You are here > Home > Newsletter > November 2010


November 2010


“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

The carol really reminds everyone of Christmas so it is with great pleasure that we welcome our angels – or the Keswick Hall Choir under the direction of one of our own members, Vivien Carver  – to sing for us as we enjoy our Christmas fare. There has been an excellent response from members and their guests for our festive event on Tuesday 7th December, at 6.15p.m: a great way to start the Christmas season.

Our lecturer for the evening is Shirley Smith, whose subject is the Journey of the Magi from St Matthew to the Medici.

Please remember to send your cheques to Judith Virgo by 23rd November if you wish to join us; we hope to welcome you on 7th December.

Lecture - British Funeral Sculpture and the Making of History

Our November lecture by Jo Walton was a fascinating examination of the sculpture of the 18th and 19th century funerary sculpture mainly in Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral. It looked at the work of international artists of the day who were commissioned to make memorials to their contemporary celebrities. The style ranged from the classical, which was popular in the 1700s, to the new sculptures of ‘self-made men’ such as Sir Isaac Newton, and Lord Nelson, showing the reality of the man as he was known. A lecture that should open our eyes to the memorials in our local parish churches as well as the great cathedrals.

Portrait of the Artist (Spirit of the
Dead Watching in the background)

Gauguin – Maker of Myth at the Tate Modern

Those of us that made this visit left a dark and stormy London outside the Tate Modern, and immersed ourselves in the sunshine of the tropics in the company of a slightly mad genius, Paul Gauguin. Some letters gave a fascinating insight into the artist, and the exhibition covered all the periods of his career, his extensive travels, and his development from Impressionist to something much more modern and daring in his use of colour and form. A fascinating exhibition. Our return journey was delayed by the gales, as two river crossings were closed, so Alisdair had to battle through queues of traffic. There is no report on the web as volunteers to write a piece about the day did not materialise!

Madame Matisse

Special Interest Day – Michael Howard on Paris: The Cradle of Modern Art

The Special Interest Day, which was a very enjoyable exploration of the artists working in Paris around the turn of the 20th century, is now reported on your Society’s website. Just go to this link to read a piece about Michael Howard’s wonderful talk: CLICK HERE.

If you were there it may remind you of the day, and if not, you will see what you missed! From the reaction of those present, it was much enjoyed.

PS If anyone would like to receive Michael Howard’s 17-page article on this subject, including places to visit in Paris, please email


The Lisbon trip was a great success – in spite of the inclement weather – and Philip Strachan has kindly written a note of his recollections, which you will find on our website, along with a beautiful selection of pictures of the sights enjoyed. Please CLICK HERE. Thank you, Erica Moore, for the photographs, as always of a professional standard!

New January lecture

Change of plan – our advertised lecturer, Joanne Kidd, unfortunately cannot make our January booking. Instead we are looking forward to hearing Mary Yule talk to us about “The Greatest Collectors of All Time: The Art Fund, Past, Present and Future”. Mary has a MA in 20th Century British Art and has lectured extensively for the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection among others. From 1992 to 2006 she was Assistant Director and Director of Grants at The Art Fund and during that time she was involved with countless museum acquisitions, and with major campaigns to save great treasures like Canova’s Three Graces, the Becket Casket, the Macclesfield Psalter and Botticelli’s Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child.

Botticelli’s Virgin Adoring the
Sleeping Christ Child
The Macclesfield Psalter


You’ve got Mail

In order for us to keep our records up to date, would members please let us know if there is any change in their email address so that we don’t lose touch with you – and so that you don’t miss out on news! There is a new box on the Contact Us page of our website for you to do this in easily. Rest assured that everyone who gives their email address will receive the Online Newsletter every month, together with other reminders and announcements.

Membership subs

This is to give you some warning of the fact that, in line with many other societies and charities, we will be moving to Direct Debit for the payment of annual subscriptions. Cheques may be abolished within the next few years, and with rising postal costs, this simplification will enable us to continue to hold the subscription rate at the present sum. We shall write to you in February or March with the full details for payment of your subscription by Direct Debit for the 2010/11 year.

Any comments or queries about the contents of this Newsletter, or suggestions for future items, please email