The Arts Society Haslemere
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 LECTURES

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FOREIGN VISIT

 


LECTURES

Meetings are on the third Tuesday of the month at 1.45 p.m. for 2.00 p.m. 
There are no afternoon lectures in July and August.

Lectures take place at the Haslemere Hall (see Venue for how to find us).

Members are asked to register their attendance on arrival.
No admittance after the start of the lecture.
Tea, coffee and biscuits are served after the lecture which lasts about one hour.


Some past lectures have been
reported in the local press.
To read the articles, CLICK HERE.


Place mouse cursor over the images for information

2019

MAY 21st
Detail of Tiger cleaning its paws by Itō Jakuchu. Japanese hanging scroll, 18th century.

Booking opens for the Outing on Saturday 3rd August.


OPEN LECTURE
ZARA FLEMING
THE TIGER IN ASIAN ART

A diverse range of arts and artefacts illustrates how the tiger became a symbol of power and protection in its Asian homeland.

Intriguing and beautiful, tigers are some of the most awe-inspiring and mysterious creatures on earth. Feared and revered in equal measures, they have inspired countless legends, beliefs and works of art. This lecture explores the significance of the tiger as a symbol of power and protection in its Asian homeland, illustrated by a diverse range of art and artefacts. The tiger is seen in early Chinese bronzes, Japanese netsukes, Indian paintings, Tibetan rugs and other Asian works of art. It will also comment on the current situation of the tiger and how this magnificent animal now faces the threat of extinction. Zara co-curated “The Tiger in Asian Art” for Asia House in 2010.

Zara Fleming is a freelance lecturer, art consultant and exhibition curator specialising in the art and culture of Tibet, the Himalayan areas and Mongolia. Initially based at the V & A, she has also worked with the Central Asian Department of Bonn University, the Orient Foundation, The Royal Academy, Tibet House, National Museums and Galleries both on Merseyside and in London. She has curated several exhibitions and has published many articles in the field of Buddhist Studies.


JUNE 18th
Anatomical drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci


GUY ROOKER
THE ANATOMICAL DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI – A SURGEON’S VIEW

A look at Da Vinci’s anatomical drawings and their extraordinary accuracy.

Leonardo da Vinci was not a physician so why did he study human anatomy? He believed that good art was based on scientific understanding of everything depicted. He also subscribed to the microcosm hypothesis: if the form and function of a man could be described then the secrets of the universe would be better understood. In this lecture Guy Rooker will explore the delineation of our anatomical knowledge through a world of art and specifically the remarkable contribution made to our understanding of the subject by Leonardo da Vinci.

Guy Rooker, recently retired from being a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in Cheltenham, comes to The Arts Society not with a background in the arts but from the world of science in general, and surgery in particular. He describes himself as a retired surgeon with a lifelong passion, fascination, and admiration for the work of Leonardo da Vinci: "I consider that the contribution he has made to both the world of art and the investigation of scientific concepts to be quite unique and extraordinary in the way that so many of his pioneering investigations have contributed to the understanding of our world today".


SUMMER BREAK

SEPTEMBER 17th
Detail of Washing Day by Augustus John, c. 1915

Bookings open for the Study Day
on Wednesday 30th October and
for the Outing on Wednesday 6th November.


DAVID HAYCOCK
DRAWN FROM ART – THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF AUGUSTUS JOHN

Exploring the life and work of one of the 20th century’s most talented artists, who became known as "the last Bohemian".

Augustus John was only in his mid twenties when, in the early 1900s, he was widely acknowledged as probably the most talented and promising of young British artists – a Welsh rival, perhaps, to Gauguin or Picasso. When he died in 1961 he was described in The New York Times as ‘the grand old man of British painting and one of the greatest in British history.’ This lecture explores John’s extraordinary life, including his early achievements, his position as one of the most exciting and outrageous young British artists at work before the Great War, his slow decline after it, and his troubled status as ‘the last Bohemian’.

David Haycock is a freelance art historian, author, curator and lecturer. He read Modern History at St John’s College, Oxford, and has an MA in Art History from the University of Sussex and a PhD in History from the University of London. He specialises in British art of the early twentieth century and is the author of “A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War” and curated the Augustus John exhibition which opened at Poole Museum, Dorset, on 25 May 2018. His book 'Drawn from Life' was published to coincide with the opening of that exhibition.


OCTOBER 15th
Detail from Venus and Cupid by Lorenzo Lotto, 1540


SHIRLEY SMITH
PEARLS AND POMEGRANATES, PEACOCKS AND PIPES: THE HIDDEN LANGUAGE OF RENAISSANCE ART

Illuminating the lost meaning of symbols in Renaissance art – spiritual and secular, virginal and vulgar.

It is sometimes difficult for us to understand the full meaning of a painting from the past due to the wealth of symbolism it contains, much of it obscure to us today but instantly recognizable to contemporaries. This talk aims to peel back the layers of Renaissance art by deciphering the meaning of some of these symbols - spiritual and secular, virginal and vulgar and so enable us to read these paintings as had the people for whom they were intended.

Shirley Smith graduated from the University of East Anglia with a first class honours degree in the History of Art, specialising in the Italian and Northern Renaissance. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a part-time lecturer for the University of East Anglia and for the Department of Continuing Education of the University of Cambridge. Has run study days and certificate courses as well as residential weekend courses. Also lectures to the Art Fund and individual clubs and societies. She is particularly keen to set the art and architecture of the period in the context of the society for which it was produced.


NOVEMBER 19th
Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. Sir William Emerson (1843-1924)


AGM 1.45pm
Followed by lecture

JOHN STEVENS
IMPERIAL CALCUTTA: ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE

An overview of the poetry, theatre, literature and architecture of Calcutta and how this extraordinary city was affected by British rule.


Calcutta was the second city of the British Empire and a hub of cultural and artistic production throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This lecture looks at the arts and architecture of this extraordinary city, which was India’s capital until 1911. Calcutta played a central role in shaping the culture of modern India, as its artists sought to interpret India’s classical heritage in new ways, and to combine this heritage with Western cultural forms. We will examine how Calcutta became the epicentre of the ‘Bengal renaissance’ and how the city’s artists viewed (and were affected by) British rule.

John Stevens is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London, and a member of academic staff at the SOAS South Asia Institute. His PhD in History is from University College London. He teaches British Imperial history, Indian history and Bengali language, and is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh. His biography of the Indian guru Keshab Chandra Sen was published in 2018. He appears regularly in the Indian media and was recently a guest on BBC Radio Four’s In Our Time.


DECEMBER 3rd
Illustrated London News, 23 December 1848


ALAN READ
THE INVENTORS OF CHRISTMAS

Gathering round the Christmas tree, pulling crackers, eating Christmas pudding and mince pies – these are what most of us think of as the traditional Christmas. But where did these traditions start? This lecture looks at their origins and how they were adopted.


Whether you are about to start preparing for the annual festive season or have already made the cake, bought the crackers, cards and presents, come and find out how and when we inherited the traditions that make up today's family Christmas.

Alan Read holds a masters and a first class honours degree in History of Art from Birkbeck College. He is a gallery guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and National Portrait Gallery, and has lectured at the NPG, Penlee House (Penzance), Plymouth City Art Gallery, Croydon Clocktower and the Bridewell Institute. He is also a London Blue Badge Guide and City of London Guide and has conducted walking tours for the Twentieth Century Society, the National Trust and team London Bridge.
HDFAS Christmas Tea
The lecture will be followed by Christmas Tea.
No booking required.


2020

JANUARY 21st
Empty Chair



ANGELA FINDLAY
THE EMPTY CHAIR: FROM VAN GOGH TO AI WEIWEI – HOW ARTISTS DEPICT WHAT IS MISSING


The images illustrating this lecture are Vincent Van Gogh's painting 'Pipe and Chair', 1888, and a photograph of a chair created by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei which was placed in the center of a movie theater in Stockholm on November 5, 2013. The chair, inspired by classical Ming Dynasty design, stood empty to illustrate Ai Weiwei's involuntary absence in the jury of the Stockholm Film Festival.

Angela Findlay is a professional artist, writer and freelance lecturer with a long standing interest in the role the arts and the creative process can play in bringing about changes, on a personal level or within societies. She has a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, a Diploma in Artistic Therapy (specialising in colour) and her paintings are widely exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her long career of teaching art in prisons and Young Offender Institutions in Germany and England, followed by her role as the former Arts Coordinator of the Koestler Trust in London, gave her many insights into the huge impact the arts can have in terms of rehabilitation. She is currently advising the Ministry of Justice and presenting the case for the arts to be included in their new rehabilitation and education policies.


PAST LECTURES IN 2019

JANUARY 15th
Mozart by Johann Nepomuk della Croce, detail, c. 1780

Bookings open for the Outing on Wednesday 27th February, the Study Day on Thursday
7th March and for the Foreign visit to Umbria in October.


PETER MEDHURST
MOZART’S OPERATIC WORLD

A musically–illustrated exploration of the great composer’s love of opera and how he applied his genius to the form.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (7 January 1756 – 5 December 1791) once wrote to his father: ’Do not forget my wish to write operas! I am envious of every man who composes one’. The theatre was in Mozart’s blood, and during his career not only did he compose 21 works for the stage, but also modernised and perfected the whole approach to the writing of opera. The lecture will explore Mozart’s genius as an opera composer and examine some of the highlights in Mozart’s operas, drawing on The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute.

Peter Medhurst did his musical training at the Royal College of Music where he studied singing, organ and composition. In 1978, he won a scholarship from the Austrian government and studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. On his return he took harpsichord lessons with Ruth Dyson, who became his accompanist and fellow keyboard duettist. Over the years Peter Medhurst has lectured for the universities of Kent and Surrey, directed a wide range of choirs and instrumental groups, and adjudicated and given masterclasses for the British Federation of Music Festivals. He is director of ’The Classical Music Company’, an organisation that promotes musical events, creates films about the arts and organises specialist music tours to unusual locations at home and abroad. In his lectures, Peter Medhurst links the world of music with the visual arts, and in addition to digital and video graphics, performs live vocal and keyboard music to complement the theme of the talk.


FEBRUARY 19th
Cloth Hall Tower, Ypres, 1918


CHRISTOPHER CHANTER
THE REBUILDING OF THE TOWN OF YPRES AFTER THE GREAT WAR

By 1918, hardly a building was left untouched in Ypres – and this lecture charts its rebuilding, with before and after images.

Despite the suggestion that the ruins of Ypres be retained as a memorial, already before the end of 1918 some of the local population were beginning to return from their places of refuge in neighbouring parts of Flanders and France. Every building the locals had known was shattered and in ruins. With hundreds of men, women and children returning to Ypres there was a pressing need to accommodate them in new housing, to provide schools, medical facilities, shops, the everyday facilities of a small town, and to rebuild the shattered infrastructure of drains, sewers and water systems.  The decision was made by 1920 to rebuild the city as a replica of its ancient image, restoring the buildings in the Flemish medieval and renaissance styles of the old city.

Christopher Chanter has been a lifelong collector and restorer of antique furniture. He has specialised in Church woodwork restoration: a major project of his concerned a group of four Flemish renaissance oak sculptures of the four Evangelists. He turned semi-professional in 1998 when he had the opportunity to buy the Stone’s beeswax furniture cream business which had been started in 1760 in Exeter. Christopher has led NADFAS lectures, study days and workshops for some eight years. He has written several articles on restoration and has been a restoration consultant to the Georgian Group. He chaired the Historic Buildings committee of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society from 1999 to 2004. He is also a correspondent to the Council of British Archaeology.


MARCH 19th
Red Canna by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1924


BERNARD ALLAN
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE AND HER UNIQUE ARTISTIC VISION
A pioneer of modern art in America, Georgia O’Keeffe was one of the most original painters of her generation, with a unique blend of abstraction and representation.

Georgia Totto O'Keeffe (1887-1986), the second of seven children, grew up on a farm near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1905-1906 and the Art Students League in New York in 1907-1908. She became one of the most significant and intriguing artists of the twentieth century, known internationally for her magnified flowers, dramatic cityscapes, glowing landscapes and images of bones against the stark desert sky - iconic and original contributions to American Modernism.

Bernard Allan has a BA (Hons) in History and an MA in History of Art. Having taken early retirement, commenced a new career as an art history tutor for the WEA. Has taught French and British art of the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as women's art, for the past eight years. Lectured to various societies, and guided parties around galleries in London and Paris. In addition to teaching, he is currently researching artists working in Sussex in the 19th century, with a view to publication.


APRIL 16th
Detail from Still Life with Stoneware Jug, Wine Glass, Herring and Bread by Pieter Claesz, 1642

Bookings open for the Study Day
on Wednesday 5th June and for
the Outing on Wednesday 26th
June.


JANE GARDINER
"THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY" – A HISTORY OF GLASS THROUGH THE EYES OF THE ARTIST
How artists over the centuries have included glass objects in their paintings, taking delight in capturing the shadows and reflections seen within the glass.

This lecture explores the way in which artists over the centuries have included transparent glass objects in their paintings, taking huge delight in capturing the shadows and reflections seen within the glass as well as displaying their skill in portraying what lies behind and beyond. It will include the remarkable depiction of glass objects in Roman wall paintings, works by artists such as Titian, Veronese and Caravaggio – where both the Gods of Olympus and the disciples are seen drinking out of fragile Venetian cristallo – and the proliferation of glass drinking vessels in Dutch still-life paintings.

Jane Gardiner MA History of Art, University of London. Trained at the V&A and continues to lecture there. Was Senior Lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art for 17 years, becoming a Deputy Director of Sotheby's, UK. Has also lectured for the National Trust, the Art Fund, London University, Buckingham University, l'Institut d'Etudes Superieures des Arts in Paris, a private women's college in Saudi Arabia, on cruise ships and at antiques fairs and interior design conferences in America.