Future Lectures

We have organised a programme of online lectures delivered by Accredited Arts Society Speakers for 2021, please see below for forthcoming lecture details. Members are emailed a link prior to the online lecture so that you can sit and enjoy them in the comfort of your own home, using Zoom or YouTube. 
If you are unsure about the technology, please email us on niddvalley@theartssociety.org for assistance.

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.

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 8th March 2021 at 2.00pm

Mark Hill                  Regency  Revelations

This month’s lecturer has a BH (Hons) in the History of Art & Architecture and began his career as a porter and a junior cataloguer at Bonhams – before joining Sothebys where he was a specialist in the Collectors Department. Co-authored the internationally published ‘Collectables Price Guide ‘ with Judith Miller from 2002 -17.   Founded his own publishing company in 2005 and has since published more than 12 books on specialist subjects in 20th century design and decorative arts.

He has been the Miscellaneous expert on the Antiques Roadshow since 2007 and an auctioneer running auctions on 20th century designs. 

His lecture on the 8th March is called ‘Regency Revelations’ – The Lost Diary of a Dandy

‘He was the most spiteful, sly, vindictive and wicked man I have ever met’.  This brutally honest inscription begins one volume of the lost private journals of John Margesson Esq., (1794 -1866), which was discovered by chance in a quantity of books bought on eBay in 2010.

Covering two years of Margesson’s life, from summer 1831 to summer 1833, he gives an intimate and intensely personal glimpse into his life, his wanderings and musings a he goes about his daily life.


In this lively and entertaining lecture we’ll take the role of a private detective and use his words and supporting research to piece together this Regency man of means.

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’

This talk looks at how to apply these principles in designing a border, but it also looks at the ways in which a border is different from a painting.

You can find information about previous lectures on the Past Lectures page of this website. Please click here.

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