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ADFAS Ku-ring-gai provides for its members a yearly programme of illustrated lectures given by overseas and Australian lecturers chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields. Occasional Study Days are also held when topics can be examined in more detail.
Programme for 2017
“VENICE, CANALETTO AND HIS RIVALS”
Anthony Russell is a cultural historian, writer and artist and has travelled much of the world combining painting with tour lecturing – principally to American university students. He spent six years as a consultant for Luke Hughes advising on the furniture needs of prestigious buildings throughout Britain. Now based in London, he continues lecturing and undertaking research, while assisting at the British Museum with outreach events and visiting lecturers.
This lecture gives a heady mixture of a “superstar” painter, immensely rich patrons on the move and a city whose modern face hides behind a romantic mask. Many a grand tourist was highly sophisticated and had a lasting impact on Venice. Canaletto’s magical paintings depicted a serene dreamland, and he was greatly influenced by British taste. Accordingly, Britain boasts the greatest collection of his works both in public and private hands.
2 March – Study Day
“THE POWER AND THE GLORY – BLENHEIM PALACE AND BRITISH COUNTRY HOUSES”
Blenheim Palace is an uncompromising World Heritage monument to English military ambition and one family’s self-importance. Its construction is a fascinating catalogue of excess and outrage, but it is the effect that its perceived spirit has had on consecutive generations of the Marlborough family that is most revealing. It is from within this “cauldron” that Winston Churchill was born.
It is often suggested that Britain possesses the finest collection of “living” stately homes in the world. Their origins in British history are explained, the changing nature of society and the way country houses have evolved in all their grandeur and beauty.
“THE HUGUENOTS – THE ALMOST FORGOTTEN PEOPLE”
Robert Nash was born in London and descended from Huguenot silk weavers who settled in the East End. He is a graduate of Oxford and Cambridge and has lived in Australia since 1991. He is a Life Fellow of the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland and also Founding member, Hon. Secretary and Hon. Editor of the Huguenot Society of Australia, and an expert on Huguenot descendants in this country.
Significantly 2017 marks the 500th year of the Reformation, a Europe wide movement which changed the Western World forever. Christians became divided into Catholics and Protestants. In Catholic France, Protestants were so persecuted they had to flee to other countries. Their history, exile and contribution, in particular, to the arts and crafts ensured their acceptance and assimilation. Many notable descendants (your forebears may be among them) have left their mark in history.
“FRANKLY SPEAKING – THE WORKS OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND FRANK O. GEHRY”
Sandra Mowry is an author, historian and world traveller. As an historian she has taught at the University of Delaware, Rosemont College, Widener University and the University of Pennsylvania. As well as penning a newspaper column for 15 years, she has made numerous television and radio appearances.
These two architects forever changed the history of architecture by pushing the conventional limits and extending the boundaries with their bold, innovative designs. They challenged academic standards and biographical information will focus on their inspirations and examples of their work. The two are intrinsically bound by the creation of the New York Guggenheim and the Bilbao Guggenheim Museums.
“INDIANA JONES AND THE PORTRAYAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY IN POPULAR CULTURE”
Dr Craig Barker is a classical archaeologist who is Manager of Education and Public Programs for Sydney University Museums. He is Director of the Australian archaeological excavations at the World Heritage site of Nea Paphos in Cyprus and has worked on other projects in Greece, Turkey and Australia.
From the late 19th century archaeology and the concept of “the archaeologist” fascinated the public. From literature to cinema, story-tellers presented the archaeologist as an action adventurer such as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft, to the careful detective unpeeling layers of truth thanks to Agatha Christie’s famed description. This talk will explore the depictions of archaeologists in popular culture.
“THE REAL DOWNTON ABBEY – CLOTHING THE CLASSES”
Kate Strasdin has worked with dress and textiles in museums for almost 20 years in curatorial positions. She is also a Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University. Apart from various publications on costume, she is currently writing a book about Queen Alexandra’s wardrobe. Kate is also one of the youngest practitioners of the dying art of producing Honiton lace.
Using examples of original clothing from 1900 to 1930, this lecture looks upstairs and downstairs at the importance of dress across the social classes and its status. Downton Abbey is the perfect example of how class dominated dress for centuries. However, it also begins to chart the changes that occurred during and after the Great War and how life would never be the same again.
6 July – Study Day
“A CUT ABOVE – TRADITIONS OF TAILORING”
From the early 19th century, British tailoring became synonymous with quality and fit and renowned for its high standards. Then the rise of department stores, such as Selfridges provided readily obtainable fashion for the general public.
This lecture is an analysis of traditions in the methods of production and retailing of dress over a long period and the availability of archives for further exploration.
Shauna Isaac studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Birkbeck College, London. She runs an art recovery company and serves on the advisory board of the European Shoah Legacy Institute. Shauna’s publications include articles for The Art Newspaper, Art & Law Magazine and Art Quarterly.
This lecture looks at famous works of art that have been stolen, such as Munch’s “The Scream” and the masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, including works by Vermeer and Rembrandt. Leonardo da Vinci’s “Madonna with the Yarnwinder” and Vermeer’s “The Guitar Player” will be expanded on also.
17 August – Study Day
“THE STORIES BEHIND THE THEFTS OF GREAT TREASURES OF THE WESTERN WORLD”
Theft of great art treasures came in many guises including the assault on modern art in Nazi Germany. The Nazis looted over 20% of Western Art and the effects of this are still evident today.
Specific types of works that the Nazi regime liked and the kinds of art they abhorred will be explored. This will keep with the theme of harming culture through thefts of great art treasures.
“MURDER, MAYHEM AND PAINT – THE DISTURBING STORY OF WALTER SICKERT”
Michael Howard, although actually retired, still teaches at Manchester School of Art and Design. He is a practicing artist – painter, sculptor, printmaker and ceramicist and has been published widely on European art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Michael has often featured on television and radio.
Walter Sickert, one of the most celebrated artists working at the turn of the last century, is often claimed to be “a painter’s painter”. This lecture will attempt to untangle the truth of the claim that this much loved, colourful and enigmatic artist was in fact Jack the Ripper following a trail of murder, mystery, mayhem and paint.
“EDOUARD MANET AND BERTHE MORISOT – AN EXTRAORDINARY RELATIONSHIP”
Berthe Morisot was a great painter of brilliant talent and her work shown at the Salon and the Impressionist exhibitions was highly influential and innovative.
Her relationship with Edouard Manet, the so-called father of Impressionism, was as intense as it was mysterious. His extraordinary paintings of her perhaps tell the story that history has denied us.
“ADVENTURES AMONGST THE NOMADIC TRIBES OF IRAN AND AFGHANISTAN”
Brian MacDonald travelled extensively in Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey since the 1970’s. In 1990, Brian was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for his work amongst the Persian nomads. His book “Tribal Rugs – Treasures of the Black Tent” was published in 1997 and is now in its 3rd up-dated re-print. Based in the Cotswolds he continues to act as a dealer, lecturer and consultant.
A fascinating insight into Brian’s travels searching for the woven art of the Nomads. See their way of life and his discovery of 19th century rugs and utilitarian weavings, together with some unforgettable stories and adventures during his quest.
Tour – to be advised
Venue and Time of Lectures and Study Days
Lectures: Wednesdays in the Zenith Theatre, Chatswood.
Morning lectures commence at 10:30 am and evening lectures at 6.00 pm. Please be seated 5 minutes before the stated commencement time.
Study Days: are held on Thursdays at “Laurelbank”, Cnr Penshurst and Laurel Streets, Willoughby starting at 10.30 am. The cost for these is $65, which includes morning tea and lunch. It is necessary to book and pay for these well in advance as numbers are strictly limited to 50 people.
Anyone wishing to come to a Study Day should contact Mrs Caroline Bray on (02) 9428 4235 to ask if places are still available.
Guests are most welcome to attend lectures at a charge of $30.00 each or $20.00 each for members of another ADFAS society. A guest may attend three lectures only per annum.
Membership enquiries may be made to the Membership Secretary, Kate Herkes on (02) 9818 4746 (9.30am and 4:30pm). Cost of membership in 2017 is $170 for singles and $320 for couples.