image 1551

DISCOVERING MACDONALD GILL (1884-1947): ARCHITECT, ARTIST AND MAPMAKER (FEBRUARY 2023)

Stacks Image 1666
Caroline Walker began research into her great-uncle in 2006. Since then, she has co-curated several MacDonald Gill exhibitions around the country, contributed articles to publications including Country Life and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and set up a dedicated website. An accredited lecturer for The Arts Society since 2016, she has also given talks for organisations such as the National Archives, the Art Workers' Guild, Christie's and the National Trust. Her acclaimed biography MacDonald Gill: Charting a Life was published in June 2020.

Lecture
Discovering MacDonald Gill (1884 – 1947): Architect, Artist and Mapmaker
MacDonald 'Max' Gill, younger brother of the sculptor Eric Gill, was an architect, letterer, and graphic artist of the first half of the twentieth century. He was famed for his pictorial map posters for the London Underground and painted map panels for landmark buildings such as Lindisfarne Castle and the Palace of Westminster. His architectural legacy lives on in the arts and crafts cottages he designed in rural Sussex and Dorset while the alphabet and badges he created for the standard military headstone are well-known. This talk by Max Gill's great-niece gives fascinating insights into the life and work of this remarkable but little-known artist.
Stacks Image 1668
Stacks Image 1670

RESCUING THE MOSIACS OF ZEUGMA FROM THE FLOOD WATERS OF THE EUPHRATES (MARCH 2023)

Stacks Image 1681
Louise Schofield is an archaeologist who was Curator of Greek Bronze Age and Geometric Antiquities at the British Museum from 1987-2000. Her book, The Mycenaeans, was co-published by the Getty Museum and the British Museum in 2007. She now writes, lectures and runs international archaeological projects - previously in south-eastern Turkey, Greece and Albania and currently in Ethiopia. And rather wonderfully she has just been appointed Visiting Professor of Archaeology at the American University of Rome.

Lecture
Rescuing the mosaics of Zeugma from the flood waters of the Euphrates
Louise Schofield was instrumental in setting up the multinational rescue excavations at the Roman city of Zeugma, on the Euphrates, before it was flooded for the Birecik dam. In her lecturer she’ll talk about these magnificent ruins of ancient Roman villas with superb mosaics of the ancient city of Zeugma which have lain below pistachio groves in southeast Turkey for nearly 2000 years. Once it was on the Silk Road between Antioch and China, with a quay on the River Euphrates and an affluent population of 80,000. Now the race is on to preserve Zeugma from the rising waters of a new dam build for irrigation and energy production.
Stacks Image 1683

FRIDA KAHLO AND DIEGO RIVERA: THE GOLDEN AGE OF MEXICAN PAINTING (APRIL 2023)

Stacks Image 1688
Chloë Sayer (Author, Researcher, Lecturer) is a freelance specialist in the art and culture of Latin America. She leads cultural tours to Mexico, and has lectured for galleries, museums and cultural institutions in Australia, Canada, Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and Mexico. She is a prolific author and has written many books on Mexico, its culture and history.
Chloë has made ethnographic collections and carried out fieldwork in Mexico and Belize for the British Museum. She has curated various exhibitions of Mexican folk art, and has also worked on a number of television documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. She is also a Research Associate in the Department for World Cultures at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
In 2016 the Mexican Government awarded her the prestigious Ohtli medal to thank her for her long-standing commitment to Mexican culture.

Lecture

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: The Golden Age of Mexican Painting

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957) have iconic status in Mexico. They were married in 1929.The Mexican Revolution of 1910 swept away the old régime and banished European influence in the arts. Kahlo and Rivera, in their different ways, helped to shape the cultural identity of twentieth-century Mexico. The Mexican mural movement, born during the 1920s, was destined to produce some of the greatest public art of the last century.
Diego Rivera’s panoramic images adorn the walls of public buildings, combining social criticism with a faith in human progress.
Frida Kahlo was arguably Mexico’s most original painter. She made herself the principal theme of her art. Her paintings reflect her experiences, dreams, hopes and fears.
Stacks Image 1690
Stacks Image 1692

THE DREGS OF THE PEOPLE REMAIN: BLACK DEATH AND ITS AFTERMATH (MAY 2023)

Stacks Image 1713
Imogen Corrigan was in the army for nearly 20 years and retired in the rank of major. She then gained a degree in Anglo-Saxon and Medieval History, followed by an MPhil from the University of Birmingham.
She has been lecturing and running study tours on Anglo-Saxon and Medieval history for some years and uses art – usually church art – as the evidence in her research as much as possible. She lectures for travel tours and on board small ships for Noble Caledonia, as well as for The Arts Society, U3A, Kent Federation of History and East Kent National Trust. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the British Commission for Military History. She was recently given the Freedom of the City of London. In 2022 Imogen was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Lecture
The Dregs of the People Remain: Black Death and its Aftermath
It is possible to see a shift in artistic tastes following the plague years which began in the mid C14th. This is understandable considering we now know that certainly 50% and perhaps 60% of the population of Europe and beyond perished in the first wave and that the disease recurred over the next 130 years.
There is a distinct increase in interest in the macabre, but also in explorations of what will happen in the next life; some of it surprisingly optimistic and amusing. We see more interest in ex-pagan images and specific demands for spiritual protection and so what might be seen as a dust-to-dust mentality also becomes one of no tragedy, no triumph.
Stacks Image 1715
Stacks Image 1717

THE PAINTERS OF THE CIRQUE MEDRANO (JUNE 2023)

Stacks Image 1751
Paul James Chapman is an Art Historian and a National Gallery (NG) trained guide with many years of experience working in education. As a freelance Paul delivers courses and lectures for a wide range of educational organisations and is a fully accredited Arts Society Lecturer. Paul has also given talks and tours for art associations/societies and is a visiting lecturer at the Art History and Politics departments at Marlborough College and Summer School. Paul has a long-standing commitment, in conjunction with the NG, as a tour guide at the Longford Castle art collection.

Lecture

The Painters of the Cirque Medrano
This lecture looks at the legendary Paris circus, from its beginning in 1875 until its closure in 1963. It was integral to Paris life and culture, attracting writers, painters and poets. Many artists, including Renoir, Lautrec, Degas and Picasso were inspired by, and captured, the magic of the circus. This is an intriguing journey of the Cirque Medrano’s history seen through the eyes of the Montmartre artists.
Stacks Image 1753
Stacks Image 1755

FROM BRONZES TO BANKSY - AN ARMCHAIR TOUR OF PUBLIC ART AND STREET ART IN LONDON (JULY 2023)

Stacks Image 1793
Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and leads regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Since 2012 he has led a popular weekly independent art lecture group in his hometown of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society, and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars, one of the City Livery Companies.


Lecture

From Bronzes to Banksy – an armchair tour of public art and street art in London
This is a talk about the remarkable range of art outside in the streets of London, discovering some of the most interesting works from across the centuries. They range from huge and expensive commissions to unofficial graffiti, which are sometimes audacious and often playful, but they all have a place in our society. The talk looks at why art is there, how it has developed over the years and discovers many hidden gems. The tour includes video clips recorded on location to give the talk a degree of reality.
Stacks Image 1795
Stacks Image 1788

DAVID NASH: ONE MAN AND HIS WOOD (SEPTEMBER 2023)

Stacks Image 1806
Rosalind Whyte is a History graduate with a Masters in Art History from Goldsmiths College. She is a guide and lecturer at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the Royal Academy. She is also a member of the Greenwich Tour Guides’ Association and an accredited Arts Society lecturer and leads Art Appreciation holidays to various locations.

Lecture

David Nash : One Man and his Wood David Nash is a contemporary artist, working mainly in wood. His large wood sculptures are sometimes carved or burned to produce blackening, his tools include chainsaws, axes, fire blowtorch, and yet his work shows an extraordinary knowledge of, and sensitivity to, the wood that he works with. This lecture provides an overview of his career, including some of his most famous works, such as Wooden Boulder and Ash Dome.
Stacks Image 1808
Stacks Image 1801

THE NOCTURNE IN 19TH CENTURY ART AND MUSIC (OCTOBER 2023)

Stacks Image 1879
Peter Medhurst, singer, pianist and lecturer-recitalist, travels the world as musician and scholar, giving recitals and delivering illustrated lectures on music and the arts. He studied singing and early keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He has regularly appeared on radio programmes and has made various recordings. He has also led tours abroad for small groups of art and music connoisseurs

Lecture

The Nocturne in 19th Century Art and Music
In 1859 when Franz Liszt edited the Nocturnes of the Irish composer John Field, he said in his preface ‘to him we may trace the origin of pieces designed to portray subjective and profound emotion.’  Once Field had coined the term ‘nocturne’ in 1812, other composers such as Chopin, Mendelssohn, Fauré and Debussy followed suit and contributed to an increasing repertoire of atmospheric and meditative night pieces.  However, from the early 1870s, the term ‘nocturne’ was used in the titles of paintings by the American painter, James Whistler. In addition to exploring the history of the musical nocturne, the lecture explores its relationship with the world of art.
Stacks Image 1881

INN SIGNIA: THE ARTWORK AND STORIES BEHIND PECULIAR PUB NAMES (NOVEMBER 2023)

Stacks Image 1899
John Ericson was 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 has lectured all over the world. Over the last decade he has been a popular speaker on the Arts Society circuit in the UK and Europe as well as societies in Australia and New Zealand. He lectures on an eclectic range of topics that are derived from his diverse interests and enthusiasms such as Pub Signs, Children’s Book Illustrations and The Shakers of North America.

Lecture

Inn Signia: The artwork and stories behind peculiar pub names
Pubs and their signs are a fundamental part of our history and cultural heritage. In this colourful and entertaining lecture John shows some of the most interesting and distinctive signs before exploring the fascinating stories behind the origin of some of their peculiar names. Who could fail to be intrigued by ‘The Bucket of Blood’, the ‘Cow and Snuffers’ or even the ‘Eager Poet’ – and who on earth was ‘Blind Jack’?
Stacks Image 1901
Stacks Image 1903

THE DANCING FAUN (JANUARY 2024)

Stacks Image 1954
Bertie Pearce has a BA (Hons) in Drama from Manchester University, and a Diplôme International from the École Internationale du Théatre, Jacques Lecoq. A member of the Inner Magic Circle, with Gold Star. Past experience includes lecturing and performing on cruise ships, and to U3A, historical societies, festivals, schools and colleges. In addition, he has toured the world with a magic cabaret show and a one man show entitled All Aboard. He has also written articles for newspapers and magazines on entertainment and theatre.

Lecture

The Dancing Faun
In this lecture Bertie recounts the extraordinary tale of how a small bronze statue, which had sat in his grandfather’s garden for 40 years, was discovered as a masterpiece and ended up in the Getty Museum, California. Adriaen De Vries (c.1556-1626) was a Northern Mannerist sculptor born in the Netherlands. A technical virtuoso, he created spectacular bronzes for the most discerning patrons of his time, including the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II of Prague. He excelled in refined modelling and bronze casting and in the manipulation of patina and became the most famous European sculptor of his generation.
Stacks Image 1949

© 2023 SPITHEAD ARTS | Arts Appreciation Society | email us | Privacy Statement | Constitution