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.


On Thursday 14 February, John Smith welcomed Chris Alexander who gave an interesting lecture “Cosmonauts and Cotton-pickers – Soviet Central Asian Mosaics and the use of public art as propaganda”, which included fascinating art and mosaics from several countries in Russia/Central Asia.

Tickets went on sale for the Visit to the Design Museum and Kensington Palace on 20 March and a Special Interest Day on 4 April “Embroidery and Tapestry from 10th – 16th Century”. Two one hour lectures in the morning at Riverhouse Barn, Walton on Thames.

Elmbridge Council is hosting an exhibition ‘Moving Art’ where artists aged 15+ are invited to submit one piece of art to be exhibited from 30 July at the Robert Phillips Gallery, Riverhouse Barn – submissions open until 1 April 2019. Approved applicants will be entered into an Elmbridge Artists Directory. For further information contact: arts

John also asked for any member who was a volunteer at a Heritage site should let him know – at present members support The Foundling Museum, Painshill Park and Watts Gallery.

Members were also encouraged to bring a guest to our lecture meeting – if possible a phone call/email to Margaret Sale in advance.

March’s meeting will be “Habitat Catalogued – an Insider’s Story” with Caroline Mac-Donald Haig – an insider’s view of how Terence Conran’s vision and determination changed the way we live now.


John Smith welcomed Members to the first meeting of the New Year.

Some disruption had been experienced following roadworks in Queens Road but everyone arrived on time and without too much inconvenience.

The speaker, Tony Rawlins, gave a fascinating talk on “Mad Men and the Artists – How the advertising industry has exploited fine art”.

John also highlighted the following:

February’s lecture – Cosmonauts and Cotton-pickers – Soviet Central Asian Mosaics and the use of public art as propaganda” with Chris Alexander.

Also tickets will be on sale for a Visit to the Design Museum and Kensington Palace on 20 March and a Special Interest Day on 4 April “Embroidery and Tapestry from 10th – 16th Century”.

Members were encouraged to complete the Elmbridge Borough Council survey for the future of the Community Hall in Queens Road which is available on line at Hersham Library or Hersham Community Centre until 25 January.

November update

Pamela Scott welcomed Leslie Primo to the November lecture entitled “Titian to Van Dyck: The Art of Portraiture” when we explored what demands drove this interest and need for portraiture, through the prism of Titian and Van Dyck.

It was Pamela’s final lecture as Chairman of The Arts Society Walton and she thanked the Committee for their help and support during the year. John Smith was welcomed, following the AGM, as Chairman from January 2019. Unfortunately, the Society still desperately needs volunteers and Committee members to ensure that we can continue to provide Lectures, Visits and Special Interest days, especially as Catherine Carter (Publicity) and Tony Collins (Teas) have now resigned from the Committee. Pamela paid special thanks to them both for their dedication and help. John gave a vote of thanks to Pamela and wished her well for the future although, as President, we will continue to welcome her to lectures and other events. Pamela is congratulated on the success of the Golden Anniversary “Celebrating Arts in Elmbridge” ay Riverhouse which was held in September.

We now look forward to the Festive Supper on 13 December at the Riverhouse Barn when Christopher Bradley talks to us about Santa Claus and the Art that turns him from St Nicholas into Father Christmas.

The Committee wishes all members a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. We look forward to your continued support.

October Update

Our meeting on 11 October was preceded by the Society’s sixteenth AGM when the 2018 Annual Accounts were approved, John Smith was elected Chairman for 2019 and the Committee was re-elected. However, regrettably Catherine Carter and Tony Collins both elected to stand down after many years of serving on the Committee. In addition certain amendments were proposed to the Society’s Constitution and these were approved.

Pamela Scott welcomed our speaker Clive Stewart-Lockhart – of Antiques Roadshow fame – who told us about The Art Market : How does it Work? A fascinating insight but not always worth millions of pounds! In addition we were selling tickets for our Festive Supper on 13 December (£33) to hear about Santa Claus – from St Nicholas to Father Christmas.

All our Visits and Special Interest events are now well-organised for 2019. In November you will receive your renewal packs to include the 2018 Newsletter, Programme Card and sticky labels as well as your TAS membership card.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2019.

September News

Pamela Scott announced at the Meeting on 13 September that John Smith was taking over the Chair of TASW from 1 January. Because John had served the customary three years as Chairman and didn’t have a successor for 2018, Pamela took over the Chairmanship for a year. John has kindly agreed to stand again from January 2019 and we will be voting for him at the forthcoming AGM on 11 October. You may also wish to be reminded that Catherine Carter and Tony Collins have both decided to step down from the Committee and we shall miss their contribution enormously. If there is anyone who would like to join the Committee please do contact one of us for further information. We do need help in running the events and ensuring the Society runs as smoothly as possible!

William Forrester was our September speaker – we have welcomed William before when he spoke about “The Percy Family of Alnwick, Syon & Petworth” and this time his lecture was entitled “The Sackvilles of Knole and Sissinghurst”. We examined the turbulent marriage of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson and the gardens they created at Long Barn and Sissinghurst. An entertaining and informative lecture which I think everyone enjoyed.

Work continues for the “Celebration” Exhibition at Robert Phillips Gallery at the Riverhouse Barn from 10.00 – 16.00 on Wednesday 26 – Sunday 30 September – admission is free.

At our October meeting we will welcome Clive Stewart-Lockhart “The Art Market: How does it Work”. We will also be selling tickets (priced £32) for our October visit entitled ‘All our Waterloos’ on Tuesday 16 October. A coach will take us on a City and Village tour of London’s French Quarter followed by a visit to the V&A’s new galleries. Tickets will also be on sale for the Festive Supper at Riverhouse on 13 December when Christopher Bradley talks about “Santa Claus – the Art that turns from St Nicholas to Father Christmas”.