Inform, Educate, Entertain

Our programme is available to members only.  Guests of members are welcome for a fee of £10.00 per lecture - call on 07391 237 776

Membership Fees £40 single & £80 for joint 


Friday 19th March 2021

The'poor little rich girl' who changed the face of twentieth century art. Not only was Peggy Guggenheim ahead of her time but she was the woman who helped define it. She discovered and nurtured a new generation of artists producing a new kind of art. Through collecting not only art but the artists themselves, her life was as radical as her collection.

Our lecturer is Alexandra Epps, Official Guide and Lecturer at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Guildhall Art Gallery.

The lecture will be delivered via zoom at 6.00pm



Our programme is available to members only.  Guests of members are welcome for a fee of £10.00 per lecture.

Membership Fees £40 single & £80 for joint 



Friday 16th April 2021

Horace Walpole said, in 1783, that ‘No man ever went to the East Indies with good intentions’ and George Chinnery was certainly that man. Running away from debt and his wife, who he charmingly described as ‘the ugliest woman I have ever seen’, he settled in India for 23 years before running away from debt again to China. This talk covers his portraits of many of the leading figures of the East India Company as well as his beautiful scenes of everyday life and landscapes.

Our lecturer is Clive Stewart-Lockhart, with a long career in the fine art world, including appearing as a specialist in BBC's Antiques Roadshow he now lectures for the Arts Society and is an independent art advisor.

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm



Friday 21st May 2021

Murder, poison, corruption and incest: all perfect ingredients for sensational popular culture. But in an age known for its brutality and church corruption were the Borgias really so bad? This lecture reveals the real family that dominated the Papacy and Italian politics during the last decade of the 15th century: the charismatic figure of Pope Alexander VI, living inside his sumptuously decorated apartments, the career of his son, Cesare, cardinal, general, employer of Da Vinci and the model for Machiavelli’s The Prince, and the journey of Lucrezia Borgia from “the greatest whore in Rome” to a devout and treasured duchess of the city Ferrara.

Sometimes truth is more intoxicating than myth.

Our lecturer is novelist and broadcaster Sarah Dunant.

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


Friday 18th June 2021

Visionary and eccentric, the worlds created in the paintings of Stanley Spencer are quite unique.  Just as remarkable was his relationship with his two wives. Hilda Carline became his first wife in 1925. Capable of sensitive and tender portraits and Spencer-like landscapes Hilda’s career never fully progressed after her marriage. Spencer then met a Cookham woman, Patricia Preece. She too was an artist but less gifted than her ‘companion’ Dorothy Hepworth. Paintings by Dorothy were exhibited and sold as by Patricia.

Spencer became obsessed with Patricia but for her his only attractions were his celebrity status and money. Four days after divorcing Hilda in 1937 he married Patricia. But Patricia and Dorothy continued to live together, deluding the art world with their paintings and Spencer that he had a loving second wife. This lecture examines the art produced by this infamous group of artists, including some of Spencer’s most powerful paintings.

Our lecturer is Alan Read, art historian and gallery guide at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the National Portrait Gallery.

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


Friday 16th July 21

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is arguably the most important Indian artistic figure of the modern era. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, claimed that he had two gurus: Gandhi and Tagore. A renowned poet, novelist, composer and painter, Tagore is also the only person in history to have written the national anthems for two countries (India and Bangladesh). He became a global sensation when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, the first non-European to do so. This lecture provides an introduction to Tagore’s remarkable life and work, including his novels, poetry, songs and paintings. It also explores the role Tagore’s art played in the story of India’s fight for independence.

Our lecturer is Dr John Stevens, academic at School of Oriental and African studies at the University of London and author regularly appearing in Indian media. He discussed Tagore in BBC's In our Time with Melvyn Bragg.

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


Friday 17th September 2021

Sidney Nolan and Arthur Boyd from the ‘Heide School’ working in a naïve and expressive style, John Brack’s figurative paintings give a social critic of Australian post-war culture, John Olsen’s celebratory abstract expressions of the landscape, Brett Whiteley’s personal vision of his life in Sydney, Fred Williams' landscapes and Jeffery Smart’s surreal depictions of urban life are all essential in our understanding and appreciating the modern art of Australia and its place in the history of Western Art.

Our lecturer is Paul Chapman, art historian, gallery guide and lecturer.

Paul also leads art tours of the stunning collection in Longford Castle, Salisbury.

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


Friday 15th October 2021

From the late 1850s to the mid-1870s a new craze gripped the world. Photography had just begun to be popularised, and suddenly nearly everyone could afford a portrait of themselves to share with others. These small photographic portraits mounted on card were shot professionally in studios and handed out like business or greetings cards – just like we share ‘selfies’ on today’s social media. Across nearly two decades, over 400 million cards were estimated to have been printed and shared with friends, family, and fans. We think we invented the ‘selfie’, but we didn’t – welcome to the Victorian carte de visite.

In this highly visual and relevant lecture, we’ll look at the rise and fall of the fashion, learn how these cards were used, and find ways of dating cards from clothing and hairstyles. We’ll examine in detail the hidden meanings behind the poses, facial expressions, backgrounds, and choice of clothes to reveal the fascinating histories behind these cards that were used by everyone from royalty to the man in the street.

Our lecturer is Mark Hill, lecturer, auctioneer, publisher and one of the BBC's Antique Roadshow experts.

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


Friday 19th November 2021

How does our experience of living with and looking at works of art today compare to the viewing experience of earlier centuries?  This lecture will consider the very different conditions in which paintings were displayed and enjoyed in earlier centuries, as well as the very different responses that they evoked. It draws on the evidence in paintings themselves for the many surprising ways in which people handled, hung, used or responded to the art that they owned. From concealing their paintings with a small curtain, to the lighting by candle or window, and the grouping of copies together with originals.

Our lecturer is Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe, art historian and trained paintings conservator. 

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


Friday 21st January 2022

In June 1520 Henry VIII and Francis 1 meet to ratify an Anglo-French alliance and celebrate the betrothal of Henry’s daughter Mary to the Dauphin. The two handsome ‘Renaissance Princes’ are in their 20s with similar reputations in military prowess, sport and patrons of the arts. Both have imperial ambitions and are eager to display themselves as magnificent nobleman and warrior kings. Each brings an entourage of 6,000 to a field south of Calais for 18 days of various events and entertainments staged to display the skill and splendour of each King and country. The logistics of transporting, accommodating, ordering, feeding and watering, protecting and entertaining the English contingent for this spectacular event is staggering and the supply chain, often through the City of London Guilds, is equally fascinating. 3,217 horses shipped across the ‘Narrow Sea’ to Calais; a vast quantity of wood sourced from Flanders and floated along the coast; a huge temporary palace is built on stone foundations with brick and timber-framed walls reaching to 40 feet. Royal palaces were virtually emptied of their silver, gold, tapestries and furniture to decorate the temporary palace, other principal tents and a chapel (with an organ); gold and silver cloth, velvet and sables, jewels and pearls were imported to ‘dress and impress’.

How was it all achieved?

Our lecturer is Joanna Mabbutt, decorative artist and accredited Arts Society Lecturer  

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


Friday 18th February 2022

The first pots appeared in Britain about 6000 years ago and this lecture will chart the ways in which ceramic production has evolved from this time to the present day. From the hand-formed and bonfire-fired pots of our prehistoric ancestors to the products of both modern industry and individual craft potters, this lecture will examine the major changes that have shaped the ways pots are produced and distributed. Roman industrialisation, the introduction of the potters wheel and kiln, the effects of the industrial revolution on rural potteries and the rise of the art potteries of the 19th century are all part of this evolving story, told through the pots themselves and the potters that made them. This is a genuinely a ‘potted history’.

Our lecturer is Julian Richards, archeologist, author, TV and Radio Broadcaster.

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


Friday 18th March 2022

Our Arts Society accredited lecturer, Clive Barham Carter, writes:

"The excitement surrounding the discovery of Richard III (now, alas, forever to be known as the ‘king in the car park’) rekindled the enthusiasm I had, as a history teacher, to find out what we have done with our other kings. You may think we have them all safely at Westminster or Windsor, but it isn’t so: we have been pretty careless. Some are lost, some have been mauled about and at least five are abroad. So this lecture is a sort of quest, a monarch-hunt which, since this is The Arts Society, will concentrate on: architecture (splendid), sculpture (astonishing), painting (jewel-like), with a little bit of history (odd, mostly) for excitement. Those of a nervous disposition will be relieved to hear that it’s not gruesome... well, not very.

Venue:  Nadder Centre - 4.30pm & 6.30pm 

The lecture will also be delivered simultaneously via zoom at 6.30pm


The Arts Society Nadder Valley

07391 237 776

The Nadder Centre , Weaveland Road Tisbury SP3 6JH

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©2021 by The Arts Society Nadder Valley.