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LECTURE SEASON 2024-25

Inform, Educate, Entertain

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

Lectures are held at The Nadder Centre, Weaveland Road, Tisbury, SP3 6HJ and start at 6.30 pm unless otherwise stated.

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FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS - VENETIAN GLASS 1450-1900

with Simon Cottle


Friday 17th May 2024

During the Renaissance, Venice held an important political and artistic position in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Through the production of fine glass for the royal courts and aristocracy of Europe, Venice exerted its wide-reaching control and influence.  As seen in this well-illustrated lecture, Venetian glass of the Renaissance incorporates forms, styles and techniques which were inspired by the Romans and which surprisingly anticipate modern design. Its decline in later years is widely charted. Drawing on examples from museums around the world, the history of Venetian glass from its grand beginnings on the island of Murano in the 12th century, through the extraordinary creation of Cristallo in the 15th century to the later developments of Dr. Antonio Salviati of the Anglo-Murano Glass Company in the late 19th century, this lecture provides a clear view of a material which is held in high regard around the world. Colourful, elaborate and often breathtakingly beautiful, Venetian glass has been an inspiration for glassmakers around the globe.  Nonetheless, until the late 16th century the generations of glassmaking families living on the island of Murano were kept virtually imprisoned in order to protect the secrets of their skills. Fortunately today their work has become a legacy and through this lecture their secrets exposed.

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PORTRAITURE: HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU

With Cindy Polemis

Friday 21st June 2024

From the ancient world to artists like Tracey Emin and Lucien Freud, portraits have been used to show power, status, virtue, beauty, wealth and taste. In this lecture, Art historian Cindy Polemis looks at how portraiture has changed throughout the ages and how the genre shows us how to communicate with the past and present in exciting and surprising ways.

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THE POST WAR TEXTILES VISIONARIES OF MODERN ART

with Ashley Gray


Friday 19th July 2024

The story of the evolution of textile design in Britain weaves together modern art movements, modern artists and visionary textile designers that put British textiles at the forefront of international design.  Our expert, Ashley Gray, reveals the top things to know about those fabrics and their makers.

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THE V&A STORY: GREAT EXHIBITIONS AND THE DESIGNS OF THE VICTORIAN AGE

with Anna Warrillow

Friday 20th September 2024

This lecture focuses on the design impact of the Great Exhibition and the need for a 'legacy institution' in the form of the South Kensington Museum.  In this lecture, Anna Warrillow looks at the building as a work of art and explore the work of William Morris, Fredrick Lord
Leighton and other influential designers of the Victorian Age.

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SIXTY YEARS ON: LIFE IN BRITAIN AS SEEN IN 1960S FILM

with Colin Schindler

British film making was rejuvenated by young directors wishing to reflect the changing perceptions of life in 60s Britain. As Empire fades and the gritty realities of life in the North were explored, society’s moral and social values were challenged as the search for a new optimism continued. This lecture looks at the emergence of the North in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Room at the Top, A Taste of Honey, This Sporting Life, etc; Swinging Britain – Julie Christie in Darling, Michael Caine in Alfie, the Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night and the James Bond movies; the last days of Empire as seen in Tony Richardson’s Charge of the Light Brigade, Zulu and, comically, Carry On Up the Khyber; and, finally the drastic change in the depiction of sex from Dirk Bogarde in Victim (1961) to Alan Bates and Oliver Reed famously wrestling nude in Women in Love (1969).

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SILENT NIGHT

with Peter Medhurst

Friday 15th November 2024

The Austrian carol Stille Nacht Heilige Nacht – Silent Night, Holy Night – came into being just over 1800 years after the birth of Christ, and has become the quintessential Christmas song, sung the world over.
However, the carol is not without its mysteries and this seasonal lecture unravels a few of them to tell the story of Stille Nacht Heilige Nacht’s genesis and subsequent history.

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TOP 20 FAVOURITE PAINTINGS IN BRITAIN TODAY

Friday 19th January 2024

This unique lecture presents the Top 20 most popular paintings and other artworks in Britain today. In putting this talk together, Raymond Warburton has looked at the results of eight polls carried out from 2005 to 2020 have been aggregated and analysed.  The polls began with Radio 4’s poll of its listeners from 2005, and includes the Samsung/Daily Mirror poll of 2017 when buyers of Samsung products and readers of the tabloid were asked for their favourite artworks. There will be a brief description of some of the paintings that did not make it into the Top 20; followed by a ‘Pick-of-the-Pops’ style countdown of the Top 20 Prior to the lecture, individual members of the audience will be asked to name their favourite paintings in Britain today.

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JANE AUSTEN - THE MAKING OF A SUPERSTAR

with Annalie Talent

Friday 21st February 2025

When Jane Austen declared that she wrote ‘only for fame’, she was, of course, being ironic: she published anonymously; there is no record on her gravestone that she was a writer; and her books fell out of print shortly after her death.  But now, Jane Austen is one of our best loved authors, with legions of adoring fans throughout the world.  Her novels have inspired countless stage and screen adaptations, and even provided solace to soldiers in the trenches.  She is the face of the £10 banknote, and she adorns tea towels and fridge magnets everywhere.  Jane Austen is now very famous indeed.    But how did it all happen?  This lecture will chart Jane Austen’s rise to fame; it will explore the making of a literary celebrity and examine Austen’s legacy, 250 years after her birth

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A PRIVATE PALACE OF ART: FREDERIC LEIGHTON’S STUDIO-HOUSE

with Daniel Robbins

Friday 21st March 2025

Frederic Leighton’s studio-house (now Leighton House Museum) is one of the most remarkable buildings of the nineteenth-century. First built in the 1860s, Leighton continued to extend and embellish his home over the next thirty years, transforming what had been a relatively modest house into a palace of art filled with fascinating collections of fine and decorative art. The construction of the exotic Arab Hall, lined with Islamic tiles collected as Leighton travelled through the Middle East brought new fame to the house as Leighton’s reputation continued to grow.  This lecture explores Leighton’s motivations in lavishing such attention on the construction of his home and how it came to embody the idea of how a Great Artist should live.

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RECOGNISE THE ARTIST 15TH TO 18TH CENTURY

with Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe

Friday 19th April 2024

This lecture takes examples of a range of artists from the 15th to the 18th century and puts into words what it is that tells us a picture is a Rubens rather than Rembrandt. Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe will demonstrate some of the distinctive characteristics of artists such as Mantegna, Bellini, Canaletto and Gainsborough.  Chantal will show you how to gain the great satisfaction of looking at an unfamiliar painting and realising that you can instantly recognise the artist.

Lectures: What We Do
Lectures: What We Do

LECTURE SEASON 2023-24

Inform, Educate, Entertain

Look back on our programme for last year here...

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WOMEN DESIGNERS OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT

Friday 21st April 2023

The Arts and Crafts Movement was one of the first art movements to recognise the artistry and skills of women artists and designers–but they are still today not as well-known as their male counterparts. Women such as May Morris, Veronica Whall and Georgina Gaskin all stand in the shadow of their male relations, and few have heard of designers such as Margaret Rope and Louise Powell. This talk seeks to put right this situation, explore embroidery, ceramics, metalwork, stained glass, bookbinding and other ‘suitable’ crafts, and look at the perceptions of female designers and makers at the time they were producing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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EVOLUTION OF STREET ART

Friday 19th May 2023

Over the past 40 years street art has evolved from its roots in American graffiti to becominga global art movement. From portraiture to abstract expressionism, many of the majorconventional genres are included in street art and the leading artists have‘exhibited’theirwork internationally.If the only street artist you have heard of is Banksy–and you dislike graffiti, this talk willamaze you.Itfocuses on a number of different styles of street art as well as some leadingartists, including Stik, whose collaboration with Ingrid Beazely of the Dulwich Galley led tothe creation of the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery.Richly illustrated, this talk includes examples of great street art from various locations in theUK and internationally.

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THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY: 950 YEARS OF PROPAGANDA, INTRIGUE AND SPIN

Friday 16th June 2023

The Bayeux Tapestry is instantly recognisable and one of the most outstanding cultural objects to survive from the early Middle Ages. Long admired for its vivid narrative, today it is the unanswered questions that most intrigue modern audiences: was it made in England or France? Was it stitched by men or women? This sparkling lecture looks not only at its creation, but also at its more amazing afterlife. Displayed by Napoleon to bolster French ambitions for a new cross-channel invasion; cherished by Victorian embroiderers as an icon of women’s heroic joint efforts; hunted down by Hitler, who was outwitted by bureaucratic obfuscation. A fluent French speaker, Timothy Wilcox brings a lifetime’s interest in Anglo-French relations to bear on a famous object set to become even more celebrated as it enters its next, surprising chapter.

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SCULPTURE AND NATURE

Friday 21st July 2023

Dorset based sculpture David Worthington explores the relationship between sculpture and our natural environment.  He will lecture on the inspiration the natural world has had on the development of sculpture, particularly that of animals. The lecture will range from the Elgin Marbles to Damien Hirst.

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FEAR NOT: THE ANNUNCIATION IN ART

Friday 20th October 2023

The story of the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary as told in St Luke’s gospel, has inspired some of the most beautiful images in Western Art.  These include Simone Martini’s altarpiece for Siena Cathedral, now in the Uffizi Gallery and Fra Angelico’s frescoes in the monastery of San Marco in Florence. The earliest depiction of the Annunciation is thought to date back to the 2nd century AD. Since then, the narrative has been reimagined by numerous artists including Van Eyck, Botticelli, Dürer and Rossetti.  This lecture will take you on a journey through a range of different depictions of the Annunciation and explore the ways in which artists have captured this pivotal moment of the Christian story.

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A BRIEF STORY OF WINE - FOLLOWED BY AN OPTIONAL WINE TASTING

Friday 17th November 2023

David Wright, a wine retailer, importer and distributor for over 30 years, delivers a fascinating lecture full of rich evidence, going back 7,000 years, in the form of paintings, decorated drinking vessels, buildings and literature that contribute to the story of wine.  


The lecture will be followed by an optional wine tasting (at an additional cost of £15) from our local wine merchants, Gardner and Beedle.

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THE ART OF MODERN DANCE

Friday 8th December (Postponed from Friday 15th September rescheduled)

In this lecture, Jennifer Toynbee-Holmes looks at the explosion of modern dance that took place during the 20th century after Isadora Duncan introduced a new free flowing form of dance.  Modern dance pioneers included Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman and these in turn were succeeded by post WW2 choreographers such as Merce Cunningham who broke the rules paving the way for post-modern dance from the 1960s.  We’ll also take a look at hip hop, street dancing, jazz and some extraordinary site specific works that take us up to the present time. The lecture will include video clips and music as well as stills.

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THE MEN WHO MADE MENSWEAR

Friday 19th January 2024

This lecture tells the story of men's tailoring over the past 200 years, told through the lives of the men who commissioned and created and wore it. Tailors, shirt maker, hatters and other craftspeople in London’s west end, especially around Savile Row & Jermyn Street have shaped the way men dress since the Regency. How did men such as Beau Brummell, The Duke of Windsor, Tommy Nutter, Montague Burton, Alexander McQueen and John Stephen create their signature looks which influenced the men's fashion? This lecture also looks at the wider cultural shifts since the early 19th century to the present day and how they affected the way that men present themselves.

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MOKUHANGA: THE PRACTICE OF JAPANESE WOODCUT

Friday 16th February 2024

The lecture begins with a detailed examination of a Japanese woodcut made by Utagawa Kunisada in 1857. This mokuhanga print depicts the set-up of a traditional ukiyo-e studio, with its hierarchical hanmoto system, where artist, carver, printer and publisher collaborated to create a print, each working within their own defined roles. This introductory section is followed by a practical demonstration of the lecturer’s own Japanese woodcut practice, using the many of the same traditional cutting tools and printing techniques employed in the golden age of ukiyo-e. The lecture concludes by exploring the relevance mokuhanga or Japanese woodcut still has for contemporary Western artists.

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PICTURE RESTORER: CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION OF EASEL PAINTINGS

Friday 15th March 2024

This lecture discusses the nature of oil painting materials, from the Middle Ages to the present day, and common problems associated with the ageing and deterioration of, and damage to, easel paintings. These can be on canvas, panel, board or paper in a range of mediums: oil, acrylic, egg tempera, or mixed media. Problems can involve natural deterioration and neglect, accidental damage, vandalism and even war–the most surprising event being a large hole caused by a Turkish cannon ball going through a picture in the 18th century!! Modern ‘museum standard’ approaches to conservation and restoration will be illustrated with detailed slides ranging from early Italian religious paintings in egg tempera via rapid oil sketches on paper by John Constable to 20thcentury British paintings and modern abstract works. Hints and advice on the general care of paintings in homes is given in liberal doses throughout!

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