Walton and Hersham

Decorative & Fine Arts Society


Programme of Events 2013 

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Walton and Hersham

The Lecture Programme for 2013

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 2013 programme (PDF file).


January 10th - Sian Walters

Frida Kahlo: Reflections of Life on Canvas

Kahlo’s paintings offer a stunning visual record of the life of one of the 20th century’s most gifted and original artists. Born in Mexico City in 1907, just three years before the Revolution, her works reflect a deep pride in the rich cultural heritage of her homeland, from its vibrant colours and decorative costumes to its indigenous mythological and religious traditions. But it is the self-portraits which remain her most striking and memorable body of work: not simply a record of her physical likeness, but also a vehicle for exploring the dramatic and often poignant events of her life as well as her family, her emotions, her body and her political sympathies. Our lecture traces Frida’s life and work exploring themes of nationalism, proto-feminism, auto-biography and surrealism in these powerful and often moving images.


Lecturer at the National Gallery and Surrey University , specialising in 15th and 16th century Italian painting, Spanish art and architecture, and the relationship between dance and art. Has lived in France and Italy, where she worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice 

Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, Nikolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940)
Nikolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Copyright: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Frida_Kahlo_(self_portrait).jpg

February 14th - Malcolm Kenwood

Fakes & Forgeries: the Art of Deception

The media promote an image of suave and sophisticated gentlemen art thieves operating in heists with beautiful paintings, elegant locations and connotations of en exotic millionaire lifestyle. The reality is that the art thief is no aristocrat. Stealing fine art and antiques affords criminals with a high value commodity, often poorly protected, that can transcend national or international boundaries and reach those eager to deal with the discreditable and unsuspecting. Using fascinating actual case studies the lecture examines the trail and Repatriation of stolen art.


Former specialist police detective investigating art and antique crime and was recoveries director for the Artloss Register. His company has created training courses to prevent and detect art crime. Has lectured to police and customs officers, museum and auction house staff, Interpol, the FBI and specialist interest groups.

Goya forgery

Portrait of a Woman, attributed to Goya (1746-1828). X-ray images taken of this painting in 1954 revealed a portrait of another woman, circa 1790, beneath the surface. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed the presence of zinc white paint, invented after Goya's death. Further analysis revealed that the surface paint was modern and had been applied so as not to obscure the craquelure of the original. After analysis, the conservators left the work as you see it above, with portions of old and new visible, to illustrate the intricacies of art forgery, and the inherent difficulty of detecting it.

(Copyright: image in public domain, text Wikipedia)

March 14th - John Ericson

The Shakers: their Beliefs, Architecture and Artefacts

The Shakers, or Shaking Quakers as they were derisively called, were a small group of religious dissidents that grew out of Quakerism and had their origins in mid-18th century England, but they are much better known as a successful 19th century North American fundamentalist sect.

They established themselves initially in the north eastern states in agrarian communities as they attempted to build Utopia or - as they saw it - their Heaven on earth. In this engaging talk John tells the extraordinary story of the Shakers exploring their beginnings, what they believed and how they lived their lives, before examining examples of their wonderful buildings and furniture. For it is only with such an understanding of their devout faith and way of life that we can begin to appreciate the beauty of their intriguing legacy.


John recently retired from the University of Bath where he was Director of Studies in the School of Education. His principal areas of research were course design and the role of pictures in both teaching and learning. He has worked overseas as an educational consultant and has given lectures and presentations at conferences all over the world. In 2008 and 2011 he undertook extensive NADFAS lecture tours of Australia and New Zealand.


  Shaker box maker 1935

Shaker Brother Ricardo Belden, making wooden oval boxes in a workshop at the Hancock Shaker village near Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1935, photograph by Samuel Kravitt

(Copyright: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. "Mrs Kravitt has stipulated that Samuel Kravitt's photographs are in the public domain", text Wikipedia)

April 11th - Dr Scott Anderson

Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession

Gustav Klimt, leader of the fin-de-siecle Vienna Secession, changed the face Of painting in the Imperial city of Vienna and produced some of the most remarkable works of the Art Nouveau era around 1900. His paintings explored complex areas of interpretation and new and exciting techniques, creating some of the most beautiful and extravagant images of the 20th century. This talk focuses on Klimt’s career from his early years as a theatre decorator, and the establishment of the Vienna Secession in 1897, through to the masterpieces of the early 20th century. His exhibitions and works are reviewed as is the concepts of his paintings as components of interior design in decorative schemes created by other Secessions artists who shared the same clients as Klimt. The cultural changes that took place in Vienna in the years immediately prior to World War I are discussed in relation to the works of Gustav Klimt, a painter who can be viewed as one of the most important artists of his generation, in what was truly a golden age of painting.


Formerly a professional archaeologist , now a Senior Lecturer at Southampton Solent University teaching courses on the history and theory of interior design and visual culture. Has lectured to many adult audiences, NADFAS groups and the WEA. A consultant valuer for the BBC television programme Flog It!


Gustav Klimt Mada Primavesi

Kustav Klimt, Mäda Primavesi (1912)
Oil on canvas. 150 × 110 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Copyright: image in public domain

May 9th - Prof Michael Wheeler

Writing Home—Jane Austen's Houses

Jane Austen lived and stayed in a wide variety of houses across southern England, particularly in Hampshire and Kent, Bath and London. Michael Wheeler, author of Jane Austen and Winchester Cathedral, illustrates some of the houses – mainly Georgian – that meant most to her and discusses – with humour and lightness of touch – the way in which she describes houses in her novels, and why.


Graduate of Cambridge and London universities, author of books on 19th century culture; has held Chairs at Lancaster and Southampton universities; co-Director of Chawton House Library during its development stage. Now a freelance writer and lecturer, and a Visiting Professor at the universities of Lancaster and Southampton

Jane Austen's House Chawton

Jane Austen lived here, in Chawton, during her final years

Copyright: Rudi Riet, originally posted by randomduck, Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

June 13th - Deborah Lambert

A Peculiar Education: the Grand Tour in the 18th Century

In 18th century England it became an essential part of the education of most young men of quality, sometimes as young as 15, to be sent off to spend time traveling in Europe. The intention was for them to spend a few years in Italy, and in Rome, to complete their classical education – the equivalent of the teenage backpackers of today? The actuality was frequently very different from that envisaged by eager parents. The delights of gaming houses and drinking dens were often much more attractive than ruins of classical temples or galleries filled with Old Master paintings. Had it all been worth it?


Curator of the Schroder Collection, a private art collection. Studied for her MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute and worked for many years as an academic director and lecturer at Christie’s Education. Appears regularly as a furniture specialist on the Antiques Roadshow.

Panini Pantheon interior

The interior of the Pantheon in the 18th century, painted by Giovanni Paolo Panini

July 11th - Dr Rosamund Bartlett

Russian Opera: An Illustrated History

This lecture provides an introduction to the rich repertoire if Russian opera, including Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, Borodin’s Prince Igor, Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. We will look both at how opera evolved in Russia as an art form initially imported from Italy by the imperial Court, and the role played by Russian rules such as Catherine the Great and Nicholas I.


Currently Visiting Professor at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, and Visiting Research Fellow in the Music Department at King’s College London. Also teaches at the Guildhall and at the University of Oxford. Works as a writer, translator and lecturer, and specialises in Russian and European cultural history.

Russian Opera Borodin Prince Igor

Based on a work by Ivan Bilibin (A Russian Warrior) and the costume design for "Prince Igor" by Borodin, 1930. Published in the USSR before 1937.

Copyright: GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2 or later and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License

September 12th - Tim Bruce-Dick

Great Architects of the 1930s: The Golden Age of Modernism in Britain

Two men influenced the rise of Modernism in Britain in the 1930s: Le Corbusier, the great Swiss architect who laid down the rules of the ‘new architecture’, and Adolph Hitler whose anti-Semitic policies drove a host of gifted young architects and artists into exile in Britain. Among these Erich Mendelsohn (Bexhill Pavilion), Bertold Lubetkin (Highpoint), Walter Gropius, Piet Mondrian and Erno Goldfinger brought a breath of fresh air to a country still gripped by classical architecture. The new architecture with its white walls and extensive glass offered a healthy answer to damp slums and tuberculosis prevalent at the time. London Underground supremo Charles Holden (Piccadilly Line stations) set high standards; he was followed by young British architects Maxwell Fry and Freddy Gibberd, and Canadian Wells Coates, among others. When you also consider outstanding Art Deco Buildings like the Daily Express (by engineer Owen Williams) and the Hoover Factory at Perivale (by Wallis Gilbert) it is clear the 1930s was the Golden Age of Modernism in Britain.


Art Historian and a practicing architect. Has taught Design and History at Oxford Brookes (1974-1992) and at Oxford University Summer Schools. Has lectured on the Appreciation of Modern Architecture at City University, and leads annual walks in London to see the latest architecture.

Daily Express building

Daily Express building, Fleet Street,
built in 1932 by Sir Owen Williams

Copyright: Wikimedia Commons, photographer Russ London

October 11th - Sue Jackson

The Huguenot Silk Weavers of Spitalfields – From Riches to Rags

The story of the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields is one of rags to riches and back again. Welcomed at first with open arms and bringing luxury skills, the Huguenots’ fortunes fluctuated wildly. The lecture features the sumptuous patterned silk dresses, the last word in fashion in the mid-18th century, and takes a look at their designers and makers. It describes the glorious houses of the Master Weavers and how they were lived in, and discusses the present day fight to preserve these houses which are now extremely valuable. One of the weavers’ houses in Spitalfields can still be visited today.


Having worked in art and design publishing for Phaidon and Yale University Press, Sue now lectures for NADFAS, the National Trust, U3A and City Literary Institute. A qualified Blue Badge Guide, she gives guided walks on various themes and has published work on the lost world of the River Fleet.

Fanshawe Dress, Spitalfields silk

Dress made from Spitalfields silk woven by French Huguenots and worn by Ann Fanshawe when her father was Lord Mayor of London in 1752-53

Copyright: Museum of London

November 14th - Nicola Moorby

River of England—Turner and the Thames

J.M.W. Turner is often thought of as the great artistic traveller of his age, wandering around Britain and Europe in search of inspiring landscape scenery Yet one of his most enduring subjects was found on his doorstep in his Native city of London. This lecture examines Turner’s engagement with the River Thames. Living by or near its banks throughout his life, the artist was endlessly fascinated by the river. From Oxford to the Estuary, he variously explored its views and moods, its cultural and national symbolism, and its historic and contemporary associations. Rich in meaning and visual effects, the Thames became one of Turner’s moist frequently depicted subjects and by the end of his life had inspired some of his most innovative and celebrated works.


A curator at Tate Britain, with extensive experience of lecturing to a wide variety of audiences. Specialises in British art of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Has curated a number of exhibitions, published widely on J.M.W. Turner and is co-editor and author of How to Paint Like Turner (Tate Publishing 2010)

Turner Rain Steam and Speed

J. M. W. Turner, Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway painted (1844), The National Gallery, UK.
The painting depicts an early locomotive of the Great Western Railway crossing the River Thames on Brunel's recently completed Maidenhead Railway Bridge.

Copyright: public domain based on the official position of the Wikimedia Foundation that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain, and that claims to the contrary represent an assault on the very concept of a public domain".