Past Programme for the 2023 - 2024 Season

Monday, 18th September     The Rivalry Between Leonardo and Michelangelo

Although Leonardo and Michelangelo were two of the most well-known figures in Italian Renaissance art, the rivalry between them is not well understood.  This lecture throws light on their animosity with reference to selected examples of their work.

James Lindow: Acclaimed author and awarded first Renaissance doctorate from Royal College of Art and V&A.

Monday, 16th October       The English Renaissance – A New Direction

The art of the Renaissance did not sweep through England the way it did on the continent. It entered England silently and lagged behind the continent by a century.  This lecture will consider the period of turmoil between the reign of Henry VIII and the Civil War as experienced in art, architecture, literature and music.

Hugh Ellwood: Visiting lecturer in the history of art and architecture at the University of Central Lancashire.

Monday, 20th November     Undressing Antiques

A persuasive introduction to buying antiques and integrating them into today’s homes. The lecture will take a look at what current and future generations of collectors are buying, why they are buying them and how they are displaying them.

Mark Hill: Antiques Roadshow expert since 2007, specialist in design and decorative arts.

Monday, 11th December     Quest for the Holy Grail – tapestries considered to be William Morris’s finest achievement

Thomas Mallory’s Le Mort d’Arthur was a major source of inspiration for Morris and Burne Jones and culminated in their finest artistic achievement, the series of tapestries called “The Quest for the Holy Grail”.  Through her personal conservation of these tapestries, the lecturer will show a rare insight into their construction and design with unique detailed images.

Jacqueline Hyman: Accredited Conservator and Restorer in textiles and tapestries.


Monday, 15th January     Raphael: Genius of the Renaissance in Rome

Raphael died in Rome on Good Friday 1520 aged just 37.  This lecture will look at his short but astonishing career as painter, architect, administrator and draftsman and considers his lasting influence on subsequent artists.

Jo Walton: Teacher and Lecturer. Guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern.

Monday, 19th February     Balenciaga, Dior and Fath: Haute Couture’s Holy Trinity

Haute Couture achieved some of its finest moments during the years following World War II.  Paris reaffirmed its position as the capital of fashion and produced some of the most luxurious clothes money could buy.  These three names became synonymous with luxury, glamour and elegance and this lecture will explore their lives and creative output.

Scott William Schiavone: Fashion Historian and Curator.



Monday, 18th March     Insiders/Outsiders: Refugees from Nazi Germany and their Contribution to British Visual Culture

Despite the traumatic nature of their dislocation and the obstacles they often encountered on arrival in the UK, those who fled Nazi dominated Europe made a deep and long-lasting contribution to British culture.  This lecture will focus on the visual arts.

Monica Bohm-Duchen: Freelance lecturer at Tate, National Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and Sotheby’s.



Monday, 15th April     The Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields: From riches to rags

Welcomed at first with open arms, bringing luxury skills, the Huguenots’ fortunes fluctuated wildly.  The lecture will examine the fashionable patterned silk dresses for which they were famous and how the trade finally died out.  It will also consider the way they lived in the context of a Huguenot house that still can be visited.

Sue Jackson: Blue Badge Guide and Fellow of the Huguenots Society



Monday, 20th May     The Life of Lee Miller

The life of the extraordinary Lee Miller – model, muse, fine art and documentary war photographer and so much more. Told with reference to those with whom she exchanged creative inspiration – Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, David E. Sherman, her father Theodore Miller and her son, our lecturer, Antony Penrose. This lecture embraces many different levels of the history of art and photography, and social commentary.

Antony Penrose: Director of the Lee Miller Archives and The Penrose Collection.



Monday, 17th June     Banksy and Basquiat: Superstars of Street Art

This lecture looks at the art of Banksy and Jean-Michel Basquiat.  What binds them together is “street” or “graffiti” art. The lecture will trace their careers and describe their major artworks.  Despite their very different background, the lecture will make connections between them and attempt to evaluate their contribution to contemporary art.

Raymond Warburton: Guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern.