Monthly Archives: June 2020

The PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) Update

June 2020 – What we are doing

Dear Member,

I hope that you and your family are keeping safe, well and managing to cope in these difficult times.

As the title of this update suggests, the purpose of this is not to provide a depressing litany of what we have not been able to do but rather to celebrate what we have been able to do and are doing!


We are going to have our AGM, as scheduled on 1st July 2020 and you will already have received information about this. It will be our first AGM not to be held as a physical meeting but, instead, organised as a largely online AGM with some postal voting alternatives for those members not on email.

The postal voting papers have already been despatched and those of you on email will shortly receive an email with details of the link to enable you to cast your vote. We are using Survey Monkey as the means of enabling members to vote electronically so do not be concerned if you find that the link in the email takes you to Survey Monkey – that is exactly as intended!

How you cast your votes is, of course, entirely a matter for you to decide. Can I please repeat my earlier plea for you to cast your vote so that we are able to fulfil our constitutional requirement of having at least 25% of our members (that is about 150 members) voting to make the AGM quorate.

Online lectures.

We had a very successful online lecture on ‘Beethoven at 250’ by Sandy Burnett on 3rd June 2020 with 174 people logging in to watch the lecture which probably amounts to over 200 individuals as many members watch as couples. This lecture was accessible to members on You Tube, mainly as a result of the innovative technical work carried out by Keith Roberts. The availability of this on You Tube made it much easier for members to access (if you can open a page on the internet, you can access You Tube!) and we will now use this mechanism for all our online lectures, for as long as we need to have them.

We have already arranged for an online lecture on 1st July by Monica Bohm-Duchen on ‘Insiders/Outsiders: Refugees from Nazi Europe and their contribution to British visual culture’ and you will, as before, get an email about a week before the lecture with the necessary link to enable you to access it.

Traditionally, we have not had lectures in August, December or January. However, we have made the decision, given the current circumstances, to have online lectures in each of these three months. Eithne Batt, your programme secretary, is working hard to book lecturers to deliver these new lectures. The first of these three lectures will be on Wednesday 5th August at 11.00am and is on ‘The Good Life: Grimson and the Barnsleys-Inventing the Cotswold Style’ with Anne Anderson; details of the other two lectures will be sent to you nearer the time. These lectures (which are additional to our usual programme schedule) will be held as online lectures even if we have been able to resume our traditional lectures at the Spa Centre by then.

Finally, under this heading, please do not forget the other online offerings available to you. Links to the Heni talks (many of which I have watched myself and thoroughly enjoyed – they range between 5-30 minutes long) and the new national Arts Society Connected website are at the top of this page. The national site will be limited to members only from September onwards.


Just to prove that lockdown has at least one positive outcome, Pat Whorton who is the chairman of our publicity group, took the opportunity of the enforced spare time to take an online national Arts Society course on using Twitter. As a result, our society now has a presence on said Twitter-so if you have or know of material that you think would be useful for her to put out on our Twitter account please let her know.

We all hear a lot about social media these days and the national Arts Society is encouraging local societies such as ours to embrace it to spread the word about what we are, what we do and thus to entice new members to join.

Most of the arts institutions are on Twitter and they have put out a plethora of material, particularly in the current environment, including online exhibitions, lectures, blogs etc. Many Arts Society lecturers are active on Twitter; for example, Alexandra Epps tweets a number of delightful images throughout the day. Art UK is also very active and starts all sorts of artistic ‘conversations’ that you can join in with. You can, of course, also follow people and organisations in different fields of interest not just the arts.

Pat says that by following some interesting people and organisations she has discovered the East London Group of artists and John Henry Norman, the founder of the Avant Garde Coventry Art Circle of the 1930’s. She has also found out why there is a parachute shaped fountain in Jephson Gardens!

So, if you are already on Twitter please follow us and if not, take your courage in both hands and give it a try! We are at The Arts Society Royal Leamington Spa@TASLeamington1

Warwickshire Open Studios

One of the casualties of the current situation has been the above event which I know many members have enjoyed in the past.

However, the brochure for this, which is well worth a view in its own right, is available at:!

Membership renewal form

Members will shortly receive this either by email or through the post and I very much hope that you will renew your membership and thus retain access to all the things I have referred to above.

If you decide to renew, can you please make sure that, as well as paying the subscription, you complete and return the renewal form; it is one of the most important ways for us to check that we have your details such as your address and email correct (particularly in the current circumstances) on our membership database.

Many thanks in advance.

If you are not already a member and would like to join our Society, please visit our Membership page.

When you get your 2020/21 programme card in due course it will set out our current plans for 2020/21 but also recognises that our activities will be dependent on Government regulation and advice and, particularly in relation to our lecture programme, on when and under what conditions the Spa Centre reopens. Also, and as usual, the details of the planned 2020/21 programme will be available on this website before you get your programme card so if you want the earliest data on the programme the website is the place to go to. In general terms, our website is the place to find the most up to date information on every aspect of your society.

I hope that you will see that, despite coronavirus, your society remains very active.

Thank you for all your support over this difficult period.

Best wishes and stay well.

Shaun Pitt

8th June 2020

Wednesday 5th August 2020 – The Good Life: Gimson and the Barnsleys – Inventing the Cotswold Style

The Good Life: Gimson and the Barnsleys – Inventing the Cotswold Style

Wednesday 5th August 2020

Anne Anderson

Cabinet at Rodmarton Manor

Cabinet at Rodmarton Manor
Image supplied by the lecturer

Discover the talents of Ernest Gimson and Ernest and Sidney Barnsley, influential figures of the Arts and Crafts movement. From setting up workshops to establishing ‘the Cotswold style’, these men have inspired generations of designers and makers.

Desiring to ‘live close to nature’, Gimson and the Barnsleys found Pinbury Park, near Cirencester.   In 1900, Gimson and Ernest Barnsley set up a small furniture workshop in Cirencester, moving to larger premises at Daneway House, Sapperton, an idyllic medieval manor house. Although their partnership dissolved, Gimson and his skilled cabinet makers established a ‘Cotswold style’ while Sidney Barnsley designed and made his own furniture.

With a first degree in archaeology and a PhD in English, Anne was a senior lecturer in Art and Design History at Southampton Solent University for fourteen  years.

She has held several prestigious fellowships and is currently a tutor for the V&A Learning Academy.  A specialist in Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement, Anne’s book on The Perseus Series was published for the Edward Burne-Jones exhibition at Tate Britain in 2018.

Her career as an international speaker has taken her all over the world, including Spain, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and Leamington Spa in November 2012. We are looking forward to her return, even if only in cyberspace.

This lecture was streamed online on Wednesday 5th August 2020 at 11:00am.

Click here for our next online event

Wednesday 1st July – Insiders/Outsiders: Refugees From Nazi Europe And Their Contribution To British Visual Culture

Insiders/Outsiders: Refugees From Nazi Europe And Their Contribution To British Visual Culture

Wednesday 1st July 2020

Monica Bohm-Duchen

Despite the traumatic nature of their dislocation and the obstacles they often encountered on arrival in the UK, those who fled here from Nazi-dominated Europe in the 1930s and 1940s made a deep, pervasive and long-lasting contribution to British culture. Focussing on the visual arts, this new lecture will examine the nature of this contribution, embracing not only familiar names such as Gombrich, Kokoschka, Moholy-Nagy, Schwitters and Heartfield, but also lesser-known figures such as Albert Reuss, Josef Herman and Marie-Louise von Motesiczky.

At a time when the issue of immigration is much debated, this lecture serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural cross-fertilisation and of the deep, long-lasting and wide-ranging contribution that refugees make to British life.

Monica is an independent London-based writer and an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck College since 2005.  She has lectured for institutions such as Tate, the National Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Open University, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Courtauld Institute of Art.  She is the initiator and Creative Director of the Insiders/ Outsiders arts festival, and as such she hosted a whole series of online events earlier this month to mark National Refugees’ Week. Among her many publications, her book “Art and the Second World War” was nominated for the William M. B. Berger Prize for Art History and the National Award for Arts Writing, USA.

This lecture was streamed online at 11:00am on Wednesday 1st July 2020.
Members received an invitation by email to join the lecture.

Young Arts – Spring 2019

Young Arts – Spring 2019

A children’s art competition for all primary schools in Leamington was organised in collaboration with Leamington Art Gallery. The theme “Spring”, was chosen to celebrate the reopening of the Pump Room Gardens.

Displays from the childrens'árt competition

The children used found materials for their art work which was later exhibited at the entrance to the Art Gallery.

Prizes were awarded to the three schools which had participated and the children received certificates.