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The Arts Society Oundle
PAST MEETINGS Here are details of our past meetings, to give you an idea of the variety and scope of the lectures. Also members might like to use the links to find out more. Friday 22nd April 2022 (4th Friday of the month) 11am on Zoom only Faber & Faber - 90 years of excellence Toby Faber Faber & Faber is the last of the great publishing houses to remain independent. The grandson of the founder will recount the history of the firm through its illustrations, covers and designs, and its association with celebrated artists and literary figures including TS Eliot. A unique personal and anecdotal insight into a valued cultural institution. Friday 18th March 2022 on Zoom only The Great Velázquez at Court in Madrid Jacqueline Cockburn When Velázquez moved to Madrid to work for Philip IV his life changed and so did his art. We look at his relationship with the troubled king, at the numerous portraits he did of him, and at his development as a great artist. We meet the courtiers, dwarves, children, ladies in waiting and bodyguards of the royal court and finally discuss the celebrated Las Meninas, with its extraordinary understanding of perspective and fabulous use of paint. Friday 18th February 2022 on Zoom only now. Link already sent out. Rescuing Zeugma from the flood waters of the Euphrates Louise Schofield In spring 2000 an archaeological drama began to unfold on the banks of the Euphrates river in Turkey. Archaeologists found a Roman city with mosaics and wall- paintings finer than those of Pompeii. However, just beside them was the almost-completed Birecik Dam, and the Turks had begun to flood the great reservoir behind it, taking the city under water. This lecture tells the story of the extraordinary emergency rescue excavation and the fabulous treasures it uncovered. Friday 21st January 2022 projected at the hall on a screen and on Zoom 10.50 George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham: the handsomest man in 17th century Europe Lucy Hughes-Hallett George Villiers was the favourite of King James I, chief minister to King Charles I, and assassinated at the age of 35. He was a beauty, enjoyed exquisite clothes and was a discerning patron and collector of great paintings. We will look at the masterpieces he owned and at the portraits of himself he commissioned from painters including Van Honthorst, Van Dyck and Rubens – images by great artists of a man known as ‘the handsomestbodied man in Europe’. Friday 17th December 2021 on Zoom 10:50 The Christmas Story in Medieval Art Sally Dormer It was during the Middle Ages that many of the familiar elements of the Christmas story were devised and popularised: including the stable with the ox and ass. What were the sources for these images? This lecture, illustrated by pictures of illuminated manuscripts, church portals, liturgical vestments, stained glass windows and goldsmiths’ work, will tell the stories surrounding Christ’s birth and investigate their often surprising sources. We offer three free early evening Zoom sessions: Food for thought: Spanish, Dutch and Modern still life painting 9th November Daniel Evans 6pm by Zoom, with login from 5:50pm The links and connection details will be sent out the day before. The running order has changed from the Members booklet. The first lecture is - Caterpillars, lemons and lobsters: Dutch still life from 1560 to 1650 presented by Daniel Evans. When it comes to Dutch Flower paintings the only real expert in the field is quite literally, the insect that lives off the stems and petals. From Meat stalls to Mince Pies and Bubbles to Bread Rolls, this lecture will help you to discover the enormous symbolism that is conveyed by simple everyday objects, that have been rendered with breath taking accuracy and convey really satisfying moral meaning. Examining works by Claesz, Steenwyck, de Heen, Bosschaert, Van Aelst and Kalf : we shall explore the corruption of abundance, the mutability and ephemerality of life and the inevitability of death. Dan Evans is an educationalist with a passion for Art. Dan is a Housemaster at Cheltenham College and was formerly Head of History of Art at Wycombe Abbey School. He has been lecturing since 2001 and spent nine wonderful years working as a senior tutor for Art History Abroad. A long time ago he was voted the British winner of the World Guide of the Year Awards. Tuesday 9th November 2021, 6pm Cabbages, carrots and lamb: Spanish still life from 1600 to1812 Robert Hughes declared of Still life painting; ‘Still Life is to eating what the nude is to sex’ (we won’t go there I assure you!), although he did also admit that Spanish Still Life painting is ‘more sacramental than gastronomic’. The lecture will cover a cabbage that has been painted with such astonishing accuracy that the painted version is more alluring than the vegetable itself. Goya’s painting of a pile of 6 silvery fish, is a political commentary on the disasters of war. These bream have been abandoned on a beach in the middle of the night, left to rot in the sand, evidence of reckless waste at a time of famine. Through this and others paintings by Velazquez, Zurburán, and Meléndez, we shall explore several stunning key themes that can all be discerned from arrangements of simple food stuffs; religious fervour and symbolism, the absence of presence and that importance generates waste. Tuesday 23rd November 2021, 6pm Animal fur, telephones and apple cores: still life as real life in the 20th and 21st centuries The ‘lesser’ genre of Still Life painting was one of the vehicles that launched Modern Art in the 19th century, and the obsession continued into the subsequent century by Picasso, Dali and Oppenheim. Painting was replaced by the Object, often playing upon the established and traditional themes of old. Mortality, mutability and abundance can all be traced through the ground breaking ‘still life’ sculptures of Oldenburg, Taylor Wood and Hirst. Like the Still Life genre, in all its permeations, this talk will be an exuberant assault on the senses of taste, sight, sound, touch and smell. Friday 19th November 2021 on Zoom 10:50 Me, myself and I: self-portraiture through the ages Jacky Klein We look at the development of the self-portrait, from artists depicting themselves as gentlemen and thinkers in an age when their social status was low, to the 17th- century reframing of the artist as visionary, and to the modern cult of the artist-poet. Why did artists including Michelangelo, Dürer, Rembrandt and Reynolds relentlessly make images of themselves? And, looking at the work of Andy Warhol, Gavin Turk and Marc Quinn, we ask what it means to make self-portraits today in our image-saturated age of smartphones and selfies. Friday 15th October 2021 on Zoom The art of the Japanese garden: from tradition to modernity Marie Conte-Helm This lecture introduces us to the distinctive nature of Japanese garden design and to some of the country’s most famous gardens, from those on a grand scale surrounding aristocratic palaces and Buddhist temples to Zen-inspired dry landscape examples with their strikingly symbolic content. Looking at historical developments as well as religious and philosophical influences, we will see how nature and artifice are intriguingly combined to capture the very essence of the landscape. Friday 17th September 2021 10:30 for AGM on Zoom A crisis of brilliance: young British artists 1908 to 1919 David Haycock Students at the Slade School of Art in London before WW1 included some of the most important British artists of the first half of the twentieth century: David Bomberg, Dora Carrington, Mark Gertler, Paul Nash, CRW Nevinson, William Roberts, Stanley Spencer and Edward Wadsworth. Basing this lecture on his 2009 book on the topic, David Haycock explores the fascinating story of these artists’ work and interlocking lives. y. In addition to on-the-spot sketches documenting where he went and what he saw, we will examine Turner’s artistic response to his Italian experiences, tracing the evolution of his ideas from preparatory studies to finished watercolours and oil. Friday 10th July - Anne Anderson How we got IKEA! : Scandinavian Design c1880-1960 This is the lecture originally schedule for June and more details are in your programme card. Friday 21st February 2020 Every Picture Tells a Story Grant Ford Our speaker will discuss some of the masterpieces he has handled in his career in the art world including works by the members of the Pre-Raphaelites and Modern British artists. Why did certain works fall out of fashion, only to set world records decades later? A fascinating look both at some great British artists and at their work within the global art market. Friday 17th January 2020 Domina: Imperial Women in Ancient Rome: their images in art, sculpture and coins, their influence, power and fates Guy de la Bédoyère Alongside Augustus, Caligula, Claudius and Nero were the Julio-Claudian wives whose dynastic significance conferred on them exceptional power. We look at these women through coins, art and sculpture and hear their remarkable stories.