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Newsletter - February 2010


The Fine Art of Crime

After an opening overland tour through Istanbul, with sixty or so excellent pictures on screen by Erica Moore of our members’ recent visit to Istanbul, all within a smooth presentation with appropriate music sourced by Producer, Patrick Halpin, we entered the underworld of Art Theft, our February lecture.

Malcolm Kenwood, an ex-detective tracking stolen art, led us into the murky alleys of lock-ups stuffed with stolen treasures, mug shots of villainous families, pillaged country mansions, duped auction houses and two bad lads photographed from a bedroom window loading their booty into the back of a car. Almost as interesting were the motives for art theft: monetary gain, obviously; a sophisticated trading chip for effectively laundering excess cash – and a nice neologism, ‘artknapping’, translating as ‘pay the ransom or the Van Gogh gets vandalised, his ear’s in the post.’

A lively question and answer followed, a sure sign of a lecture’s success. And there was definitely a higher proportion of men in the audience than usual. Career changes in mind?

Renewals for 2010 – 2011

Envelopes were available for collection at the February meeting and contained, amongst other items, your Membership Renewal Notice for our year from this May 1st to April 30th next year. Membership numbers are vital and it is hoped that all of you will be with us for our exciting new year. Payment by 30th March latest allows us to have new membership cards ready for our meeting in April, thus saving the Society the high cost of postage.

New Programme

Just as we did last year – but then for the first time – with the Renewal Notice there is a printed sheet with brief descriptions of the forthcoming lectures and lecturers. We feel it’s an unusual organisation that asks members for subscriptions on the basis of ‘and now we’ll tell you what you’re getting for your money.’ The printed programme isn’t intended for reading front to back in one sitting, but will provide ready information as the year proceeds. Even more, please log on to our website: there we have pictures relevant to each lecture. Merely click the ‘Planned Lectures’ heading on the Home Page at our website address at the top of this Newsletter and the illustrated programme comes up.

Member Power!

Our 2010-2011 lectures are the fruits of our new Programme Committee, Liz Pierce and Naomi Milne. They have provided a fresh and wide-ranging selection of topics from across the globe, America, the Southern Seas, Italy and Bruges to Moscow. It is also good to report that we have been able to respond with at least two lecturers and one visit on subjects requested by members.

For example, after Rosemary Ransome Wallis’s November talk on Contemporary Silver, many of you asked if a visit to Goldsmiths’ Hall would be possible. Happily, through Rosemary’s good offices, we have arranged a guided tour for next November and look forward to both a full day and a full coach load of members.

April Additions

Already trailed, and now included in the envelope, are details of the Extra-Special Interest Day for April 14th when a talk on the Norwich School of painters, followed by a private viewing of such paintings, will be lead by Dr. Peter Kennedy Scott, a NADFAS expert on the subject. This is an unique opportunity to see and learn about Norwich’s world famous home-grown exponents. We anticipate heavy demand for the day and, by necessity, places are limited.

Another outing arranged for April is, again, with the help of a recent lecturer, Paula Nuttall, who last month spoke on Raphael to much acclaim from members. You probably know that the Victoria & Albert Museum has recently opened a new Medieval and Renaissance Gallery. On 22nd April, Paula will conduct us through the highlights of the new facility.

And to those not at the February meeting to collect their envelope of latest goodies – don’t panic, it’s all in the post.


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