Charnwood Venue: Quorn Church Rooms, Church Lane, Quorn LE12 8DP Lectures are held on the second Thursday of the month (excluding July and August). The Society arranges outings, specialist Study Days, has sponsored a Young Arts Exhibition and compiled and launched a Church Trail.  2018 Thursday 8th February 2018 Michelle Brown Leicestershire and the Art of Anglo-Saxon Mercia The Viking raids on England during the 9th century led to the emergence of a single nation  state with its own rich book culture. This illustrated lecture explores the revival of learning fostered by King Alfred the Great and his heirs which revived the literary and artistic aspirations of England before the Norman Conquest. Treasures such as St Dunstan's Classbook. the Benedictional of St Ethelwold, the Anglo-Saxon Scientific Miscellany and the Beowulf Manuscript will be explored and set in context. Bronze Age barrow and Anglo-Saxon cemetery discovered at Rothley, Leicestershire Thursday 8th March 2018 Rupert Willoughby Basingstoke and it’s contribution to world culture One of the most derided towns in England, renowned for its dullness, Basingstoke is distinguished only by its numerous roundabouts and absurd Modernist architecture. Rupert explains that the post-war planners, who inflicted such features as ‘the Great Wall of Basingstoke’ on the town, were politically-motivated and bent on destroying all traces of its past. He reveals the nobler Basingstoke that is buried beneath the concrete, and the few historic gems that have survived the holocaust. Hilariously told, it is a story that neatly illustrates the ugliest episode in England’s architectural history. As Betjeman wrote prophetically, “What goes for Basingstoke goes for most English towns”. Thursday 12th April 2018 Dr Helen Doe Merchant Ship Figureheads Why were they created and what and who did they represent? In the 19th century sailing ships with their colourful figureheads were a regular sight ,but now just a few figureheads survive. Click here for more information on figureheads Thursday 10th May 2018 Dr Caroline Shenton Mr Barry’s Great Work – The Houses of Parliament The Houses of Parliament is one of the most famous and staggering buildings in the world. It rises serenely from the Thames at Westminster, on a site which has been the centre of power and government in England from the earliest times. It is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture and a spectacular feat of civil engineering: a landmark which is today the essence of Britishness. And it was nearly never built at all. From the beginning, its design and construction were a battleground for its architect, Charles Barry. The practical challenges, even by the standards of Victorian invention, were immense. Following the disastrous fire of 1834, the new building was required to cover eight acres of unstable gravel beds. Its river frontage, a quarter of a mile long, was to be constructed in the treacherous currents of the Thames. Its towers were so gigantic they required feats of engineering and building technology never seen before, in order to construct them on the cramped site. And the interior design - stained glass, metalwork, encaustic tiling and wall coverings - needed ancient craft techniques not used since the middle ages to be revived. Battling the interference of MPs and royalty, coaxing and soothing the genius of his partner Pugin, fending off the mad schemes of a host of crackpot inventors and busybodies, and coming in three times over budget and twenty-four years behind schedule, this lecture will tell the story of how Charles Barry created the most famous building in Britain. Thursday 31st May 2018 (NOTE DAYTIME LECTURE at 11.30 am) Elizabeth Merry Sweet Swan of Avon In his tribute to Shakespeare on the publication of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623, Ben Jonson addresses him as ‘Sweet Swan of Avon’ , ‘Thou Star of Poets’ and ‘Not of an Age, but for all Time’. 400 years after Shakespeare’s death his words still have the power to thrill, to move, to uplift the soul. In fact, it’s said that a Shakespeare play is being performed somewhere in the world every minute of every day. In this lecture we explore what is known about his life in the turbulent and often dangerous world of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, and look at the development of English Renaissance theatre. We will also focus on some of the portraits purporting to be of Shakespeare and examine the theories behind them. Brice Stratford - An image showing direct comparisons between the Shakespeare of the Cobbe Portrait, the Chandos Portrait and the Droeshout Engraving. Thursday 14th June 2018 Adam Busiakiewicz Warwick Castle. A forgotten collection Warwick Castle remains one of Britain’s best preserved and most popular medieval castles. The imposing stone walls and towers were raised by the powerful Earls of Warwick, who took a leading role in the most important events of Medieval England. From 1604, the castle was transformed from a fortification and into a luxurious stately home. The treasures of the eighteenth and nineteenth century Earls filled the castle with arguably one of Britain’s most undiscovered collections of Old Master Painting, Furniture, Arms and Armour and objet d’art. The sale of Warwick Castle to an entertainments company in 1978, by Lord Brooke, meant that the castle’s history, collection and interiors remains one of the country’s best kept secrets. Warwick Castle web site Thursday 13th September 2018 Catherine Wallace Under the open sky. Newlyn and Lamorna Artists 1880-1940 This lecture looks at the relationship between art and the fishing industry in Cornwall in the  1880s - 1900.  In particular it analyses how the Newlyn School artists captured the lives of the families dependant on fishing, the hard work and the tragedies they suffered and the boats they used to fish in. Samuel John Birch is estimated to have painted over 20,000 works of art in his long artistic life which ended in 1955. He came from humble beginnings in Cheshire and made his name in Manchester before making the Lamorna Valley near Newlyn both his adopted home and name. His subject was landscape, and in particular the Cornish landscape. Background to the Newlyn Artists Thursday 11th October 2018 ( NOTE AGM at 7.15 ) Gavin Plumley The Gustavs – Mahler and Klimt Gustav Klimt and his colleagues broke away from the imperially endorsed art institutions in Vienna in 1897 and founded the Secession. That was the same year that Gustav Mahler arrived  to take charge of the Opera House in the city. Comparing these two totemic fin de siècle talents, this lecture places Klimt and Mahler in context, asking what fundamentally links and, indeed, divides them. Max Reinhardt, Carl Moll, Mahler, Gustav Klimt, Anna Moll and Josef Hofmann are sitting in the garden of the Villa Carl Moll, Vienna, 1903 Left: Klimt        Right: Marler Background to the Secessionists. Thursday 8th November 2018 Simon Inglis Great Lengths-On the Art & Architecture of swimming pools & lidos Swimming is Britain’s second favourite form of physical recreation (after walking). Almost everyone has memories of visiting their local baths. But whilst not all these memories might be positive – drooping knitted cozzies anyone? – for many swimmers the baths themselves are cherished. Some, particular those built in the late Victorian and Edwardian years, are rich with decorative tilework, stained glass, polished wood and terracotta detailing. This sense of municipal pride continued into the 1920s and ’30s, when Art Deco and Modernist lidos became the urban beaches of their day. In this lecture, Simon highlights the treasures of aquatic art that survive, and considers how the pools of today compare. Thursday 13th December 2018 ( Includes Drinks & Mince Pies) Ian Keable George Cruikshank - The man who drew Oliver Twist George Cruikshank is now best known for his brilliant drawings for Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist.  But this is to do his prodigious skills and work output a disservice. Cruikshank moved effortlessly from biting satirical prints in the Georgian era through to producing engravings for numerous books and journals in Victorian times. Adapting his talents both to new printing technology and the new demands of the reading public, he is considered by many to be the greatest illustrator of the 19th century. His personal reputation hasn't survived quite so well, partly through his obsession with temperance in later life and the fact that when he died, aged 85, it was discovered he had fathered eleven illegitimate children with his mistress. Page designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome Handshake Computer Training
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