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Tuesday, 17th April 2012
Travels in Rajasthan with Rudyard Kipling – Palaces and Temples, Monuments and Forts in the Land of Kings
Elizabeth Merry

During his journey through Rajasthan in 1888 Kipling produced some magical descriptions of the buildings he saw there. With him we will explore some of the cultural history of the ‘Land of Kings’.

Elizabeth Merry is fascinated by the links between literature and the visual arts and the social and cultural trends underpinning them. She has worked for various universities, the Royal Society of Arts, the Jane Austen Society and the Thomas Hardy Society.

Travels in Rajasthan with Rudyard Kipling – Palaces and Temples, Monuments and Forts in the Land of Kings
Tuesday, 20th March 2012
Angelica Kauffmann – an Artist in 18th Century England
Leslie Primo

The Swiss-born Angelica Kauffmann was an artist of international training and reputation. She came to London in 1766 where she joined Sir Joshua Reynolds’ social circle. She became a founder member of the Royal Academy, where, as a woman, she was excluded from the life class.

Leslie has worked at the National Gallery for ten years, and teaches art history courses at various London Institutes. He lectures at the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery and is a contributor to the Companion Guide to Black British History published by Oxford University Press.

Self portrait by Angelica Kauffmann

Angelica Kauffmann – an Artist in 18th Century England
Tuesday, 21st February 2012
Meet me at the Waldorf – the Extraordinary Story of two Iconic Hotels built on Astor Feuds, Fortunes and Art Patronage
Mary Alexander

The glamorous art deco Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Park Avenue, New York, had an equally iconic predecessor on Fifth Avenue, built by the feuding Astors at the height of the ‘gilded age’. This is the story of these two hotels, their creators, designers and the celebrities who met and lived there.

Mary Alexander has an MA with distinction in History of Art from University College London. She has tutored for the Open University and was museum curator at the gallery of costume in Manchester.

Astor Feuds, Fortunes and Art Patronage
Tuesday, 17th January 2012
History of the Long Case Clock
Dr Colin Lattimore

We will explore the history of timekeeping over 500 years, up to the development of the long cased clock, and explore the artistic, mechanical and social aspects of clockmaking.

Colin has been master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and president of the British Horological Institute. He is Hon. Keeper of Clocks and Watches at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and was awarded an OBE in 2004 for services to English decorative and applied fine arts.

History of the Long Case Clock


Tuesday, 6th December 2011
Christmas social event
Deck the Hall – Yuletide Customs and Traditions
Dr David Bostwick

Using contemporary illustrations, we will explore the ancient traditions surrounding Christmas. The great mid-winter festival, known to the Romans as Saturnalia, was greeted with feasting and drinking throughout the twelve days of Christmas, and games presided over by the Lord of Misrule.

David Bostwick is one of our most popular lecturers, and an expert in the cultural history of the medieval, Tudor and Stuart periods. He is a consultant on historic buildings to the National Trust and English Heritage, and contributor to many art publications.

The Lord of Misrule

Deck the Hall – Yuletide Customs and Traditions
Tuesday, 15th November 2011
Russian Music, Art and Revolution
Dr Nicholas Slope with classical pianist Petra Casen

The great flowering of Russian music before and during the Russian Revolution gave artists the dilemma of whether to work for the communist state or strive for personal freedom. This talk includes music by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Shostakovich.

Nick Slope is a freelance historian and archaeologist. He has published both academic and popular works and has worked with the BBC as a consultant and presenter on a number of programmes.
Petra Casen is a solo recitalist; she has performed across Europe and the USA, and broadcast on radio and TV. She is a tutor at the Centre for Young Musicians in London.

Portrait of Sergei Prokofiev

Russian Music, Art and Revolution
Wednesday, 26th October 2011
5,000 years of Glass
Andy McConnell

The day comprises three hour-long sessions with a light, humorous approach, in the first session, to the dawn of glass, how it has changed the world, and the spread of glass to Venice and further afield. The second session concentrates on Georgian and Victorian glass, and the third session on 20th century glass. Andy will bring examples of his collection of 30,000 pieces and members are invited to bring along their own glass for discussion and appraisal.

Andy has published books on glass and writes regularly for magazines and guides. He has appeared on The 20th Century Roadshow and three series of the Antiques Roadshow.

English air-twist stemmed wine-glass, c1750

5,000 years of Glass
Tuesday, 18th October 2011 after the AGM
Art and the English Bible from 1611 to 2011
Prof Michael Wheeler

This year is the 400th anniversary of the most influential printed book in the English language – the King James Bible, which has helped shape our literary heritage. It has also inspired artists and illustrators such as Benjamin West, Turner, and the Pre-Raphaelites.

Michael Wheeler has held Chairs at Lancaster and Southampton universities and is the author of several books about the role of religious belief in English art and culture during the 19th century.

Jacob Blessing Ephraim and Manasseh by Benjamin West

Art and the English Bible from 1611 to 2011
Tuesday, 20th September 2011
Theatrical Personalities – Garrick, Siddons, Kean and Irving
Frances Hughes

In this talk, the worlds of the 18th and 19th century British theatre are explored through the lives of outstanding actors and the study of their images in paintings and engravings.

Frances Hughes Is a retired headteacher, and freelance lecturer in theatre and art history. She is tour leader at the Garrick Club and Hon Secretary of the Shakespeare Reading Society and Chairman of the Irving Society.

Mrs Siddons and John Phillip Kemble, in Macbeth, painted by Thomas Beach, 1786.

Theatrical Personalities – Garrick, Siddons, Kean and Irving
Tuesday, 21st June 2011
Horses, Women and Great Country Houses – The Life and Loves of the first Duke of Newcastle
Dr Lucy Worsley

William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle, was the grandson of Bess of Hardwick and a playboy, poet, courtier and later Civil War Royalist general who built magnificent country houses; he was also a famous equestrian who built special ‘riding houses’ where he taught his horses how to dance.

Lucy Worsley is a lecturer, author and presenter and is the Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity looking after Hampton Court Palace and other historic royal buildings. 

Horses, Women and Great Country Houses – The Life and Loves of the first Duke of Newcastle

Tuesday, 17th May 2011
William Bankes – the Exiled Collector
Anne Sebba

William Bankes of Kingston Lacy was a serious collector of ancient Egyptian artefacts as well as some fine Italian art but he paid a high price in the Victorian world for his sexual indiscretions.

Anne is a biographer, lecturer and former Reuters foreign correspondent. She has written eight books and sits on the Committee of the Society of Authors. She has also been a consultant on films.

William Bankes – the Exiled Collector