The lectures commence at 8pm with coffee beforehand at The Junction, Christ Church, Chorleywood, Herts WD3 5SG 

Non-members are always welcome: £10 per lecture 

Tuesday 13 September 2022 

Peder Severin Krøyer: A Painter of Northern Light. Lecturer Kathy McLauchlan

Looking back on his work towards the end of his life, Peder Severin Krøyer recalled his work at Skagen, the Danish artists’ colony at the northernmost tip of Denmark, and expressed his particular love for that time “when the sun is going down, when the moon is rising over the sea, hanging there, crystal clear, and the water, smooth as glass, reflects its light….”. Krøyer was referring to the ‘blue hour’ of northern Scandinavian summer nights, when sea and sky appear to merge into a single luminous whole.

This lecture explores Krøyer’s life and work in Skagen, and evaluates the paintings that made him into one of Europe’s most celebrated artists by the end of the 19th Century.

Summer Evening on Skagen’s Southern Beach: PS Krøyer. Skagens Museum, Skagen, Denmark

Kathy McLauchlan’s lecture explores PS Krøyer’s life and work in Skagen, the Danish artists’ colony at the northern tip of Denmark, where he loved to paint the ‘blue hour’ of northern Scandinavian summer nights, when sea and sky appear to merge into a single luminous whole. She evaluates the paintings that made Krøyer one of Europe’s most celebrated artists by the end of the 19th Century.

Self portrait: PS Krøyer, 1897. Hirschsprung Collection, Copenhagen, Denmark

Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Artists’ Party at Skagen: PS Krøyer, 1888. Museum of Art, Gothenburg, Sweden

Tuesday 11 October 2022    

St Pancras and Friends. Lecturer Andrew Davies

London’s stations have always been powerful and iconic structures. They are used every day by many more people than pass through our dull airports. The lecture explores their history and architecture, from Charing Cross and Waterloo to Victoria and Liverpool Street. 

It will also look at London’ s underground stations, from Metroland and the inter-war Piccadilly stops to the gleaming Jubilee Line masterpieces (Foster’s Canary Wharf, Canada Water). The colourful array of posters encouraging travellers onto the railway network is also featured.

Andrew Davies is an Extra-Mural Tutor for London, Essex and The Open University. He is the author of nine books, including The East End Nobody Knows, is a frequent contributor to radio and TV, and has lectured all over the world. Many Arts Society members have been on Andrew’s popular and instructive walks in London which complement his lectures.

St Pancras Station

St Pancras Station

Uxbridge Tube Station

Tuesday 8 November 2022

The Origins of Tudor Miniatures. Lecturer Melanie Taylor

This lecture will give us a comprehensive overview of Tudor miniatures, their history, meaning, and importance. It will explain how these works of art were created and show samples of the vellum, pigments, and other materials used by the artists. 

The lecture will also include an examination of the works of the Tudor miniaturists Nicholas Hilliard and Levina Teerlinc, (1520-1576), a court artist for Henry VIII and one of the few women artists of that time.

Melanie Taylor studied the History of Art, Architecture & Design and has an MA in Medieval & Early Modern Studies. Her dissertation was on the life and works of Levina Teerlinc. She has conducted original research and delivers lectures on many subjects involving aspects of medieval manuscripts, Renaissance and Tudor portraiture, and is a renowned expert on Tudor miniatures.

Young Man Among Roses, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex: Nicholas Hilliard circa 1585–1595, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Elizabeth I: attributed to Levina Teerlinc c. 1565


Queen Elizabeth I: Nicholas Hilliard circa 1573–1575, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool


Tuesday 13 December 2022

Papers from Peking: Chinese Wallpapers 1700-2000. Lecturer Jo Banham

Chinese Wallpapers create an extraordinary visual effect: their exquisitely painted designs blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality, the extraordinary and the mundane. They first appeared in Britain in the early 1700s and quickly took fashionable society by storm. Their exotic subject matter, rich colours, and fine details were far superior to other wallpapers of the time and their non-repeating designs of landscapes or Chinese life formed a dazzling panorama that ran all around the room. By the end of the 18th Century, there was barely a country house in Britain that did not boast at least one room decorated in this way. 

This lecture explores the history and development of Chinese wallpapers from their origins to modern times. It looks at how they were made, how they came to Britain, the different types of design, and how and where they were used.

Jo Banham is a freelance curator, lecturer and writer. She has held posts at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and Tate Britain. She has also been Curator of Leighton House and Assistant Keeper at the Whitworth Art Gallery. She has published on many aspects of Victorian and early 20th Century decoration and interiors. She is currently curating an exhibition on William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement for the Juan March Fundacion in Madrid and the Museu Nacional d’Art Catalunya in Barcelona.


Panel of Chinese wallpaper, unknown maker, circa 1750–1800, probably Canton, China. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Tuesday 10 January 2023

La Serenissima: The Golden Age of Music in Venice. Lecturer Patrick Craig

This lecture explores the rich musical traditions of Venice. Claudio Monteverdi not only transformed the music at the Basilica of San Marco but also led the way in the creation of a new art form – opera. We shall see and hear works from the other musical geniuses, such as Gabrieli and Lotti, who developed the Basilica’s musical life as well as tracing Monteverdi’s successors in the creation of Venetian opera, including Cavalli and Albinoni. We shall also hear music from Antonio Vivaldi, the other towering figure of Venetian music, who created music for the opera and the female musicians of the Ospidale della Pietà.

Patrick Craig is a Vicar Choral at St Paul’s Cathedral. For 20 years he combined this with an international career, singing over a thousand concerts with the world-renowned Tallis Scholars. He also sings with the award-winning group The Cardinall’s Musick and founded and conducts the all-female professional choir, Aurora Nova. He has conducted concerts for the BBC Proms, the Brighton, Lichfield and Aldeburgh Festivals, and with the City of London Sinfonia. As a Cambridge history graduate with a lifelong interest in the arts, Patrick leads choral workshops for amateur singers across the world, where he places music in its historical and cultural context. He regularly lectures for the St Paul’s Adult Education programme and for John Hall’s Venice Courses, which have allowed him to incorporate his interests in theology, art and poetry. 



Monteverdi: Bernardo Strozzi, circa 1630. Tyrolean State Museum, Innsbruck, Austria

Tuesday 14 February 2023

Banksy and Basquiat: The Superstars of Street Art. Lecturer Ray Warburton

Despite their very different backgrounds, what binds Banksy and Jean-Michel Basquiat together is ‘street’ or ‘graffiti’ art. Banksy is British, out of Bristol, and emerged in the 1990s with a stencil-based approach to street art. He may be seen as a prankster but he has increasingly serious cultural or socio-political points to make: the picture that shredded itself at Sotheby’s in 2018 is a good example.  

Banksy is still very much alive, Basquiat died of a heroin overdose aged just 27. The lecture will trace their careers and describe their major artworks. Over and above the tag of ‘street artist’, and despite their very different backgrounds, the lecture will highlight the connections between them and evaluate their contribution to contemporary art.


Girl with Balloon or There is Always Hope: Banksy. South Bank, London

Ray Warburton is a lifelong lover of art. He studied History of Art at the Open University, gaining an MA. He has been a guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern since 2011, leading tours of the permanent displays and exhibitions. In mid-2020, Ray began organising, hosting, and presenting at many online art-based seminars for his fellow Tate guides and other art lovers.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Charlotte Raven

Tuesday 14th March 2023

The Kings Painter. Lecturer Franny Moyle

This lecture looks at Holbein’s works for Henry VIII’s Court and draws from Franny Moyle’s in-depth knowledge of the subject, based on the material covered in her book The King’s Painter: The Life and Times of Hans Holbein.

Franny Moyle is a graduate in English and the History of Art from St John’s College, Cambridge. She joined BBC television in 1992 as a producer and director and is now the corporation’s first dedicated Commissioner for Arts and Culture across its four channels. In 2021, her highly acclaimed book, The King’s Painter: The Life and  Times of Hans Holbein, was published by Abrams Press in New York and described by The Times as “A triumph of book-making as well as biography”.

Portrait of Henry VIII: Hans Holbein, 1540. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome

Tuesday 18 April 2023

The Collections of Napoleon and Josephine at Chateau de Malmaison: Giving an Insight into One of History’s Most Famous Couples. Lecturer Carole Petipher

How was Napoleon such an excellent self-promoter? What was it that drove him? What, on the other hand, drove his wife? And what was it that made Napoleon and Josephine one of the most followed couples in history? These questions can be answered and give an insight into their characters by exploring the collections at the Chateau de Malmaison. The estate, which was bought by the couple as their private retreat away from the pomp and ceremony of the official residences, was made into a National Museum in 1905. It holds a huge collection of their possessions including paintings, personal objects, complete room layouts, and some magnificent pieces of porcelain.

Carole Petipher is an experienced guide and lecturer on combined history and art tours in France with 20 years’ experience. Having lived and worked on a number of bespoke river vessels and converted barges there she has used them as a platform from which to research her lectures. She uses art in all its guises to explore the characters who shaped France and likes to delve behind the scenes to discover hidden truths. She delivered an extremely well-received and fascinating lecture to the society during 2019 on Vaux Le Vicomte, the inspiration behind Versailles, and she also acts as a guide for a privately-owned ancestral home in her native Chilterns.

Dining room of the Château de Malmaison

Tuesday 9 May 2023

Death and Blessing: The Mausoleum and Islamic Architecture. Lecturer James Allan

Despite the idea of a mausoleum posing theological problems for many Muslims, many monumental tombs were commissioned and built, the most famous is the Taj Mahal in Agra.

This lecture explores and illustrates the many mausolea, some humble, some magnificent, which are spread throughout the Islamic world. Examples will be taken from Morocco to India, including those of the cemetery at Aswan, where pilgrims to Mecca in the 11th and 12th Centuries were laid to rest, the 14th century necropolis of the Shah-e Zindeh in Samarkand, with its wonderful tiled mausolea, and the 14th-15th Century mausolea of Mamluk Cairo, carefully positioned to draw the attention and blessings of passers-by.

Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan

Interior of the mausoleum of Sultan Qalawun

Mausoleum chamber of Sultan Baibars (1260-1277) in the Al-Zahiriyah Library in Damascus

James Allan was curator of the Islamic collection and Keeper of Eastern Art at the Ashmolean Museum, where he also set up an inter-faith exhibition service and taught Islamic art and architecture. Now retired, he leads tours in the Middle East and has published numerous articles and books on Islamic art, the most recent being The Art and Architecture of Twelver Shi’ism: Iraq, Iran and the Indian Subcontinent.

Tuesday 13 June 2023

Paradise Regained: The Life and Art of Samuel Palmer. Lecturer Timothy Wilcox

The early watercolours and ink drawings of Samuel Palmer evoke a rural idyll, a vision of a secure village life far removed from the harsh realities of modern industrial Britain. However, Palmer struggled to maintain a balance between his actual experience and the ideals which fuelled his art. After decades of self-doubt, towards the end of his life Palmer did find a way to paint not only what he saw but also what he felt: his series of watercolours inspired by Milton form a fitting climax to his life’s journey, and are among the most dazzling and sumptuous of the entire Victorian period.

Timothy Wilcox is a writer, lecturer, and exhibition curator. He has a special interest in British art, in landscape and watercolour painting. He was a museum curator in the British Museum Department of Prints and Drawings following positions at the V&A in Liverpool and Hove.

The Lonely Tower: Samuel Palmer, 1879. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 A freelance curator and lecturer since 1997, Timothy has organised exhibitions on Laura Knight, Hilda Carline, John Sell Cotman, and John Constable, at venues including Tate, The Lowry, the Wordsworth Trust, and Dulwich Picture Gallery. He contributes regularly to the educational programmes at the Ashmolean Museum and lectures at museums and galleries in the UK, Europe, and the US.

The Herdsman: Samuel Palmer. Gallery Oldham, Greater Manchester

© Chorleywood Fine Arts 2023