The Lecture Programme for 2012
Lectures are held at Hersham Village Hall on Queens Road
by Hersham Green on Thursday afternoons at 2.30pm.
January 12th - Alan Read
The Creation and Early Years of the Newlyn School
From the 1880s the work of Stanhope Forbes, Walter Langley,
Frank Bramley and others began to be recognized as a
discrete school. Examining the process of that recognition,
there will be a description of how the work of the
Newlyn-based artists responded to international movements
and ultimately how they came into conflict with trends
elsewhere in British art.
Elizabeth Forbes, The Half Holiday, Alec
home from school
February 9th - Mary Acton
Continuity and Tradition in Western Sculpture
This lecture will focus on the changing face of the Classical
language of Western sculpture.
Topics covered will include the abiding importance of the study
of the human figure and its interpretations, from the Greeks to
Antony Gormley. The development of different types of sculpture
from the free standing figure to groups, reliefs and busts. The
significance of scale, touch and surface in relation to the
spectator, from the largest figures to the smallest. The revival
of interest in the classical tradition during the Renaissance
and the changes wrought by artists such as Donatello and
Michelangelo at that time, and then, later by Bernini in the
Baroque period and Rodin in the nineteenth century.
Boxer of Quirinal or Terme Boxer
Hellenistic Greek sculpture, 1st century BCE
March 8th - Ian Gibson
Inviting the World to London from the Great Exhibition to
The 2012 Olympics will be the latest in a succession of
international festivals hosted by London, each of which has left
a distinct legacy. Aside from the sports festival, the 2012
games will drive the regeneration of an industrial wasteland,
the Lea River Valley. New housing and leisure facilities aim to
provide a benchmark for 21st century urban living.
In 1851 the
Great Exhibition was the first trade and industry fair, a
demonstration of Britain's industrial prowess, a showcase of
more traditional skills and a catalyst for the development of
the Arts and Crafts Movement. Its success provided finance to
set up major museums in South Kensington.
In 1908 London
hosted the 4th Olympic games alongside the Anglo-French
exhibition. The best organised games to this point, the dramatic
conclusion to the Marathon brought the Olympics to worldwide
The British Empire Exhibition in 1924 showed off
cultures of the Empire and its staging in north London was a
boost for Metroland, new suburbs opened up by rail and
underground. Wembley stadium was built for the exhibition and
was to be the main arena for the 1948 Olympics. The 'Austerity
Games' marked the return of international sport after the war,
the last time a cultural Olympics was held. The Festival of
Britain also provided colour to the drabness of postwar Britain
as well as new cultural facilities.
Crystal Palace interior (1851)
April 12th - Jonathan Hinden
Mozart's Cosi: a Comic Opera
A non-technical and not-too-serious account of this
masterpiece, its characters and story, with musical
illustrations on the piano, focussing on the composer's ability
to express character and mood through music and with a brief
look at the circumstances and context of its composition.
May 10th - Karin Fernald
The Trees Wave, the Clouds Pass: Virginia Woolf on Life and
Some aspects of the life and views of Virginia Woolf, with
readings from her works.
The lecture is illustrated with paintings by members of the
Camden Group of Artists, and by Woolf's artist sister, Vanessa
Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf (1911-12)
June 14th - Jane Angelini
The Mosaics of Ravenna
Ravenna with its cluster of 5th and 6th century churches and
baptisteries contains some of the finest examples of early
Christian art, a kaleidoscopic array of glittering wall mosaics.
This was an art form in which the Byzantines excelled, producing
examples of truly outstanding beauty in Ravenna. Dante describes
the mosaics as "a great symphony of colour, their chief
characteristics being clarity, harmony, brilliant colours and a
decorative rhythmic design".
The lecture looks at the mosaics in the mausoleum of Galla
Placidia, in the church of San Vitale, in the churches of S.
Apollinare Nuovo and S. Apollinare in Classe, and in the two
baptisteries of Ravenna. These were all created between c.
450-550 during a time when Ravenna was a major port linking the
Italian peninsular to the Eastern Mediterranean and a cultural
centre of considerable importance.
S. Runciman, Byzantine Style &
Civilisation (Pelican) G. Mathew, Byzantine Aesthetics,
Interior of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna
July 12th - Patricia Wright
Iona, Lindisfarne and the Glory of the North: a 7th/8th
For more than a century Northumbria and Southern Scotland were
at the centre of European civilization. Their monasteries
produced brilliant illuminated manuscripts, their peoples
crafted intricate stone crosses, garnet and gold metalwork,
wrote poetry which has survived the ages. Across the 7th and 8th
centuries some extraordinary men and women inspired a cultural
revolution in an area the rest of the world had previously
thought little about, a revolution whose roots stretched back to
Ireland and forward to the courts of Charlemagne and Wessex.
St Columba founded Iona, Aidan was the light of Lindisfarne,
Wilfrid evangelised the Frisians, was the first to build York
and Hexham in stone; Bede became a scholar to rival the finest
minds of any age. Perhaps best-loved was Cuthbert of Melrose,
whose incorrupt body together with the Lindisfarne Gospels
was carried for years by devoted monks fleeing the Vikings,
until at last they brought both to rest on a rocky outcrop.
There they built their saint a tiny shrine — which soon flowered
into the marvel which is Durham Cathedral. But this is just
part of the story covered in this talk.
September 13th - Linda Smith
Kicking and Screaming: A Brief History of Post-War British
This lecture explains what has been going on in British art
since 1945, when Francis Bacon caused 'total consternation' with
his raw and visceral canvasses. His work was part of a wider
phenomenon called the 'Geometry of Fear' by a leading critic of
the day. From that point, the talk tracks key moments in British
art decade by decade, through the curious mixture of modernism
and pastoralism which is associated with the Festival of
Britain; on to the explosion of Pop Art and Conceptualism in the
1960s and 70s; through to the 1980 and 90s, which gave us the
Turner Prize and notorious Sensation exhibition, and up to the
However, despite all these highly public shocks and upsets,
figurative painters like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud were
quietly getting on with it in the background, and one of the
great stories of post-war British art is the continuing strength
and vigour of that tradition.
David Hockney, A Bigger Splash (1967)
October 11th - Tom Errington
Trompe L'Oeil: the Art of Illusion
What is it that makes the brain accept information provided
by the eye-the messenger-and how it blindly has to come to an
instant decision on whether a painting is really three
dimensional or simply flat representation.
The theory of
perspective is covered briefly with an investigation of how
colour, tone and shadow all play their role in creating a
trompe l'oeil painting.
The talk is illustrated with
diagrams, explaining the theory, and photographs of trompe
l'oeil paintings, including examples of the works of
Correggio, Crivelli and Tiepolo
Pere Borrell del Caso, Escaping Criticism
November 8th - Jane Gardiner
The Golden Age of Venetian Glass
The stylistic development of glass produced in Venice from
the late 15th century to the late 17th century, seen through
actual objects and through paintings.
The talk looks at the early history of glassmaking in Venice,
the material itself and the techniques involved in forming and
decorating the pieces. The early fashion for richly coloured and
enamelled glass is discussed; the sources of inspiration behind
the forms and the decoration. Who would have owned the pieces
and how they would have been used or displayed.
The talk also considers the desire for luxury objects in the
Renaissance, the new liking in the 16th century for clear glass
or cristallo and the fashion for fine glass drinking vessels
which followed on from this.
Finally, it examines the spread of this fashion throughout
Europe, the resulting trade and the gradual spread of
glassmaking skills to other parts of Europe.
JANE GARDINER M.A. - BIOGRAPHY
Jane trained at the Victoria and Albert Museum and went on to
become a Research Assistant and lecturer in the V&A Education
Department. In 1987 she was invited to join Sotheby's Institute
as tutor of 17th and 18th Century Decorative Art, going on to
become a Senior Lecturer and a Deputy Director of Sotheby's U.K.
She continues to lecture for both organisations. Her areas of
specialisation are early European Ceramics and Glass and 17th
and 18th century Architecture and Design. She also lectures for
the University of London, Michigan State University, the
National Trust, the Art Fund, the Wallace Collection, l'Institut
d Etudes Superieures des Arts, Paris, for Crystal Cruise Lines
and at antiques and interior design fairs in America.
Venetian Glass Goblet, 1675-1725 (V&A)