Monthly Archives: July 2021

Wednesday 9th March 2022 – Lucian Freud: Portraits

Lucian Freud: Portraits

Wednesday 9th March 2022


Girl with a White Dog, 1951–1952
© Tate Gallery

Image from Wikipedia, Fair Use policy

Lydia Baumann

Lucian Freud was a British artist.

“I’ve always wanted to create drama in my pictures, which is why I paint people. It’s people who have brought drama to pictures from the beginning. The simplest human gestures tell stories” (Lucian Freud )

In this lecture Lydia Bauman will trace Freud’s development as a portrait painter and question just how much he tells us about his sitters.

Lydia was born in Poland. She studied for her BA in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and for an MA in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute in London. She has lectured to diverse adult audiences, notably in London’s National Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston USA. Herself a landscape painter, Lydia is the author of the forthcoming book Great Themes in Art.

Note this lecture is on the second Wednesday of the month.

Click here for our April lecture

Wednesday 4th May 2022 – Art After Windrush: Postcolonial Art in Britain After 1948

Art After Windrush: Postcolonial Art in Britain After 1948

Wednesday 4th May 2022

Detail of a work by Sir Frank Bowling

A detail from Middle Passage, 1970
by Sir Frank Bowling.

Photograph: Courtesy the Artist/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017 published by The Guardian

Barry Venning

This lecture will look at the contributions made by artists of African, Caribbean or Asian origin to British art since the HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Tilbury from the West Indies in 1948. It will consider, among others, the work of Sir Frank Bowling, Francis Newton Souza, Eddie Chambers, Yinka Shonibare, Sonia Boyce, Rasheed Araeen, Lubaina Himid and the Singh Twins, all of whom have achieved international recognition and respect, their works collected by museums world-wide. They may not all be household names but their art is eye-catching and thought-provoking, and they have set much of the agenda for British art of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Barry Venning is an art historian with a particular interest in the work of JMW Turner, on whom he has published widely, including the volume on Turner in Phaidon’s Art & Ideas series. His interests and his teaching extend from medieval architecture to contemporary art.  He is currently Associate Lecturer with the Open University and lecturing on a freelance basis for The Arts Society and Christie’s Education.

Click here for our June lecture

Wednesday 2nd February 2022 – The Land of the Midnight Sun: Norway’s Golden Age of Painting

The Land of the Midnight Sun: Norway’s Golden Age of Painting

Wednesday 2nd February 2022

North Cape, 1853

North Cape, 1853
Peder Balke

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Image in the public domain.

Stella Grace Lyons

The late 19th century marked a defining moment in Norway. For the first time romantic painters began to turn to their own land for inspiration. They painted the stormy seas, the towering glaciers and the raw, untamed nature of their homeland. Their aim was to draw attention to the beauty of their country and explore what it meant to be ‘Norwegian’.

This lecture will look at the artists from Norway’s ‘Golden Age’ who captured the far north with drama and romance and interpreted their wild country as a mythical, eerie entity. It will explore the stunning works of JC Dahl, Peder Balke, Nikolai Astrup and Harald Sohlberg. This is chance to discover some of art’s most underappreciated artists.

Stella Grace Lyons gained her BA in the History of Art from the University of Bristol and her MA in History of Art from the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. She also attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil studios in Florence, a private atelier that follows a curriculum based on the leading ateliers of nineteenth century Paris.

Stella is a freelance Art History lecturer, speaker and writer who has lectured across the UK, Ireland, Spain, Norway, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Malaysia. She is also a part-time lecturer for the University of South Wales. She has written about art for several publications and her article on Norwegian art was recently featured on the front cover of The Arts Society magazine.

Click here for our March lecture

Wednesday 6th October 2021 – Faber and Faber: 90 Years of Excellence in Cover Design

Faber and Faber: 90 Years of Excellence in Cover Design

Wednesday 6th October 2021

Pile of books
© Photo “Thrift Store Books” by Kate Geraets. Used under Flickr Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Toby Faber

Since its foundation in 1925, Faber and Faber has built a reputation as one of London’s most important literary publishing houses. Part of that relates to the editorial team that Geoffrey Faber and his successors built around them – TS Eliot was famously an early recruit – but a large part is also due to the firm’s insistence on good design and illustration. This lecture will trace the history of Faber and Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs. Early years brought innovations like the Ariel Poems – single poems, beautifully illustrated, sold in their own envelopes. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was an emphasis on typography, led by the firm’s art director Berthold Wolpe; his Albertus font is still used on City of London road signs. In the 1980s, the firm started its association with Pentagram, responsible for the ff logo. Along the way, it has employed some of our most celebrated artists as cover illustrators – from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. Slides will range from book covers, advertisements and photos of key individuals, to illustrations of the concepts behind the designs. Faber and Faber is the last of the great publishing houses to remain independent.

Toby Faber is an experienced lecturer and public speaker who has been accredited by The Arts Society since 2012. His career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and four years as managing director of Faber and Faber, the publishing company founded by his grandfather, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

He has written three narrative histories: Stradivarius – Five Violins, One Cello and a GeniusFaberge’s Eggs; and Faber & Faber – The Untold Story, as well as a novel, Close to the Edge. Of these, only Faber & Faber – The Untold Story is published by the family firm.

Click here for our November lecture

Arts Volunteering – 2021

Arts Volunteering 2021 – Hannah Smith

Hannah received her award from Chairman of The Arts Society RLS, Shaun Pitt, with Edwina McConville, Secretary for Arts Volunteering.
Hannah received her award from Chairman of The Arts Society RLS, Shaun Pitt, with Edwina McConville, Secretary for Arts Volunteering.

At the end of June, Shaun Pitt and Edwina McConville presented a certificate and cheque to Hannah Smith, who was nominated the best Art Foundation Year student in Warwickshire College for 2020-2021.  Hannah showed her portfolio of fashion drawings, with items designed specifically for disabled people.  In the autumn, Hannah will begin a course in fashion design at Central St Martins, which accepts very few students on this particular course.

Receiving the award Hannah said, “My fashion focuses on where disabled people fit in fashion, as there is certainly a lack of visibility for disabled people in the industry. I’ve wanted to go for Central St Martins for years and it’s a real dream for me. The bursary from the Arts Society will help me when I get there”.