Lectures
Lectures are held in the Methodist Church in Kingsbridge. The Wednesday evening lectures begin at 7:30pm and the Thursday morning lectures start at 10:30am with hot and cold drinks available to purchase beforehand. Lectures last for 1 - 1½ hours including a question and answer session at the end.
Harlots, Rakes and Crashing China....... Hogarth and Ceramics!
Lars Tharp       Wed 26th & Thu 27th February 2020
Hogarth brings pots, crocks and all manner of chinaware onto his stage as bitpart players in his social dramas. The lecture shows how Hogarth's images themselves became sources for the ceramic workshops of Europe and China. A unique and stimulating talk colliding material culture and moral commentary. You will look at Hogarth and ceramics with new eyes.
The Role of Colour in English Gardens
Timothy Walker       Wed 29th & Thu 30th January 2020
In 1888 Gertrude Jekyll wrote a short but seminal article in The Garden in which she urged the readers to "remember that in a garden we are painting a picture". This lecture looks at how to use similar colour principles when designing a border, but also how it can be different to a painting. It looks, too, at how work of artists such as Turner, Monet, Rothko, Jackson Pollack, and Hockney evolved in parallel with ideas about what a garden or border should look like.
Old Buildings: Fakes and Fallacies
Philip Venning       Wed 27th & Thu 28th November 2019
Historic buildings are often not what they seem, or how we confidently and wrongly believe they ought to look. As well as examining some of the popular myths about old buildings the lecture will discuss the tricky philosophical issues of authenticity, and the point at which a genuine historic building is so renewed that it effectively becomes a replica. The AGM will be held before the Thursday morning lecture.
Carpets and public art from Central Asia 'A Carpet Ride to Khiva'
Chris Alexander       Wed 30th & Thu 31st October 2019
This is a narrative approach to the revival of 15th century carpet designs from illuminated manuscripts in Khiva. The lecture will examine the traditional role of carpet weaving and embroidery in the social lives of Central Asian women and how social and political influences led to the decline of textile production.
Art and Advertising 'Mad Men and the Artists - how the advertising industry has exploited fine art'
Tony Rawlins      Wed 25th & Thu 26th September 2019
Fine art has provided advertisers and their agencies with a great deal of material to use in their creative campaigns. Tony 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.
Pleasure and Sensation in 18th Century France
Andrew Spira      Wed 26th & Thu 27th June 2019
Inn Signia: Art Work and stories behind Peculiar Pub Names
John Ericson      Wed 29th & Thu 30th May 2019
Pubs and their signs are a fundamental part of our history and cultural heritage. John shows some of the interesting, distinctive signs then explores the stories behind the origin of some of their peculiar names. 'The Bucket of Blood', the 'Cow and Snuffers'.
Zaha Hadid - Architectural Superstar
Colin Davis      Wed 24th & Thu 25th April 2019
Stories in Stained Glass
Susie Harries      Wed 27th & Thu 28th March 2019
The Architecture of the British Raj is remarkable, "Let's Celebrate it"
Anthony Peers      Wed 27th & Thu 28th February 2019
Hidden Canvases - Street Art and the City
Doug Gillen      Wed 30th & Thu 31st January 2019
Thomas Heatherwick: "The Leonardo da Vinci of our Times"
Anthea Streeter      Wed 28th & Thu 29th November 2018
The Female Faces of Victorian Art: Physiognomy and the Fallen Woman
Janet Couloute      Wed 24th & Thu 25th October 2018
The Queen of Sheba
Louise Schofield      Wed 26th & Thu 27th September 2018
The Elgin Marbles
Steve Kershaw      Wed 27th & Thu 28th June 2018
It is now around 200 years since the purchase of the so-called 'Elgin Marbles' from Lord Elgin, by the British Parliament. This lecture, beautifully illustrated with specifically taken slides and video, will explore the aesthetics, the back-story, and the heated debates surrounding these fascinating and controversial works of ancient Greek art.
The Aztecs and their Civilisation
Chloe Sayer      Wed 30th & Thu 31st May 2018
The Aztecs (known also as the Mexica) flourished in central Mexico between 1325 and 1521. The Aztecs have often been described as warlike and bloodthirsty, yet their creative achievements were breathtaking.
Foreigners in London 1520-1677
Leslie Primo      Wed 25th & Thu 26th April 2018
Why were foreign painters preferred by the aristocracy in London to native-born English painters, why did foreigners come in the first place, what was their motivation, and what was the impact of foreigners in London on English art?
The Sistine Chapel Cracked
Daniel Evans      Wed 28th & Thu 29th March 2018
This lecture will look at the decoration of the ceiling by Michelangelo and concentrates on some of more unusual inclusions in the Old Testament scheme.
The Best Kept Secret in the City of London - The Guildhall Art Gallery
Diana Wright      Wed 21st & Thu 22nd February 2018
Situated next door to the ancient Guildhall, it straddles the Roman amphitheatre, which was actually discovered when the Gallery's foundations were being dug in the 1980s. The Gallery has responsibility for the City's collection of some 4,000 paintings and sculptures.
Humphry Repton on The Tamar
Kier Davidson      Wed 24th & Thu 25th January 2018
In 1792, Humphry Repton (1752-1818) was first invited down to Cornwall to advise on landscape improvements at Antony House, across the Tamar estuary from Plymouth plus Port Eliot and Catchfrench Manor, and a few years later Pentillie Castle and Endsleigh House.
New Cumberland Gallery
Linda Collins      Wed 29th & Thu 30th November 2017
This new Royal Gallery houses a changing display of artworks from the Royal Collection which continues the Palace's long history as a destination for the work of renowned artists- masterpieces such as Holbein, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Gainsborough.
The History of the Harp
Sarah Deere Jones      Wed 25th & Thu 26th October 2017
Performing on her own reproduction and antique instruments, Sarah will demonstrate the development and evolving sound and repertoire of the harp throughout its history.
How pleasant to know Edward Lear
Tim Stimson      Wed 27th & Thu 28th September 2017
"A man of original and versatile genius": ornithologist, diarist, musician, traveller- this warm and delightful human-being expressed his simple philosophy through timeless humour. An illustrated lecture focussing on his biography with quotations from his writings throughout.
The Collections of Napoleon and Josephine at the Chateau de Malmaison
Carole Petipher      Wed 28th & Thu 29th June 2017
How was Napoleon such an excellent self promoter? What was it that drove him? What on the other hand drove his wife? These questions can be answered by exploring the collections at the Chateau de Malmaison.
The 'New' Berlin - Art and Architecture
Eveline Eaton      Wed 24th & Thu 25th May 2017
After unification of East and West in 1989, the formerly battered and divided city has miraculously risen like a 'phoenix from the ashes' to become once again the German capital and a veritable cultural treasure-trove.
Gone in a flash! A history of firework displays from the Renaissance
Timothy Wilcox      Wed 26th & Thu 27th April 2017
The fireworks that mark great events such as the opening of the Olympics, or even the start of a New Year make an enormous impact. This lecture takes an exhilarating look at one art form that is never likely to gather dust in a museum.
Masaccio's The Trinity - a deconstruction of a painting
Julie Hadley      Wed 29th & Thu 30th March 2017
This lecture will look at Masaccio's painting of 'The Trinity' and in the process will discuss the beginning of the Renaissance in Florence, the technique of fresco painting and all the 'others' that contributed to Masaccio's work, from patron to friends.
The Conservation and Restoration of Paintings
Sarah Cove      Wed 22nd & Thu 23rd February 2017
This includes a discussion of the nature of oil painting materials, from the Middle Ages to the present day, and common problems associated with the ageing and deterioration of, and damage to, easel paintings. Hints and advice on the general care of paintings in homes is given in liberal doses throughout!
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
John Cooper      Wed 25th & Thu 26th January 2017
Tall hat, cigar, muddy trousers, massive chains: it's a famous and powerful photograph, truly iconic. How revelatory is Robert Howlett's photograph of Brunel's life, work and personality?
Undressing Antiques
Mark Hill      Wed 23rd & Thu 24th November 2016
A persuasive introduction to buying antiques and integrating and using them in today's homes. Mark is an expert on the BBC Antiques Roadshow.
Silver and Social Customs
Ian Pickford      Wed 26th & Thu 27th October 2016
In order to fully appreciate any pieces, it is essential to look at them in the context of the social customs and ways of life of the periods in which they were made. Only then can the reasons for such things as silver chamber pots, elaborate dressing table sets and lids on cups, be properly understood.
Fine Art Forgery, Craftsmanship or Conjuring trick?
David Phillips      Wed 28th & Thu 29th September 2016
Fake scientific and documentary evidence can play as big a role in forgery scandals as clever fabrication of the artwork itself.
The City of London & Its Livery Companies
Yasha Beresiner      Wed 29th & Thu 30th June 2016
The City of London is a unique entity. As you walk the streets of the City you tread on centuries of history in layers under your feet.
Linley, the Continuing Tradition of English Cabinet Making
Nicholas Merchant      Wed 25th & Thu 26th May 2016
Prepared in conjunction with David Linley, his work, style and inspiration are examined in relation to the history of cabinet-making in Britain.
But is it Art?
Lynne Gibson      Wed 27th & Thu 28th April 2016
If this question gives you food for thought, you have plenty in common with artists, thinkers and educators - not just in our present time but throughout Western Art History
Sleeping Beauties: The Irish Country Houses
Tom Duncan      Wed 30th & Thu 31st March 2016
Ireland has a great wealth of country houses dating from the Medieval to the Victorian periods. The lecture will recreate these houses and their lifestyles in an illustrated and entertaining recreation of Ireland's past.
Newlyn and Lamorna
Catharine Wallace      Wed 24th & Thu 25th February 2016
A look at art in Cornwall from the late 19th Century to the start of the Second World War created in and around the village of Newlyn in West Penwith.
The Technology of Ancient Egypt
Peter Brooke      Wed 27th & Thu 28th January 2016
How were Obelisks, Pyramids and Temples created four thousand years ago - a thousand years before iron tools were invented!
The Golden Age of British Glass
Charles Hajdamach      Wed 25th & Thu 26th November 2015
In the 19th Century, British glassmakers created a kaleidoscope of shapes, colours and decorative techniques being one of the greatest periods in British glassmaking.
Cambodia: The Secret Art of Angkor and Living Art
Denise Heywood      Wed 28th & Thu 29th October 2015
An exploration of the sacred art of the 12th century complex of Angkor, with special reference to mystical Angkor Wat, the biggest religious monument in the world, a recreation of the Hindu cosmos on earth, covered in exquisite carvings
The SS Great Britain
Ian Caskie      Wed 23rd & Thu 24th September 2015
This is the remarkable story of the different phases of the ship's working life. It also describes her incredible salvage, her restoration, preservation and 're-launch' as a multi-award winning museum of international renown.
Turner in Devon
Sam Smiles      Wed 24th & Thu 25th June 2015
J.M.W. Turner is probably the greatest painter Britain has ever produced. Both profoundly original and astonishingly prolific, he helped transform landscape painting into an expressive art form of enormous range and power.
History of the Medici: Bankrolling the Renaissance
Douglas Skeggs      Wed 27th & Thu 28th May 2015
This lecture looks into the turbulent history of this extraordinary family. The triumphs, tragedies, intrigues, plots, assassination attempts and years of exile. Their perpetual desire to glorify the family name in works of art resulted in some of the greatest achievements of the Italian Renaissance.
What did the Egyptians ever do for Bolton?
Jacqueline Hyman      Wed 29th & Thu 30th April 2015
A detailed insight into the skill of the Egyptian textile weavers and embroiderers from the Pharaonic periods through to the 10th century AD, with detailed colourful images of clothing, furnishing fabrics through to mummified animals, all with a story to tell.
A Personal Heaven: The Paintings of Stanley Spencer
Valerie Woodgate      Wed 25th & Thu 26th March 2015
This lecture will examine the eccentric and visionary world of one of the most creative and imaginative British painters of the 20th Century.
Raleigh and the Gilberts of Compton and Greenway
John Risdon      Wed 25th & Thu 26th February 2015
The extraordinary story of adventure and involvement of two families linked to the beginnings of Empire and service to their Queen.
The Silk Road and Sea: China's Windows on the World
Anne Haworth      Wed 28th & Thu 29th January 2015
Chinese Emperors and philosophers traditionally regarded their country as 'The Middle Kingdom', situated at the centre of the world. As they cultivated their minds and spirits, they faced inwards. In contrast, merchants in China's border regions faced outwards.
Life and Times of the Sundial: A Perspective on Civilisation's most Enduring Timekeeper
Kevin Karney      Wed 26th & Thu 27th November 2014
The history of the sundial outstrips that of the clock by at least two thousand years. The lecture examines how time has been told down the ages from the perspective of both the Sundial and its competitors. .
Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion: The History of Magic through Art and Pictures
Bertie Pearce      Wed 29th & Thu 30th October 2014
"...in which it is the very trickery that pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein." Seneca (3BC-65AD)
The Art of Liberty: Branding a lifestyle
Ann Buruma      Wed 24th & Thu 25th September 2014
Arthur Lasenby Liberty built up his business during the Aesthetic craze. He reinvented his store on Regent Street to capture the new art market of the early 1900s, perhaps to become the first lifestyle shop.
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The Drama behind the Taj Mahal: the Life and Times of the Indian Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Oliver Everett      Wed 25th & Thu 26th June 2014
Tyntesfield: From Guano to High Gothic: the Gibbs family and their Great House
Pamela Halford      Wed 28th & Thu 29th May 2014
Oxford: An Architectural Miscellany
Christopher Rogers      Wed 23rd & Thu 24th April 2014
The Influence of Japanese Print on Western Painting
Scott Anderson      Wed 26th & Thu 27th March 2014
The Bayeux Tapestry: An Embroidered Tale
Mark Cottle      Wed 26th & Thu 27th February 2014
Faces and Fortunes: British Portraiture through the Ages
Justine Hopkins      Wed 29th & Thu 30th January 2014
Artists go to War: The story of Britain's Frontline Artists
Paul Harris      Wed 27th & Thu 28th November 2013
Please note that this years AGM will be held before the Thursday lecture on 28/11/2013, so if you are a member please arrive for a 10am start.
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The Jewish East End of London
Yasha Berisner      Wed 30th & Thu 31st October 2013
A Tour of Madrid: History and Art
Jennifer Morgan      Wed 25th & Thu 26th September 2013
Clough Williams-Ellis: Architect Errant, Creator of Portmerion
Denis Moriarty      Wed 26th & Thu 27th June 2013
This lecture, set in a historical and biographical context, seeks to evaluate his life and the significance of his achievement
The Bristol School of Art 1800-1840
Francis Greenacre      Wed 22nd & Thu 23rd May 2013
Early nineteenth century Bristol enjoyed artists as coherent and as important to the history of British art as the better-known Norwich School
From Riches to Rags: The Huguenot Silk Weavers of Spitalfields
Sue Jackson      Wed 24th & Thu 25th April 2013
Welcomed at first with open arms and bringing luxury skills, the Huguenots' fortunes fluctuated wildly
An Ideal Partnership:Lutyens and Jekyll
James Bolton      Wed 27th & Thu 28th March 2013
A house by Lutyens with a garden by Jekyll became an Edwardian ideal
Cartier: Jeweller of Genius
Judy Rudoe      Wed 27th & Thu 28th February 2013
Reveals not only the genius behind Cartier's luxurious jewels but also the firm's celebrity clientele
Splendours of Ottoman Turkey
Sue Rollin      Wed 23rd & Thu 24th January 2013
Bursa, Edirne and Istanbul contain a wealth of magnificent Ottoman art and heritage of great empire which lasted over 500 years
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Cats of the British Museum
Delia Pemberton      Wed 28th & Thu 29th November 2012
Our planned lecture: "The Art of Liberty" was changed at the last minute as flooding made it too difficult for the lecturer to travel to Kingsbridge. Fortunately Delia Pemberton was able to step in with a lecture entitled "Cats of the British Museum"
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The Shakers of North America: Their Beliefs, Architecture & Artefacts
John Ericson      Wed 24th & Thu 25th October 2012
The extraordinary story of the Shakers, exploring their beginnings, what they believed in and how they lived their lives
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The Second Elizabethan Age: British Art since 1952
Frank Woodgate      Wed 26th & Thu 27th September 2012
A great richness and variety can be seen in the work of post-war British artists including, Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the younger generation; Gormley, Hirst and Emin
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Bhutan - the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon
Zara Fleming      Wed 27th & Thu 28th June 2012
A general introduction to the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, wedged between the vast territories of Tibet (now part of China) to the north and India to the south. Bhutan is known in local language as Druk Yul or land of the Thunder Dragon, a reference to the Drukpa tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism that permeates every aspect of Bhutanese life. This lecture explores the history, art and culture of this landlocked country, which for centuries has preserved it's traditional Buddhist values. Over the last few decades, the country has experienced many changes; such as the introduction of roads, television and tourism. Will Bhutan be able to maintain the fine balance between tradition and modernity, without diminishing its very unique culture.
The Gardener and The Greenhouse
Edward E. Saunders      Wed 23rd & Thu 24th May 2012
The extraordinary Life of Sir Joseph Paxton. Edward Saunders is a graduate of Rhodes University, South Africa and Oxford and also holds a Diploma in Fine and Decorative Arts. Born in Natal he has lived and worked in the United Kingdom for the past 40 years, lecturing world-wide, frequently on Swan Hellenic cruises and annually at the University of Cape Town.
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The Gilded Stage: A Social and Cultural History of Opera
Daniel Snowman      Wed 25th & Thu 26th April 2012
A richly illustrated history of an art form that incorporates all the others. From the birth of opera in late Renaissance Italy we move to Louis XIV's Versailles, Handel's London, Mozart's Vienna, Verdi's Italy and Wagner's Germany, Gilded Age America and the worldwide spread of opera in the 20th century.
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The Destruction of the Monasteries: the Greatest Act of Artistic Vandalism in English History;
Mr Mark Corby      Wed 28th & Thu 29th March 2012
In 1536 England possessed an architectural heritage of nearly 850 abbeys, priories, friaries and nunneries. A contemporary described them as the "beauties of our land." By the Spring of 1540 all had been swept away in an orgy of destruction unparalleled in English History. This lecture will attempt to recall and evaluate what was lost in terms of architecture and religious art during this cataclysmic event. Few of the lost treasures will ever be recovered. Mark Corby is a freelance lecturer in history and architecture and occasional lecturer at the Institute of Architecture, University of London.
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The Development of the English Manor House, including West Country examples
Dr David Bostwick      Wed 22nd & Thu 23rd February 2012
David is an Art Historian, a former Keeper of the Social History Collections at Sheffield City Museum and a specialist adviser on decorative plasterwork, woodwork and furnitiure of the 15th and 17th centuries.
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Britain at War 1939 - 1945 as seen through artists eyes
Dr Anthony Kelly      Wed 25th & Thu 26th January 2012
Produced by the nation's finest painters and graphic designers, Britain's wartime art offers many outstanding images of enduring artistic quality. In addition to demonstrating mastery of creative techniques and approaches, these images constitute a fascinating and inspiring record of British Wartime experiences and achievements. Some controversial works are also examined. Dr Kelly has worked as a University Lecturer in French and as an Adult Lecturer in Art History. As a former reserve officer with Commando Forces he combines a practical knowledge of military topics with his artistic interests.
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Kings and Queens of Clubs, the History of the Royal and Ancient Game of Golf
Robert Gowland      Wed 23rd & Thu 24th November 2011
In today's lecture the Royal element is covered from James IV of Scotland, Queen Katherine of Aragon and Mary Queen of Scots through to the present day Duke of York. Early references to golf-like games from 1120 and 1350 are detailed; the Continental stick and ball games brought back from the Crusades are discussed, through to the late 17th Century. The golden age of golf in the 19th Century is covered with particular reference to Ladies golf, and the emergence of professional golf later in the century.
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Leonardo da Vinci at the Court of Milan
Shirley Smith      Wed 26th & Thu 27th October 2011
(in conjunction with a new exhibition at The National Gallery) As a background to the exhibition, this lecture will study his painting of the Last Supper, the Virgin of the Rocks and his stunning portraits of Ludovico Sforza's family, mistresses and court, and how they pushed the boundaries of art to a new level.
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John Opie "The Cornish Wonder"
Viv Hendra      Wed 28th & Thu 29th September 2011
The greatest of the Cornish Artists (16 May 1761 - 9 April 1807) The carpenter's boy touched by genius, who was buried next to Reynolds in St Paul's Cathedral. Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy, his legacy of paintings can be found across the world. He is in the Tate, the National Portrait Galley and the Royal Collection. Viv Hendra tells a story which is improbable, extraordinary, poignant and always funny.
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