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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 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. August 20th 11am on Zoom New Visions: The City & Impressionism Joanne Rhymer During the reign of Napoleon III, Paris expanded and transformed. Certain areas of the city were demolished to make way for new streets, apartments, and public buildings. The development of the railways drew ever larger numbers of visitors and workers to the capital. Department stores evolved and entertainments such as theatres and bars burgeoned providing employment and leisure opportunities. For artists, Paris was a dynamic artistic hub with international appeal and for the Impressionists, it provided rich pickings for making modern paintings. This lecture explores images of Paris seen through the artistic lens of Manet, Renoir, and Caillebotte. We consider how urban life was an inspiring theme which led them to experiment with painting techniques and motifs which ultimately changed the direction of art. This presentation also considers the extent to which the artists discussed might be termed ‘Impressionist’. Gustave Caillebotte - Paris Street; Rainy Day - Google Art Project Friday 18th June 2021 10.50am for 11am Red, White and Blue – a Story of Three Colours in Art Alexandra Epps A wide-ranging look at the symbolism, significance and spirituality of colour throughout the history of art. Experience the power of the red of the Tudors, the utopian white of Abstraction, and the secret formula of New Realism artist Yves Klein. Friday 21st May 2021 10.50am for 11am A Taste of Dutch Brian Healey Discover the coded messages that hide behind the wondrous banquet paintings of 16th century Holland. What looks like the leftovers from a wellto-do Dutch breakfast is on closer examination a statement about the perils of luxury and the precariousness and transience of life. None of which stops us from marvelling at the incredible level of detail and exquisite mastery of technique and structure that inspired Matisse and Dalí to produce their own 20th century versions. Friday 16th April 2021 10.50am for 11am The Prince and the Prophet: Tradition and Modernity in Architecture Colin Davies Criticism of modern architecture has come from public individuals including the Prince of Wales as well as philosopher Roger Scruton. This lecture will help us form our own reasoned opinions. We look at basic architectural concepts such as Classicism, Functionalism and Urbanism and discover that modernity and tradition are not just simple opposites: modernity has always depended on tradition; tradition has often contained a progressive spirit. Friday 19th March 2021 10.50am for 11am Art and Religion in Post-War Britain Monica Bohm-Duchen In the immediate post-war period the Church in Britain was keen to enlist contemporary artists to work in sacred spaces. Walter Hussey, Vicar of St Matthew’s Northampton, commissioned work by Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland; other major post-war projects included works for Coventry and Llandudno Cathedrals. We also look at more recent Cathedral commissions by artists including Bill Viola and Tracy Emin as well as other work with religious overtones produced for secular venues. ‘Islamic Art and Architecture’. The lecturer will be Professor James Allan, Professor Emeritus of Eastern Art, University of Oxford. The committee has agreed that there will be no extra charge to members for ‘attendance’ at these sessions. As in the previous Byzantine Art study day series, we will send a reminder before each study day. This will be followed by a separate email with the zoom link for logging on. ‘Islamic Art and Architecture’ – a series of three lectures Lecture 1: ‘Calligeofiguresques’ - Islamic Art and Design: (i) Arabic calligraphy. 10:00am - Tuesday 2nd February – Log-on from 9:50am Lecture 2: ‘Calligeofiguresques’ - Islamic Art and Design: (ii) Geometry, the Arabesque and Figural Art. 10:00am - Tuesday 9th February – Log-on from 9:50am Zoom link will be emailed on Monday 8th February. In the second lecture we shall look at geometry and the arabesque, following the latter into the range of floral designs current in later Islamic art. We shall see too how geometry and the arabesque combine to make highly intricate, but deeply satisfying, designs in a range of media. There is another element to Islamic art, however, figural art. It is mistakenly believed, both by Muslims and non-Muslims, that Islamic art is non-representational. We shall explore Islamic art’s figural side, and show how widespread figural art really is, even, most surprisingly, in some religious settings, highlighting sectarian divides in the Islamic world. Friday 19th February 2021 10.50am for 11am Frida Kahlo: A Life in Art Fiona Rose Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was queen of the selfies long before Kim Kardashian. Recognised as one of the greatest female artists of the 20th century, she is known for her originality, bold use of colour, passion and courage, and as someone who created life and beauty in the face of great personal suffering and adversity. We look at her tumultuous life and extraordinary unflinching works. One of many portraits of Frida Kahlo inside the "Casa Azul", SantinoDeMarquishi CC BY-SA 4.0 Friday 15th January 2021 10.50am for 11am Great Tarts in Art: High Culture and the Oldest Profession Linda Smith A mixture of art-historical analysis and scandalous anecdote, this lecture takes a generally light-hearted look at changing attitudes to sexual morality down the ages, examining the portraits and careers of some of history’s most notorious mistresses and courtesans. It charts the complex attitudes towards these figures, and the changing ways they have been represented. Friday 18th December 2020 10.50am for 11am The Journey of the Magi: Origins, Myth and Reality – The True Story of the Three Kings Leslie Primo A welcome return by this ever-popular lecturer who will seek to unravel the myth and iconography behind the story of the adoration of the Magi, from its Eastern and pagan roots to its Christian interpretation. Illustrated with works by Bosch, Botticelli, Bruegel the Elder, Masaccio and Rubens, the talk considers what we want this story to mean and why we continue to value it in our largely secular Western society. Friday 20th November 2020 Raphael of Urbino: Artist and Architect Shirley Smith 2020 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Raphael at the age of 37. In this lecture, we will study his art and architecture, from his early work in Urbino and Florence to its full maturity in Rome. On-line Study Day Helen Rufus-Ward Otherworldly Byzantium – Holy Places and Sacred Art This year, the study ‘day’ is being delivered as three separate, but linked, sessions on: Tuesday 10th November 2020, 10.00hrs Tuesday 17th November 2020, 10.00hrs Tuesday 24th November 2020, 10.00hrs The first session explores the 6th century architecture and art of St Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai. So, not an easy place to reach, even pre-Covid! Look out for the link to the zoom session which will be sent in a separate email. These sessions this year will be provided complementary to your membership fee. Friday 16th October 2020 English Women and the French Revolution Karin Fernald Early on during the French revolution, several dauntless English women visited Paris and reported on their experiences in their diaries and letters. We hear about their adventures and encounters in a very entertaining lecture, illustrated by contemporary French paintings. Friday 18th September 2020 Paradise Lost and Restored: 400 years of Garden Design in Oxfordshire Timothy Walker A fascinating look at the history of English garden design through the lens of one particular example – the Oxford Botanic Garden, founded in the early 17th century. Successive head gardeners over the centuries have followed garden fashion and botanic developments while remaining close to the fundamental motive of garden design – the desire to create Paradise on Earth. Friday 21st August - Dr Max Jones The Glorious Dead: Grief and Politics in memorials to the Great War. Six million Britons served in the armed forces during the Great War. One in eight perished. The legions of the bereaved launched a wave of commemorative projects, erecting thousands of memorials which still mark the landscape of countryside and city today. We will explore how artists developed new strategies to represent loss on an unprecedented scale, how bitter disputes scarred many projects, and how memorials helped families grieve for those they had lost. Friday 7th August - Nicola Moorby Looking over the Artist’s shoulder: The Italian Sketchbooks of J.M.W. Turner. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Italy was the country of every artist’s dreams. This lecture recreates a visual tour of Italy in the company of J.M.W. Turner. By studying rarely seen drawings from his travel sketchbooks we will take a privileged look into the world of the artist, following in his footsteps through Venice, Rome, Tivoli and Naples. Through his most intimate and private sketches we will recapture the excitement and dangers of nineteenth-century tourism, and the British love of Italian culture and history. 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.