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Newsletter - October 2011


Art and the English Bible

In this our October lecture, in the year of the 400th anniversary of the English Bible, we were treated to an exploration of perhaps the most important piece of work published in this country. Translations from the original text date back to St Jerome, who translated the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament into Latin. Centuries later the great Tyndale translation into English was made during the reign of Henry VIII; in the reign of King James, the task was to make a good translation better. As a literary text the English Bible has had a huge impact on our language and literature and all through its evolution it has attracted illustrations, from the earliest wonderful illuminated letters, to the later Bibles more fully illustrated by engravings. Eventually, Biblical stories were portrayed by painters, where the symbolism had to be read in conjunction with the text. Michael Wheeler guided us on this progress with a selection of slides from every period of this fascinating story.

The King James Bible Holman Hunt, The Light of the World


Annual General Meeting

The AGM, which preceded our lecture in October, gave members the opportunity to welcome our new Chairman, Liz Pierce, together with two new Committee members. Geoffrey Westwell is taking on the role of Hon. Treasurer, and Naomi Milne, who has worked assisting in programme selection, steps up to become Programme Secretary. Monique Bourns is now our Vice Chairman. Our retiring Chairman, Judith Virgo, was warmly thanked for all her work during the past year.

One More Cup of Coffee

Do you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee after the lecture, and a chat with your friends? We desperately need more volunteers to give the two or three loyal coffee servers some support and a break from their duties; the more volunteers we have, the less often your turn will come round! Please volunteer to do the occasional coffee duty by emailing Hilary Payne on

Knole House

The visit to Knole House, in Kent on Thursday 22nd September 2011 went well, by all accounts, but there is no report of the day from any of the members on the trip, so apologies!

Italy – Renaissance Cities and Lake Garda

We look forward to hearing about this visit in due course. Watch this space!

What’s On Update

Here is a selection of new exhibitions, both local and in London, which may be of interest to members. All these have their own websites to browse.

Norwich Castle
Family Matters
Until 8 January 2012
This major touring exhibition looks at how artists have depicted families and family life from the sixteenth century to the present day.

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence
Until 15 January 2012
Explore the intimate beauty of Vermeer's exquisite scenes of Dutch 17th-century women in their homes in the only showing of this stunning exhibition. At its heart is Vermeer’s extraordinary painting The Lacemaker (c.1669–70) – one of the Musée du Louvre’s most famous works ­– rarely seen outside Paris and now on loan to the UK for the first time.

The Courtauld Gallery
The Spanish Line: Drawings from Ribera to Picasso
Until 15 January 2012

The National Gallery
Art for the Nation: Sir Charles Eastlake at the National Gallery
Until 30 October 2011

Royal Academy of Arts
Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement
Until 11 December 2011

David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture
21 January – 9 April 2012

National Portrait Gallery
The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons
Until 8 January 2012

British Museum
Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman
Until 19 February 2012

Landscape, heroes and folktales: German Romantic prints and drawings
Until 1 April 2012

Tate Britain
Colour and Line: Turner's Experiments
Until 30 April 2012

Until 3 June 2012

Imperial War Museum
Women War Artists
Until 27 November 2011

Whitechapel Gallery, London
Government Art Collection
Until 4 September 2012