Season 7 – 2016 / 2017

2016/2017 programme

19th October

At the Sign of the Falcon: The Life and Work of Henry George Murphy, Britain’s Most Neglected Goldsmith
< H G Murphy’s greatest misfortune was to die

just before the start of the Second World War. The designs and inspirations of the pre-war era were simply seen as passé and totally out of keeping with the new spirit of modernism which quickly grew after the Festival of Britain in 1951. Harry Murphy served his apprenticeship under Henry Wilson, probably Britain’s greatest designer goldsmith of the Arts and Crafts era.

Given by John Benjamin: John was with Phillips Auctioneers for 23 years, latterly as International Director of Jewellery.  Since 1999 he has been an independent Jewellery Consultant and he lectures, writes and broadcasts.


16th November

American and European Art since 1970 or Pop Goes to New York

We will look at major developments in European and American art from the end of Pop to the beginnings of Postmodernism and how during the 1970s artists turned away from traditional painting and sculpture in favour of installations, photography, performance and film. The talk will demonstrate how these ephemeral and non-commercial media were related to the creation of work outside the gallery from the land art of Robert Smithson and Richard Long to the moving message boards of Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer.

Given by Gerald Dislandes:  Between 1975 and 1990, Gerald was the curator of a municipal art gallery in Scotland, director of two Arts Council subsidised contemporary art galleries in Leeds and Cornwall and exhibitions director at two art centres in Manchester and Cardiff. He organised early-career shows of sculpture by various well known artists including Antony Gormley.  Since 1995 Gerald has worked in arts development and as a lecturer.



14th December  (2nd Wed)

Double Dutch: Symbols, Emblems and Double Entendre in Dutch Genre Painting

The merchants of seventeenth century Holland filled their town houses with paintings. A favourite subject was scenes of everyday life: depicting behaviour both good and bad. But these upright Calvinist citizens rejected Catholic Baroque melodrama. They wanted nothing to alarm the in-laws or corrupt the children. Innocent objects hint at adult themes: plucked chickens and lap dogs, lutes and virginals, oysters and artichokes, foot warmers and bed warmers. This is a world of subtle hints and double-entendre, spoken through a language of symbols, emblems and motifs

Given by Lynne Gibson:  Lynne now works as a freelance lecturer in the History of Art, Critical and Contextual Studies as well as in practical Drawing, Painting and Printmaking.  For many years she lectured for the universities of Sussex and Bristol where she introduced ‘Understanding Art’ to the Lifelong Learning programme and residential summer schools

Sponsor: The family of the late Hon. Solomon Seruya OBE



Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year


18th January

Dale Chihuly – Glass

American glass artist Dale Chihuly (born 1941) is the super-star of the glass world. With his passion for glass, his larger-than-life personality, his skills as a natural leader and educator, and his constant exploration of glass’s luminous qualities and colour possibilities, he creates glass sculptures which are extravagant, colourful and spectacular. Following two accidents he is no longer able to hold a blowing iron and now employs two glass teams to blow his visions from his spontaneous drawings, themselves works of art. His glass magic has transformed the studio glass movement and altered our visual perceptions of this extraordinary material forever.

Given by Charles Hajdamach:  A warm welcome back to Charles Hajdamach who is a former Director of Broadfield House Glass Museum (1974-2003) and one of the top authorities on glass in the UK.  Author of ‘British Glass 1800-1914′ (1991), ’20th Century British Glass’ (2009) and contributor to numerous books and magazines.



15th February

More Russian Than the Russians – Catherine the Great

Intent on modernising Russia, German Princess Catherine the Great had such a passion for art that she was as ruthless in her collecting as she was in her personal life. She not only built the Hermitage for her 38,000 books, 10,000 engraved gems, 34,000 casts and pastes, 10,000 drawings and a natural history collection that filled two large galleries, she also commissioned monuments, statuary, and gardens, founded academies and journals, bought Diderot’s library, and wrote librettos for operas and satirical plays. This formidable woman who was said to have ‘the charm of Cleopatra and the soul of Caesar’ also did everything she could to become more Russian than the Russians.

Given by Marie-Anne Mancio: Marie-Anne trained as an artist before gaining a PhD in Art and Critical Theory from the University of Sussex. Has lectured in art history for the City Lit, Tate Modern, the Course, Art in London, London Art Salon, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Nth Degree Club and many private art societies; she also runs art history study tours abroad


15th March

The Elgin Marbles

It is now around 200 years since the purchase of the so-called ‘Elgin Marbles’ from Lord Elgin, by the British Parliament. This lecture will explore the aesthetics, the back-story, and the heated debates surrounding these fascinating and controversial works of ancient Greek art: what do we mean by ‘the Elgin Marbles’? How and why were they originally created? Why are they so highly regarded? What happened to them between their creation and Elgin’s time? How did he acquire them? Why are they now in the British Museum? And why are there such passionately held views both for and against their repatriation to Greece?

Given by Steve Kershaw: We extend a warm welcome back to Gibraltar to Steve.  As a Classics Tutor for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Professor of History of Art for the European Studies Program of Rhodes College and The University of the South, Steve has spent much of the last 30 years travelling extensively in the world of the Greeks and Romans both physically and intellectually. He has also published a number of books



19th April (Easter 14-17th)

Not so Shabby Chic: The Juxtaposing of the old and new

From patterns of collecting in Renaissance Italy and Northern Europe to the 20th century psychology of gestalt and gestaltung (design), this lecture covers eclecticism, the classical tradition and the key tenets of successful combinations old and new works of art.

Given by Vivian Lawes: Studied History/History of Art at York University, followed by an MA in Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute, London.  Vivian is a lecturer, writer and curator, who has worked in the visual arts field for the last 25 years and teaches at several institutions in London.  She is, amongst other things, Faculty staff member at the City & Guilds of London Art School, teaching History of Decorative Style c. 1400-1950 and the Classical Tradition in Western Sculpture; she also lectures on 17th and 18th century East-West trade, and modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art at Sotheby’s Institute and the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts (IESA), London.


17th May

The Grand Tour

The lecturer looks at the art produced for and by the British and considers the cultural significance of the Grand Tour as well as the practical aspects of tr avel

 Given by Jeremy Black:  Jeremy graduated from Cambridge with a starred first and undertook graduate work at Oxford and taught at Durham from 1980, eventually as professor, before moving to Exeter as professor in 1996. He has lectured around the world to popular and academic audiences, including the Decorative Arts Society in New York and the Bard, as well as the annual decorative arts conference at Newport, Rhode Island. He has also lectured in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain and on various cruise lines. Jeremy has appeared on both radio and television, Jeremy was awarded the MBE for services to stamp design.