January 2020

Happy New Year to all our members!

Today we enjoyed a brilliant lecture when Gavin Plumley talked about Mahler and Klimt the “Two Gustavs” and what links and divides them. Gavin Plumley is ‘leading cultural historian’ and well known for his work on Central European music and culture during the 19th and 20th centuries. A fascinating hour which included musical interludes.

In February Anne Sebba will tell us the story of women’s lives during the Nazi occupation; the lecture includes British and American women caught in Paris during the World War II. In February we will also be selling tickets for our Special Interest Event on 16 April “The Brilliance of British Architecture and Design” (Ian Swankie).

We are looking forward to our Visit to London on 26 February “Tutankhamun and the Roaring Twenties” and have been most successful in selling tickets for this event. (Val Woolford 01932 252007).

We hope you have received your 2020 Programme card and sticky labels and that you will enjoy our lectures for the year ahead.

November update

At our final lecture of 2019 we welcomed an almost packed house and our speaker, Jo Banham who took us through “The Roaring Twenties and High Society”. This was a period of enormous vitality in art and design and our lecture explored the decade including fashion, and the lives of its leading figures. Our members were captivated by the story Jo portrayed, following the dark days of the Great War, and how the wealthy and privileged were determined to shock and break with conventions, fuelled by endless rounds of champagne, cocaine, parties and jazz.

Our next event before the New Year, is the Festive Supper on 12 December when Clare Phillips will talk to us about “Stocking Fillers from Faberge”.

If you have not received your renewal pack, this will be in the post to you very shortly. We look forward to welcoming you to our lectures, visits and special interest events in 2020. We have already reserved tickets for the afternoon of 26 February and a visit to the Saatchi Gallery for “Tutankhamen: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh”. In the morning we have organised a “Roaring Twenties” tour through Chelsea and Kensington. Please make sure you put a date in your diary!

In the meantime, the Committee wishes all our members a very Happy Christmas and a healthy 2020.

October News

We hope that you have remembered to renew your membership and, in the event that you have decided not to renew for 2020, we shall miss you at our meetings.

It has been an eventful year and details of next year’s events, the Newsletter, Programme Card and, of course, the sticky labels, will be available early next month.

As you know Halina is arranging a Tour to Madrid at the end of May 2020 and there are a few places still available.

There are also seats available for next week’s visit to Arundel Castle (17th October) – even room perhaps for you to invite a friend to join you. We will be selling tickets on Thursday 10th October but you can contact Val Woolford on 01932 252007 (val.woolford).

We will also be selling tickets next Thursday for the Festive Supper on Thursday 12 December when Clare Phillips will tell us about Stocking Fillers from Faberge.

We look forward to seeing you.

September update

On September 12th we welcomed Louise Schofield to tell us how her fascination of the Queen of Sheba captured the imagination of great artists, inspired epic films and led archaeologists such as herself, to go in search of her land – a search that has led to major discoveries in both Yemen and Ethiopia, where Louise has been working since 2006, (living in a tent and her brush with hyenas).

John Smith, Chairman, reminded members that renewal was due at the end of September and he hoped that everyone had received their invitations and had sent in their cheques!

It was also with much pleasure that the Society is able to announce another Tour, this time to Madrid, in May/June 2020, as Halina Heyworth has very kindly agreed to take on another commitment for us. This event is already very popular so you need to respond without delay!

Our next event is the Special Interest Day (2 morning lectures) on 19 September “Behind the London Livery Companies” where there is still availability. Tickets (£33) were also on sale for our Visit to Arundel Castle on 17 October.

The Society’s AGM is to be held at 2pm on 10 October followed by a lecture by Gail Turner “Sorolla Comes Back to London”. We look forward to welcoming you.

Members will no doubt notice that the carpark at All Saints has been extended so there is now plenty of room.

Our 2020 welcome packs will be distributed in November and we hope you will enjoy another year of interesting events.

The Arts Society Walton – August update

Welcome to The Arts Society Walton. I hope you’ve had a good summer and enjoyed some fantastic weather. You should by now have received your renewal pack for 2020 and I do hope you will renew for what will be an exciting year of lectures, visits and special interest events, as we don’t intend to send out reminders. I also hope to see you next month at our lecture on 12 September when we will welcome Louise Schofield to talk about the Queen of Sheba with discoveries in Yemen and Ethiopia. We will also be booking for our Visit to Arundel Castle on 17 October and the Tour to Madrid, in 2020, details of which were sent with your renewal pack. We are so grateful to Halina Heyworth for agreeing to take on this challenge!

Best wishes

John Smith, Chairman

July 2019

Monica Bohm-Duchen was welcomed to The Arts Society Walton on a warm July afternoon when attendance was somewhat depleted (only 90 members attended), probably due to the weather and Wimbledon.

It was an interesting lecture “Belonging and Not Belonging: The Immigrant Experience in Modern British Art” when we examined the experience, reception and contribution of émigré artists to this country.

There is no lecture in August but we will be sending out our renewal invitations and the Committee very much hopes you will renew your membership. You will also receive details of a great programme of Lectures, Visits and “Special Interest” events in 2020. We meet again on 12 September.

June update

At our lecture on 13 June, John Smith, Chairman, welcomed Adam Busiakiewicz, who entertained us with” The significance of the lute in paintings through the ages” which included some delightful music which Adam played on his lute. It was an excellent lecture, enjoyed by our members.

John also reminded us to visit the Sorolla exhibition at the National Gallery (until 7 July). This is followed by our October lecture “Sorolla comes to London”.

In July, Monica Bohm-Duchen will talk to us on “Belonging and Not Belonging: The Immigrant Experience in Modern British Art”.

The Priest’s House has now been demolished at All Saints Church which gives more generous parking for our members when visiting the Hall. In July we will be sending out our renewal invitations and very much hope that you will join us for another year of exciting lectures, visits and special interest events.


On 9 May we had a change to our printed lecture programme. Unfortunately, Karin Fernald was unable to give us the lecture on “Hester Thrale – friend of Samuel Johnson” as she was unwell. We hope that we can re-book this lecture at some time in the future. We were very fortunate when Peter Scott was available and able to come to our help at the last minute. Peter (husband of our President, Pamela Scott) is an art historian and at present lecturing at Tate Modern on “EY van Gogh Exhibition”. Peter told us how Van Gogh was inspired by British art, literature and culture throughout his career and how he in turn inspired British artists, from Walter Sickert to Francis Bacon and spent several crucial years in Londonbetween 1873 and 1876. We were all encouraged to visit the Exhibition which is on until 11 August. The lecture was inspiring and enjoyed by our members. We are most grateful to Peter.

On 13 June our lecturer is Adam Busiakiewicz and “The Queen of Instruments : the Lute within Old Masters Paintings” – Adam will play his lute for us! We will also be selling tickets for the visit on 17 July to Waddesdon Manor.

We would ask members to note that our old domain name whdfas.org.uk is ending this week. This means that if you are still using the old name (for example in a bookmark) it will stop working. You will have to use the new domain theartssocietywalton.org

We look forward to seeing you next month.

April update

At our meeting on 11 April, John Smith welcomed Jennifer Toynbee-Holmes who gave an interesting lecture on “The Talent in Tite Street. Throughout its turbulent history it remained home to innumerable artists, writers, suffragettes queers and madmen including, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde, John Singer Sargent, Augustus John, Romaine Brooks and Gluck.

Earlier in the month, we had a fascinating Special Interest day at the Riverhouse Barn when Dr Susan Kay talked about Luxury Textiles – Embroidery and Tapestry from 10th – 16th century which was very well received and enjoyed by all who attended. Unfortunately our Visit to Chelsea has been cancelled owing to overbooking at the Physic Garden.

John mentioned that the latest news is that Hersham Village Hall is to be re-opened after renovation work has been carried out. However, we do not envisage that this will be in the foreseeable future and therefore we plan to continue to hold our lectures at All Saints Church Hall for the reminder of 2019 and also 2020.

Next month Karin Fernald’s lecture charts the ups and downs of Hester Thrale’s life and includes paintings of Hogarth, Rowlandson, Reynolds and others. We hope you will join us!

The Committee is busy preparing talks, Visits and Special Interest Days for 2020 and looks forward to revealing the new programme to our members in late July when we will be inviting renewals for next year. We do hope you will continue to enjoy your membership with the Society, which equates to only £4.50 a lecture (and a quarterly magazine).

We welcome your views and feedback which can easily be entered on our website (Programme of Events – Lecture Review).

March 2019

At the Lecture Meeting on 14 March, John Smith, Chairman of TASW, welcomed Caroline MacDonald-Haig. Caroline spent some time working for Terence Conran in the 70s and gave us an “insider’s view” of Habitat and the various stages of Conran’s success from 1964, when he opened his first shop.

On 20 March the Society has a Visit planned to the Design Museum and Kensington Palace. The museum was founded in 1989 by Sir Terence Conran. and was originally sited by the River Thames near Tower Bridge, and later relocated to Kensington and will form part of our visit to Kensington. All tickets have been sold.

We are also planning a Special Interest Day on 4 April “Luxury Textiles: Embroidery and Tapestry from 10th – 16th century” This will comprise two morning lectures only at The Riverhouse Barn. Tickets are available so if you would like to attend please contact Alison Lornie on 01932 845372 (alison.lornie).

John also announced that at its recent meeting the Committee, with regret, agreed to increase our subscription for 2020 from £40 to £45 per annum. When our Society was formed in 2003 the annual subscription was £35. The last increase was announced in 2016 when the annual subscription was set at £40. However, an increase in our costs and lecturers’ fees together with fees to National and Area has meant that we may have to consider using our Reserves, which we retain for emergencies e.g. new equipment etc. Even at £45 per annum this equates to £4.50 a lecture and is less than other Societies in Surrey.

It is understood that there are major works being undertaken at All Saints Church Hall and carpark. The Priest’s House is to be demolished which will create a larger carpark. Since we started using the Hall in the last 18 months, the rear doors have been replaced, a new floor laid in the main Hall and the Pastoral Centre re-carpeted with a new heating unit installed. We shall continue to keep a watchful eye on progress.