All lectures are held at Potten End Village Hall, for directions Click Here. Coffee and teas are available from 10.00 am onwards prior to the prompt start of the lecture at 10.30 am.
Click on any selected ADFAS Lecture or Event to display any further details currently available.
Wednesday 28 September 2016 - Secret Art in the Passport – How we use it to fox the forger - Martin Lloyd
Martin takes you back a mere three and a half centuries to demonstrate how passport design developed from a handwritten paper to the technically complex document that we use today. He talks about how art and artisanship has played an important yet secret part to confound the forger.
You will never look at your passport in the same light!
Speaker: Martin Lloyd
Following his career in HM Immigration Service in 2008, Martin has lectured widely to various groups, including NADFAS, U3A, National Trust, Gresham College and business groups, and broadcast on local and national TV and radio.
He has written a number of books including:-
- Neither Civil nor Servant - Twenty-four years in the Immigration Service
- The Trouble with France
- The Trouble with Spain
- Rue Amelie
- Hunting the Golden Lion – A Cycle Safari through FranceThe Chinese Transfer
- Passport, the History of Man’s most Travelled document, tracing passports back through three and a half millennia
Wednesday 26 October 2016 - Salisbury Cathedral – The Making and the Unmaking of a Masterpiece - Christopher Rogers
The lecture explores the different phases of Salibury Cathedral’s history through the centuries and focuses on the 18th and 19th century restoration and the controversies that these generated!
Speaker: Christopher Rogers
Our Speaker read Geography at Oxford, gained a PGCE qualification and then taught Geography. He was formerly Head of Geography at Downe House School Newbury.
He became interested amongst other subjects in country house architecture while at Oxford.
Christopher lectures for the National Trust, and regularly participates in lectures for the five-day courses at Marlborough College’s Summer School.
As a response to deteriorating relations between the clergy and the military at Old Sarum Cathedral, the decision was taken to re-site the new Cathedral and the bishopric was moved to Salisbury.
The move occurred during the tenure of Bishop Richard Poore, a wealthy man who donated the land on which it was to be built.
The new Cathedral was paid for by donations, principally from the canons and vicars of southeast England who were asked to contribute a fixed annual sum until it was completed.
A legend tells that the Bishop of Old Sarum shot an arrow in the direction he would build the Cathedral but the arrow hit a deer that died in the place where Salisbury Cathedral is now.
Visit the Salisbury Cathedral web-site for more information www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/
Click here for more information on the History of Salisbury Cathedral
Wednesday 30 November 2016 - Alphonse Mucha – Pursuit of Dreams - Eric Knowles
Alphonse Mucha was born in Bohemia in 1860 and led the life of an itinerant artist in Munich and Vienna, eventually gravitating to Paris in 1890. There he enrolled at the Academies Julian and Colarossi and began to find work as an illustrator at several publishing houses.
Fortune eventually beckoned in 1897 when an unexpected opportunity presented itself to design a theatre poster for Sarah Bernhardt in Gismonda. The ‘Divine Sarah’ was captivated by the end result and was to commission Mucha for several more such posters. This seal of approval from probably the most famous actress of the day saw Mucha’s career propelled to great heights.
The Mucha Style dominated the pictorial poster throughout the Art Nouveau years that epitomized the Belle Epoch years and the huge success of the Paris Exposition of 1900.
This profusely illustrated lecture chronicles the artist’s career and examines the wide range of marketing posters alongside later commissions including his monumental canvasses depicting the ‘Slav Epic’ exhibited in 1919.
The talk also examines Mucha’s sculpture, jewellery and silver designs alongside his designs for Georges Fouquet’s Paris store in the Rue Royale.
Speaker: Eric Knowles
Television personality, Eric Knowles, was born 1953 in Nelson, near Burnley in Lancashire, and is a well-known British antiques expert whose main interest is in ceramics.
He is one of those rare individuals with a gift for sharing his considerable knowledge in a way that is exciting, entertaining and easy to understand - making him a natural after-dinner entertainer and a popular lecturer whenever he visits us at ADFAS.
Eric started work in engineering before joining a firm of antiques shippers in the early 1970's. In 1975 he went to London to join Bonhams, working there first as a porter in their ceramics department! He became head of the department in 1981. By 1992 he was given responsibility for setting up Bonham's offices in Bristol, and subsequently returned to London to continue with directing the Decorative Arts Department.
It was from his parents that Eric inherited his love of antiques, and his keen interest took him swiftly to the top of Bonhams, culminating in the offer of a full Directorship in 1985. He is responsible for their internationally-renowned sales of Lalique glass, and amongst the more unusual auctions he has organised are spectacles, Masonic memorabilia and even coffin plates!
Eric is a leading authority on 19th and 20th century decorative arts, as well as on European and Oriental ceramics from the 17th through to the 20th century, together with the glass of Tiffany and Lalique.
He first earned fame as a ceramics expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, together with appearances in such programmes as Going for a Song; Going, Going, Gone; Noel's House Party; Call My Bluff and 20th Century Roadshow.
He has presented Restoration Roadshow on the BBC and is the adjudicator on BBC Two's Antiques Master, assisting host Sandi Toksvig. Eric has also been a frequent contributor to Homes and Antiques magazine and a regular antiques expert on the BBC Radio Jimmy Young Show.
Eric has continued with his regular appearances for more than a decade and a half, in the BBC television series "The Antiques Roadshow", where his genial personality and obvious sense of fun make him a very popular member of the team of experts. He has also been seen on Crimewatch commenting on stolen property.
Recently he has been involved with the production of a very topical TV show called ‘Matron, Medicine and Me; 70 years of the NHS’
In this programme Eric looks at the development of the NHS through his own harrowing personal experience as a child. When he was nine, he was hospitalised for six weeks with suspected leukaemia. The experience was lonely but not without its perks and the toys he was given sparked an interest in collecting which has never left him.
Eric has contributed to several books on antiques; has been a Consultant on "Miller's Price Guide" since its inception, and written three of their Antique Checklists: namely the handbooks on Victoriana, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Ambassador for the Prince's Trust. Eric is also associated with several other charities including Headway, FABLE (for a better life with epilepsy), the New Mozart Orchestra and Wycombe Scanappeal. He also finds time to be a fan of his local football team Wycombe Wanderers.
When he has time to relax Eric enjoys listening to a variety of music including both 18th Century and jazz. He is also passionate about 60's music, the Motown catalogue, and was at one time a DJ with a group playing northern soul.
Wednesday 25 January 2017 - Architecture Now - Anthea Streeter
The lecture looks at some buildings short-listed for the annual RIBA Stirling Prize by addressing such terms as Neo-Modernism, Deconstruction and Biomorphic architecture.
At the other end of scale the lecture looks at the new but little known classical country houses produced by Quinlan Terry and other leaders in classical design.
Speaker: Anthea Streeter
Anthea Streeter studied the Fine and Decorative Arts in London and continued her studies at Harvard University, leaving with an Ed.M.
It was while at Harvard, where there was great enthusiasm for American design, that she developed a special interest in 20th century architecture and design.
Since returning from America she has taught on courses in Oxford and London, lectured on the Country House course in Sussex, and for several private groups around the country.
Anthea is well known on the NADFAS circuit, having lectured to many groups all over the UK, as well as in Europe and as far afield as Wagga Wagga in Australia (where they have their own ADFAS group as part of the 37 societies across that country).
Over the years Anthea's lectures have covered an extremely wide range of topics including:-
The Architecture of Kensington and Chelsea
Germany's most famous design school, bitterly attacked in its day during 1920s, but one which has had a profound effect on modern buildings and their interiors ever since.
Sir Edwin Lutyens
Art Nouveau: Architecture and Design
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Nowadays many people are familiar with the brilliant and innovative work of this Scottish architect and designer, but in his day he was more appreciated on the Continent.
Buildings for the Millennium
This British designer is accepted generally as one of the most creative and original talents for many decades.
Sir Terence Conran spotted his talent early on and has described Heatherwick as “the Leonardo da Vinci of our times”.
Heatherwick’s work received world-wide coverage in 2012 when with his studio team he designed the spectacular Olympic Cauldron at the London Olympics.
London's Changing Skyline - Past, Present and Future
Wednesday 22 February 2017 - The Rothschild Tiger Bronzes – Michelangelo? – An Anatomical Who-Dunnit - Professor Peter Abrahams
We are pleased to welcome back Professor Abrahams who looks at the two Rothschild bronzes that some of us saw exhibited at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and through careful analysis of the books available on human anatomy at the time of the bronzes, he investigates the sculptor’s identity.
Speaker: Professor Peter Abrahams
Peter Abrahams - Background
Professor Peter Abrahams is a world renowned anatomist, author and educator. Renowned among students as an author of McMinns clinical anatomy, he is also a former anatomist at Cambridge University and is now an Emeritus Professor of Anatomy at the University Of Warwick. He is also a Life Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge.
Peter's research focuses on clinical anatomy in all its glory i.e. practical medical procedures, operations, radiological anatomy. etc. mostly published in Clinical Anatomy and Anatomical Science Education Journals.
His main interest in life is education and teaching the next generation of young doctors, especially surgeons and radiologists, as well as teaching face to face. Peter has written many award winning text books which have been translated into 20 different languages.
Since moving to Warwick Peter has made the Apple application "Aspects of Anatomy" which is used worldwide by medical students and doctors. He is now working on 3D anatomy applications for downloading on to mobile phones as well as doing 3D printing of human prosected specimens to preserve detailed knowledge for generations to come.
In 2012 and 2013 he co-curated and assisted the Royal collection for the Exhibition "Leonardo – Mechanics of Man" at the Palace of Holyroood, and "Leonardo - Anatomist" at Buckingham Palace. On both occasions Peter gave invited lectures on Leonardo and his relationship to modern radiological imaging. He was recently invited by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to assist in the attribution of the Rothschild Tiger Bronzes which many experts feel are the work of Michelangelo. For their exhibition he made an anatomically labelled 3D video film which has been on show at the museum for most of 2015 - a unique and interesting educational idea for a museum!
In 2015 Peter gave the Max Broedel Memorial lecture of the American Medical Illustrators association and was awarded the Farquharson prize from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh - given every two years for contribution to the education of surgical anatomy worldwide.
Wednesday 29 March 2017 - All Done on Ginger Beer - Sarah Lenton
At the beginning of the last century, Lilian Baylis was given sole charge of the Old Vic Theatre, the then Temperance Hall with a Coffee Shop and a Ginger beer outlet, and was asked to put on suitable entertainment for the local working-class population.
The talk charts the achievement of this astonishing and original woman.
Using ginger beer crates for scenery, she instantly gave them opera, Shakespeare and, in due course, ballet! In doing so, she created the companies for which she is still known: the English National Opera, the Royal National Theatre and The Royal Ballet.
This talk charts the achievement of this astonishing and original woman and the household names of the stars of opera, ballet, stage and screen she built in to her orbit.
The Old Vic in Waterloo from Bayliss Road
Speaker: Sarah Lenton
Sarah Lenton originally read theology at King’s College London and subsequently has spent most of her working life in the Theatre, with time at the Lyric, English National Opera, the Royal Opera House and more recently Glyndebourne and Welsh National Opera.
Sarah writes and gives pre-performance talks for both the Royal Opera House and ENO, and lectures at Study Days on topics related to their history. She writes regular articles for Royal Opera House programmes.
She has written and directed more than twenty shows for the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre, and also gives tours at the London Coliseum in her spare time!
In addition, Sarah has done live commentary for BBC Radio 3 Opera Broadcasts and podcasts and is a scriptwriter for BBC Radio 4, and is also a very competent cartoonist!
Wednesday 26 April 2017 - Treasures of the Black Tent - Brian Macdonald
Tribal Rugs - A journey through the weaving history of the nomadic tribes of the Near East, starting with Outer Mongolia in the 5th century BC and following the 11th century migration from Turkmenistan, the cradle of weaving, to the Caucasus, Persia and Afghanistan.
Speaker: Brian MacDonald
Brian MacDonald begins in Outer Mongolia in the 5th Century BC and follows the 11th century migrations from Turkmenistan, the cradle of weaving, into the Caucasus, Persia and Afghanistan. You will be introduced to the nomadic tribes of these countries and their woven rugs, carpets and dowry bags, with particular emphasis on those of the 19th century and earlier.
These tribal weavings illustrate the skill of the women who produced exquisite works of woven art, using vegetable colours and age-old designs whilst living and travelling in primitive conditions and hostile landscapes.
The tribal weavings of the 19th century and earlier represent the pinnacle of achievement and wonderful free expression of the art of the weaver. Brian explains how these rugs were made, the materials used and comparisons between natural and chemical dyes.
The lecture will also illustrate how nomadic tribal weaving began a swift decline under the demands of commercialism around 1900, with the use of mechanical designs and chemical colours. By the 1930s, it had virtually ceased to exist in its spontaneous form.
Today these weavings are highly desirable and collectable works of woven art.
Brian MacDonald has been dealing in antique and old tribal rugs, dowry weavings and decorative carpets from the Near East, Persia and Central Asia since 1979.
From 1972 to 1977 Brian lived and worked in Iran, spending the best part of a year amongst two tribal groups, the Afshar of Kerman province and the Qashqa'i of Fars, making him one of the few world dealers to have spent time 'in the field'. He also travelled extensively throughout Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey and in 1990 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for his work amongst the Persian Tribes. Brian has returned to Iran several times in recent years, travelling, sourcing and collecting exclusive weavings.
He has been a lecturer for NADFAS since 1986. The third edition of his book Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent will be available from June 2017 and he is currently working on his new book, Dowry Weavings of the Persian Tribes.
Wednesday 31 May 2017 - Inspired by Stonehenge - Julian Richards
The lecture explores the architectural significance of Stonehenge and its global image as well as how it has inspired painters, potters and poets, with Blake, Turner, Constable and Moore amongst those who have been drawn to this iconic structure.
Speaker: Julian Richards
About our Speaker
Julian Richards was born in Nottingham and studied at Reading University; then in the period to 1980, he worked for the Berkshire Archaeological Unit, helping to build the county's Sites and Monuments Record during which he excavated and carried out a survey of sites on the Berkshire Downs.
He then joined the new Wessex Archaeology group based in Salisbury when he ran the Stonehenge Environs Project, which was a detailed study of the site at Stonehenge and its surrounding landscape. This gave him his first experience of the media, where he contributed parts to programmes about Stonehenge.
With fellow project managers Peter Cox and John Hawkes from Wessex Archaeology, Richards started AC Archaeology in 1991. This was a small independent organisation, still based in Wiltshire, created when the founders decided they wanted an alternative to working for large organisations.
After three years Julian Richards left the world of commercial archaeology and joined English Heritage to work on their Monuments Protection Programme (MPP). Returning to his roots in fieldwork, he inspected sites and prepared reports on the protection of important archaeological sites in Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Shortly after joining the MPP, Richards was asked to contribute to a TV programme about the construction of Stonehenge. His ideas led eventually to the programme Meet the Ancestors which was finally commissioned in late 1996. In the spring of 1997 Richards took a year's leave from English Heritage to work on it. He resigned his day job to work full-time in broadcasting and writing when a second series was commissioned.
Over the years he has been busy presenting at least six series of Meet the Ancestors for BBC 2, plus a five-part series Blood of the Vikings in 2002. In addition, he has written books to accompany both series. He has also been heard on Radio 4 presenting eleven series of Mapping the Town.
Richards is also responsible for creating two site-interactive games: Hunt the Ancestor (for which he won a British Archaeology award) and Viking Quest, for the BBC History website. He has also been a regular contributor to the BBC History website and magazine.
He also received a British Archaeological Award for the programme Chariot Queen. We understand that Julian has also received a Blue Peter badge!
In 2007 he published 'Stonehenge: The story so far' for English Heritage. Other works for this organisation include 'Stonehenge; a history in photographs' in 2004 and 'The amazing pop-up Stonehenge' a year later.
Julian lives with his family in Shaftsbury Dorset, where he maintains his special interest in the prehistory of Wessex and particularly Stonehenge.
About the Lecture
In this talk by Julian Richards, archaeologist, writer and broadcaster, examines the sophisticated architecture of Stonehenge, the product of the stone tools, determination and strongly held beliefs of its builders.
Julian then examines how perceptions and understanding of Stonehenge have changed over the centuries, from the magical day Druidism of the Middle Ages and beyond to today’s approach, based firmly on archaeological science.
But just as Stonehenge must have been a lasting inspiration to those who worshipped there in prehistoric times, so has it inspired generations of writers, artists and musicians. And it is on the subject of Stonehenge as lasting inspiration that Julian’s talk continues, from Blake, Turner and Constable to Moore and Jeremy Deller’s recent “bouncy” interpretation. Finally Julian will take a light hearted look at how Stonehenge has been used to sell anything from lawnmowers to Guinness before showing some of the stranger souvenirs it has spawned and the surprising places where its instantly recognisable image continues to appear.
By the end of the talk we hope that you too will be well and truly ‘inspired by Stonehenge’!
Wednesday 28 June 2017 - The Art and Culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna - Gavin Plumley - preceded by the ADFAS AGM
Our speaker today is Gavin Plumley who is a writer and broadcaster, pondering everything from Helena Bonham-Carter’s hair in the 80s to Georg Friedrich Haas’s search for a unique sound.
He lectures widely on the culture of Central Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries, including to the National Gallery, the British Museum, the V&A, the Southbank Centre, the Tate and the Neue Galerie, New York, as well as for history of art societies and The Art Fund.
You can find his work in newspapers contributing to The Independent on Sunday and The Guardian; magazines and opera and concert programmes around the world. He appears frequently on BBC Radio 3, both as a guest and as a presenter, and also on BBC Radio 4.
Gavin also edits other people’s writing, as the commissioning editor of English-language programme notes for the Salzburg Festival and for the Oxford Lieder Festival and the Salzburg Easter Festival. Gavin is equally at home on Broadway and Tolstoy’s Russia. And he lectures all around the world and recently has given talks in the UK at locations like the National Gallery, the British Museum, the BBC Proms, the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Opera House and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Centre. In addition, Gavin is also an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society (the re-branded NADFAS) and drew a bumper crowd at the second ever lecture of the newly formed Great Ouse Valley DFAS evening society earlier this month with our talk for today about fin-de-siècle Vienna.
Some background on how the Fin-de-Siecle happened?
At the turn of the 19th century, Vienna was the capital of a vast empire and one of the most exciting artistic laboratories in the world. It produced painters such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Josef Engelhart and Oskar Kokoschka; architects like Otto Wagner, Adolf Lood and Josef Hoffman; the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud; the composer Gustav Mahler and the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Looking at these and other figures in context, the talk asks how and why the City of Dreams became a cultural hotbed around 1900.
Vienna by Josef Engelhart
Otto Wagner’s Vienna
Although unknown outside his native Austria, Otto Wagner changed Vienna in a manner almost as drastic as Baron Haussmann in Paris , from the construction of Vienna’s suburban railway to flooding controls on the Danube River. Taking in every aspect of modern life, including train stations, musuems, apartment blocks and hospitals, the lecture looks at Wagner’s extraordinary architectural legacy.
Gustav Klimt: Imperial Muralist turned radical painter
Klimt was one of the most prominent figures of the Vienna fin-de-siecle, creating paintings whose sexual themes and bold use of colour and gold shocked an unsuspecting populous.
Less is known about his early years as a muralist for the grand municipal buildings and royal and aristocratic palaces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This lecture looks at the many changes in Klimt’s life, his rejection of public pomp and the impact of his style and works.
Thursday 13 October 2016 - Visit to Petworth House and Park, West Sussex
Petworth Park Grounds
Petworth Park(JH) Petworth Park 2 (JH) Petworth Park 3 (JH)
Petworth Village literally on the back doorstep of the house(NS)
The way in to the House (NS) The Artists Gallery (NS)
One of the main rooms at the House (NS) one of the many statues! (JH)
View from the main staircase (NS)
Admiring the 'new' kitchen range (NS) and one of the many Turners on show at Petworth (NS)
Our sincere thanks go to the tour organiser Jenny Habib (JH) and new member Nick Spurling (NS) for these photographs.
Notes from our trip arranger
It started with pouring rain in Berkhamsted, but the weather forecast was correct and by the time we reached Petworth the sun was shining.
We had our first glimpse of the park from the coach windows and were delighted to see a herd of deer grazing in the park, which is really big. Acres of green grass and very carefully planted trees, and large reflection pools all designed by Capability Brown.
Once through the gates and the first thing to see is the long building of the old kitchens. This is an amazing display of ancient technology-the hot air from the fire turning the complicated double spit to roast large and smaller joints at the same time, the huge water boiler and the baking oven for bread. This must be one of the largest examples of 17th and 18th century kitchen technology still in existence. Of course the current Petworth kitchen supplied us with lovely coffee and cakes and a hot lunch.
The House is entered through a small door, so the magnificence inside is gradually revealed. It holds a major world standard collection of paintings, family portraits by all the famous painters, Reynolds and many more, but the crowning glory is the number of Turner’s landscapes.
Every wall of the grand rooms is covered by paintings telling the story of the Earl and his descendants. One high ceilinged hall is decorated with delicately carved wooden friezes and panels by Grinling Gibbons, the master carver of all time.
The Chapel has a beautiful marble copy of the Michelangelo Pieta in St Peters. Rome, at the top of the entrance stairs, so nicely placed.
We all enjoyed the visit very much, walking in the landscape, studying the paintings and absorbing the atmosphere of the house. A great day out!
Tuesday 15 November 2016 - Visit to Windsor Castle for the 90th Birthday Exhibition of the Queen’s Gowns
Trip to Windsor Castle on 15 November 2016
We are going to Windsor to see the Castle and to see two exhibitions
The first, ‘Fashioning a Reign’ exhibition at Windsor Castle is showing fashions from 90 years of the Queen’s reign, some really beautiful gowns worn by the Queen and some of her Ladies-in-waiting dating from the Coronation up to the present day, showing the changes in dress design through time and also the delight of superb finishing, decoration and style.
The other exhibition we will see is to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare, ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Library’. In particular those performances held at the Royal Court of Queen Elizabeth the First. We will see explanations of the customs, the costumes, the sets and anecdotes on the plays and the people involved. The relevance of the plays to the political situation at the time and their continuous relevance to the human condition in particular, which is the basis of their universal appeal.
The Castle itself is the oldest continuously occupied castle in Europe and one of the largest.
We will see the State rooms, the Great Hall, Queen Mary’s amazing dolls house and many wonderful paintings, including one of James I painted in about 1620 and many other Royal Portraits.
The paintings alone are a priceless collection of art through the ages. The building is a very effective stone stronghold, with battlements, arrow slits and every development in weaponry on the walls, war painting, swords, pikes, suits of armour and Regimental colours.
We also hope to see St George’s Chapel with its dainty and delightful ‘decorated Gothic’ structure, and roof similar to King’s College Chapel in Cambridge.
Wednesday 30 November 2016 - Welcome drink for New Members after the lecture
Wednesday 15 February 2017 - Visit to The Queen’s Gallery Exhibition “Portrait of the Artist”
Wednesday 8 March 2017 - Celebration Dinner to mark 50 years of ADFAS – Boxmoor Lodge Hotel
Tuesday 4 April 2017 - Visit to Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent
Monday to Sunday 15 - 21 May 2017 - Residential trip – The Delights of Classical Sicily
Wednesday 31 May 2017 - Members’ Drinks after the lecture
Thursday 8 June 2017 - Visit to Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
Refunds on payments for outings will only be made if the place(s) can be re-sold!