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Programme of Events for 2010-11

January 27th
Sleeping Beauties - The Irish country house
Tom Duncan

The Georgian period is when many of the great Irish houses were created. Filled with treasures brought back from the Grand Tour, fine furniture and decorative arts, these houses played host to a now vanished world, often with eccentric lifestyles.

Lecture Report

February 24th
Petra: City of the desert
Nicole Douek BA Hons Anc Hist & Egyptology Dip Arch

Petra, from about 300 BC was the capital of the Nabatean empire, controlling a vast network of trade routes that extended to the Mediterranean, India and China. Carved in the multi-coloured rock of impregnable mountains as the capital of a now-forgotten empire, this "Rose-Red City half as old as time" is a wonder of the ancient world.

Lecture Report

March 9th
Outing: The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and his Letters. Exhibition at the Royal Academy, London.

Report and Photos

March 24th
The Black Death and its Aftermath
Imogen Corrigan BA (Hons)

The story of how the Black Death affected the survivors. It is possible to see a shift in artistic tastes following the plague years which began in the mid C14th.

Lecture Report

April 28th
The Master: Noel Coward as Writer, Actor and Painter
Frances Hughes

As a leisure activity, Noel Coward painted first in watercolour, then in oils and later gouache. He wrote over 50 plays, many short stories, some novels, hundreds of songs, and was an excellent, witty, and sometimes moving minor poet. He acted on the professional stage from the age of ten. Covering Coward's stage and film career and looking at his paintings.

Lecture Report

May 18th
Outing: Bateman's (Kipling's home) and Bodiam Castle.

Report and Photos

May 26th
Travels in Rajasthan with Rudyard Kipling
Elizabeth Merry MA BA (Hons)

Palaces and temples, monuments and forts in the Land of Kings.

Lecture Report

June 12th
Outing: Dover Castle highlighting the recently refurbished chambers of the Great Tower of Henry II.

Report and Photos

June 23rd
Skin Deep: the Beastly Art of Beauty; Reality and Ridicule
Amanda Herries MA Cantab

Beautiful in the society portraits, haggard in the merciless lampoon. The artifice pursued by 18th and 19th century 'fashion victims' was, quite literally, hair-raising and often fatal. The dream, the joke, the reality – it is all explored, with portraits, prints and some extraordinary surviving objects.

Lecture Report

July 8th
Outing: Uppark House and Chichester Cathedral.

Report and Photos

July 28th
The Cult of the South Pacific: from Cook to Gauguin
Leslie Primo BA MA

Romanticised depictions of the island of Tahiti and its people by many artists, from the time of James Cook's first encounter in 1767 to the art of Gauguin.

Lecture Report

August 20th-22nd
Weekend Visit to Glasgow:
In search of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Report and Photos

September 22nd
Banks, Burgundy and Piracy: the 15C Artists of Bruges
The Rt Rev Christopher Herbert PhD

Exploring the political, cultural, economic and religious context in which great works of art were created.

Lecture Report

September 27th
Outing: In and around St Pancras with Andrew Davies.

Report and Photos

October 19th
Outing: The newly transformed Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Report and Photos

October 27th
The Decanter: an illustrated History
Andy McConnell.

No vessel better reflects the history of glassmaking and the decorative arts than this often mighty, and sometimes humble, glass object.

Lecture Report

November 24th
Murders, Mistresses and Musketeers
Fenella Billington BA (Hons) MA

The French monarchy after King Francis I (1494-1547) lived through a turbulent period of contrasts – passion, violence, religious unrest and uprisings – set against the elegance and beauty of the chateaux of the Loire. Catherine de Medici tried to hold the House of Valois together, while Louis XIII had the support of his dashing Musketeers.

December 9th.
Christmas Party at The Parrot

January 26th
Sunflowers and Old Blue: Oscar Wilde and the House Beautiful -
Dr Anne Anderson

She considers the House Beautiful in the 1870s and 1880s from the cult of Japan to Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience which sent up Oscar Wilde and his posing.

February 23rd
Pilgrims of Babylon: the Artists of Montmartre
Douglas Skeggs MA Cantab.

No name is more evocative of Bohemian life, of high spirits, decadence and poverty, and of revolutionary art in Paris, than Montmartre.