Season 3 – 2012 / 2013

17 October 2012: Boticelli 500 Years

Hilary Guise: Lecturer for many of the main London Museums, she has also worked for the Art Fund and taught courses at Cambridge University. She spends time in the USA and has lectured for various American Universities and the Smithsonian Institution.

This lecture celebrates the life of Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510), tries to understand the meaning of his enigmatic paintings, and looks at his sad decline under the firey influence of the hell-raising Monk Savonarola. Savonarola was burnt at the stake on the very spot where he destroyed Florence’s treasures in the Bonfire of the Vanities.



21 November 2012:

Jewellery is an Art From 1960 – 2012

Joanna Hardy: after studying to be a goldsmith and jewellery designer at Sir John Cass College she went on to work for De Beers, valuing and grading rough diamonds, and later worked internationally as a polished diamond dealer. She then moved into antique jewellery working first for Phillips Auction House before moving on to Sothebys. Joanna also conducts charity auctions, lectures for various institutions, but is probably best known for her appearances on the BBC’s Antique Road Show.
A very important exhibition held at Goldsmiths Hall in 1961 helped pave the way for jewels to be seen as an art form. The recession of the 1970s allowed different styles, and materials, to be in vogue before the onset of the prosperous 1980s and a booming art market. Today there is a growing appreciation for jewellery that is individual and unique. Contemporary jewels that have not compromised the importance of craftmanship and the uniqueness of design will stand the test of time and become the collectable art of the future.



12 December 2012:

Abstract Expressionism:  From the Sublime to the Political                                                                    

Linda Smith: we welcome Linda back after the success of her last presentation to us, ‘From Egg to Bacon’. Linda holds two first-class degrees in Art History and is an experienced guide and lecturer at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. She also lectures to secondary school audiences and independent arts societies.
World War II caused huge upheavals in all parts of the world, and in all parts of society, including art. Many avant-garde artists had been forced to flee Europe, and some very significant pioneers of modern ideas found themselves in the United States and the global centre of gravity for modern art soon shifted to New York. This lecture looks at the emergence of American Abstract Expressionism as the dominant style of the period, the role it came to play in the Cold War, and will tell us how Jackson Pollack became the most celebrated artist of this form.



16 January 2013:                           

The Mysterious World of Salvador Dali

Valerie Woodgate: as well as being on the teaching team at the Dulwich Picture Gallery Valerie is a lecturer and guide at Tate Britian and Tate Modern, and for the Tate on cruises. In addition she lectures in other major galleries and, on religious art, in churches and cathedrals.
Dalí “….the difference between a madman and me is that I am not mad”

At one time the most well-known and popular artist of the 20th century, Dalí was a self-publicist who filled gossip columns with accounts of his eccentricities for over 60 years. His paintings of the invisible world of the unconscious mind were considered shocking, even amongst a group of extremists like the Surrealists, and after joining them he quickly became their most exotic and famous member.



20 February 2013:

THE Five Centuries of Blue and White:  An International History

Anton Gabszewicz: former Director and Head of European Ceramics at Christie’s, London, and course organiser for Christie’s Education, Anton has been an international specialist in English and European Ceramics for over 40 years. He appeared on the very first BBC Antiques Roadshow and broadcast with them for over a decade. He has also published books and articles, and has lectured extensively in Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He regularly writes for, and lectures at, the International Ceramics Fair & Seminar in London. .

This lecture will show English porcelain, which first appeared in the mid 1740s, within the broader context of world ceramics. It includes a brief outline of the development of ceramics from China and Japan via the short lived experiments under the Medici in late 16th century Florence, and the first introduction of hard paste porcelain into Europe at Meissen in the early 18th century. In exploring this complicated background it is interesting to see how English manufacturers were so strikingly influenced


13 March 2013:


Charles Hajdamach: is one of the top authories on glass in Britain. He is the former Director of Broadfield House Glass Museum (1974-2003), a Fellow of the Society of Glass Technology, a member of the Arts Advisory Board at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, as well as President of the Glass Association. Charles lectures internationally to glass museums and collector societies. He has authored several books on the subject, contributed to others and to magazines. Charles is making a welcome return to us after serveral years.

Sandwiched between two World Wars Art Deco evokes the glamour of Hollywood, the Jazz Age, cocktail parties, and ocean-going liners all set against the misery of unemployment following the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression. French and Swedish glass designers influcenced glass factories across Britain, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Germany, and, like their European counterparts, British glassmakers celebrated the Machine Age with emphatic geometric lines and vibrant colour schemes


17 April 2013:                 

The Drama behind the Taj Mahal

Oliver Everett: following service in the Foriegn Office, including postings in India and Spain, Oliver was Assistant Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales (1978-80), and then Private Secretary to Diana, Princess of Wales (1981-83). In 1984 he took up the post of Librarian in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, and since retiring in 2002 is now Librarian Emeritus. Oliver also found time to write the official guidebook and audio tour on Windsor Castle, has taught on its history, and acted as consultant on a televsion programme about it. In addition he has written articles, and helped with two books, about the Royal Collection.
This lecture is based on the Islamic manuscript, the Padshahnama – Chronicle of the King of the World – which is the unique official history of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, who ruled India from 1628 to 1658. Shah Jahan is best remembered for building the Taj Mahal; a tomb for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Padshahnama is illustrated with 44 of the finest Mughal paintings in the world, each vividly depicting the most dramatic events of the Emperor’s reign and the years before it. The book is the finest Islamic manuscript in the Royal Library and was given to King George III in 1797 by the ruler of the North Indian State of Oudah




15 May 2013:

Picasso, Man Ray and Max Ernst through the eyes of Lee Miller and Roland Penrose

Antony Penrose: for the past 30 years Antony has been conserving and disseminating the work of his parents Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. He is Director of The Lee Miller Archives and The Penrose Collection at Farley Farm House in Sussex, and has seen his parents’ work featured in many major exhibitions at the V&A, the National Portrait Gallary, the Manchester Art Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and at the Whitworth Gallery. He has lectured at museums around the world, and made television documentaries. Antony’s publications include: The Lives of Lee Miller, Lee Millers War (editor), The Angel and the Fiend, The Home of the Surrealists, Roland Penrose the Friendly Surrealist, and The Boy Who Bit Picasso.

This lecture presents a personal profile of giant figures in 20th century art. Picasso, Man Ray and Max Ernst were three of the key artists of the 20th century; they were also close friends of the Surrealist photographer Lee Miller and the Surrealist artist Roland Penrose. This is the hidden part of the story of a unique friendship which spanned the Surrealist Movement and the last 30 years of Picasso’s life. It is told by Antony Penrose, who witnessed some of the events at first-hand, using the words and images of those who were there.