Lectures & Events

The Society runs a series of lectures on Wednesday evenings between September and April. They’re held at The American University in London, Queen’s Road, Richmond TW10 6JP. The lectures frequently coincide with exhibitions running in the major London galleries.

Lecture Programme 2020/2021 update

We had arranged an exciting new programme of lectures before the pandemic took hold, but we haven’t sent out the leaflet because unfortunately we have had to make some changes due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

The main problem is that the American University where we usually hold the lectures, has informed us that they are unable to let their rooms be used for outside events until further notice. So, until we are able to return to holding lectures at the University we will present them online via Zoom.

All members will receive a link to the lecture in an email the day before. Lectures commence at 8pm unless otherwise stated.

2020/2021 Lecture Programme

23rd September 2020

Cézanne: Landscapes in Provence

Dr Kathy Mclauchlan is a lecturer specialising in 19th-century art history. She is currently a course director at the Victoria & Albert Museum, organising courses and study days on the history of art and design. She teaches at several institutions, including Morley College, the Arts Society and Art Pursuits. She is a graduate of Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute, with a Ph.D. on French 19th-century painters in Rome.

Lecturer: Dr Kathy Mclauchlan

Monday 12th October 2020

Can Art change the world? Art with something to say

Valerie Woodgate is a lecturer and guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, also at many other London Galleries and for various art organisations.

This lecture concentrates on those artists who have used their art to communicate ideas, opinions, criticisms or fears about their world and, in doing so, tell us a great deal about the historical period in which the art was created.

Lecturer: Valerie Woodgate

Wednesday 4th November 2020

Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age

This one hour lecture by Dutch Art Historian Mariska Beekenkamp will explain Rembrandt’s life and oeuvre within the context of its time.

Rembrandt lived during an exceptional time in the history of the Netherlands and his rise and fall is directly connected with the Dutch and their specific way in which they live, love and work.

Lecturer: Mariska Beekenkamp

Wednesday 25th November 2020

Turner and the Modern World

J.M.W. Turner lived and worked at the peak of the industrial revolution. This lecture will look at how the artist broke with convention to paint the times in which he lived. It will reference the exhibition ‘Turner’s Modern World’ on at Tate Britain 28th October 2020 – 7th March 2021.

Lecturer: Janeen Haythornthwaite

20th January 2021

Art of the Hermitage

When the superb art collection amassed by Walpole England’s first prime minister, was sold to Catherine the Great there was a national outcry. What could have become the core of a national gallery had gone north to increase the splendid collection of the Empress. Learn how England’s loss became Russia’s gain and discover the twist in the tale in a story of art, money, power and greed.

Lecturer: Lucrezia Walker

3rd February 2021

Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist.

This lecture explores Dürer’s journey in his own words and describes the places he visited, the patrons and artists he met, and also gives an insight as to what this great Renaissance artist drew and painted during these years. An exhibition of his work will be at the National Gallery 6th March – 13th June 2021.

Lecturer: Clare Ford-Wille

17th February 2021

The Art and Scandalous Lives of the Bloomsbury Group

The art of the three main ‘Bloomsbury’ artists (Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Roger Fry) cannot be separated from their astonishing lives. They, along with their literary and other intellectual companions (Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey and John Maynard Keynes, amongst others) were part of a movement, the popular name for which became widely used only after the death of around half its members.

This lecture looks at their work and reviews the multi-faceted relationships between Bell and Grant, Bell and Fry, Grant and (inter alia) Lytton Strachey, and several others. In addition, it covers what many consider the most important contribution of the group to the visual arts in Britain, the so-called ‘Art-quake of 1910’, when Roger Fry, assisted by Clive Bell, mounted the Manet and the Post-Impressionists exhibition at the Grafton Galleries in London.

Lecturer: Frank Woodgate

3rd March 2021

William Hogarth

This lecture looks at the life, times and work of William Hogarth, who has been described as ‘The Father of British Art’. Hogarth was closely involved with the social and political issues of his times, as is reflected in his work and the sometimes scathing and satirical nature of his responses to current issues.

Lecturer: Rosalind Whyte

24th March 2021

Paula Rego

Paula Rego is one of the most important artists living in Britain today. Born in Lisbon in 1935, she is celebrated for her intense and unflinching paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. She is admired for her courageous exploration of moral challenges to humanity, such as political tyranny, gender discrimination, abortion, female genital mutilation and the death of civilians in war. A major exhibition of her work opens at Tate Britain in July 2021.

Lecturer: Colin Wiggins

7th April 2021

Romans and Romantics – The Guildhall Art Gallery, London’s real hidden gem

The City of London Corporation has been commissioning and acquiring art for nearly 350 years and now owns a vast and diverse collection. This talk explores the varied display of works in the Guildhall Art Gallery.

Lecturer: Ian Swankie