The Lecture Programme for 2014
Lectures are held at Hersham Village Hall on Queens Road
by Hersham Green on Thursday afternoons at 2.30pm.
Click here to see a one
page summary of the 2014 programme (PDF file).
Previous Years’ Programmes - 2013,
2004 (PDF format),
2003 (PDF format).
lectures 2003-2011 by date, and summary of
lectures 2003-2011 by name.
Rogier van der Weyden, Descent from the Cross
detail of women (left), oil on panel, Museo del
Prado(Copyright: this image is in the public domain,
January 9th - Turbulence and Stillness: The Art of Rogier Van der Weyden
Rogier van der Weyden was one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance.
He brought to his work consummate skill, and a lively capacity to explore the
boundaries of painting. He created some hauntingly lovely portraits,
especially of young women, and his religious pieces are marked by profound
psychological and spiritual insight.
He lived in politically dangerous and exciting times; yet he was also fascinated
by the stillness of monastic life.
He worked in the tension between outer turbulence and inner stillness and, as
a result, has left for us paintings which are breathtaking in their beauty.
Rev Dr Christopher Herbert
has lectured at the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute, King’s College, London, Westminster Abbey,
and the University of Rikkyo in Japan, and at churches and cathedrals throughout England and in Italy.
Was until recently Bishop of St Albans and a member of the House of Lords. He has an MPhil and PhD
in Art History from the University of Leicester. Has also been awarded two honorary doctorates and
is an honorary citizen of Fano, Italy.
February 13th - Love and
Loss: The Story of Orpheus & Eurydice
Orpheus could quite literally charm the birds out of the
trees with his music - yet he failed to bring his beloved
Eurydice safely out of the Underworld. All he had to do was to
lead her up to the light without looking back at her… Not
surprisingly the tale of how the legendary singer lost his lover
through a single glance has inspired much great music (including
the first masterpiece of opera, Monteverdi’s Orfeo), and visual
artists too have responded to this tragic story of love and
loss. Explore the wealth of art and music on the
Orpheus, with a rich array of paintings and musical examples
from Monteverdi, Gluck, and Offenbach, even taking in the
, studied English Literature at Cambridge University, and History of Art at the Courtauld Institute,
completing an MA in Venetian Renaissance Art and writing her doctoral thesis on
The Image of the Artist, Paris 1815-55.
She worked on the staff of the Harvard University Art Museums, before joining the V&A and then the National Gallery in London,
where as Exhibition Curator she was responsible for the major exhibition
'Rebels and Martyrs: the Image of the Artist in the
Nineteenth Century' (2006) and a series of touring exhibitions.
The author of numerous publications, she has written audio, multi-media and DVD scripts for Tate, the National Gallery,
the National Maritime Museum and the V&A, and appeared on a number of TV programmes for the BBC and Channel 5, as well as
broadcasting on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4. Since 2006 she has been Assistant Professor in History of Art at the University of Notre Dame
in London. Also a keen violinist, she plays regularly with orchestras including Chelsea Opera Group and the Endellion Festival Orchestra.
Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire,
built between 1590 and 1597
for Bess of Hardwick.
Designed by Robert Smythson in the
English Renaissance style.(Copyright:
this image is in the public domain, see
March 13th - The Dainty Device: Robert Smythson and the Prodigy House
From early Tudor times to the great display houses of
Elizabethan England, architecture was used to convey wealth,
culture and ‘meanings,’ both open and hidden. Beginning with
the architectural influences that appeared in England at this
time the lecture focuses on the great houses, or ‘prodigy’
houses such as Hardwick and Longleat and the work of the
Christopher Rogers read Geography at Oxford and taught Geography. Formerly Head
of Geography, Downe House School Newbury. He became interested in
country house architecture whilst at Oxford and has lectured on
the subject ever since, including regular lectures for the five-day
Summer School at Marlborough College and lectures and for the National Trust.
April 10th - Legend & Lustre: Jim Thompson & the Thai Silk
Jim Thompson arrived in Bangkok as a US army officer in 1945,
fell in love with it and stayed. Captivated by the beauty of
Thai silk, an ancient craft in decline, he resuscitated it and
made it famous, creating costumes for films and embellishing his
house, which today is a museum. An aesthete and art collector,
he created an exquisite home from six handcarved teakwood houses
brought from the countryside and filled it with Asian art. Here
he became a legendary host.
This lecture tells the story of his
achievements, showing the intricate process of silk production
and its illustrious heritage, including royal robes and temple
murals. It touches on films featuring his silks, reveals his
house and its art and reflects on a life that ended with his
mysterious disappearance. More information is available at
Denise Heywood is an author, lecturer,
photographer and journalist. She worked in Cambodia as a journalist for three years and has also lived in France and America.
Her books include one on the Buddhist temples of Laos, Ancient Luang Prabang, also in French, and her latest one is
Cambodian Dance Celebration of the Gods, with a foreword by Princess Buppha Devi, daughter of King Sihanouk.
Now based in London, she is a lecturer for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies (NADFAS),
The Art Fund, The School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) on their postgraduate Asian Art Course and
Madingley Hall (University of Cambridge). She has lectured all over Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia,
South Africa and Europe at universities, colleges, schools, art institutions and travel organisations including the
Royal Geographical Society, The British Museum, and The National Trust.
She writes for many art, literary and travel publications, appears on BBC radio, leads art
tours to Southeast Asia and France and lectures on cruise ships sailing throughout Asia.
Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London. Headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England. The
art deco building was built between 1927 and 1933 as a memorial to the 3,225 Freemasons who died on active
service in the First World War.
(Copyright: this image is in the public domain, see
May 8th - Freemasonry and the United Grand Lodge of England
Overview of what Freemasonry is as an organization combined with various
exterior and interior features of the United Grand Lodge of England, the
ceremonial and administrative headquarters of Freemasonry in England and
Wales. Otherwise known as The Freemasons’ Hall, the building possesses
several Art Deco features.
Chakmakjian is an independent lecturer on both eighteenth-century British Freemasonry
and Freemasonry in contemporary Japan (including masonic symbolism), as well
as certain aspects of Japanese culture such as historical periods, the City of
Kyoto, and Machiya (traditional Japanese townhouses). She holds a BA in English
Language & Literature (Whittier), a DipLaw (London) and an MA in Modern
French Studies (London). She has given public lectures since 2004 and to
date has given over 40 lectures and published five academic papers on Freemasonry.
June 12th - Out of the Blue:
the Story of Blue in Art
Have you ever wondered where the blue in medieval illuminated manuscripts
came from, or how the glaziers of our Gothic cathedrals made their blue
glass? The ancient Britons tattooed their bodies in a blue dye, and, two
thousand years later in a Parisian art gallery Yves Kline in a public
performance painted his nude models blue and dragged them across his
canvasses. Why doesn’t the Virgin Mary wear green, and why is Krishna
painted blue? These are some of the questions that I will be addressing.
The story of blue takes us from the lapis lazuli mines in Afghanistan to the
studios of Titian, Vermeer, Hokusai, Picasso and Matisse, to name but a few.
The spirituality of blue led Kandinsky and Franz Marc to name their art
movement ‘The Blue Rider’. As a professional artist myself, I pay special
attention to contemporary artists who use blue, such as Louise Bourgeois’
sculptures, Ann Hamilton’s 'Blue Jeans' installation, and John Wonnacott’s
Alexandra Drysdale is an art historian and a professional artist specialising in painting,
sculpture and performance. Her lectures combine art historical knowledge with personal
expertise in aesthetics and artistic techniques. It is this combination that makes her
lectures so original and dynamic. Art from all periods, including examples of her own
work, is examined from an artist's point of view. This entails a perceptive analysis of a
painting's structure, its meaning, and its relationship to the history of art. She puts
a particular emphasis on studying the symbolic language of the imagination.
Alexandra has a BA (hons) in Fine Art from Chelsea School of Art and an MFA from
Cambridge School of Art.
July 10th - Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside
A verbal, visual and musical kaleidoscope celebrating the
British coastline, combining paintings, photographs, posters,
sounds of the sea, film, songs,
music, and quotations from
writers and poets.
Horner is a freelance art historian, curator, film producer, lecturer and writer.
She is the world's leading authority on Frank Brangwyn and is currently compiling the
catalogue raisonné of all his work - both fine and decorative art - estimated to be
in excess of 12,000 items! Frank Brangwyn; Stained Glass published 2010 was the first
catalogue raisonné to be produced as a DVD. The irrepressible Libby has been commissioned
to write film scripts about Fay Godwin, Fiore de Henriquez and Patrick Reyntiens and has
expanded her lecture repertoire to reflect her eclectic range of interests
September 11th - Hogarth: Harlots, Rakes & Crashing China
Hogarth's observational genius and humour are explored
through the panoramas of his detailed interiors, high life and
low, and the lives of his players, both real and fictional. He
takes 'snapshots' of his material world, its humdrum chattels
and its fashionable luxuries, and hereby captures a wide
spectrum of the ceramic traditions of his day, right up to the
very eve of the Wedgwood revolution. We catch the challenges and
responses between potters East and West and the domestic tustle
of pottery versus porcelain. Through his racy narratives - The
Harlot, The Rake and Marriage-à-la-Mode - Hogarth offers his own
moral commentary on the pursuit of taste and luxury. Prepare to
is an independent lecturer to numerous societies, including NADFAS,
National Trust, Royal Institution and the Harveian Society, as well as universities.
A regular member of the BBC's 'Antiques Roadshow', in addition to conducting
tours overseas. He is also an auctioneer, and ambassador for the Foundling Museum.
Publications include Hogarth's China and An A-Z of 20th Century Antiques.
Caravaggio, Boy with a Basket of Fruit,
1593, oil on canvas
(Copyright: this image is in the public domain, see
October 9th - Shadowplay: The Dramatic Art of Caravaggio, the master of
After a period of neglect, Caravaggio (1571-1610) has come to be seen as
one of the most exciting and relevant old masters of all time. His deliberate
flouting of both social and artistic conventions, his homoerotic treatment of the
male body and the extreme violence of his life style have turned him into a
popular icon of contemporary artists and film makers. However, in this lecture
I want to show why we should look at Caravaggio as one of the great
innovators in the history of art. He brought a new realism to painting and
reinvigorated both classical and Christian subject matter. He restored a
sculptural integrity to the treatment of the figure. And, above all, he
developed a novel, dramatic art through the play of shadows, which has had a
considerable impact on artists from the seventeenth century to the present day.
Nicholas Watkins is Emeritus Reader in the Department of the History of Art and Film,
University of Leicester. His numerous publications include Matisse (1984),
Bonnard Colour and Light (1998), The Genesis of a Decorative Aesthetic (2001),
Marino Marini (2007). TV 'Pierre Bonnard: A Love Exposed' (1998). Regular contributor to
The Burlington Magazine and other leading art journals. Lectures extensively to universities,
museums, art galleries and art societies. Study tours to Florence, Rome, Paris,
South of France, Barcelona and Madrid and Vienna.
John Constable, The Cornfield,
1826, oil on
canvas, National Gallery
(Copyright: this image is in the public domain, see
November 13th - British Artists in Love with Landscape: Gainsborough to
The British have always had an affection for their landscape. This most lowly
of genres was preferred by Gainsborough to the more lucrative portraiture,
and his lyrical depictions of the Suffolk countryside influenced Constable.
Turner is perhaps our most original and greatest landscapist, his works, where
form dissolves into colour, will be contrasted with Constable’s more literal
interpretations. Newlyn School artists pioneered plein-air painting in Britain,
their sparkling beach scenes demonstrate a poetic response to the
We will look particularly at the importance of location for artists,
especially for Constable, Spencer and Hockney where a deep affinity with
their surroundings inspires their work.
is a teacher and Head of Art Department, 1976-1986, and is art history tutor for
the continuing education departments of Essex and Cambridge Universities,
colleges and adult education organisations. She is a long-standing lecturer with
the Open University on art history courses ranging from the early
Renaissance to the 20th century and has wide experience as a freelance lecturer
since 1988. Vivien lectured for ADFAS in Australia and NADFAS in New Zealand
and is also a practising artist.