The Lecture Programme for 2015
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 2015 programme (PDF file).
Previous Years’ Programmes -
2004 (PDF format),
2003 (PDF format).
lectures 2003-2011 by date, and summary of
lectures 2003-2011 by name.
'Britons: Lord Kitchener Wants You',
Charles Harris talks about 'The Great Poster War
1914-1918' on 8 January 2015.
(Copyright: this image is in the public domain,
January 8th - The Great Poster War of 1914-1918
At the outbreak of WWI posters were the most effective weapon of mass
communication. Now they were going to have to be more effective than
ever before. The survival of the nation was at stake.
The artistry and creative disciplines that had sold champagne, bicycles and
cigarettes in the Belle Epoque were suddenly and effectively harnessed to
demonise the enemy, achieve huge recruitment targets and stimulate the
economy in the all-out effort to win the war. Fascinating comparisons of
posters from Britain, France, Germany, America and Russia capture the
importance of what was at stake but expressed in different ways.
Charles Harris has had a life-long
career in advertising around the
world, most of it as a Creative
Director in global agencies. His
work has earned him highly
coveted international awards. His
experience as a creator of posters
gives his presentation about
poster art a unique edge.
British School, Dante Alighieri, late 16th
Century/early 17th Century, Dulwich Picture Gallery. Dr Celia Fisher will be talking
'Dante and the Divine Comedy' on 12 February, 2015.
February 12th - Dante and the Divine Comedy
Dante’s Divine Comedy and his love for Beatrice have inspired artists from
Giotto and Botticelli to Rossetti and Rodin. The lecture follows Dante’s
journey to Heaven by looking at 800 years of images, including Gustave
Dore’s Dark Wood and the beasts that guard the way, William Blake’s
Gates of Hell and the torments of the damned, the steep ascent of
Purgatory, and the vision of Heaven in the form of a rose. Those that know
Dante will discover new dimensions. Everyone will find his ideas, stories and
characters surprisingly familiar, as well as inspirational.
Dr Celia Fisher gained her MA and PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art
where she also studied flowers in fifteen century paintings and
manuscripts. She lectures and writes on the history of plants and
gardens in art. Her books include The Medieval Garden and Flowers in Renaissance Art.
Zara Fleming will talk about 'The
Tiger in Asian Art' on 12 March, 2015.
March 12th - The Tiger in Asian Art
Intriguing and beautiful, tigers are some of the most awe-inspiring and
mysterious creatures on earth. Feared and revered in equal measure, they
have inspired countless legends, beliefs and works of art.
explores the significance of the tiger as a symbol of power and protection in
its Asian homeland, illustrated by a diverse range of art and artefacts. The
tiger is seen in early Chinese bronzes, Japanese netsukes, Indian paintings,
Tibetan rugs and other Asian works of art. Zara will also comment on the
current situation of the tiger and how this magnificent animal now faces the
threat of extinction.
Zara Fleming is a freelance lecturer, art consultant and exhibition curator specialising
in the art and culture of Tibet, the Himalayan areas and Mongolia.
Has worked at the V&A, Royal Academy, the Orient Foundation
and Bonn University. Lectures for NADFAS, museums, universities
and Asian art societies. Has published many articles on Buddhist art and culture.
Joseph Mallord William Turner, South-West View of a
Gothic Abbey (Morning), Now Building at Fonthill, the
Seat of W. Beckford, exhbited 1800.
will talk about 'From the Picturesque to Paxton: the
Changing Style of Gardens in the Early 19th Century' on
9 April, 2015.
April 9th - From the Picturesque to Paxton: The Changing Style of Gardens in the Early 19th Century
The lecture examines the reaction of 19th century designers to the excesses
of the Picturesque style which produced some wonderfully dramatic , but
often impractical, gardens. It follows the changes in garden design
from the temple-strewn landscapes of William Kent and the Arcadian
dreams of Capability Brown to the more formal style of Humphrey Repton
and the explosion of garden ornamentation in Victorian England when taste
and restraint were abandoned altogether.
Technology came to the aid of the gardener,
conservatories and greenhouses were built on a larger and larger scale until the Crystal Palace, the ultimate
glasshouse, was built by the giant of the 19th Century, Sir Joseph Paxton.
James Bolton is a practicing garden designer and a lecturer on garden history.
In addition to his garden design business James runs Border Lines, the
leading tour company to private English gardens and the finest gardens in Europe.
Orford Castle, built by Henry II in the 12th century.
Dr Sam Newton will be talking
about Camelot and ther Art of Castle Building on 14 May,
May 14th - Camelot and the Art of Castle Building
An exploration of the literary ideal of Camelot and its reflection in the
designs of some of the royal castles built from the 12th to the 15th centuries,
as Arthurian literature flourished. Of special interest are the castles built by
Henry II to whom Wace’s Anglo-Norman version of the story of Arthur was
Dedicated, and his sons Richard and John.
For example, Richard the Lionheart’s castle of Chateau-Gaillard, designed by
Richard himself and built overlooking the Seine south-east of Ruen,
incorporated not only the latest in military thinking but also something
of the Arthurian ideals articulated in the songs of the troubadours.
Chateau-Gaillard took a year to build and in its original form would have
come close to the vision of Camelot we still share.
Dr Sam Newton was awarded his PhD in 1991 and is the author of scholarly books
on the history and art of Medieval England. He has lectured widely around the country and has
contributed to many radio and television programmes. He is a Director of the Wuffing
Education Study Centre at Sutton Hoo and Time Team historian.
Anton Graff, Frederick the Great, 1781.
Caroline Rayman will talk on 'Frederick the Great,
Soldier and Collector' on 11 June, 2015.
this image is in the public domain, see
June 11th - Frederick the Great Soldier and Collector
Frederick II, the King of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, one of very few
monarchs known to the world as ‘the Great’ was a truly remarkable man
with enormous talent. He was an intellectual, a philosopher, a friend of
Voltaire, patron of the arts and sciences and a fine musician and composer
himself. As a reformer he is credited with modernising Prussia, and as a
brilliant soldier and military theorist he was venerated by both Napoleon
and Wellington. He was also a builder with exquisite taste whose most
famous creation – the Rococo Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam near Berlin –
has been proclaimed by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.
Caroline Rayman Has worked in England, Italy and America conducting
cultural tours for patrons of American art institutions, visiting private collections
and gardens in Britain and Europe. She lectures in America and as a guest speaker on
cruise boats for Noble Caledonia.
Karelia - Kizhi church.
Professor Neil Kent will talk
about 'Karelia: A Fairy-Land of Wooden Architecture' on
9 July, 2015.
(Copyright: this image is in the public
July 9th - Karelia – A Fairy-Tale Land of Wooden Architecture
Against the backdrop of great natural beauty and turbulent history, the people of Karelia
and the Kola Peninsula in the north-western corner of Russia have produced an unusual and
inspiring art and architecture.
The lecture considers this remote land covered by subarctic
tundra and thousands of lakes, and focuses on the Kizhi Island and the splendid wooden
architecture of its Orthodox churches built without a single nail and adorned with
haunting icons of a hypnotic spirituality.
Professor Neil Kent Formerly consultant with Christie’s on
Author of several books on the history and culture of Scandinavia and St Petersburg.
Currently lecturing, teaching and researching at Cambridge University and
St Petersburg’s Academy of Art, Architecture and Culture.
Lorenzo Lotto, Venus and Cupid, mid-1520s,
Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Shirley Smith will talk
about the hidden language of Renaissance art
(Copyright: this image is in the
public domain, see
September 10th - Pearls and Pomegranates, Peacocks and Pipes: The Hidden Language of Renaissance Art
It is sometimes difficult for us to understand the full meaning of a painting from the past
due to the wealth of symbolism it contains, much of it obscure to us today but instantly
recognizable to contemporaries. Many of the objects in these paintings have acquired
different meanings over the centuries, often diametrically opposed ones, depending on their
cultural or geographical origins or whether they are being used for a religious or secular purpose.
In this lecture, we shall study some of the objects to be found in 15th
and 16th century paintings as a means of deciphering these symbols - spiritual and secular, virginal and
vulgar – and so enable us to read these paintings as had the people for whom they were intended.
Shirley P. Smith
An art historian specialising in Italian and Northern Renaissance Art and
Architecture. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, has lectured at the
University of East Anglia and is a tutor for the Board of Continuing Education of
Cambridge University. She also lectures for NADFAS, The Art Fund and other arts societies.
Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art, James Hall, Westview Press Feb. 2008
Signs and Symbols in Christian Art, George Ferguson, Oxford University Press 1977
Victorian upholstered 'spoon-back' armchair.
Karczewski-Slowikowski will talk about the development
of the chair on 8 October, 2015.
October 8th - Are You Sitting Comfortably?
The lecture traces the development of the chair in terms of its
construction and style from ancient times through to the 19th century.
It will – hopefully - surprise the listeners with just how much there is
to reveal about such a common item of furniture. The role of the
chair as a symbol of power and authority in both religious and courtly
ritual will be examined as well as its social significance in a more
vernacular setting. Have you ever wondered what the phrase
‘sitting on your money’ refers to? This lecture will tell you!
has been a freelance lecturer and researcher in the
history of English furniture since 1975. Collector and antique dealer he has lectured to
over 300 NADFAS societies in the UK, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
David Mach, Out of Order, 1989,
Mary Yule will talk about
'Extraordinary Art from Ordinary Objects' on 12
November 12th - Extraordinary Art From Ordinary Objects
This lecture traces the history of the transformation of materials in sculpture,
and considers how ordinary – and extraordinary – materials can make
exciting art. Starting with the most notorious transformation in modern art –
Marcel Duchamp’s urinal, Picasso’s bull’s head made of a bicycle seat and
handlebars, and the Dadaist art made of old bus tickets, the lecture
shows that today, in terms of what makes art, almost anything goes, and
examines how British artists transform into art such everyday materials as
rocks, leaves, ice and snow, tyres, coat hangers or a blown up garden shed.
Art historian specialising in 20th Century British Art, former Director of
Grants at The Art Fund. Has lectured for the Art Fund, Kingston University,
the National Gallery, the Wallace Collection and at the Museums Association.