The East End is one of London’s most fascinating and dynamic districts. It is essentially the story of immigration, wave after wave of people coming to London to seek refuge and look for a better life.
The Old East End Virtual tour tells their story. Using powerful images, video and Google street view, our journey takes us from the arrival of French Huguenots in the 1680s through to the more than 10,000 Jewish Kindertransport children who arrived at Liverpool Street station in 1939.
Pepe Martinez is an award winning London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He was born in the East End and has lived there all his life. He is an accredited Institute of Tourist Guiding Trainer and is currently tutoring on the London Blue Badge training course.
This “virtual tour” was streamed online on Tuesday 11th August 2020 at 2:00pm.
The term ‘Ashcan School’ was used to describe the realism and contemporary subject matter of a New York based group of artists who shared a fascination with zesty everyday life scenes. Each had an individual style, and all rejected the stolid conservatism and rigid teaching practices of the National Academy of Design.
This lecture will explore the work of this extraordinary group of individual artists who created vivid and stunningly beautiful images of a New York city in transition at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Mary Alexander has thirty years’ experience as a lecturer. Her experience includes public lectures in museums, tutoring for the Open University, visiting lecturer at Christie’s Education in London, and museum curator at Platt Hall, the Gallery of Costume, Manchester. She has worked in Pentagram design consultancy in London and New York organising conferences and special events, and is now a freelance lecturer to various arts, heritage and antiquarian societies. She is the author of articles on design and visual awareness issues. Her background combines an unusual blend of academic and visual communications skills.
Note this lecture is on the second Wednesday of the month.
David Bomberg’s Lost Legacy: A Master Painter and His Students
Wednesday 2nd June 2021
In this lecture we’ll discover the power of one of the most passionate, pugnacious and underappreciated painters in twentieth-century Britain.
Neglected for much of his lifetime, David Bomberg has only recently been rightfully celebrated with exhibitions across the country.
We’ll explore what it is in his painting that touches a nerve today as much as it did for the talented group of artists who studied with him. From Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff to Dennis Creffield, David Bomberg’s passion and craft revived the British tradition of expressive naturalism and created a visual language that remains very much alive today.
Dr Kate Aspinall is an independent historian, writer, and artist. Based in London, she focuses her art historical work on British visual culture in the 20th century. She teaches for the Courtauld and Yale in London and has spoken at a range of galleries and public institutions, including Tate, the Towner and Pallant House.
In addition to her art practice, which recently won a grant from the European Commission, she was a long-term consultant for the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, and until recently she served as a Trustee of the Association for Art History, representing freelance and independent art historians. She has degrees from the University of St Andrews, the Courtauld Institute and the University of East Anglia.
This lecture was streamed online on Wednesday 2nd June 2021 at 11:00am.
Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion: The History of Magic Through Art and Pictures
Wednesday 6th July 2022
From the beginning of time the fascination with magic has been widespread. Sorcerer Priests used scientific principles to create illusions for the edification of worship and to hold power over the people.
In the age of the Music Hall, audiences flocked in their thousands to watch the extraordinary feats of The Great Illusionists. Even today, with the craze for Harry Potter, the wonder and surprise of magic are as popular as ever. This lecture will be a whistle stop tour of the history of magic from 3000 BC to the present day.
Bertie Pearce is a member of the Inner Magic Circle. He has toured the world with his one-man cabaret show All Aboard, performed on cruise ships, and lectured to a wide range of art and history societies including twice recently to great acclaim at Royal Leamington Spa.
This lecture will follow the AGM which will begin at 10:30am
After World War I, with Europe reeling from the worst conflict ever known, artists and architects were in a state of flux; yet out of crisis came a truly stimulating period of artistic endeavour.
Contemplating painters such as Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and Christian Schad alongside the experiments of the Bauhaus, new film technologies and the sultry stylings of Marlene Dietrich, this lecture will look at the culture of German-speaking Europe during the interwar years.
Gavin Plumley lectures widely on the culture of Central Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is a writer and broadcaster, appearing on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, and contributing to newspapers, magazines and opera and concert programmes worldwide.
This lecture was streamed online on Wednesday 5th May 2021 at 11:00am.
Johannes Vermeer is today regarded as one of the most important painters in art history. Yet this wasn’t always the case. He was almost entirely forgotten for two centuries after his death, only to be rediscovered in the 1800s.
Vermeer’s works are revered for their rich colours, quality of light and for his ability to imbue everyday scenes with poetry and serenity.
Vermeer is a highly mysterious figure; there is very little historical documentation about him in existence, and fewer than forty works are attributed to him. As a result, he’s earned the nickname ‘the Sphinx of Delft’.
This lecture will explore his masterpieces, including ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earring’.
Stella Grace Lyons is a freelance lecturer in art history. After gaining her BA in the History of Art with a 1st class in her dissertation from the University of Bristol and her MA in History of Art from the University of Warwick, Stella spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice.
Stella is also a part-time lecturer for the University of South Wales.
This lecture was streamed online on Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at 11:00am.
Please note that this is a change to our published Programme for copyright and intellectual property reasons. We hope that Stella will present her original lecture on Norwegian art in February 2022.
Ahead of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture, this lecture will tell the extraordinary story of the rebuilding of the Cathedral as a symbol of peace and reconciliation and its inspiring commitment to the modern.
We’ll experience the work of many of the world class artists associated with its treasures, including Jacob Epstein, Elizabeth Frink, John Piper and Graham Sutherland.
Alexandra Epps’ background is in design, having practised as a graphic designer running her own business for many years. She now works as a guide to the City of London, and as a guide and lecturer to Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Guildhall Art Gallery and Pallant House Gallery.
This lecture was streamed online on Wednesday 3rd February 2021 at 11:00am.
The cartoonist Carl Giles once said that he loved his creation Grandma Giles – that fearsome, black-clad, gambling, drinking battleaxe – because she allowed him to say things through his cartoons that he was too polite to say in person. She helped him to poke fun at authority in all its forms, from Hitler to traffic wardens and even his employers at the Daily Express, who didn’t trust him and had sub-editors scouring his cartoons for subversive background details.
His admirers included Prince Charles, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Tommy Cooper, and it was no surprise when he was voted Britain’s best-loved cartoonist in 2000.
Giles gave us a remarkable picture of a half-century of British life. He was also, as his editor John Gordon put it, ‘a spreader of happiness’ and ‘a genius…with the common touch’.
Barry Venning is an art historian with a particular interest in the work of JMW Turner. His interests and his teaching extend from medieval architecture to contemporary British art. He is currently Associate Lecturer with the Open University and lecturing on a freelance basis for The Arts Society and Christie’s Education.
This lecture was streamed online on Wednesday 6th January 2021 at 11:00am.
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