January 10th - Sian Walters
Frida Kahlo: Reflections of Life on Canvas
Kahlo’s paintings offer a stunning visual record of the life of one of the 20th
century’s most gifted and original artists. Born in Mexico City in 1907, just
three years before the Revolution, her works reflect a deep pride in the rich
cultural heritage of her homeland, from its vibrant colours and decorative
costumes to its indigenous mythological and religious traditions.
But it is the self-portraits which remain her most striking and memorable
body of work: not simply a record of her physical likeness, but also a vehicle
for exploring the dramatic and often poignant events of her life as well as her
family, her emotions, her body and her political sympathies.
Our lecture traces Frida’s life and work exploring themes of nationalism,
proto-feminism, auto-biography and surrealism in these powerful and often
Lecturer at the National Gallery and Surrey University , specialising in 15th and 16th century
Italian painting, Spanish art and architecture, and the relationship between dance and art. Has
lived in France and Italy, where she worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice
February 14th - Malcolm Kenwood
Fakes & Forgeries:
the Art of Deception
The media promote an image of suave and sophisticated gentlemen art
thieves operating in heists with beautiful paintings, elegant locations and
connotations of en exotic millionaire lifestyle.
The reality is that the art thief is no aristocrat. Stealing fine art and
antiques affords criminals with a high value commodity, often poorly
protected, that can transcend national or international boundaries and reach
those eager to deal with the discreditable and unsuspecting.
Using fascinating actual case studies the lecture examines the trail and
Repatriation of stolen art.
Former specialist police detective investigating art and antique crime
and was recoveries director for the Artloss Register. His company has created
training courses to prevent and detect art crime. Has lectured to police and customs
officers, museum and auction house staff, Interpol, the FBI and specialist interest groups.
Portrait of a Woman, attributed to Goya (1746-1828). X-ray images taken of this
painting in 1954 revealed a portrait of another woman, circa 1790, beneath the surface.
X-ray diffraction analysis revealed the presence of zinc white paint, invented after Goya's death.
Further analysis revealed that the surface paint was modern and had been
applied so as not to obscure the craquelure of the original. After analysis,
the conservators left the work as you see it above, with portions of old and
new visible, to illustrate the intricacies of art forgery, and the inherent
difficulty of detecting it.
(Copyright: image in
public domain, text Wikipedia)
March 14th - John Ericson
The Shakers: their Beliefs, Architecture and Artefacts
The Shakers, or Shaking Quakers as they were derisively called, were a small group
of religious dissidents that grew out of Quakerism and had their origins in mid-18th
century England, but they are much better known as a successful 19th century North
American fundamentalist sect.
They established themselves initially in the north eastern states in agrarian
communities as they attempted to build Utopia or - as they saw it - their Heaven
on earth. In this engaging talk John tells the extraordinary story of the Shakers
exploring their beginnings, what they believed and how they lived their lives,
before examining examples of their wonderful buildings and furniture. For it is
only with such an understanding of their devout faith and way of life that we can
begin to appreciate the beauty of their intriguing legacy.
John recently retired from the University of Bath where he was Director of
Studies in the School of Education. His principal areas of research were course
design and the role of pictures in both teaching and learning. He has worked
overseas as an educational consultant and has given lectures and presentations
at conferences all over the world. In 2008 and 2011 he undertook extensive
NADFAS lecture tours of Australia and New Zealand.
Shaker Brother Ricardo Belden, making wooden
oval boxes in a workshop at the Hancock Shaker village
near Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1935, photograph by
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
"Mrs Kravitt has stipulated that Samuel Kravitt's
photographs are in the public domain", text Wikipedia)
April 11th - Dr Scott Anderson
Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession
Gustav Klimt, leader of the fin-de-siecle Vienna Secession, changed the face
Of painting in the Imperial city of Vienna and produced some of the most
remarkable works of the Art Nouveau era around 1900. His paintings
explored complex areas of interpretation and new and exciting techniques,
creating some of the most beautiful and extravagant images of the 20th
century. This talk focuses on Klimt’s career from his early years as a theatre
decorator, and the establishment of the Vienna Secession in 1897, through
to the masterpieces of the early 20th century. His exhibitions and works are
reviewed as is the concepts of his paintings as components of interior design
in decorative schemes created by other Secessions artists who shared the
same clients as Klimt. The cultural changes that took place in Vienna in the
years immediately prior to World War I are discussed in relation to the
works of Gustav Klimt, a painter who can be viewed as one of the most
important artists of his generation, in what was truly a golden age of painting.
Formerly a professional archaeologist , now a Senior Lecturer at Southampton Solent
University teaching courses on the history and theory of interior design and visual culture.
Has lectured to many adult audiences, NADFAS groups and the WEA. A consultant valuer
for the BBC television programme Flog It!
Kustav Klimt, Mäda Primavesi (1912)
Oil on canvas. 150 × 110 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Copyright: image in public domain
May 9th - Prof Michael Wheeler
Writing Home—Jane Austen's Houses
Jane Austen lived and stayed in a wide variety of houses across southern
England, particularly in Hampshire and Kent, Bath and London. Michael
Wheeler, author of Jane Austen and Winchester Cathedral, illustrates
some of the houses – mainly Georgian – that meant most to her and
discusses – with humour and lightness of touch – the way in which she
describes houses in her novels, and why.
Graduate of Cambridge and London universities, author of books on
19th century culture; has held Chairs at Lancaster and Southampton universities;
co-Director of Chawton House Library during its development stage. Now a freelance
writer and lecturer, and a Visiting Professor at the universities of
Lancaster and Southampton
Jane Austen lived here, in Chawton, during her final years
Copyright: Rudi Riet, originally posted by randomduck,
Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share
Alike 2.0 Generic license
June 13th - Deborah Lambert
A Peculiar Education: the Grand Tour in the 18th Century
In 18th century England it became an essential part of the education of most
young men of quality, sometimes as young as 15, to be sent off to spend time
traveling in Europe. The intention was for them to spend a few years in Italy,
and in Rome, to complete their classical education – the equivalent of the
teenage backpackers of today? The actuality was frequently very different
from that envisaged by eager parents. The delights of gaming houses and drinking dens
were often much more attractive than ruins of classical temples or galleries
filled with Old Master paintings. Had it all been worth it?
Curator of the Schroder Collection, a private art collection. Studied for her
MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute and worked for many years as an
academic director and lecturer at Christie’s Education. Appears regularly
as a furniture specialist on the Antiques Roadshow.
The interior of the Pantheon in the 18th century, painted by Giovanni
July 11th - Dr Rosamund Bartlett
Russian Opera: An Illustrated History
This lecture provides an introduction to the rich repertoire if Russian opera,
including Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades,
Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, Borodin’s Prince Igor, Prokofiev’s
Love for Three Oranges, and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
We will look both at how opera evolved in Russia as an art form initially
imported from Italy by the imperial Court, and the role played by Russian
rules such as Catherine the Great and Nicholas I.
Currently Visiting Professor at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance,
and Visiting Research Fellow in the Music Department at King’s College London.
Also teaches at the Guildhall and at the University of Oxford. Works as a writer,
translator and lecturer, and specialises in Russian and European cultural history.
Based on a work by Ivan Bilibin (A Russian Warrior) and the
costume design for "Prince Igor" by Borodin, 1930. Published in the USSR before 1937.
Copyright: GNU Free Documentation License
Version 1.2 or later and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0
September 12th - Tim Bruce-Dick
Great Architects of the 1930s: The Golden Age of Modernism
Two men influenced the rise of Modernism in Britain in the 1930s: Le
Corbusier, the great Swiss architect who laid down the rules of the ‘new
architecture’, and Adolph Hitler whose anti-Semitic policies drove a host of
gifted young architects and artists into exile in Britain. Among these
Erich Mendelsohn (Bexhill Pavilion), Bertold Lubetkin (Highpoint), Walter
Gropius, Piet Mondrian and Erno Goldfinger brought a breath of fresh air to
a country still gripped by classical architecture. The new architecture with
its white walls and extensive glass offered a healthy answer to damp slums
and tuberculosis prevalent at the time. London Underground supremo
Charles Holden (Piccadilly Line stations) set high standards; he was followed
by young British architects Maxwell Fry and Freddy Gibberd, and Canadian
Wells Coates, among others. When you also consider outstanding Art Deco
Buildings like the Daily Express (by engineer Owen Williams) and the Hoover
Factory at Perivale (by Wallis Gilbert) it is clear the 1930s was the Golden Age
of Modernism in Britain.
Art Historian and a practicing architect. Has taught Design and History at
Oxford Brookes (1974-1992) and at Oxford University Summer Schools. Has lectured on
the Appreciation of Modern Architecture at City University, and leads
annual walks in London to see the latest architecture.
Daily Express building, Fleet Street,
built in 1932
by Sir Owen Williams
Copyright: Wikimedia Commons, photographer Russ London
October 11th - Sue Jackson
The Huguenot Silk Weavers of Spitalfields – From Riches to Rags
The story of the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields is one of rags to
riches and back again. Welcomed at first with open arms and bringing luxury
skills, the Huguenots’ fortunes fluctuated wildly. The lecture features the
sumptuous patterned silk dresses, the last word in fashion in the mid-18th
century, and takes a look at their designers and makers. It describes the
glorious houses of the Master Weavers and how they were lived in, and
discusses the present day fight to preserve these houses which are now
extremely valuable. One of the weavers’ houses in Spitalfields can still
be visited today.
Having worked in art and design publishing for Phaidon and Yale
University Press, Sue now lectures for NADFAS, the National Trust,
U3A and City Literary Institute. A qualified Blue Badge Guide, she
gives guided walks on various themes and has published work on the
lost world of the River Fleet.
Dress made from Spitalfields silk woven
by French Huguenots and worn by Ann Fanshawe when
her father was Lord Mayor of London in 1752-53
Museum of London
November 14th - Nicola Moorby
River of England—Turner and the Thames
J.M.W. Turner is often thought of as the great artistic traveller of his age,
wandering around Britain and Europe in search of inspiring landscape scenery
Yet one of his most enduring subjects was found on his doorstep in his
Native city of London. This lecture examines Turner’s engagement with the
River Thames. Living by or near its banks throughout his life, the artist was
endlessly fascinated by the river. From Oxford to the Estuary, he variously
explored its views and moods, its cultural and national symbolism, and its
historic and contemporary associations. Rich in meaning and visual effects,
the Thames became one of Turner’s moist frequently depicted subjects and
by the end of his life had inspired some of his most innovative and celebrated
A curator at Tate Britain, with extensive experience of lecturing to a
wide variety of audiences. Specialises in British art of the 19th
and early 20th centuries. Has curated a number of exhibitions,
published widely on J.M.W. Turner and is co-editor and author of
How to Paint Like Turner (Tate Publishing 2010)
J. M. W. Turner, Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway painted (1844),
The National Gallery, UK.
The painting depicts an early locomotive of
the Great Western Railway crossing the River Thames on Brunel's recently completed Maidenhead Railway Bridge.
public domain based on the official position of the Wikimedia Foundation that
"faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are
public domain, and that claims to the contrary represent an assault on the
very concept of a public domain".