The Programme until May 2018

 

6 Nov 2017

THE REDISCOVERED MARRIAGE BED OF HENRY VII & ELIZABETH OF YORK.

The lecture tells the story of the astonishing discovery in 2010 of the elaborately carved, incomplete oak frame of an old bed in a Chester hotel. Forensics & painstaking research revealed this to be the original. Jonathan Foyle has been CE of World Monuments Fund Britain, Curator of Historic Buildings at Hampton Court, is a feature writer for the FT on architecture, history & craft, a presenter of numerous TV series & an experienced lecturer.

 

4 Dec 2017

JANE AUSTEN'S CHRISTMAS.

Before the Victorians reinvented it, the traditional Christmas was very different. Devoid of Father Christmas, trees & commercialisation, the emphasis was on gentility & sociability, as set in many scenes by Jane Austen. Novels, letters, paintings & engravings will bring the Georgian Christmas to life. Claire Walsh is an experienced lecturer, including for the Courtauld Institute, the V&A, the Costume Society & the Museum of London, & in continental Europe, the USA & Canada.

 

5 Feb 2018

NEW YORK! NEW YORK! THE ASHCAN EXPERIMENT.

At the end of the 19th century, New York was enjoying unprecedented growth. Gleaming new skyscrapers, the squalor of teeming tenements & the struggle to survive in this rapidly changing city became rich pickings for a young group of artists seeking new inspiration. For the "Ashcan school" nobility was found not just in the grandiose buildings of this booming city but in the daily lives of the labourers who built it. Brian Healey taught modern languages & had a successful parallel career as a professional artist & interior designer. He has lectured on art history in many countries & most recently extended this to art guiding through important towns & museums in continental Europe.

 

5 Mar 2018

A LOAD OF OLD BALLS - LITERALLY!

The invention of the ball may rank as highly as the invention of the wheel. How did these apparently simple objects come into being? Why are marbles glass? In 1865 the ingredients of one manufacturer's cricket balls are scarcely believable. Or is it, perhaps, just a load of old balls? Simon will bring examples to pass around. Simon Inglis is a writer & historian specialising in the architecture & heritage of sport & recreation, & edits Played in Britain for English Heritage. Although this might seem an unlikely subject for the Arts Society, non-sporty types need not fear....

 

9 april 2018

THE CAPTAIN, THE DUCHESS & THEIR 23,000 CHILDREN - LONDON'S GREAT FOUNDLING HOSPITAL.

When Thomas Coram gave up his business in Massachusetts in the early 1700s & returned to London he was appalled to encounter babies regularly abandoned in the streets. After 17 years' persistent lobbying he achieved his aim of establishing a hospital for 'foundlings'. A gripping story with huge resonance for our own times. Lars Tharp is a Ceramics & a Hogarth specialist, & is London's Foundling Museum's 'Hogarth Ambassador'. He lectures widely & is a well-known broadcaster.

 

14 May 2018

LEAVES FROM A FAMILY ALBUM: THE 1890S & 1900S THROUGH THE EYE OF THE CAMERA.

Having inherited a remarkable collection of family photographs & with the help of letters, diaries & newspapers, Rupert has reconstructed the lives of his ancestors. Rupert will also reveal an intriguing link with Market Bosworth. Rupert Willoughby is a prize-winning historian who specialises in the domestic & social life of the past. He is an author, writes guides for English Heritage, & is an experienced lecturer on architecture, interior decoration & costume.