Tuesday 11 April 2023

Imogen Corrigan: Antonello da Messina

Without any doubt Antonello da Messina stands out as the greatest renaissance artist Sicily produced.
Although he travelled to the mainland and up to Venice, most of his professional life was spent in his home city of Messina producing works of exquisite beauty. One of his strengths was in being able to learn new techniques and styles, adapting them to his own particular style. It has been said that he was always able to catch the moment of the mind and it is true that the faces that look out from his paintings are those of real people.
His use of Netherlandish limpid light combined with northern Italian use of perspective and detailed symbolism make his pictures, once seen, unforgettable.

Tuesday 14 March 2023
Anne Sebba: Not Just an Obelisk: William Bankes – the exiled collector and the man behind the creation of an English country house

Obelisk is the Russian word for obituary, and it is fitting that the ancient Egyptian obelisk in the
grounds of Kingston Lacy is known as “William’s obelisk”. It’s a fine obituary since he had no
others to speak of. His “moment of madness” ensured that. But for years many people thought
that represented the sum of William’s classical collection. This lecture will show William Bankes,
the Cambridge friend of Byron, as a serious collector of Ancient Egyptian artefacts and Spanish
paintings as well as some fine – and some less fine – Italian decorative art, and the high price he
paid for Victorian morality judging him. Kingston Lacy has been restored by The National Trust.
Can William himself be restored in this talk?

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Caroline Knight: William Kent: Gardener, Designer, Architect and Decorator

Born in 1685, William Kent trained in Yorkshire as an artist before going to Italy for ten years. He studied painting and made useful contacts among the young Grand Tourists visiting Rome. On his return to London, he joined Lord Burlington’s household and his remarkably successful and versatile career took off. He worked as architect, garden designer, and interior decorator; he also designed important pieces of furniture, such as state beds, pier tables and mirrors. The garden at Rousham in Oxfordshire and his work at Chiswick House are the finest surviving expressions of the new natural type of garden which he introduced. We will look at the range of his work, and at his influence.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Sarah Burles: Kettle’s Yard: A Masterpiece of Curatorship

Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge has been described as one of the country’s most intimate and spellbinding
museums, the collection of one man and his unerring eye; restorative, homely yet life-changing.
This man was H.S. ‘Jim’ Ede, curator, writer, collector and friend to artists. In 1957, he opened his Cambridge home as a living place where works of art could be enjoyed… unhampered by the greater austerity of the museum or public art gallery. His collection included works by Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood and Alfred Wallis which were placed alongside pieces of furniture, ceramics and natural objects. His curated home remains, by and large as he left it, characterised by its unique atmosphere, fascinating juxtapositions and personal connections.
This lecture will discuss the life of Jim Ede, his collecting and his vision for Kettle’s Yard.

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Patricia Andrew: Dreaming of Hellas: how Greece has been pictured over the last 500 years

From the Renaissance to the present day, the idea of Greece has inspired painters and sculptors
to produce works of art, both from their actual first-hand experiences as visitors and from their
imaginations. Some images are intriguing, some are fanciful, and others (to modern eyes) even
comic – but all are fascinating! The re-creations of the nineteenth century, with their all-too
Victorianised gods and goddesses, ancient heroes and over-the-top opulent locations, serve as a
contrast to the careful scholarly records made by archaeologists and antiquaries. The work of more
recent artists and designers, and new types of images made for the internet, all add fresh layers of
visual interpretation of Greece.



Visit to the National Museum of Scotland`s Granton Collection Centre.

 We will be shown round the centre and look at textiles and paper conservation work.

Tuesday 10 January 2023


We regret that Anne Bianco, due to give our January lecture, has had to withdraw because of illness.

We are delighted that James Lawson, now retired from the History of Art Department at the University of Edinburgh, has agreed to step in. Members may recall his lecture in September, 2018 on ‘Listening to Pictures’ which was much enjoyed. He will lecture on:

An Interlude in the ‘Labours of the Month’.

Corresponding with the Zodiac in the heavens was, on Earth, the calendar of the Labours of the Months dictating the order of the tasks of rural husbandry. In the later Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, they were illustrated frequently. This talk considers imagery depicting that interval between sowing and harvesting –the time of brief release from toil. Our existence, cast in terms of constraining practicality, gave way to the possibility of lingering upon sentiment – another kind of life. The scene was, typically, of couples riding out into the warming Spring countryside. We trace this feeling –seeing inflected by imagining– from Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 14th-century Tuscany via others through to Rubens in 17th-century Flanders. Scenes of a warm Spring should warm us as we forget the cold and dark of January.

Biographical note:
James Lawson took the Fine Art degree –Drawing and Painting, and History of Art– at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh. He progresses to post-graduate study at the University, researching 15th-century architecture in Mantua in north Italy. Thereafter, he taught, at a number of institutions, the history of painting, sculpture and photography. Now retired, he taught History of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh for the final decade of his career.

17 January 2023

Visit to The Burrell Collection, Pollok Country Park, Glasgow    

We will enjoy a guided tour of Glasgow`s Burrell collection, which has recently reopened after a multimillion makeover – one of the treasures of the UK art world.

We will travel to the Burrell by Hunters Coach, leaving from the bus stop by the steps to the Old Calton Cemetery on Waterloo Place. 9am prompt.