Lectures 2019

All lectures are held at 1.45pm prompt at Linden House, 211 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton.

The Black Death, a Turning Point in the Arts

This lecture examines how the greatest catastrophe in recorded history, which removed over half the population of Europe, signally affected the arts and architecture.

Lecturer: Tom James (Tom's publications include Clarendon: Landscape of Kings (20O7), Winchester: Prehistory to the Present (2007), The Story of England (2001); Clarendon Palace and Palaces of Medieval England. He is a contributor to This Sceptred Isle, Radio 4/BBC Worldwide. Credits include BBC2, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, Radio 4, including Edward Windsor's Crown and Country).

Paul Nash

The lecture considers the life and paintings of the war artist Paul Nash who became one of the great British painters of the twentieth century. His visionary response to the fertility of nature and the changing seasons is mysterious and unforgettable. Nash was an official war artist in both world wars and became one of the greatest portrayers of war.

Lecturer: Frank Woodgate
(Frank is a lecturer and guide at Tate Britain and Tote Modern. He also lecturers for the Art Fund, the National Trust, U3A and other organisations and runs courses at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester).

Tulipmania, the Tulip, a Decorative Flower on European and Asian Ceramics

The beautiful tulip migrated west from Central Asia, where it is found in the wild. It was celebrated by the Ottoman Sultans who commissioned ceramics painted with tulips in jewel-like colours from local potters. From Istanbul, the tulip went west through trade and gifts to 17th century Holland where, in the hothouse of rising prices, those who coveted this rare and precious flower found it less expensive to commission oil paintings of tulips with delicate and vibrantly striped petals displayed in vessels of Chinese blue and white porcelain. Cheaper still were the Delft tiles, dishes and vases painted with tulips. London delft counterparts also featured tulips as did Thomas Toft's rustic slipware wares from Staffordshire where the presence of a tulip on a loving cup commemorated a non-Jacobite allegiance to the rule of William and Mary. Queen Mary and her Court ordered pyramid-shaped 'tulip vases' for Hampton Court and Dyrham Park. The lecture concludes with a myriad of painted florists' tulips on 18th century porcelains, such as by William 'Quaker' Pegg at Derby who excelled in botanically accurate designs. 'Trompe L'oeil' vases and cups of the 18th and 19th centuries celebrate the delicate shape of tulips in three-dimensional form.

Lecturer: Anne Haworth (Anne is a lecturer at the V&A, guide for private tours of the State Rooms and The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace and catalogued collection of Chinese porcelain at Kensington Palace. She became a senior ceramics specialist at Christie's and Bonhams)

Adventures in Three Dimensions, 20th Century Sculpture in Britain

Modern sculpture is mysterious to many people, notoriously difficult and inaccessible both to look at and in the endless critical expositions which complicate more than they clarify. The works of Epstein, Moore, Hepworth, Frink and their contemporaries stand at the heart of our time, yet too often we are intimidated where we should be enthralled. The story of sculpture through the 20th century shows form manipulated to explore emotion as well as appearance, and a three-dimensional language used as expressively as any poet or novelist to reveal the rhythms and meanings of life itself.

Lecturer: Justine Hopkins
(Justine studied History of Art at the Courtauld lnstitute and has lectured regularly for Tate Britain, Tate Modern, V&A, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, as well as to Oxbridge and Bristol Universities, Christie's Fine Art, the Art Fund, and groups such as the Bradford on Avon Arts Association, Friends of Covent Gorden and U3A.)

Starting at 1.30pm prompt.

MONDAY 13th May 2019
The Festival of Britain

This lecture tells the story of 20th century fashion design, tracing how clothes, textiles and accessories were influenced by contemporary history.
It includes the elegant fashions of the Edwardian era, the glamour of the 1920s and 1930s, the austerity of the 1940s, the futuristic fashions of the 1950s, the liberating styles of the 1960s and the avant-garde fashions of the 1970s to the present day.

Lecturer: Sally Hoban
Sally has a PhD in History from the University of Birmingham and is a specialist art and design historian and antiques expert. She lectures across the world and has broadcast on BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC Radio 4. Sally broadcasts regularly on TV and radio and has worked at The Birmingham Assay Office with its outstanding silver collection, written for The Antiques Bulletin and is the author of the book Miller’s Collecting Modern Design

"The Queen's Pikture", Portraits of Queen Elizabeth 1

This lecture examines the portraiture of 'Good Queen Bess' and traces the development of an English icon from tentative beginnings to the triumph of royal propaganda. As a young girl, Elizabeth was a minor cog in the machinery of the Tudor dynasty, destined to move from docile and obedient daughter to modest and submissive wife. As queen, Elizabeth and her ministers struggled to find a suitable visual image but with passing years her image grew in confidence until the realm of England became too small a canvas and Elizabeth triumphed as Queen, Empress and Goddess.

Lecturer: Gillion White (Gillion specialises in the visual arts of late Medieval and sixteenth-century England. She formerly worked for the National Trust as Curator and Collections Manager at Hardwick Hall. She now teaches part-time ot Leicester University, predominantly in The Centre for the Study of the Country House, and is involved with the Continuing Education Deportment at Oxford university, as well as freelance lecturing)

Up the Garden Path

All gardening is concerned with the control of nature, but ideas on how this is to be and what the end result should be, have gone through many changes. Gardens as places of inspiration and recreation have been cultivated in towns, as excavations of urban Roman sites have revealed, but particularly in the country where estate owners have vied with each other to follow the latest fashions dictated by masters such as Capability Brown, Humphrey Repton, Gertrude Jekyll and Piet Oudolf. Planting may be more, or less, formal and designs can include statues, fountains, temples and grottoes.

Lecturer: Anna Hallett
Anna is a historian educated in the Netherlands and the UK. Based in the Midlands, she has lectured at Lichfield, Tamworth and Shrewsbury

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