Monday 14th September at 4pm

Charles Saatchi  


Barry Venning

Barry Venning is a historian of British Art with a particular interest in the work of J M W Turner, on whom he has published widely, including the volume on Turner in Phaidon’s Art & Ideas series and several catalogue essays for exhibitions in the UK, Germany, Italy and Poland. He was the BBC’s script consultant and expert commentator for a 2005 documentary on Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and has recently taken part (2013) in a BBC documentary called The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution. He has also published a study of John Constable’s paintings. His interests and his teaching extend from medieval architecture to contemporary British art. He is currently Associate Lecturer in the History of Art with the Open University and lecturing on a freelance basis for Nadfas, Christie’s Education and other organisations.  


Tantrums and Tiaras

Nigel Bates

Nigel worked as a performer for over 30 years in and out of London’s Royal Opera House.  In 2010, Nigel was appointed to the position of General Manager at 2MBS-FM, Sydney’s fine music broadcaster where he worked until the middle of 2011, steering the radio station through a process of change.  

Nigel is now back in the UK undertaking performances with London’s many orchestras and ensembles, as well as speaking engagements across the country.  In 2012 he was a producer for BBC Classical Music TV’s Maestro at the Opera and in early 2013 he was appointed Music Administrator for The Royal Ballet. Further information on Nigel is available on his own website. In his lecture, Nigel Bates takes a look at the life backstage at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the tribulations and triumphs of working with the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet companies.   Simply putting on the performances is not enough – there has to be encouragement for the audience to spend quite large amounts of money to attend a performance.  We look at the way artistic inspirations, the people involved and the unique building all function together to create world-class opera and ballet in a unique environment.

The Living and the Dead - Victorians & Their After-Life

Dr. Suzanne Fagence Cooper

Those Crazy Years - Life & Art in Paris during the Jazz Age

Linda Collins

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Dame Laura Knight

Dame Laura Knight, DBE RA RWS was an English artist who worked in oils, watercolours, etching, engraving and drypoint. Knight was a painter in the figurative, realist tradition and who embraced English Impressionism. In her long career, Knight was among the most successful and popular painters in Britain.


Chatsworth and The Devonshires

Simon Seligman

A history of the Devonshire collection and its home, Chatsworth, told chronologically through the interests, characters and tastes of its collectors over 16 generations, from Elizabethan beginnings to the current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and their family.

Each generation has left its mark on the collections, whether as connoisseurs, enthusiastic patrons and acquirers, through fortuitous marriage or the occasional benign indifference, and it is fascinating to see how these diverse personalities have contributed to what is now considered one of the finest surviving family collections in Europe. This story features outstanding work by artists such as Raphael, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Canova, Freud and Craig-Martin, and comes right up to date with the current Duke and Duchess’s passion for modern British sculpture and decorative arts. The lecture includes Old Master drawings, rare books, silver and jewels, ancient and modern portraits, sculpture spanning centuries of European culture and other unique treasures.

Simon Seligman works in cultural lecturing, assessing quality in tourist attractions, and communications in the field of the arts, heritage and tourism.


The Commedia dell 'Arte 

Bertie Pearce

Bertie Pearce is a Nadfas Accredited Lecturer who has toured the country extensively. On the 20th May, Bertie's lecture will be on the Commedia dell'Arte. A brief synopsis is below.

At the end of The 15th Century when the urge for religious drama had died out a new secular drama emerged in Italy. It was an improvised drama based on stock plots (scenarii) and stock characters such as Signor Pantalone or Il Dotore. Most of the characters were masked. The engine of the show was the antics of the comic servants, known as Zanni, who worked comic bits of business, lazzi, which were physical and hilarious. Many of the actors had special skills as musicians, jugglers and acrobats which they integrated into their characters. Conventional plot lines drew on themes of adultery, money, jealousy, old age and love.

The troupe of performers would travel from Town to Town, performing outdoors on trestles set up in the market square and would seek their fame and fortune either by patronage or else by passing the hat and receiving their money from an enthusiastic audience.

Burned, Bombed or Bulldozed - Britain's Lost Houses

Mathew Williams

Napoleon Bonaparte

Stephen Duffy


Scandal, Spite & Shuttlecocks - Wentworth Woodhouse

David Winpenny

The Souls - Art in Edwardian England

Sandra Pollard

The Coterie, children of the Souls; an alternative aristocratic way of life in Edwardian England. The Souls, and their children, the Coterie, were a self conscious group of aristocrats who, in the late Victorian and Edwardian period protested against the philistinism of contemporary aristocratic society, preferring personal intimacy, friendship and love of the arts, to field sports and vulgar display.


Mr. Ian Keable

Ian Keable gained a First Class degree from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician. A Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star. He is currently performing a show about Charles Dickens, who was an amateur conjurer, called The Secret World of Charles Dickens. In 2014 published Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature. Recently he presented a paper Hogarth, Gillray & Cruikshank and the Bottle Conjurer Hoax at a conference at the University of Brighton.



Mr. C Harris

Focusing on the role of posters and poster artists in the history of advertising, this global-award winning Creative Director of international advertising agencies has lectured extensively on design, illustration and photographic styles as they have influenced the building of brands. He has himself created posters for major brands including British Airways, Nestlé, Sony, General Motors and Shell. His travel writing and photography has appeared in various airline magazines as well as Time. He has also written and produced several hundred TV and Radio commercials and corporate video programmes. A member of Winchester DFAS.




George Cruikshank is now best known for his brilliant drawings for Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist.  But this is to do his prodigious skills and work output a disservice. Cruikshank moved effortlessly from biting satirical prints in the Georgian era through to producing engravings for numerous books and journals in Victorian times. Adapting his talents both to new printing technology and the new demands of the reading public, he is considered by many to be the greatest illustrator of the 19th century. His personal reputation hasn't survived quite so well, partly through his obsession with temperance in later life and the fact that when he died, aged 85, it was discovered he had fathered eleven illegitimate children with his mistress.


From Paris to New York

American Impressionism

Bernard Allan

Only one American, Mary Cassatt, exhibited with the Impressionist group in Paris but, by the mid 1880s American Impressionism had become an important art form in the U.S., inspired by, but not imitating the French prototype.

Artists such as Childe Hassam successfully blended their academic training with the vitality of Impressionism, which they had encountered on their European travels, to produce paintings that conveyed the dynamism of the new country and its rapidly expanding cities; especially New York.

Simultaneously, painters like Theodore Robinson, who had been inspired by Monet at Giverny, based themselves in artists’ colonies on the east coast of America. Here they found subject matter for paintings with a sense of nostalgia for a way of life that was fast disappearing as the traditional industries of fishing and agriculture were supplanted by the influx of tourists. Meanwhile John Henry Twachtman drew on diverse influences to produce wonderfully evocative winter scenes.

Impressionism remained popular with American artists until the 1920s, although by the early 20th century the style had been supplanted in status by the new urban realists.  

American Impression embraces many superb artists who are barely known on this side of the Atlantic. This visually exciting lecture (or special interest day) seeks to redress that situation.  

Bernard Allan a BA (Hons) in History and an MA in History of Art. Having taken early retirement, commenced a new career as an art history tutor for the WEA. Has taught French and British art of the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as women's art, for the past eight years. Lectured to various societies, and guided parties around galleries in London and Paris. In addition to teaching, he is currently researching artists working in Sussex in the 19th century, with a view to publication.

‘Ted’ Seago’s refined landscapes personified a respect for the traditions of British landscape painting as well as the impressionism. In Britain, he was part of a remarkable post-impressionist flowering that included the likes of Sickert, Munnings and Augustus John. What made Seago quintessentially English was the great subtlety of his colour control and peaceful landscape compositions.

Edward Seago

Landscape Perfectionist & Royal Favourite

This refinement won him admiration from four generations of royalty and an international fan-base that would cause his exhibitions to sell out on the first day. But you won’t find his paintings in the Tate Britain, nor did his work ever find favour with the art establishment. This lecture compares his work with those masters he most admired, as well as the contemporary trends he chose to ignore. It tells of his lasting appeal, asking whether he should now be considered a great master of British art.

The lecturer’s father, artist Rodney F Russell, was a friend and lifetime admirer. In considering the classic technique of Seago, the lecturer is remembering a tradition passed down from his father and Seago alike.

Mr Anthony Russell

Anthony Russell has travelled much of the world, combining painting with tour lecturing - principally to American university students on bespoke tours. Spent six years as a consultant for Luke Hughes and travelled the country advising on the furniture needs of prestigious buildings, including museums, palaces, schools and cathedrals. Now based in London, spends much of his time lecturing and undertaking research, while assisting at the British Museum with outreach events and visiting lecturers. As an advocate of non-violence, he is the author of the book Evolving the Spirit - From Democracy to Peace, commended by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Laureate recently released from 15 years of house arrest, as meaning a great deal to her.

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