LECTURE PROGRAMME

Lectures commence at 8pm
The first seven lectures of this programme (September 2021 to March 2022 inclusive) will be given via Zoom for you to watch at home; the April, May and June lectures will be given in the hall at The Junction, Rickmansworth Road, Chorleywood, Herts WD3 5SG 

Non-members are always welcome: £7.50 to watch a lecture at home via Zoom

Monday 13 September 2021  via Zoom      

All the Lonely People: The Work of the American Realist Painter Edward Hopper. Lecture by Stella Lyons

Edward Hopper was a painter of loneliness and melancholy; from solitary figures in offices, motel rooms and diners, to deserted towns. He portrayed a changing America and the isolation of the individual in the modern city. His works are visually stunning; characterised by striking colours, cinematic and cropped compositions which heighten tension. Flooded with light, his paintings expose detached figures and create a mood of eerie uneasiness. This lecture considers some of his most arresting works, including The Nighthawks, Gas and Automat.

Stella Lyons is a freelance Art History lecturer, speaker and writer, lecturing in the UK and other parts of the world. Her article on Norwegian art was recently featured on the front cover of Review, The Arts Society magazine. She has both a BA (1st Class) and an MA in the History of Art and spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. She attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil studios in Florence, which follows a curriculum based on the leading ateliers of 19th Century Paris.

In addition to her lecturing work, Stella works as an artist’s model for the internationally renowned figurative artist, Harry Holland.

Nighthawks: Edward Hopper. Art Institute of Chicago

Monday 11 October 2021   via Zoom     

The Stirling Prize: British Architecture’s Oscars. Lecture by Brian Stater

The Stirling Prize has celebrated the very best contemporary buildings since 1996. Some winners, such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin in 2004, have become enormously successful and appreciated by the wider public. Others have proved harder to love. This entertaining lecture looks at some of the hits, some of the misses, and several buildings that arguably should have won, but didn’t.

Brian Stater is a Senior Teaching Fellow at University College London, where he has lectured since 1997. With both an appreciation of architecture and a strong personal enthusiasm for photography, he offers lectures on each of these subjects. He has written on architecture for a wide range of publications and an exhibition of his own photographs has been held at UCL. He is a member of the Association of Historical and Fine Art Photography and he works with a pre-War Leica camera, as used by his great hero, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and many others.

30 St Mary Axe, “The Gherkin”, London, UK: Foster+Partners

Monday 8 November 2021  via Zoom        

A Life of Art and Love: The Life and Works of Giacomo Puccini. Lecture by Roger Askew

Giacomo Puccini is one of the most popular of all operatic composers, though more cherished by the public than the critics. His ability to convey strong emotion through the power of the human voice and his unique handling of the orchestra earned him a place among the most important musical figures of the 20th Century. His own life was as colourful as one of his operatic plots. This lecture, which is illustrated with recordings of some of the greatest opera singers of the 20th and 21st Centuries, explores the life and works of this fascinating man. 

Roger Askew was a chorister at Wells Cathedral School and a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford. He combined a teaching career with professional singing in London, and, after obtaining a further degree in Music, became Director of Music at Daniel Stewart’s and Melville College in Edinburgh.

After retiring in 2003, Roger returned to the south of England. He is President Emeritus of The Stoke Poges Society and Chairman of Windsor and Maidenhead Decorative and Fine Arts Society.

  Poster for the 1896 production for Puccini’s La Bohème

Monday 13 December 2021  via Zoom

Caravaggio and His Models. Lecture by Anne-Marie Mancio  

Caravaggio is known for his adherence to reality but how did he weave the real lives of his models into his paintings? What became of Fillide Melandroni, courtesan to cardinals, the star of Caravaggio’s Judith and Holofernes who was under the control of pimp Ranuccio Tomassoni whom Caravaggio murdered? Why did Caravaggio choose Fillide’s friend, street prostitute Anna for the penitent Magdalene? What role did fellow artist Mario Minniti play in Caravaggio’s works? And was Caravaggio his own best model?

Anne-Marie Mancio trained as an artist before gaining a PhD in Art and Critical Theory from the University of Sussex. She has lectured in art history for the City Lit, Tate Modern, the Course, Art in London, London Art Salon, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Nth Degree Club and many private art societies. She also runs art history study tours abroad. 

 Judith beheading Holofernes: Caravaggio. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome

Monday 10 January 2022  via Zoom      

Dale Chihuly and the American Glass Art Movement. Lecture by Scott Anderson

The American Studio Glass Movement dates from 1962. Its emphasis on the aesthetics of form and colour now influences studio art glass makers everywhere. As time has passed, Studio Glass making has become more individualistic and more sculptural in its forms. The pioneering designs of the original Studio Glass artists can now often be seen loosely translated into mass-produced glass products.

Dale Chihuly, one of the foremost American Studio Glass artists, popularised the medium throughout the world. In this lecture, his work is considered in some detail in terms of individual works and large-scale exhibitions such as that in Kew Gardens in 2005. He deserves credit for establishing the blown-glass form as an accepted vehicle for installation and environmental art.

Scott Anderson was a professional archaeologist for 10 years before his interests shifted to the world of art, antiques and auctioneering. In 1994, he joined the team at Southampton Solent University lecturing on the only BA(Hons) degree course of its kind to look at the commercial art world. Now, as a Senior Lecturer, he teaches courses on the history and theory of interior design and visual culture. He has lectured to many adult audiences for a variety of university extra-mural departments and the WEA. For the last few years, he has also worked as a consultant valuer for the BBC television programme Flog It.

Dale Chihuly: Persian Glass (2018)

Monday 14 February 2022   via Zoom     

A Poet in Paint: The Art and Life of Paul Nash 1889-1948. Lecture by David Haycock

Paul Nash was one of the most important British artists of the 20th Century, he united the pastoral and mystical tradition embodied by English artists such as William Blake and Samuel Palmer, with the modern European movements of Futurism, Surrealism and Abstraction. Based on the lecturer’s books Paul Nash (2002) and A Crisis of Brilliance (2009), this lecture explores Nash’s life, from his discovery of the English landscape as a young boy, through his artistic education at the Slade, to his experiences as an official war artist in both World Wars.

David Haycock read Modern History at Oxford, and has an MA in the History of Art and a PhD in British History. He is the author of a number of books about artists and has lectured widely at galleries and museums in the UK, including Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Watercolour Society. Formerly a Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and at UCLA, then the Curator of Maritime and Imperial History at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, he is now a freelance writer and lecturer.

The Menin Road: Paul Nash. The Imperial War Museum, London

Monday 14 March 2022  via Zoom        

Canary Wharf: A Journey Back to the Future. Lecture by Charlie Forman

Canary Wharf was a totally new concept which revived London’s Docklands. Or was it? This lecture takes you from the foundations of the West India Docks through to the modern financial centre. It shows how history has repeated itself – the massive scale of the development, the use of the ‘island’ setting, the innovative transport connections, the private security systems, the economic powerhouse, the opposition of the City of London. It tells these parallel stories separated by 200 years, while also giving a glimpse of neighbouring Limehouse, with its Hawksmoor church, which was a riverside community long before the docks were even dreamt of. We meet the likes of Robert Stephenson and William Adam from the first wave of development and come across César Pelli and Norman Foster in the second.

As a London walking tour guide and lecturer, Charlie Forman has absorbed a deep understanding and appreciation of the capital, which has a historic core larger and richer than any other world city. His talks focus on the forces that have shaped this multi-faceted metropolis and the artistic and cultural heritage that this has given us. He played a role in channelling potential long-term benefits into East London communities in the build-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. His publications include Spitalfields: A battle for land.

View of Canary Wharf , London

Monday 11 April 2022, lecture given in The Junction     

The Irritating and Influential Mr Whistler. Lecture by Julia Musgrave

An American artist in London, James Abbott McNeill Whistler was a leading proponent of the idea of ‘art for art’s sake’. He signed his paintings with stylized monogram of a butterfly with a long stinger for a tail – as much a symbol of his love of Japanese art as his assertive and sometimes combative nature. Having lived and worked with the Paris avant-garde, he settled in London in 1859 having created a distinctive Post-Impressionist style at a time when many of his British contemporaries had yet to come to terms with Impressionism. Whistler’s art moved painting towards abstraction, sparked a renaissance in printmaking and gave us the Peacock Room, a masterpiece of interior design. Inspired, influential, and infuriating, his art was full of subtle delicacy, he had a wide social network of friends and family and yet, if crossed, could be a formidable opponent. He mastered the art of making enemies.

Julia Musgrave has a Graduate Diploma in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art and an MLitt for Art, Style and Design: Renaissance to Modernism, c.1450 – c.1930 from the University of Glasgow. She is currently working towards her PhD at the University of York studying the involvement of Roger Fry and the Bloomsbury Group in the development of the Contemporary Art Society from 1910 to 1937. She is a lecturer in Art History at the City Literary Institute.

Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl. James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1862). National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Monday 9 May 2022, lecture given in The Junction        

Sibelius and the Birth of Finland. Lecture by Rosamund Bartlett 

Finland was part of Sweden until 1809, and then part of an increasingly oppressive Russian empire. Its birth as a nation in 1917 owes everything to the artists, writers and musicians who helped forge its cultural identity. The lecture explores the crucial role played in this process by Sibelius, who bravely and unfashionably decided to embrace native themes in his music while he was still a student in Vienna. Works such as the symphonic poem Finlandia and his Symphony No. 2 were immediately championed as symbols of Finnish nationalism by fervent patriots anxious to liberate their country from Russian rule, while Sibelius himself became a national figure and beloved spiritual leader.

Rosamund Bartlett is a writer, lecturer and translator whose work as a cultural historian ranges across art, music and literature. She completed her doctorate at Oxford and is the author of several books, including biographies of Chekhov and Tolstoy, and a study of Wagner’s influence in Russia; she is currently writing a history of the Russian avant-garde. Her lecturing work has taken her from the V&A and the National Theatre in London to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, and she contributes regularly to Proms events and opera broadcasts on the BBC.

Jean Sibelius: Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1894)

Monday 13 June 2022, lecture given in The Junction        

A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Exploring the Revival of 15th Century Timurid Carpet Designs from Persian Illustrated Manuscripts. Lecture by Chris Aslan Alexander

This lecture takes a narrative approach to the revival of 15th Century carpets in Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan. Illuminations on vellum containing the only surviving representations of textiles from this era were that was left of Timurid carpets until Chris Alexander’s workshop began to weave them back into life again. 

The lecture will examine the traditional role of carpet weaving and embroidery in the social lives of Central Asian women and how social and political influences led to the decline of textile production. How do the constraints of gender inequality, corruption and the sourcing of natural dyes from neighbouring Afghanistan challenge attempts at reviving the rich textile heritage of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand?

Chris Aslan Alexander was born in Turkey (hence his middle name) and spent his childhood there and in war-torn Beirut. As an adult, he moved to Khiva, establishing a UNESCO workshop reviving 15th Century carpet designs and embroideries, and becoming the largest non-government employer in town. After time in Tajikistan, where he trained yak herders to comb their yaks for their cashmere-like down, and Kyrgyzstan, where he established a wood-carving workshop, he returned to the UK and is now writing fiction. He also lectures for The Arts Society and leads tours to Central Asia to pay the bills.

Image from Chris Aslan Alexander’s website (carpetridetokhiva.wordpress.com)

© Chorleywood Fine Arts 2021