Auckland Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics

Steven Desmond

MA MClHort FLS

Auckland Lecture Date : Wednesday 20 February 2019

Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with a special interest in the historic gardens of Britain and Europe. During a long and varied career of practical and academic experience he has been a professional gardener, lectured for 15 years in horticultural colleges in the north of England, and advised organisations including the National Trust on the conservation and management of parks and gardens. He has an MA in Conservation from the University of York, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He now divides his time between writing for Country Life, lecturing to a wide range of audiences including the University of Oxford and the Arts Society, and leading specialist garden and architectural tours in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He has completed three lecture tours of Australia for ADFAS. His well-received book Gardens of the Italian Lakes was published by Frances Lincoln in 2016.

The Historic Gardens of the Italian Lakes

There are many illustrious gardens on the shores of Lakes Como and Maggiore in the mountainous far north of Italy. Those included in this lecture include a 16th-century parterre and water staircase; a baroque garden in the middle of a lake; two gardens made by rival Napoleonic grandees; and a garden created by two Edwardian romantics as a theatre for sharing their love of art and nature. These achievements and others are set in a climate ideal for garden-making among some of the world’s noblest scenery, where Wordsworth, Liszt and Bellini found inspiration. It could work for you.

Dr James Grant

 Auckland Lecture Date : Wednesday 27 March 2019

James Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at the University of Glasgow, receiving a doctorate in medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and of the Royal College of General Practitioners. James is also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was awarded an MBE for services to community healthcare in 2011. Now a retired country doctor with a lifetime of working in the NHS both in hospital and rural practice, James is passionate about all aspects of medicine, its history and its relationship to art and artists. He feels very privileged to be able to share his interests and experiences through his lectures on various topics from public health to the art of doctoring.

Medical Gold – From ancient Egypt to the Nobel Prize

From earliest times man has linked the lustre of gold with the warm, life giving light of the sun. This talk illustrates four thousand years of the history of gold in medicine. The ancient Egyptians used it for its magico-religious properties. Mediaeval alchemists strived to produce it as a source of eternal youth. Today it is a substance used in medical instrumentation, investigation and cutting edge therapies. This lecture illustrates how artists such as Rogier Van Der Weyden, Joseph Wright and Gustav Klimt, as well as numerous goldsmiths and instrument makers, have defined medicine’s relationship with the most coveted of all the elements. The lecture ends by describing how the ultimate “medical gold”, the Nobel Prize, has acknowledged some of the fundamental advances in medical science.

Ian Swankie

Auckland Lecture Date : Wednesday 8 May 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

Thomas Heatherwick – The Modern Leonardo?

The past few years have seen the meteoric rise of this extraordinary British designer with his acclaimed designs making an impact in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, including the spectacular Olympic Cauldron, the iconic new London bus and Cape Town’s stunning Museum of Contemporary African Art. Heatherwick uses an intriguing combination of curiosity and experimentation to produce inspiring buildings and projects around the world. This talk looks at the wonderfully creative ways in which Heatherwick operates, designing everything from handbags and furniture to universities, museums and entire towns.

Hilary Williams

Auckland Lecture Date : Wednesday 12 June 2019

Hilary Williams is the Art History Education Officer at the British Museum, having formerly been the Print Room Superintendent at the Museum. She received a BA (Hons) and MA from The Courthauld Institute of Art. Hilary lectures for the British Museum, London Borough of Bexley and the Wallace Collection, as well as taking Private Tours of the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace. She is the British Museum’s Liaison Officer with The Arts Society.

Vermeer: Master of Delft

Johannes Vermeer has come to represent the best of the dazzling school of painting in Delft.   Delft, in the late 16th and 17th centuries, was the powerbase of the Protestant Stadthouder and of the House of Orange.  So, how was it that Vermeer, baptised a Protestant, died a Catholic?  For whom did he paint his gorgeous, calm, exquisitely lit images of tranquillity? How did he paint?  How did he paint his huge and famous View of Delft? How do his works show him painting subjects which his contemporaries were also choosing?  Are his so-called “scenes of everyday life” actually that or are they more loaded with symbolism?

Toby Faber

Auckland Lecture Date : Wednesday 31 July 2019

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

The Imperial Easter Eggs of Carl Fabergé – Before the Revolution

Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Fabergé made 50 jewelled eggs – Easter presents from Russia’s last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: both supreme examples of the jeweller’s art and the vulgar playthings of a decadent court. Given almost total artistic freedom, Fabergé and his designers had to conform to only three rules: that each year’s Easter present should be egg-shaped, that it should contain some surprise to amuse or delight its recipient, and that it should be different from any predecessor. The result was a series of creations demonstrating ingenuity and creativity for which there are few parallels in any other field.

Dr Mark Spencer

BSc PhD

Auckland Lecture Date : Wednesday 4 September 2019

Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a gardener, Mark studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He later studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London, Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. Mark is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. He has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the European flora.

The International Legacy of Banks and Solander

When they joined Captain Cook’s entourage on the Endeavour, it is unlikely that Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander could have predicted the long-lasting impact of the voyage. Their botanical work and the art of the gifted Sidney Parkinson left a legacy that is, to this day, of international importance. The collections of the Natural History Museum London and Te Papa Tongarewa offer an insight into their work and remain as scientific and artistic gems to this day.

Ghislaine Howard

Auckland Lecture Date : Wednesday 9 October 2019

Ghislaine Howard is a painter of powerful and expressive means whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many collections including the Royal Collection. Exhibitions of her paintings and drawings have taken place at many venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and The British Museum. Ghislaine is an experienced and well travelled lecturer. She has featured many times on television and radio programmes including the British Museum’s film: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze and the award winning film, Degas and the Dance. She played a major role in Manchester’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. A major monograph about her work entitled The Human Touch written by her husband, the art historian, Michael Howard, was published in 2017.

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

This lecture will be a feast for the eyes and tickle the taste buds, an inspiration for your cooking and looking. It will feature the art, anecdotes and recipes of artists who loved their food. We will discuss Toulouse Lautrec, famous in his day for his truly fabulous meals and infamous cookbook, Renoir who introduced Paris to the pleasures of Provençal peasant cooking as well as Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and many others.

Dr Susan Whitfield

Auckland Lecture Date : Wednesday 20 November 2019

Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveller of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of manuscripts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), now a thriving international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Road. She has lectured and written widely on the Silk Road. Her latest book, Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road, was published in March 2018. She has also curated several major exhibitions and organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.

Glass Along the Silk Road

Glass and glass technology, present an interesting comparison and contrast to sericulture on the Silk Road. The raw materials for glass were readily available throughout much of Eurasia. The techniques were also present, diffused across Eurasia from at least the first millennium BC. But whereas silk started in the East, for glass the technology was refined in West Asia on the fringes of Europe—and spread east into Sasanian Persia and to China and Korea. This lecture will look at glass production and trade across the Silk Road through examples that have survived in tombs and temples.

Canterbury Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics

Steven Desmond

MA FCIHort FLS

Christchurch Lecture Date : Monday 4 March 2019

Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with a special interest in the historic gardens of Britain and Europe. During a long and varied career of practical and academic experience he has been a professional gardener, lectured for 15 years in horticultural colleges in the north of England, and advised organisations including the National Trust on the conservation and management of parks and gardens. He has an MA in Conservation from the University of York, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He now divides his time between writing for Country Life, lecturing to a wide range of audiences including the University of Oxford and the Arts Society, and leading specialist garden and architectural tours in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He has completed three lecture tours of Australia for ADFAS. His well-received book Gardens of the Italian Lakes was published by Frances Lincoln in 2016.

From Orangery to Conservatory: The Garden Under Glass

Display glasshouses have evolved since the 16th century from isolated buildings to extensions to the house itself. Originally intended for overwintering frost-tender citrus trees in tubs, they soon acquired elegant architectural forms and a neat space in front for the outdoor summer display of the plants. With rapid advances in science and technology at the beginning of the 19th century, all sorts of wonderful alternatives began to appear. A style war broke out between conservative architects who clung on to classical forms and an army of progressive gardeners and engineers who developed brilliantly original curvilinear conservatories. By the mid-19th century J.C. Loudon could observe that ‘conservatories are to be found attached to all the more pretentious residences’. This lecture looks at the evolution of the conservatory through these many phases, reviewing buildings of beauty and novelty both within and without. The winter gardens of the distinguished in many lands and by many hands are inspected in all their beauty and variety, complete with planting schemes.

Dr James Grant

Christchurch Lecture Date : Monday 8 April 2019

James Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at the University of Glasgow, receiving a doctorate in medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and of the Royal College of General Practitioners. James is also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was awarded an MBE for services to community healthcare in 2011. Now a retired country doctor with a lifetime of working in the NHS both in hospital and rural practice, James is passionate about all aspects of medicine, its history and its relationship to art and artists. He feels very privileged to be able to share his interests and experiences through his lectures on various topics from public health to the art of doctoring.

The Plague – Art and the Ultimate Calamity

This talk covers seven hundred years of art history related to the plague from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. It illustrates how artists such as Tintoretto, Raphael and Titian, amongst many others, reflected in their art the wide range of human response to the devastating affect that plague had on individuals and communities. It also illustrates in many works of art the triumph of the human spirit in the face of such adversity.

Ian Swankie

Christchurch Lecture Date : Monday 20 May 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

Thomas Heatherwick – The Modern Leonardo?

The past few years have seen the meteoric rise of this extraordinary British designer with his acclaimed designs making an impact in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, including the spectacular Olympic Cauldron, the iconic new London bus and Cape Town’s stunning Museum of Contemporary African Art. Heatherwick uses an intriguing combination of curiosity and experimentation to produce inspiring buildings and projects around the world. This talk looks at the wonderfully creative ways in which Heatherwick operates, designing everything from handbags and furniture to universities, museums and entire towns.

Ian Swankie

Christchurch Special Interest Session: Tuesday 21 May 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

Pots and Frocks – the world of Grayson Perry : From Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure

Widely known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment. A Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character. He’s possibly one of the world’s best known contemporary artists. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks.

This special interest session will be held at Chateau on the Park, 189 Deans Avenue, from 9.30am to 12.00pm. Closer to the event, Members will receive an email with a registration form and will be able to express an interest by returning the completed for to the Treasurer. Cost $35 per person.

Hilary Williams

Christchurch Lecture Date : Monday 24 June 2019

Hilary Williams is the Art History Education Officer at the British Museum, having formerly been the Print Room Superintendent at the Museum. She received a BA (Hons) and MA from The Courthauld Institute of Art. Hilary lectures for the British Museum, London Borough of Bexley and the Wallace Collection, as well as taking Private Tours of the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace. She is the British Museum’s Liaison Officer with The Arts Society.

A Feast for the Eyes: The Frick Collection, New York

The Frick Collection, New York, is one of the finest-quality museums in the world.   It belongs largely to the Gilded Age of American connoisseurship of the early years of the 20th century and is a testament to the taste of its founder, steel magnate, Henry Clay Frick. He died on the eve of WWI after being able to collect some of the best pieces available in Europe and America. His agents were really effective and the result is a first rate collection of fine French furniture, enamels, porcelain, paintings by Bellini, Van Eyck, Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, El Greco, Velasquez, Fragonard, Ingres, Renoir, JMW Turner, Constable, Whistler and many others. These are all set within an outstanding mansion in Manhattan.

Toby Faber

Christchurch Lecture Date : Monday 12 August 2019

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

Faber & Faber – 90 Years of Excellence in Cover Design

Since its foundation in 1925, Faber and Faber has built a reputation as one of London’s most important literary publishing houses. Part of its success has been the editorial team that Geoffrey Faber and his successors built, but a large part is also due to the firm’s insistence on good design and illustration. This lecture traces the history of Faber and Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs. Over its 90 years, Faber and Faber has employed some of our most celebrated artists as cover illustrators – from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. As the grandson of its founder, Toby Faber grew up steeped in its books, served as Managing Director for five years, and is a current board member.

Toby Faber

Christchurch Special Interest Session : Tuesday 13 August 2019

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

Fabergé’s Imperial Easter Eggs

This special interest session delivers a single narrative covering the history of the 50 jewelled Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs from the first egg in 1885 to their current whereabouts. The eggs illustrate the attitudes that would ultimately lead to the downfall of the Romanovs: their apparent indifference to the poverty that choked their country; their preference for style over substance and their all-consuming concern with the health of the sickly heir – a preoccupation that would propel them toward Rasputin and the doom of the dynasty. After the Revolution, the eggs embarked on a journey that included embattled Bolsheviks, acquisitive members of the British royal family, eccentric salesmen, and famous business and society figures. Now, the interest of Russian oligarchs means that their story is turning full circle, as the eggs begin to return to Russia. Finally, there is the emergence of new information, as researchers delve into the Kremlin archives, in particular to piece together the designs and possible fates of the seven missing eggs.

This special interest session will be held at Chateau on the Park, 189 Deans Avenue, from 9.30am to 12.00pm. Closer to the event, Members will receive an email with a registration form and will be able to express an interest by returning the completed for to the Treasurer. Cost $35 per person.

Dr Mark Spencer

BSc PhD

Christchurch Lecture Date : Monday 16 September 2019

Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a gardener, Mark studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He later studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London, Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. Mark is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. He has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the European flora.

Plants in Art and Culture – How Plants Created Society

In recent years, the concept of ‘plant blindness’ has been coined to identify our tendency to overlook plants. Yet, plants are the dominant aspect of the natural world around us, few of us notice London Plane trees on our way to work. Conversely, we often talk of our own cultural identities in terms framed by language referring to plants – thus the ‘English’ oak is a symbol of national endurance and steadfastness. Or we use motifs based on plants such as Acanthus to decorate our public spaces or Convolvulus to embrace a picture in a frame. The plants we place around us denote our emotional state of being, white lilies for mourning or laurel for celebrations of victory. We are plants.

Ghislaine Howard

Christchurch Lecture Date : Monday 21 October 2019

Ghislaine Howard is a painter of powerful and expressive means whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many collections including the Royal Collection. Exhibitions of her paintings and drawings have taken place at many venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and The British Museum. Ghislaine is an experienced and well travelled lecturer. She has featured many times on television and radio programmes including the British Museum’s film: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze and the award winning film, Degas and the Dance. She played a major role in Manchester’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. A major monograph about her work entitled The Human Touch written by her husband, the art historian, Michael Howard, was published in 2017.

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

This lecture will be a feast for the eyes and tickle the taste buds, an inspiration for your cooking and looking. It will feature the art, anecdotes and recipes of artists who loved their food. We will discuss Toulouse Lautrec, famous in his day for his truly fabulous meals and infamous cookbook, Renoir who introduced Paris to the pleasures of Provençal peasant cooking as well as Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and many others.

Dr Susan Whitfield

Christchurch Lecture Date : Monday 2 December 2019

Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveller of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of manuscripts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), now a thriving international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Road. She has lectured and written widely on the Silk Road. Her latest book, Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road, was published in March 2018. She has also curated several major exhibitions and organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.

Aurel Stein and Imperial Archaeology of the Silk Road

In 1900 the Hungarian-born scholar, Aurel Stein, took leave from his post in Lahore to embark on an expedition to the largely unexplored area of Chinese Central Asia. He was seduced by the richness of the remains revealed under the desert sands and, immediately on his return, started planning his next expedition. Lack of funds, political impediments, remoteness of the sites, or age and illness did nothing to deter him. He remained indefatigable: he started his last expedition, to Afghanistan, in his 81st year. This lecture looks at his life, explorations, the sites and cultures he uncovered and the impact of his work on our understanding of the Silk Road today.

Hawke’s Bay Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics

Steven Desmond

MA FClHort FLS

Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 18 February 2019

Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with a special interest in the historic gardens of Britain and Europe. During a long and varied career of practical and academic experience he has been a professional gardener, lectured for 15 years in horticultural colleges in the north of England, and advised organisations including the National Trust on the conservation and management of parks and gardens. He has an MA in Conservation from the University of York, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He now divides his time between writing for Country Life, lecturing to a wide range of audiences including the University of Oxford and the Arts Society, and leading specialist garden and architectural tours in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He has completed three lecture tours of Australia for ADFAS. His well-received book Gardens of the Italian Lakes was published by Frances Lincoln in 2016.

The Artist as Gardener

Garden-making has long been considered what William Morris called one of the ‘lesser arts’. Many painters of the 19th and early 20th century took the opportunity to engage more closely with this idea, either working as professional garden designers or using their own gardens as experimental workshops. W.A. Nesfield, Prince Albert’s favourite garden designer, was admired by Ruskin as a watercolourist of the front rank. Gertrude Jekyll applied Chevreul’s influential colour theories to her famous experimental herbaceous borders. Alfred Parsons, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Wassily Kandinsky found the garden to be just the right studio for studying controlled nature on the spot. These ideas were taken furthest by the Impressionists, especially Claude Monet, who thought he was good for only two things, namely gardening and painting. All his life he made and painted gardens, culminating in his famous achievements at Giverny, now magnificently recreated for us all to see.

Dr James Grant

Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 25 March 2019

James Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at the University of Glasgow, receiving a doctorate in medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and of the Royal College of General Practitioners. James is also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was awarded an MBE for services to community healthcare in 2011. Now a retired country doctor with a lifetime of working in the NHS both in hospital and rural practice, James is passionate about all aspects of medicine, its history and its relationship to art and artists. He feels very privileged to be able to share his interests and experiences through his lectures on various topics from public health to the art of doctoring.

Medical Gold – From ancient Egypt to the Nobel Prize

From earliest times man has linked the lustre of gold with the warm, life giving light of the sun. This talk illustrates four thousand years of the history of gold in medicine. The ancient Egyptians used it for its magico-religious properties. Mediaeval alchemists strived to produce it as a source of eternal youth. Today it is a substance used in medical instrumentation, investigation and cutting edge therapies. This lecture illustrates how artists such as Rogier Van Der Weyden, Joseph Wright and Gustav Klimt, as well as numerous goldsmiths and instrument makers, have defined medicine’s relationship with the most coveted of all the elements. The lecture ends by describing how the ultimate “medical gold”, the Nobel Prize, has acknowledged some of the fundamental advances in medical science.

Ian Swankie

Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 6 May 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

Pots and Frocks – the world of Grayson Perry : From Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure

Widely known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment. A Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character. He’s possibly one of the world’s best known contemporary artists. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frock

Hilary Williams

Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 10 June 2019

Hilary Williams is the Art History Education Officer at the British Museum, having formerly been the Print Room Superintendent at the Museum. She received a BA (Hons) and MA from The Courthauld Institute of Art. Hilary lectures for the British Museum, London Borough of Bexley and the Wallace Collection, as well as taking Private Tours of the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace. She is the British Museum’s Liaison Officer with The Arts Society.

A Feast for the Eyes: The Frick Collection, New York

The Frick Collection, New York, is one of the finest-quality museums in the world.   It belongs largely to the Gilded Age of American connoisseurship of the early years of the 20th century and is a testament to the taste of its founder, steel magnate, Henry Clay Frick. He died on the eve of WWI after being able to collect some of the best pieces available in Europe and America. His agents were really effective and the result is a first rate collection of fine French furniture, enamels, porcelain, paintings by Bellini, Van Eyck, Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, El Greco, Velasquez, Fragonard, Ingres, Renoir, JMW Turner, Constable, Whistler and many others. These are all set within an outstanding mansion in Manhatta

Toby Faber

Havelock North Special Interest Session : Monday 29 July 2019 – 9.00am-12.00pm ($30pp)
Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 29 July 2019 – 7.00pm

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

Special Interest Session : Fabergé’s Imperial Easter Eggs

This special interest session delivers a single narrative covering the history of the 50 jewelled Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs from the first egg in 1885 to their current whereabouts. The eggs illustrate the attitudes that would ultimately lead to the downfall of the Romanovs: their apparent indifference to the poverty that choked their country; their preference for style over substance and their all-consuming concern with the health of the sickly heir – a preoccupation that would propel them toward Rasputin and the doom of the dynasty. After the Revolution, the eggs embarked on a journey that included embattled Bolsheviks, acquisitive members of the British royal family, eccentric salesmen, and famous business and society figures. Now, the interest of Russian oligarchs means that their story is turning full circle, as the eggs begin to return to Russia. Finally, there is the emergence of new information, as researchers delve into the Kremlin archives, in particular to piece together the designs and possible fates of the seven missing eggs.

Evening Lecture : Faber and Faber – 90 years of excellence in cover design

Since its foundation in 1925, Faber and Faber has built a reputation as one of London’s most important literary publishing houses. Part of its success has been the editorial team that Geoffrey Faber and his successors built, but a large part is also due to the firm’s insistence on good design and illustration. This lecture traces the history of Faber and Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs. Over its 90 years, Faber and Faber has employed some of our most celebrated artists as cover illustrators – from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. As the grandson of its founder, Toby Faber grew up steeped in its books, served as Managing Director for five years, and is a current board member.

 

Dr Mark Spencer

BSc PhD

Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 2 September 2019

Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a gardener, Mark studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He later studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London, Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. Mark is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. He has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the European flora.

The International Legacy of Banks and Solander

When they joined Captain Cook’s entourage on the Endeavour, it is unlikely that Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander could have predicted the long-lasting impact of the voyage. Their botanical work and the art of the gifted Sidney Parkinson left a legacy that is, to this day, of international importance. The collections of the Natural History Museum London and Te Papa Tongarewa offer an insight into their work and remain as scientific and artistic gems to this day.

Ghislaine Howard

Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 7 October 2019

Ghislaine Howard is a painter of powerful and expressive means whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many collections including the Royal Collection. Exhibitions of her paintings and drawings have taken place at many venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and The British Museum. Ghislaine is an experienced and well travelled lecturer. She has featured many times on television and radio programmes including the British Museum’s film: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze and the award winning film, Degas and the Dance. She played a major role in Manchester’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. A major monograph about her work entitled The Human Touch written by her husband, the art historian, Michael Howard, was published in 2017.

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

This lecture will be a feast for the eyes and tickle the taste buds, an inspiration for your cooking and looking. It will feature the art, anecdotes and recipes of artists who loved their food. We will discuss Toulouse Lautrec, famous in his day for his truly fabulous meals and infamous cookbook, Renoir who introduced Paris to the pleasures of Provençal peasant cooking as well as Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and many others.

Dr Susan Whitfield

Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 5 November 2017 at 7pm

Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveller of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of manuscripts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), now a thriving international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Road. She has lectured and written widely on the Silk Road. Her latest book, Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road, was published in March 2018. She has also curated several major exhibitions and organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.

Silk on the Silk Road

At the start of the Silk Road, the complex technologies required for the production of cultivated silk were only known in China. Within several centuries they had spread across Afro-Eurasia. This lecture will tell the story of this diffusion, discussing examples of silks surviving from this period and how we can identify their origins from their weaves and designs.

Marlborough Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics

Steven Desmond

MA FClHort FLS

Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 28 FEBRUARY 2019

Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with a special interest in the historic gardens of Britain and Europe. During a long and varied career of practical and academic experience he has been a professional gardener, lectured for 15 years in horticultural colleges in the north of England, and advised organisations including the National Trust on the conservation and management of parks and gardens. He has an MA in Conservation from the University of York, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He now divides his time between writing for Country Life, lecturing to a wide range of audiences including the University of Oxford and the Arts Society, and leading specialist garden and architectural tours in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He has completed three lecture tours of Australia for ADFAS. His well-received book Gardens of the Italian Lakes was published by Frances Lincoln in 2016.

the historic gardens of the italian lakes

There are many illustrious gardens on the shores of Lakes Como and Maggiore in the mountainous far north of Italy. Those included in this lecture include a 16th-century parterre and water staircase; a baroque garden in the middle of a lake; two gardens made by rival Napoleonic grandees; and a garden created by two Edwardian romantics as a theatre for sharing their love of art and nature. These achievements and others are set in a climate ideal for garden-making among some of the world’s noblest scenery, where Wordsworth, Liszt and Bellini found inspiration. It could work for you.

DR JAmes grant

Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 4 April 2019

James Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at the University of Glasgow, receiving a doctorate in medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and of the Royal College of General Practitioners. James is also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was awarded an MBE for services to community healthcare in 2011. Now a retired country doctor with a lifetime of working in the NHS both in hospital and rural practice, James is passionate about all aspects of medicine, its history and its relationship to art and artists. He feels very privileged to be able to share his interests and experiences through his lectures on various topics from public health to the art of doctoring.

artists, illness & creativity

It is well known that both physical and psychological illness can affect the creative process. Both can act as a stimulus but illness can also act as a major modifying influence on an artist’s perception of the world and on their creative output. This lecture seeks to explore this relationship in artists such as Dürer, Goya, Monet and Kahlo in an endeavour to understand better how different illnesses impacted on their genius.

Ian swankie

Blenheim Lecture : Thursday 16 May 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

The World’s Most Expensive Art – Where Leonardo meets Picasso

In the last few years the combined amount paid for the three most expensive artworks would be enough to buy 5,000 brand new Bentley Continental motor cars or to pay the annual salaries of more than 25,000 nurses. This lecture is about the top end of the art market and is an excuse to examine some beautiful and varied art. These works would not achieve such sky-high prices if they were no good. So, we’ll see some wonderful paintings including those by Picasso, Cezanne, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Modigliani, Klimt, Bacon and Pollock, all held together by the common thread of their extraordinary commercial value. But we will also look at the buyers and sellers, the stories behind the works, the reasons why they have changed hands and I will try to answer the question “Are they are really worth hundreds of millions of dollars?”

 

hilary williams

Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 20 june 2019

Hilary Williams is the Art History Education Officer at the British Museum, having formerly been the Print Room Superintendent at the Museum. She received a BA (Hons) and MA from The Courthauld Institute of Art. Hilary lectures for the British Museum, London Borough of Bexley and the Wallace Collection, as well as taking Private Tours of the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace. She is the British Museum’s Liaison Officer with The Arts Society.

A Feast for the Eyes: The Frick Collection, New York

The Frick Collection, New York, is one of the finest-quality museums in the world.   It belongs largely to the Gilded Age of American connoisseurship of the early years of the 20th century and is a testament to the taste of its founder, steel magnate, Henry Clay Frick. He died on the eve of WWI after being able to collect some of the best pieces available in Europe and America. His agents were really effective and the result is a first rate collection of fine French furniture, enamels, porcelain, paintings by Bellini, Van Eyck, Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, El Greco, Velasquez, Fragonard, Ingres, Renoir, JMW Turner, Constable, Whistler and many others. These are all set within an outstanding mansion in Manhattan

TOBY FABER

Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 8 AUGUST 2019

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

The Genius of Antonio Stradivari

Two hundred and fifty years after Antonio Stradivari’s death, his violins and cellos remain the most highly prized instruments in the world. Loved by great musicians and capable of fetching fabulous sums when sold, their tone and beauty are legendary. Every subsequent violin-maker has tried to match them. Not one has succeeded. How can that be? This lecture explores that central mystery by following some of Stradivari’s instruments from his workshop to the present day. It is a story that travels from the salons of Vienna to the concert halls of New York, and from the breakthroughs of Beethoven’s last quartets to the first phonographic recordings.

 

MARK SPENCER

Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 12 SEPTEMBER 2019

Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a gardener, Mark studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He later studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London, Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. Mark is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. He has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the European flora.

Exploration of the Caribbean’s natural wonders

Following the Spanish Conquest, the Caribbean became a battle ground for the maritime powers of Europe. These conflicts were fought in many ways and economic power was often driven by the hunt for new commodities, especially plants. The 16th to 18th century botanical exploration of the region was undertaken by many, notably Francisco Hernández who wrote an early and important work on the natural history of Mexico and Sir Hans Sloane whose account of his time in Jamaica in the 1680’s is still fascinating. There will even be mention of pirates!

ghISLAINE HOWARD

Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 17 OCTOBER 2019

Ghislaine Howard is a painter of powerful and expressive means whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many collections including the Royal Collection. Exhibitions of her paintings and drawings have taken place at many venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and The British Museum. Ghislaine is an experienced and well travelled lecturer. She has featured many times on television and radio programmes including the British Museum’s film: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze and the award winning film, Degas and the Dance. She played a major role in Manchester’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. A major monograph about her work entitled The Human Touch written by her husband, the art historian, Michael Howard, was published in 2017.

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

This lecture will be a feast for the eyes and tickle the taste buds, an inspiration for your cooking and looking. It will feature the art, anecdotes and recipes of artists who loved their food. We will discuss Toulouse Lautrec, famous in his day for his truly fabulous meals and infamous cookbook, Renoir who introduced Paris to the pleasures of Provençal peasant cooking as well as Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and many others.

 

dr sUSAN wHITFIELD

Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 28 NOVEMBER 2019

Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveller of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of manuscripts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), now a thriving international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Road. She has lectured and written widely on the Silk Road. Her latest book, Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road, was published in March 2018. She has also curated several major exhibitions and organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.

Buddhist Archaeology along the Silk Road

Until the early nineteenth century, India’s Buddhist past — and most of its monuments — were at best neglected or simply forgotten. This changed as scholars, often using the accounts from Chinese medieval pilgrims, uncovered the richness of Buddhism in India. The pilgrims had also noted the Buddhist kingdoms of the Silk Road and the early twentieth-century saw these forgotten kingdoms — and their material remains — uncovered from their desert graves. Richly painted temples, monastic libraries, and massive stupas confirmed the movement of Buddhism as it spread north through Central Asia and then east to China and beyond.  This lecture will tell the story of the archaeologists, their finds and continuing discoveries.

Nelson Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics

steven desmond

MA FCLHORT FLS

Nelson Lecture Date : Wednesday 27 FEBRUARY 2019

Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with a special interest in the historic gardens of Britain and Europe. During a long and varied career of practical and academic experience he has been a professional gardener, lectured for 15 years in horticultural colleges in the north of England, and advised organisations including the National Trust on the conservation and management of parks and gardens. He has an MA in Conservation from the University of York, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He now divides his time between writing for Country Life, lecturing to a wide range of audiences including the University of Oxford and the Arts Society, and leading specialist garden and architectural tours in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He has completed three lecture tours of Australia for ADFAS. His well-received book Gardens of the Italian Lakes was published by Frances Lincoln in 2016.

The Historic Gardens of the Italian Lakes

There are many illustrious gardens on the shores of Lakes Como and Maggiore in the mountainous far north of Italy. Those included in this lecture include a 16th-century parterre and water staircase; a baroque garden in the middle of a lake; two gardens made by rival Napoleonic grandees; and a garden created by two Edwardian romantics as a theatre for sharing their love of art and nature. These achievements and others are set in a climate ideal for garden-making among some of the world’s noblest scenery, where Wordsworth, Liszt and Bellini found inspiration. It could work for you.

DR james Grant

Nelson Lecture Date : Wednesday 3 april 2019

James Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at the University of Glasgow, receiving a doctorate in medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and of the Royal College of General Practitioners. James is also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was awarded an MBE for services to community healthcare in 2011. Now a retired country doctor with a lifetime of working in the NHS both in hospital and rural practice, James is passionate about all aspects of medicine, its history and its relationship to art and artists. He feels very privileged to be able to share his interests and experiences through his lectures on various topics from public health to the art of doctoring.

Artists, Illness and Creativity

It is well known that both physical and psychological illness can affect the creative process. Both can act as a stimulus but illness can also act as a major modifying influence on an artist’s perception of the world and on their creative output. This lecture seeks to explore this relationship in artists such as Dürer, Goya, Monet and Kahlo in an endeavour to understand better how different illnesses impacted on their genius.

 

ian swankie

Nelson Lecture Date : Wednesday 15 may 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

Pots and Frocks – the world of Grayson Perry : From Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure

Widely known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment. A Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character. He’s possibly one of the world’s best known contemporary artists. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks.

hilary williams

Nelson Lecture Date : Wednesday 19 June 2019

Hilary Williams is the Art History Education Officer at the British Museum, having formerly been the Print Room Superintendent at the Museum. She received a BA (Hons) and MA from The Courthauld Institute of Art. Hilary lectures for the British Museum, London Borough of Bexley and the Wallace Collection, as well as taking Private Tours of the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace. She is the British Museum’s Liaison Officer with The Arts Society.

A Feast for the Eyes: The Frick Collection, New York

The Frick Collection, New York, is one of the finest-quality museums in the world.   It belongs largely to the Gilded Age of American connoisseurship of the early years of the 20th century and is a testament to the taste of its founder, steel magnate, Henry Clay Frick. He died on the eve of WWI after being able to collect some of the best pieces available in Europe and America. His agents were really effective and the result is a first rate collection of fine French furniture, enamels, porcelain, paintings by Bellini, Van Eyck, Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, El Greco, Velasquez, Fragonard, Ingres, Renoir, JMW Turner, Constable, Whistler and many others. These are all set within an outstanding mansion in Manhattan.

toby faber

Nelson Lecture Date : Wednesday 7 augusg 2019

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

The Imperial Easter Eggs of Carl Fabergé – After the Revolution

Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Fabergé made 50 jewelled eggs – Easter presents from Russia’s last two emperors to their wives. Since the brutal murder of the last tsar and his family, these eggs have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: both supreme examples of the jeweller’s art and the vulgar playthings of a decadent court. After going missing in the Revolution, most of the eggs re-emerged in the store-rooms of the Kremlin. Their subsequent history holds up a mirror to the twentieth century and encompasses Bolsheviks and entrepreneurs, tycoons and heiresses, con-men and queens. Then there are the seven eggs which remain missing. What prospect is there that they will ever emerge, and if they do, will anyone believe that they are genuine?

 

Dr mark spencer

BSc PhD

Nelson Lecture Date : Wednesday 11 September 2019

Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a gardener, Mark studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He later studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London, Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. Mark is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. He has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the European flora.

The International Legacy of Banks and Solander

When they joined Captain Cook’s entourage on the Endeavour, it is unlikely that Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander could have predicted the long-lasting impact of the voyage. Their botanical work and the art of the gifted Sidney Parkinson left a legacy that is, to this day, of international importance. The collections of the Natural History Museum London and Te Papa Tongarewa offer an insight into their work and remain as scientific and artistic gems to this day.

GHISLAINE HOWARD

Nelson Lecture Date : Wednesday 16 October 2019

Ghislaine Howard is a painter of powerful and expressive means whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many collections including the Royal Collection. Exhibitions of her paintings and drawings have taken place at many venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and The British Museum. Ghislaine is an experienced and well travelled lecturer. She has featured many times on television and radio programmes including the British Museum’s film: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze and the award winning film, Degas and the Dance. She played a major role in Manchester’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. A major monograph about her work entitled The Human Touch written by her husband, the art historian, Michael Howard, was published in 2017.

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

This lecture will be a feast for the eyes and tickle the taste buds, an inspiration for your cooking and looking. It will feature the art, anecdotes and recipes of artists who loved their food. We will discuss Toulouse Lautrec, famous in his day for his truly fabulous meals and infamous cookbook, Renoir who introduced Paris to the pleasures of Provençal peasant cooking as well as Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and many others.

 

DR susan winter

Nelson Lecture Date : Wednesday 27 november 2019

Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveller of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of manuscripts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), now a thriving international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Road. She has lectured and written widely on the Silk Road. Her latest book, Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road, was published in March 2018. She has also curated several major exhibitions and organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.

The Silk Road in Europe

Traces of Europe’s links with the Silk Road are seen across the continent: a Roman pepper pot unearthed in London; a Kashmiri Buddhist statue from a Swedish grave; and the remains of a silk mill and mulberry trees in the Spanish Sierra Nevada. This lecture introduces several of these discoveries to discuss how arts and technologies travelled the Silk Road to make their influence felt at the edges of Europe.

 

Otago Programme: Lecturer Biographics and Topics

Steven desmond

MA FClHort FLS

Dunedin Lecture Date : Wednesday 6 march 2019

Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with a special interest in the historic gardens of Britain and Europe. During a long and varied career of practical and academic experience he has been a professional gardener, lectured for 15 years in horticultural colleges in the north of England, and advised organisations including the National Trust on the conservation and management of parks and gardens. He has an MA in Conservation from the University of York, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He now divides his time between writing for Country Life, lecturing to a wide range of audiences including the University of Oxford and the Arts Society, and leading specialist garden and architectural tours in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He has completed three lecture tours of Australia for ADFAS. His well-received book Gardens of the Italian Lakes was published by Frances Lincoln in 2016.

The Odd Couple: Lutyens and Jekyll in the Garden

In the spring of 1889 the young Edwin Lutyens, later to become the most famous British architect of the 20th century, met the artist-gardener-craftswoman Gertrude Jekyll for the first time at an afternoon tea-party in rural Surrey. She was a well-known eccentric, of whom her parents had despaired, and a generation older than the young man who communicated with the world through drawings and elaborate jokes. Though Lutyens always found women difficult (his marriage was an enduring fiasco), he found in the daunting Miss Jekyll someone who empathised with his big ideas regarding design, detailing and distinctiveness. She opened social doors to him, and he brought her theories and experiments in garden-making onto the national stage. Though they always maintained their independence from one another, their joint creations of house and garden became the talk of Edwardian society. His ever-ingenious geometry, soft-furnished by her colour-graded herbaceous borders, his superb textures of terrace and pergola lined and hung with her signature plantings, set a standard of excellence which has been admired ever since. Separately they were interesting, curious, isolated: together they proved irresistible.

dr james grant

Dunedin Lecture Date : Wednesday 10 april 2019

James Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at the University of Glasgow, receiving a doctorate in medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and of the Royal College of General Practitioners. James is also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was awarded an MBE for services to community healthcare in 2011. Now a retired country doctor with a lifetime of working in the NHS both in hospital and rural practice, James is passionate about all aspects of medicine, its history and its relationship to art and artists. He feels very privileged to be able to share his interests and experiences through his lectures on various topics from public health to the art of doctoring.

Medical Gold – From ancient Egypt to the Nobel Prize

From earliest times man has linked the lustre of gold with the warm, life giving light of the sun. This talk illustrates four thousand years of the history of gold in medicine. The ancient Egyptians used it for its magico-religious properties. Mediaeval alchemists strived to produce it as a source of eternal youth. Today it is a substance used in medical instrumentation, investigation and cutting edge therapies. This lecture illustrates how artists such as Rogier Van Der Weyden, Joseph Wright and Gustav Klimt, as well as numerous goldsmiths and instrument makers, have defined medicine’s relationship with the most coveted of all the elements. The lecture ends by describing how the ultimate “medical gold”, the Nobel Prize, has acknowledged some of the fundamental advances in medical science.

ian swankie

Dunedin Lecture Date : Wednesday 22 may 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

The World’s Most Expensive Art – Where Leonardo meets Picasso

In the last few years the combined amount paid for the three most expensive artworks would be enough to buy 5,000 brand new Bentley Continental motor cars or to pay the annual salaries of more than 25,000 nurses. This lecture is about the top end of the art market and is an excuse to examine some beautiful and varied art. These works would not achieve such sky-high prices if they were no good. So, we’ll see some wonderful paintings including those by Picasso, Cezanne, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Modigliani, Klimt, Bacon and Pollock, all held together by the common thread of their extraordinary commercial value. But we will also look at the buyers and sellers, the stories behind the works, the reasons why they have changed hands and I will try to answer the question “Are they are really worth hundreds of millions of dollars?”

hilary williams

Dunedin Lecture Date : Wednesday 26 june 2019

Hilary Williams is the Art History Education Officer at the British Museum, having formerly been the Print Room Superintendent at the Museum. She received a BA (Hons) and MA from The Courthauld Institute of Art. Hilary lectures for the British Museum, London Borough of Bexley and the Wallace Collection, as well as taking Private Tours of the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace. She is the British Museum’s Liaison Officer with The Arts Society.

A Feast for the Eyes: The Frick Collection, New York

The Frick Collection, New York, is one of the finest-quality museums in the world.   It belongs largely to the Gilded Age of American connoisseurship of the early years of the 20th century and is a testament to the taste of its founder, steel magnate, Henry Clay Frick. He died on the eve of WWI after being able to collect some of the best pieces available in Europe and America. His agents were really effective and the result is a first rate collection of fine French furniture, enamels, porcelain, paintings by Bellini, Van Eyck, Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, El Greco, Velasquez, Fragonard, Ingres, Renoir, JMW Turner, Constable, Whistler and many others. These are all set within an outstanding mansion in Manhattan.

toby faber

Dunedin Lecture Date : Wednesday 8 August 2018

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

Faber and Faber – 90 years of excellence in cover design

Since its foundation in 1925, Faber and Faber has built a reputation as one of London’s most important literary publishing houses. Part of its success has been the editorial team that Geoffrey Faber and his successors built, but a large part is also due to the firm’s insistence on good design and illustration. This lecture traces the history of Faber and Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs. Over its 90 years, Faber and Faber has employed some of our most celebrated artists as cover illustrators – from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. As the grandson of its founder, Toby Faber grew up steeped in its books, served as Managing Director for five years, and is a current board member.

dr mark spencer

BSc PhD

Dunedin Lecture Date : Wednesday 18 September 2019

Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a gardener, Mark studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He later studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London, Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. Mark is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. He has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the European flora.

Murder Most Florid

Plants too are silent witnesses to crimes. Their presence in many crime scenes can help an investigator identify a suspect or locate a victim. Apparently mundane plants such as brambles and nettles can provide valuable insights into when a crime was committed. Fragments of leaves and seeds embedded in soil on the footwear of a suspect can place them at the scene. An understanding of landscape history and land-use helps an investigator discriminate between a clandestine burial and a mediaeval feature in a woodland. Forensic botany is not new science, plants have played a role in solving major cases for decades, including the infamous murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s infant son.

ghislaine howard

Dunedin Lecture Date : Wednesday 23 october 2019

Ghislaine Howard is a painter of powerful and expressive means whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many collections including the Royal Collection. Exhibitions of her paintings and drawings have taken place at many venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and The British Museum. Ghislaine is an experienced and well travelled lecturer. She has featured many times on television and radio programmes including the British Museum’s film: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze and the award winning film, Degas and the Dance. She played a major role in Manchester’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. A major monograph about her work entitled The Human Touch written by her husband, the art historian, Michael Howard, was published in 2017.

A Woman Artist Looks at Women Painters

Is there a distinctive quality to paintings made by women? Looking at works by both men and women of the same subject, painted at the same periods of history, we will have the opportunity to ponder on what it is to experience the world through a woman’s eyes. This is guaranteed to surprise as so many fabulous women painters are still relatively little known today, including of course such wonderful New Zealand  artists as Lois White and others. Guaranteed to be of interest to the male members of the audience as well!

 

 

dr susan whitfield

Dunedin Lecture Date : Wednesday 4 december 2019

Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveller of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of manuscripts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), now a thriving international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Road. She has lectured and written widely on the Silk Road. Her latest book, Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road, was published in March 2018. She has also curated several major exhibitions and organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.

Discovering Lost Cities of the Silk Road

The dunes of the Taklamakan desert in northwestern China rise to several hundred meters. Every year they shift slightly, blown by the prevailing winds. And as they shift they often reveal signs of Silk Road settlements: the skeletons of houses, irrigation canals, orchards and free-lined lanes. The climate ensure that even organic materials are preserved, remains of rugs, furniture, clothing and documents. These give us unprecedented glimpses into the lives of the people who once lived in these ancient Silk Road kingdoms. This lecture will tell something of these remarkable finds and what they reveal about their owners.

 

 

Waikato Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics

Steven Desmond

MA FClHort FLS

Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 21 February 2019

Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with a special interest in the historic gardens of Britain and Europe. During a long and varied career of practical and academic experience he has been a professional gardener, lectured for 15 years in horticultural colleges in the north of England, and advised organisations including the National Trust on the conservation and management of parks and gardens. He has an MA in Conservation from the University of York, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He now divides his time between writing for Country Life, lecturing to a wide range of audiences including the University of Oxford and the Arts Society, and leading specialist garden and architectural tours in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He has completed three lecture tours of Australia for ADFAS. His well-received book Gardens of the Italian Lakes was published by Frances Lincoln in 2016.

The Historic Gardens of the Italian Lakes

There are many illustrious gardens on the shores of Lakes Como and Maggiore in the mountainous far north of Italy. Those included in this lecture include a 16th-century parterre and water staircase; a baroque garden in the middle of a lake; two gardens made by rival Napoleonic grandees; and a garden created by two Edwardian romantics as a theatre for sharing their love of art and nature. These achievements and others are set in a climate ideal for garden-making among some of the world’s noblest scenery, where Wordsworth, Liszt and Bellini found inspiration. It could work for you.

Dr James Grant

Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 28 March 2019

James Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at the University of Glasgow, receiving a doctorate in medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and of the Royal College of General Practitioners. James is also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was awarded an MBE for services to community healthcare in 2011. Now a retired country doctor with a lifetime of working in the NHS both in hospital and rural practice, James is passionate about all aspects of medicine, its history and its relationship to art and artists. He feels very privileged to be able to share his interests and experiences through his lectures on various topics from public health to the art of doctoring.

Doctoring – A Very Fine Art

Artists have depicted multiple aspects of medicine and its practice for centuries. Often their perceptions are tempered by personal experience of sickness or chronic ill health. This talk looks at how artists as diverse as Jan Steen, René Magritte and L. S. Lowry have depicted the various steps in the development of modern doctoring. It is a profession that grew out of superstition and quackery before the birth of modern scientific medicine in the 19th century. The various stages in a doctor’s life from student to senior clinician are explored with insight and humour. The talk highlights the importance of the doctor patient relationship in the life of a successful doctor.

Ian Swankie

Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 9 May 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

Pots and Frocks – the world of Grayson Perry : From Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure

Widely known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment. A Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character. He’s possibly one of the world’s best known contemporary artists. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks.

Hilary Williams

Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 13 June 2019

Jacqueline Cockburn is a linguist and art historian with first degrees in French and Spanish and Art History, and a Masters in Applied Linguistics. Her B.A and PhD in Art History were taken at Birkbeck College, University of London where she also lectured on Western European Art for 20 years. Her doctoral thesis was on ‘The Drawings of Garcia Lorca as Gifts’. She has published The Spanish Song Companion and contributed to various academic publications on art historical subjects. Jacqueline was also Head of Department of Art History at Westminster School for 16 years before launching her new career as a free-lance lecturer and establishing her own art tour company.

A Feast for the Eyes: The Frick Collection, New York

The Frick Collection, New York, is one of the finest-quality museums in the world.   It belongs largely to the Gilded Age of American connoisseurship of the early years of the 20th century and is a testament to the taste of its founder, steel magnate, Henry Clay Frick. He died on the eve of WWI after being able to collect some of the best pieces available in Europe and America. His agents were really effective and the result is a first rate collection of fine French furniture, enamels, porcelain, paintings by Bellini, Van Eyck, Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, El Greco, Velasquez, Fragonard, Ingres, Renoir, JMW Turner, Constable, Whistler and many others. These are all set within an outstanding mansion in Manhattan.

Toby Faber

Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 1 August 2019

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

The Imperial Easter Eggs of Carl Fabergé – Before the Revolution

Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Fabergé made 50 jewelled eggs – Easter presents from Russia’s last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: both supreme examples of the jeweller’s art and the vulgar playthings of a decadent court. Given almost total artistic freedom, Fabergé and his designers had to conform to only three rules: that each year’s Easter present should be egg-shaped, that it should contain some surprise to amuse or delight its recipient, and that it should be different from any predecessor. The result was a series of creations demonstrating ingenuity and creativity for which there are few parallels in any other field.

Dr Mark Spencer

BSc PhD

Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 5 September 2019

Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a gardener, Mark studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He later studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London, Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. Mark is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. He has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the European flora.

The International Legacy of Banks and Solander

When they joined Captain Cook’s entourage on the Endeavour, it is unlikely that Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander could have predicted the long-lasting impact of the voyage. Their botanical work and the art of the gifted Sidney Parkinson left a legacy that is, to this day, of international importance. The collections of the Natural History Museum London and Te Papa Tongarewa offer an insight into their work and remain as scientific and artistic gems to this day.

Ghislaine Howard

Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 10 October 2019

Ghislaine Howard is a painter of powerful and expressive means whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many collections including the Royal Collection. Exhibitions of her paintings and drawings have taken place at many venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and The British Museum. Ghislaine is an experienced and well travelled lecturer. She has featured many times on television and radio programmes including the British Museum’s film: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze and the award winning film, Degas and the Dance. She played a major role in Manchester’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. A major monograph about her work entitled The Human Touch written by her husband, the art historian, Michael Howard, was published in 2017.

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

This lecture will be a feast for the eyes and tickle the taste buds, an inspiration for your cooking and looking. It will feature the art, anecdotes and recipes of artists who loved their food. We will discuss Toulouse Lautrec, famous in his day for his truly fabulous meals and infamous cookbook, Renoir who introduced Paris to the pleasures of Provençal peasant cooking as well as Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and many others.

Dr Susan Whitfield

Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 21 November 2019

Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveller of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of manuscripts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), now a thriving international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Road. She has lectured and written widely on the Silk Road. Her latest book, Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road, was published in March 2018. She has also curated several major exhibitions and organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.

Discovering Lost Cities of the Silk Road

The dunes of the Taklamakan desert in northwestern China rise to several hundred meters. Every year they shift slightly, blown by the prevailing winds. And as they shift they often reveal signs of Silk Road settlements: the skeletons of houses, irrigation canals, orchards and free-lined lanes. The climate ensure that even organic materials are preserved, remains of rugs, furniture, clothing and documents. These give us unprecedented glimpses into the lives of the people who once lived in these ancient Silk Road kingdoms. This lecture will tell something of these remarkable finds and what they reveal about their owners.

 

Wellington Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics

Dr Steven Desmond

MA FClHort FLS

Wellington Lecture Date : Monday 25 February 2019

Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with a special interest in the historic gardens of Britain and Europe. During a long and varied career of practical and academic experience he has been a professional gardener, lectured for 15 years in horticultural colleges in the north of England, and advised organisations including the National Trust on the conservation and management of parks and gardens. He has an MA in Conservation from the University of York, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He now divides his time between writing for Country Life, lecturing to a wide range of audiences including the University of Oxford and the Arts Society, and leading specialist garden and architectural tours in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. He has completed three lecture tours of Australia for ADFAS. His well-received book Gardens of the Italian Lakes was published by Frances Lincoln in 2016.

The Odd Couple: Lutyens and Jekyll in the Garden

In the spring of 1889 the young Edwin Lutyens, later to become the most famous British architect of the 20th century, met the artist-gardener-craftswoman Gertrude Jekyll for the first time at an afternoon tea-party in rural Surrey. She was a well-known eccentric, of whom her parents had despaired, and a generation older than the young man who communicated with the world through drawings and elaborate jokes. Though Lutyens always found women difficult (his marriage was an enduring fiasco), he found in the daunting Miss Jekyll someone who empathised with his big ideas regarding design, detailing and distinctiveness. She opened social doors to him, and he brought her theories and experiments in garden-making onto the national stage. Though they always maintained their independence from one another, their joint creations of house and garden became the talk of Edwardian society. His ever-ingenious geometry, soft-furnished by her colour-graded herbaceous borders, his superb textures of terrace and pergola lined and hung with her signature plantings, set a standard of excellence which has been admired ever since. Separately they were interesting, curious, isolated: together they proved irresistible.

Dr James Grant

Wellington Lecture Date : Monday 1 April 2019

James Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at the University of Glasgow, receiving a doctorate in medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and of the Royal College of General Practitioners. James is also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was awarded an MBE for services to community healthcare in 2011. Now a retired country doctor with a lifetime of working in the NHS both in hospital and rural practice, James is passionate about all aspects of medicine, its history and its relationship to art and artists. He feels very privileged to be able to share his interests and experiences through his lectures on various topics from public health to the art of doctoring.

Medical Gold – From ancient Egypt to the Nobel Prize

From earliest times man has linked the lustre of gold with the warm, life giving light of the sun. This talk illustrates four thousand years of the history of gold in medicine. The ancient Egyptians used it for its magico-religious properties. Mediaeval alchemists strived to produce it as a source of eternal youth. Today it is a substance used in medical instrumentation, investigation and cutting edge therapies. This lecture illustrates how artists such as Rogier Van Der Weyden, Joseph Wright and Gustav Klimt, as well as numerous goldsmiths and instrument makers, have defined medicine’s relationship with the most coveted of all the elements. The lecture ends by describing how the ultimate “medical gold”, the Nobel Prize, has acknowledged some of the fundamental advances in medical science.

Ian Swankie

Wellington Lecture Date : Monday 13 May 2019

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and gives regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.

Pots and Frocks – the world of Grayson Perry : From Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure

Widely known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment. A Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character. He’s possibly one of the world’s best known contemporary artists. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks.

Hilary Williams

Wellington Lecture Date : Monday 17 June 2019

Hilary Williams is the Art History Education Officer at the British Museum, having formerly been the Print Room Superintendent at the Museum. She received a BA (Hons) and MA from The Courthauld Institute of Art. Hilary lectures for the British Museum, London Borough of Bexley and the Wallace Collection, as well as taking Private Tours of the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace. She is the British Museum’s Liaison Officer with The Arts Society.

A Feast for the Eyes: The Frick Collection, New York

The Frick Collection, New York, is one of the finest-quality museums in the world.   It belongs largely to the Gilded Age of American connoisseurship of the early years of the 20th century and is a testament to the taste of its founder, steel magnate, Henry Clay Frick. He died on the eve of WWI after being able to collect some of the best pieces available in Europe and America. His agents were really effective and the result is a first rate collection of fine French furniture, enamels, porcelain, paintings by Bellini, Van Eyck, Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, El Greco, Velasquez, Fragonard, Ingres, Renoir, JMW Turner, Constable, Whistler and many others. These are all set within an outstanding mansion in Manhattan.

Toby Faber

Wellington Lecture Date : Monday 5 August 2019

An experienced lecturer, Toby Faber is the author of two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. He has two books scheduled for publication in 2019: a history of Faber and Faber, and his first novel, Close to the Edge. Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music and a director of Liverpool University Press.

Faber & Faber – 90 years of excellence in cover design

Since its foundation in 1925, Faber and Faber has built a reputation as one of London’s most important literary publishing houses. Part of its success has been the editorial team that Geoffrey Faber and his successors built, but a large part is also due to the firm’s insistence on good design and illustration. This lecture traces the history of Faber and Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs. Over its 90 years, Faber and Faber has employed some of our most celebrated artists as cover illustrators – from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. As the grandson of its founder, Toby Faber grew up steeped in its books, served as Managing Director for five years, and is a current board member.

Dr Mark Spencer

BSc PhD

Wellington Lecture Date : Monday 9 September 2019

Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a gardener, Mark studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He later studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London, Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. Mark is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. He has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the European flora.

The International Legacy of Banks and Solander

When they joined Captain Cook’s entourage on the Endeavour, it is unlikely that Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander could have predicted the long-lasting impact of the voyage. Their botanical work and the art of the gifted Sidney Parkinson left a legacy that is, to this day, of international importance. The collections of the Natural History Museum London and Te Papa Tongarewa offer an insight into their work and remain as scientific and artistic gems to this day.

Ghislaine Howard

Wellington Lecture – Monday 14 October 2019

Ghislaine Howard is a painter of powerful and expressive means whose works chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many collections including the Royal Collection. Exhibitions of her paintings and drawings have taken place at many venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and The British Museum. Ghislaine is an experienced and well travelled lecturer. She has featured many times on television and radio programmes including the British Museum’s film: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze and the award winning film, Degas and the Dance. She played a major role in Manchester’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. A major monograph about her work entitled The Human Touch written by her husband, the art historian, Michael Howard, was published in 2017.

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

This lecture will be a feast for the eyes and tickle the taste buds, an inspiration for your cooking and looking. It will feature the art, anecdotes and recipes of artists who loved their food. We will discuss Toulouse Lautrec, famous in his day for his truly fabulous meals and infamous cookbook, Renoir who introduced Paris to the pleasures of Provençal peasant cooking as well as Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and many others.

Dr Susan Whitfield

Wellington Lecture Date : Monday 25 November 2019

Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveller of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of manuscripts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), now a thriving international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Road. She has lectured and written widely on the Silk Road. Her latest book, Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road, was published in March 2018. She has also curated several major exhibitions and organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.

Dunhuang and the Silk Road: Imperial Archaeology to Digital Reunification

The discovery in 1900 — and dispersal worldwide within little over a decade— of a Library Cave hidden for almost 1000 years in the Buddhist cave temples of Dunhuang was a catalyst for China’s positioning itself as a key player in a pre-modern ‘global’ world, the Silk Road. Dunhuang, a UNESCO world heritage site, remains at the forefront of China’s new political and economic Silk Road identity. This lecture will introduce the Dunhuang collections, their discovery and dispersal and the role of China in the collaborative work of the past two decades to reunite the collections digitally, through the International Dunhuang Project.