Walton and Hersham

Decorative & Fine Arts Society


Programme of Events 2012 

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Walton and Hersham

The Lecture Programme for 2012

Lectures are held at Hersham Village Hall on Queens Road by Hersham Green on Thursday afternoons at 2.30pm.



January 12th - Alan Read

The Creation and Early Years of the Newlyn School

From the 1880s the work of Stanhope Forbes, Walter Langley, Frank Bramley and others began to be recognized as a discrete school. Examining the process of that recognition, there will be a description of how the work of the Newlyn-based artists responded to international movements and ultimately how they came into conflict with trends elsewhere in British art.


Elizabeth Forbes: The Half Holiday, Alec home from school

Elizabeth Forbes, The Half Holiday, Alec home from school

February 9th - Mary Acton

Continuity and Tradition in Western Sculpture

This lecture will focus on the changing face of the Classical language of Western sculpture.

Topics covered will include the abiding importance of the study of the human figure and its interpretations, from the Greeks to Antony Gormley. The development of different types of sculpture from the free standing figure to groups, reliefs and busts. The significance of scale, touch and surface in relation to the spectator, from the largest figures to the smallest. The revival of interest in the classical tradition during the Renaissance and the changes wrought by artists such as Donatello and Michelangelo at that time, and then, later by Bernini in the Baroque period and Rodin in the nineteenth century.

Terme Boxer, Greek

Boxer of Quirinal or Terme Boxer

Hellenistic Greek sculpture, 1st century BCE

March 8th - Ian Gibson

Inviting the World to London from the Great Exhibition to the 2012

The 2012 Olympics will be the latest in a succession of international festivals hosted by London, each of which has left a distinct legacy. Aside from the sports festival, the 2012 games will drive the regeneration of an industrial wasteland, the Lea River Valley. New housing and leisure facilities aim to provide a benchmark for 21st century urban living.

In 1851 the Great Exhibition was the first trade and industry fair, a demonstration of Britain's industrial prowess, a showcase of more traditional skills and a catalyst for the development of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Its success provided finance to set up major museums in South Kensington.

In 1908 London hosted the 4th Olympic games alongside the Anglo-French exhibition. The best organised games to this point, the dramatic conclusion to the Marathon brought the Olympics to worldwide notice.

The British Empire Exhibition in 1924 showed off cultures of the Empire and its staging in north London was a boost for Metroland, new suburbs opened up by rail and underground. Wembley stadium was built for the exhibition and was to be the main arena for the 1948 Olympics. The 'Austerity Games' marked the return of international sport after the war, the last time a cultural Olympics was held. The Festival of Britain also provided colour to the drabness of postwar Britain as well as new cultural facilities.

Crystal Palace interior 

Crystal Palace interior (1851)

April 12th - Jonathan Hinden

Mozart's Cosi: a Comic Opera

A non-technical and not-too-serious account of this masterpiece, its characters and story, with musical illustrations on the piano, focussing on the composer's ability to express character and mood through music and with a brief look at the circumstances and context of its composition.



May 10th - Karin Fernald

The Trees Wave, the Clouds Pass: Virginia Woolf on Life and Art

Some aspects of the life and views of Virginia Woolf, with readings from her works. The lecture is illustrated with paintings by members of the Camden Group of Artists, and by Woolf's artist sister, Vanessa Bell.


Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf

Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf (1911-12)

June 14th - Jane Angelini

The Mosaics of Ravenna

Ravenna with its cluster of 5th and 6th century churches and baptisteries contains some of the finest examples of early Christian art, a kaleidoscopic array of glittering wall mosaics. This was an art form in which the Byzantines excelled, producing examples of truly outstanding beauty in Ravenna. Dante describes the mosaics as "a great symphony of colour, their chief characteristics being clarity, harmony, brilliant colours and a decorative rhythmic design".

The lecture looks at the mosaics in the mausoleum of Galla Placidia, in the church of San Vitale, in the churches of S. Apollinare Nuovo and S. Apollinare in Classe, and in the two baptisteries of Ravenna. These were all created between c. 450-550 during a time when Ravenna was a major port linking the Italian peninsular to the Eastern Mediterranean and a cultural centre of considerable importance.

Suggested Reading:
S. Runciman, Byzantine Style & Civilisation (Pelican) G. Mathew, Byzantine Aesthetics, (J. Murray)


Interior of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

July 12th - Patricia Wright

Iona, Lindisfarne and the Glory of the North: a 7th/8th Century Miracle

For more than a century Northumbria and Southern Scotland were at the centre of European civilization. Their monasteries produced brilliant illuminated manuscripts, their peoples crafted intricate stone crosses, garnet and gold metalwork, wrote poetry which has survived the ages. Across the 7th and 8th centuries some extraordinary men and women inspired a cultural revolution in an area the rest of the world had previously thought little about, a revolution whose roots stretched back to Ireland and forward to the courts of Charlemagne and Wessex.

St Columba founded Iona, Aidan was the light of Lindisfarne, Wilfrid evangelised the Frisians, was the first to build York and Hexham in stone; Bede became a scholar to rival the finest minds of any age. Perhaps best-loved was Cuthbert of Melrose, whose incorrupt body together with the Lindisfarne Gospels was carried for years by devoted monks fleeing the Vikings, until at last they brought both to rest on a rocky outcrop. There they built their saint a tiny shrine which soon flowered into the marvel which is Durham Cathedral. But this is just part of the story covered in this talk.

Lindisfarne Castle

  Lindisfarne Castle

September 13th -  Linda Smith

Kicking and Screaming: A Brief History of Post-War British Art

This lecture explains what has been going on in British art since 1945, when Francis Bacon caused 'total consternation' with his raw and visceral canvasses. His work was part of a wider phenomenon called the 'Geometry of Fear' by a leading critic of the day. From that point, the talk tracks key moments in British art decade by decade, through the curious mixture of modernism and pastoralism which is associated with the Festival of Britain; on to the explosion of Pop Art and Conceptualism in the 1960s and 70s; through to the 1980 and 90s, which gave us the Turner Prize and notorious Sensation exhibition, and up to the present day.

However, despite all these highly public shocks and upsets, figurative painters like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud were quietly getting on with it in the background, and one of the great stories of post-war British art is the continuing strength and vigour of that tradition.

Hockney A Bigger Splash 1967

David Hockney, A Bigger Splash (1967)

October 11th - Tom Errington

Trompe L'Oeil: the Art of Illusion

What is it that makes the brain accept information provided by the eye-the messenger-and how it blindly has to come to an instant decision on whether a painting is really three dimensional or simply flat representation.

The theory of perspective is covered briefly with an investigation of how colour, tone and shadow all play their role in creating a trompe l'oeil painting.

The talk is illustrated with diagrams, explaining the theory, and photographs of trompe l'oeil paintings, including examples of the works of Correggio, Crivelli and Tiepolo

Pere Borrell del Caso Escaping Criticism 1874

Pere Borrell del Caso, Escaping Criticism (1874)

November 8th - Jane Gardiner

The Golden Age of Venetian Glass

The stylistic development of glass produced in Venice from the late 15th century to the late 17th century, seen through actual objects and through paintings.

The talk looks at the early history of glassmaking in Venice, the material itself and the techniques involved in forming and decorating the pieces. The early fashion for richly coloured and enamelled glass is discussed; the sources of inspiration behind the forms and the decoration. Who would have owned the pieces and how they would have been used or displayed.

The talk also considers the desire for luxury objects in the Renaissance, the new liking in the 16th century for clear glass or cristallo and the fashion for fine glass drinking vessels which followed on from this.

Finally, it examines the spread of this fashion throughout Europe, the resulting trade and the gradual spread of glassmaking skills to other parts of Europe.


Jane trained at the Victoria and Albert Museum and went on to become a Research Assistant and lecturer in the V&A Education Department. In 1987 she was invited to join Sotheby's Institute as tutor of 17th and 18th Century Decorative Art, going on to become a Senior Lecturer and a Deputy Director of Sotheby's U.K. She continues to lecture for both organisations. Her areas of specialisation are early European Ceramics and Glass and 17th and 18th century Architecture and Design. She also lectures for the University of London, Michigan State University, the National Trust, the Art Fund, the Wallace Collection, l'Institut d Etudes Superieures des Arts, Paris, for Crystal Cruise Lines and at antiques and interior design fairs in America.

Venetian Glass

Venetian Glass Goblet, 1675-1725 (V&A)