November update

On 10 November we welcomed Julian Halsby who also ‘visited’ us via Zoom during the Covid pandemic. Julian talked us through our final lecture entitled “The Butterfly on the lagoon Whistler in Venice 1879 – 1880”, a story of misfortune, followed by triumph. 85 members attended with four visitors.

We must thank the Audio Visual team for their hardwork and dedication throughout the years, and especially James Moore, without whom we would not have enjoyed all those lectures via Zoom during the pandemic, ably assisted by Lindy Wilson, who has been responsible for MailChimp messages to those members in receipt of emails.

The Committee hopes you have all been able to enrol in another West Surrey Area Society. We would like to thank you for your membership, time and patience and most of all your company. We hope to see you again at another venue to enjoy The Art Society for many years to come.

Happy Christmas!!

Autumn update

In October at the Annual General Meeting, all Resolutions were carried unanimously. This means that The Art Society Walton, in the presence of Chris Symington, Chairman of West Surrey Area Arts Society, approved the winding up of our Society at the end of December 2022. It is a sad occasion for the Committee and all our members. We hope that you have been able to enrol with another local Society but if you need advice or help please do not hesitate to let us know or contact The Arts Society : Telephone 020 7038 7590 (10.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday) Email: enquiries

Our final lecture on 10 November is entitled “The Butterfly on the Lagoon : Whistler in Venice 1879 – 1880” with Julian Halsby. This lecture gives a detailed examination of Whistler’s 18 months in Venice. A story of misfortune followed by triumph. Please do join us!

We hope you have enjoyed your membership of the Arts Society Walton. We have certainly had pleasure in organising and sharing the Lectures, Special Events, Visits and Tours with you and send you all our very best wishes for your future happiness and good health. We hope to see you again at another West Surrey Arts Society.

In the New Year we will finalise our Accounts to 31 December 2022 and let you have details of the donation to Riverhouse Barn.

October lecture and Annual General Meeting

On Thursday 13 October we welcome Alan Read to talk to us about “Food in Art”. A visual presentation of how food has made glorious art through the centuries.

The Annual General Meeting will take place at 2pm prior to the lecture. This is an important meeting to approve the Resolution to wind-up the affairs of the Society and to approve the donation of our remaining assets. Laurence Shafe (Chairman 2011-14) will Chair the AGM on behalf of the Committee.

The following Societies have been approached to enquire if they are able to accept new members from TASW and we are certain you will receive a warm welcome.

Weybridge Arts Society

2nd Wednesday at 10.30 Whiteley Village Hall, Octagon Road, off Burwood Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 4EH.


Runnymede Arts Society

3rd Wednesday 10.30. Wraysbury Village Hall (temporary)


Claremont & Oxshott Arts Society

2nd Wednesday 14.15 Menuhin Hall, Stoke D’Abernon, KT11 3QQ



3rd Monday at 19.30 at the University



1st Tuesday at 19.00 Luke Street Church, Richmond TW9 1DH


Details of other Arts Societies can be found on

Our final lecture will be on 10 November when Julian Halsby will examine Whistler’s 18 months in Venice (1879-1880) “The Butterfly on the Lagoon”. It will be a sad day for the Committee! We have enjoyed your company and the pleasure of organising the various events for you.


Just as our Lecture was about to commence yesterday afternoon, we learned, with great sadness, that family of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had been summoned to Balmoral because of the deterioration in her health. Two hours later the news hit the headlines that our Queen had passed peacefully away. She has been a constant example of service, humility and duty and lived her whole life in accordance with the promises she made many decades ago, and was unstinting in her support of arts and culture for over seventy years. She was supported by her beloved husband, Philip, who passed away in April 2021, and whose body will be moved to the Gothic Church’s King George VI Memorial alongside the Queen’s, following her death. Long Live the King.

It is apt that we should be holding a Special Interest Event on 22 September at Riverhouse Barn, entitled “The Royal Collection – 70 Years its Guardian”.

Tickets are available from Alison Lornie (01932 845372) Price £25 for two lectures (at 10.00 for 10.30), including mid-morning coffee.

On 13 October we hold out AGM which will be followed by a lecture “Food in Art” with Alan Read.

We look forward to seeing you.

August update

We hope you are enjoying the summer and this mammoth heatwave which seems to have been with us for so long now!

It is sad that there are only three more lectures until the end of 2022. On 8th September we welcome Colin Shindler who will talk to us about ”Sixty years on: Life in Britain as seen in 1960s films”. A decade of change and contradictions!

Our AGM is on 13th October and the papers will be posted within the next week. We do hope that you will attend this important meeting which will be followed by Alan Read’s lecture “Food in Art”.

Our final meeting on 10th November will be to welcome the return of Julian Halsby, who will talk to us about the “Butterfly on the Lagoon: Whistler in Venice 1879-1880”, an examination of Whistler’s 18 months in Venice.

On 22 September (at 10.00 for 10.30) at Riverhouse Barn we hold a Special Interest event “THE ROYAL ART COLLECTION OF ELIZABETH II” with Linda Collins; tickets £25.00 including coffee will be available at our Meeting on 8 September or contact Alison Lornie (01932 845372). We welcome members (and guests).

May and June lectures

We have been working hard at TASW but unfortunately we missed our update for May, so this message is for May and June.e

On 12th May we welcomed Carole Pettipher for her lecture “The Ups and Downs of the Impressionists along the Seine”. Unfortunately, we had to curtail the lecture as, sadly, one of our members became unwell and an ambulance was called. Fortunately, it was not required in the end and the gentleman concerned recovered sufficiently to make his way to A&E and, after some time, was allowed home.

Carole Petipher has kindly offered to repeat her May lecture on Zoom for us shortly, and we are exploring dates and times with her. A very generous suggestion. We will let you know as soon as this has been confirmed.

We would also like to apologise for the continuing sound problems, hopefully to be resolved before next month’s lecture.

We look forward to welcoming you to our 9th June lecture “Fashion, Fury and Feminism : Women’s Fight for Change” when our lecturer will be Tessa Boase. When Tessa told the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds she wanted to write their early story, they refused to let her visit their archives. To a former investigative journalist, this was a challenge she could not resist….this lecture shines a light on the intriguing story of women’s love affair with plumage – and of the brave eco-feminists who fought back on behalf of the birds. Moving from a polite Victorian tea party to egret hunt in a Florida swamp; from a suffragette ‘monster’ rally to a milliner’s dusty workshop, you’ll be taken back in time to a world where every woman of every class wore a hat.

Arrangements are now well in hand and tickets (£50 each) are on sale for the Visit to Highclere Castle on 13 July (contact: Val Woolford – 01932 252007 or val.woolford).

We look forward to seeing you soon.



On 14th April we will welcome Karin Ferdinand. Karin is known for her entertaining lectures on writers and diarists connected with the arts from the mid-18th to 19th century, and moving forward in time with Virginia Woolf. Extensive research into diaries and letters bring lectures to vivid life. Karin illustrates them with slides of contemporary pictures and portraits from varied sources.

In 1765, Samuel Johnson, aged 56, ill, lonely, living off Fleet Street among quarrelling dependents, was introduced to a wealthy brewer, Henry Thrale, and his witty and talented young Welsh-born wife, Hester. Their friendship would last 18 years, providing Johnson with hospitality and comfort. To Hester it brought the great stimulus of Johnson’s views on literature and life. She responded with plenty of her own. When Thrale died and Hester remarried to an Italian musician, Gabriel Piozzi, London society never forgave her. Nor did Johnson, telling Fanny Burnley “when I meet with one of her letters, I burn it. ”Nonetheless, Hester would lead a spirited and literary life in North Wales and Bath as “The Scandalous Mrs Piozzi”. With paintings, portraits and caricatures by Hogarth, Rowlandson, Reynolds, Richard Wilson, Francis Hayman and George Moreland.


On 21st April we will be holding a Special Interest Event (2 one hour lectures – 10.00 for 10.30) at the Riverhouse Barn. David Rosier will take us through Chinese Formal and Informal Court Costume (1644-1911). Tickets (£28) are available from Alison Lornie (01932 845372 or 07763 057728) and include coffee and biscuits.

The following invitation has been received from The Arts Society Richmond:

Please would you support our fundraising study morning on Zoom and YouTube on Tuesday 12th April at 10.30am, tickets £25. All proceeds will be donated to the British Red Cross, Ukraine Crisis Appeal. The speaker is Arts Society lecturer Dr Kathy McLaughlan. Please forward this email to all your friends and, if you are on an Arts Society committee, please forward it to all your members.

The study morning is an introduction to the 19th century Ukrainian artist Ilya Repin and the landscape paintings of Ukrainian artist Arkhip Kuindzhi, Russian artist Ivan Shishkin and Lithuanian artist Isaac Levitan.

Get your ticket at The Zoom and YouTube links will be emailed to you automatically. If we exceed our Zoom limit, you can always use the YouTube link because YouTube has no maximum numbers. The study morning will not be recorded.

10.30-11.30am. Lecture 1: Ilya Repin (1844-1930 born Chuhiv, Kharkiv province in modern day Ukraine). An introduction to this prolific and astounding realist painter, famous for his portraits and his genre and historical paintings.

11.30-12 Break

12-1pm. Lecture 2: An introduction to the stunning, thought provoking and awe-inspiring landscapes of Arkhip Kuindzhi (1841-1910 born in Mariopol in modern day Ukraine), Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898 born in Yelabuga, Russia), and Isaac Levitan (1860-1900 born in Kibarty in modern day Lithuania)

We are indebted to Kathy for giving her time free, to Arts Society Richmond member Jane Harrison for organising the study morning, and to Tixoom for waiving their fees.

Please buy your ticket now and support Ukraine, and please forward this email to everyone.

Thank you so much.

Richard Lebus, The Arts Society Richmond,

Tel: 020 8892 9696, Mobile: 07989 737582

March update

Our next live lecture is on 10 March when Alexandra Epps will talk to us about “Peggy Guggenheim”, the poor little rich girl who changed the face of 20th century art. Marguerite "Peggy" Guggenheim was an American art collector, bohemian and socialite. Born to the wealthy New York City Guggenheim family, she was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912, and the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim who established the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

Following the success of last month’s lecture we hope to welcome more members to All Saints Church Hall. Seats will be well-spaced for social distancing and masks available if required!

On 21 April (registration from 10am – start 10.30) we have our first Special Interest Event for almost two years at Riverhouse Barn. David Rosier, who spent 25 years working in Asia, will give two lectures entitled “Chinese Formal and Informal Court Costume (1644-1911). “A journey through and beyond the Imperial Wardrobe”. We will have a coffee break between the first and second lecture. Tickets will be available from 10 March (price £28) on sale at the lecture or from Alison Lornie (01932 252007). We hope to see you there.

February’s lecture and events in March

Welcome back!!

The Society held its first live lecture yesterday (10 February) in nearly two years and was delighted to welcome 74 members (two joining at the meeting) and three guests. There was plenty of room for social distancing with masks and sanitiser on hand !

It was good to see so many friendly faces again (once we had recognised them under their masks!). Nigel Bates, gave an excellent lecture – a performer for more than forty years in and out of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, a Principal Percussionist with the Orchestra as well as Music Administrator of The Royal Ballet, with an insight into the music chosen by choreographs, proving that the right composition with the addition of the right moves and right designs can create modern masterpieces and timeless classics.

Unfortunately, there was an issue with the visuals but as we now know what the problem is, we hope to resolve it for our next lecture on 10 March (“Peggy Guggenheim”).

We would like to thank all those members who so kindly volunteered to help the Committee with setting up and also serving the teas. We are very grateful.

Tickets for the Special Interest Event at Riverhouse Barn on 21 April “Chinese Formal and Informal Court Costume (1644 – 1911) – A journey through and beyond the Imperial Wardrobe” will be on sale next month. Two one hour lectures with coffee.

The Committee hopes you will join us.

February update

TASW Lecture, Thursday 10th February, 2pm

It’s Not Just Tchaikovsky

Welcome back to live lectures

We are delighted to invite you back to lectures at the hall of

All Saints Church, Queens Road, Hersham, KT13 5LU.

We will have hand sanitiser available at the door and we encourage people to wear face masks if they are able to do so. We are still looking for people to help with the screen and setting up the equipment.

Nigel Bates has been a performer for more than forty years in and out of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, including seventeen years as Principal Percussionist with the Orchestra and eight years as the Music Administrator of The Royal Ballet. He has worked with many of the leading figures in the classical music industry and was also a producer for both the BBC’s Maestro at the Opera and Pappano’s Classical Voices documentary series. He is a regular contributor to the printed and online content of the ROH. He has given lectures for over thirty years, including many arts societies and conservatoires in the UK and across Australia.

In March our speaker will be Alexandra Epps who will talk about “Peggy Guggenheim” and we will also be selling tickets for the Special Interest event on 21st April “Chinese Formal and Informal Court Costume (1644-1911) “A Journey through and beyond the Imperial Wardrobe with David Rosier.

We look forward to seeing you again and welcoming you back to All Saints Church Hall after more than twenty-four months!

Copyright The Arts Society Walton, 2017
Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal), A View of Walton Bridge, 1754, by permission of the trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery, London