Monday 15th November at 7.30pm

Jacob Moss     Treasures of the fan museum

Jacob graduated from the Reading School of Art with a BA (Hons) in Fashion and took up a position as Assistant to the designer Donald Campbell. In 2010 he returned to education and obtained a postgraduate degree with Distinction in Fashion Curation from the London College of Fashion, shortly afterwards joining the Fan Museum.

As the Museum's curator he is responsible for it's programmes and overseeing loans from the Museum's extraordinary collections to organisations such as the Palace of Versailles & the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2021 the Fan Museum is 30 years old and to celebrate this Jacob is curating a special exhibition of fans for the Museum of Fashion & Film in Atlanta Georgia.

Monday 18th October at 7.30pm

Shirley Smith on Caravaggio, Master of light and shadow

Shirley graduated from the University of East Anglia with a first Class Honours degree in the History of Art, specialising in the Italian and Northern Renaissance. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and lectures part time for both East Anglia & Cambridge Universities.

Shirley is particularly keen to set the art and architecture of the period in the context of the society for which it was produced

Caravaggio: The Master of Light & Shadow

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was a man out of step with his time. Scorning the idealised interpretations of religious subjects, he took his models from the streets round where he lived. His revolutionary style, dramatic personal life not to mention his uncontrollable temper were universally condemned.

In this lecture, Shirley studies the life and work of this enigmatic man and his influence on later artists.

Monday 20th September at 7.30pm

Caroline Knight on The Palaces of William & Mary

Het Loo & Hampton court.

Caroline Knight Is an Architectural Historian, trained at the Courtauld and specialising in the 16th to 18th century English & Scottish architecture. She lectures at the V & A, is a lecturer for the Art Fund and the Royal Oak Foundation in the US of America.

Caroline has researched and written a history of Kensington Palace, has written several articles on architectural and social history contributed to a book on the Cecil family and a chapter of the Royal Academy .

Het Loo & Hampton Court

In 1685 William & Mary built Het Loo in the Netherlands - an impressive hunting lodge where their formal gardens have been beautifully restored .

In London in 1688 they used White Hall Palace at the beginning but soon bought what is now Kensington Palace as a retreat from court life.

They asked Christopher Wren to rebuild Henry Vlll 's building but Mary died in 1694 before it was completed.

The state rooms are a splendid example of Baroque interiors and the Privy Gardens which they overlook have been superbly restored.

Monday 19th July at 2pm

Toby Faber

Faber & Faber

90 years of excellence in cover design

Toby Faber - Is an experienced lecturer and public speaker. His career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge through investment banking, management consulting and 5 years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather. He is also the non executive Chairman of Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press. Toby has written works on Stradivarius, Faberge' Eggs and Faber & Faber the untold story.

His lecture 'Faber & Faber - 90 years of excellence in cover design' - 'Since its foundation in 1925, Faber & Faber has built a reputation as one of London's most important literary publishing houses. TS Eliot was part of their editorial team at one stage.

This lecture traces the history of Faber & Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs, with innovations like Ariel Poems - which were single poems beautifully illustrated and sold in their own envelopes. The company's art director in the 50s and 60s Berthold Wolpes 'Albertus font' is still used on City of London road signs to this day. Along the way Faber & Faber have employed some of our most celebrated artists - from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. Faber & Faber is the last of the great publishing houses to remain independent. '

Monday 21st June 2021 at 2pm

Simon Seligman

Venice to Sheffield:

John Ruskin's passion for Art, Craft and Social Justice

Monday 17th May 2021 at 2pm

Simon Seligman - Studied art and architectural history at Warwick University including a semester in Venice. He is a graduate of the Attingham Summer School. His main area of interest is Chatsworth House, The Devonshire collection, the Duchess of Devonshire and associated topics. Including lecturing at the Metropolitan Museum and the National Gallery of Art. Simon also lectures on John Ruskin and works part time for the John Ruskin's charity - The Guild of St George .He is a trustee of three arts festivals and he is a Life Coach.

He has lectured for Nidd Valley on more than one occasion, but this time his lecture is  'From Venice to Sheffield : John Ruskin's passion for art, craft and social justice'

Inspired by the bicentenery of the birth of John Ruskin (1819-1900) in 2019 this lecture celebrates the extraordinary life and work of the visionary Victorian. As writer, teacher, artist, collector, patron and critic Ruskin was perhaps the most complete polymath of the 19th century. Perhaps most famous as a champion of Turner and huge admirer of Venice. His ideas inspired the Arts & Crafts Movement and the founding of the National Trust.

This lecture spans Ruskin's life and work from the timeless and global to the intimate and exquisite - to paint a portrait of a great life'

Dr Kate Strasdin

Mariano Fortuny - Design Inspirations

Dr Kate Strasdin - Has worked as a curator of textiles and dress for more than 20 years and is now Deputy Curator at the Totnes Fashion and Textile Museum. She is a Senior Lecturer in History and Theory at Falmouth University and a Special Visiting Lecturer at the DeTao Masters Academy in Shanghai. Dr Strasdin's publications include books on Queen Alexandra's Coronation Gown and one on Alexandra's wardrobe, among others. She is one of the youngest practitioners of the dying art of making Honiton lace.

Her lecture 'Design Inspirations - Mariano Fortuny' -' Fortuny was one of the most inspirational designers of the late 19th century. From theatrical lighting to textiles he experimented with a range of techniques producing decorative objects that are still made and sold today. Drawing on his love of Venice and classical art, his designs are timeless even though his name has faded into history.'

Monday 19th April 2021 at 2pm

Timothy Walker

The Subtle Science & Art of Colour in English Garden Design

Since 1986 I have given 1,500 public lectures. This was originally part of my work as the director of the Oxford University Botanic Garden from 1988 to 2014.

Botanic gardens are often described as living museums, and a garden curator lectures about them the same way a museum curator lectures about their collections.

Since 2014 I have been a lecturer and tutor at Somerville College Oxford.

Gardens are often thought of as a place where science and art meet on equal terms and my lecture investigates the relationship between the two.



His lecture on the 19th April is called :

The Subtle Science & Art of Colour in English Garden Design

Why a garden can rank as fine art.

In 1888 Gertrude Jekyll wrote a short but seminal article in The Guardian in which she urged readers to ‘remember that in a garden we are painting a picture’ As an accomplished watercolour artist Miss Jekyll was familiar with the principles of using colours, but she felt that in gardens these principles ‘had been greatly neglected’

Monday 8th March 2021 at 2.00pm

Mark Hill

Curves, Colours & Cool : An Introduction to Mid Century Modern

Why has the teak sideboard you threw out years ago suddenly become so desirable? Who or What is Eames Have you ever heard of Timo Sarpaneva ?

Well this entertaining lecture by Mark Hill looks at furniture, ceramics, glass, lighting and metalware. He talks about the key designers and discusses the revolutionary design movements they began.

Monday 8th February 2021 at 4.00pm    

Sarah Cove     Stanhope Forbes and the Newlyn School

Sarah Cove is an accredited Paintings Conservator and Restorer . A Technical Art Historian specialising in

Lectures on British Portraiture & 19th& 20th century British Landscapes, amongst others.  In 1986 Sarah founded the Constable Research Project and is now the leading authority on his materials and techniques.

Television appearances include ‘Constable in Love’ with Andrew Graham Dixon and a couple of appearances on ‘Fake or Fortune ‘ where she was instrumental in the discovery of 3 ‘lost’ Constables .

Her interests include Tudor and Jacobean Portraiture and the 19th century Newlyn & St Ives Schools, and early to mid 20th century British paintings generally.


 “What’s In A Crack’

A Closer Look at the Paintings of Stanhope Forbes & The Newlyn School 

In this lecture Sarah Cove considers the materials and techniques used in oil sketches and exhibited works by Stanhope Forbes and his contempories, in the light of technical examination undertaken during the recent cleaning and conservation. Featuring details of notable and little seen works from private collections as well as more familiar works, scrutinised in gallery collections.


Sarah Cove has worked on and examined a number of these works and this lecture draws together recent discoveries about the working processes of this close artistic community, revealing the secrets of the painters methods as viewed under a microscope.

Paintings conservator and technical art historian, Sarah Cove ACR is well known for her re-discovery of ‘lost’ paintings by John Constable.

Monday 11th January 2021 at 2.00pm

Nicholas Merchant                    Private Palaces fo the Cote d'Azur

Nicholas’s career has mirrored his abiding interest in antiques working for the major auction houses in London.

He also runs a book business devoted to the Decorative and Fine Arts, in particular English 18thC furniture and Country Houses

Nicholas lectures extensively in America, South Africa and Europe as well as here in the UK.

He is also a former chairman of the West Yorkshire Art Fund


Until promoted in the 19thC by a go-ahead Lord Chancellor of England, the South of France (it did not acquire the title Cote d’Azur until the 1920s) was something of a no-go area for tourists.

However Lord Brougham saw a different side, notably it’s wonderful climate especially in winter, and the coast was soon awash with the fashionistas, aristocracy and wealthy from all over Europe, Russia and America.

Many of them built splendid villas of such magnificence and indulgence that the coast rapidly gained a reputation for luxury, profligacy and sensuality, and became the first really proper tourist resort.

2020 Lectures

Monday 2nd November 2020 at 2pm

Lucia Gahlin is a specialist in the archaeology of Ancient Egypt and has been leading archaeological tours to Egypt for over 20 years. She is an Honorary Research Associate at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology.

She has taught Egyptology for the Universities of London (Birkbeck College and UCL), Reading, Surrey, Sussex, Warwick, Bristol and Exeter. Lucia has worked at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL, and continues to teach with objects in this museum, one of the world’s most important collections of Egyptian antiquities. She has been a Trustee of the Egypt Exploration Society, is Chair of the Friends of the Petrie Museum and Co-Director of Bloomsbury Summer School at UCL, providing short courses on Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East. Her areas of special interest are Ancient Egypt's social history, settlement archaeology and the rituals and beliefs of daily life. She has worked as the Small Finds Registrar at the archaeological site of Tell el-Amarna in Middle Egypt, and is author of books including Egypt: Gods, Myths and Religion.

Wonderful Things

Tutankhamun's Tomb and Treasures

Lucia Gahlin

The ancient Egyptians had the most extraordinarily elaborate burial practices and funerary beliefs. In this lecture I shall explore the mysterious world of the Ancient Egyptian afterlife through the exploration of the art on the walls of their tombs. I shall focus on the tombs of the New Kingdom period (c1500 – c1000 BC), when Egypt was at the height of its power and prosperity under pharaohs such as Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. I shall explore the scenes on the walls of royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, the nearby tombs of their high officials, and the small but colourful tombs of the artists responsible for all funerary art on the west bank at Luxor during this time. I shall also introduce you to the stunning array of funerary goods with which they chose to be buried – both a feast for the eyes, and of much religious significance.

Monday 5th October 2020 at 2pm


Caravan City of the Ancient

Dr. Neil Faulkner

Petra, famous for its hundreds of rock-cut tombs, was a great trading centre of the ancient Arabs on the edge of the desert. This lecture will use the archaeology, architecture, and art of Petra to reconstruct the trade routes, the technology, the everyday life, the hybrid culture, and the death rites of the Nabataean Arabs who occupied the city. We will discover a city on the edge in every sense – standing between desert and cultivated land, between nomadism and civilisation, between Middle Eastern culture and Graeco-Roman classicism: an exotic Oriental mix in a stunning mountain landscape.

Educated at King's College Cambridge and Institute of Archaeology UCL. Works as lecturer, writer, archaeologist and occasional broadcaster. Research Fellow, University of Bristol. Editor, Military History Monthly. Director, Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Director, Great Arab Revolt Project. Author of The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain, Apocalypse, Hidden Treasure, Rome: Empire of the Eagles, and The Ancient Greek Olympics: a visitor's guide. Author of forthcoming Lawrence of Arabia's War. Major TV appearances include Channel 4's Time Team, BBC2's Timewatch, Channel Five's Boudica Revealed and Sky Atlantic's The British.

Monday 14th September 2020 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.

2019 Lectures

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.

2018 Lectures


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.