lecture programme 2022
We welcome visitors to our lectures, normally held in the Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne. There is a small Visitor Charge.
Wednesday 2 February 2022
Treasures of the Fan Museum
2nd March 2022
90 Years of Excellence in Book Cover Design
One of London’s most Important publishing houses. Its history is traced through its illustrations, covers and designs. It has employed some of the most celebrated artists as cover illustrators. The talk includes personal insight and anecdote.
6th April 2022
The History and Culture of Chairs
Sitting down is such an integral and utilitarian part of our lives that one would think that there is a basic type chair, of which ‘finely designed’ chairs are but a variation. The fact is however that there no such thing as a ‘standard’ chair, and even the convention of sitting on chairs is not universally established. This lecture is about the cultural significance of sitting, and of the chairs on which we sit – from benches (from which the words ‘bank’ and ‘banquet’ come) to bishops’ thrones (from which the word ‘cathedral’ comes).
4th May 2022
The Road is Wider than Long
The Road is Wider than Long is a love poem created as a photo-book of a journey through the Balkans in 1938 by the lecturer`s father, Roland Penrose, a surrealist artist and the passionate new love of his life, the American photographer, Lee Miller. He presented her with the first copy and she subsequently left her husband and became his wife.
1st June 2022
Major themes in 20th and 21st century architectures are introduced. The aim is to foster a fuller understanding of modern architecture and to encourage enjoyment of its rich variety.
6th July 2022
The Gateway to Eternity
This lecture aims to introduce people to the world of icons and at their role in the Orthodox church where they are still regarded as intermediaries between the material and spiritual worlds.
7th September 2022
The Queen of Instruments
The Lute in Old Master Paintings
(Accompanied by Adam on his Lute)
From the golden-haired lute-playing angels of the Italian Renaissance, through to the 17th century when the lute became the pastime of educated courtiers; then to intimate interior scenes of Jan Steen and Franz Hals emphasising transient pleasures…accompanied by Adam on his own lute.
5th October 2022
The most Infamous Family in History?
Murder, poison, corruption, incest…but were the Borgias really so bad? Sometimes truth is more intoxicating than myth.
2nd November 2022
Caravaggio – Rebel on the Run
Caravaggio was the definitive bad boy of art history. His meteoric rise to fame ended abruptly following a particularly violent and bloody brawl. This lecture explores in particular the last 4 years of his life, a period of extraordinary creative activity when the artist was forced to leave Rome, realising that his life was in danger.
7th December 2022
Toulouse-Lautrec and the Golden Age of Cabaret
Toulouse-Lautrec’s life is both a triumph against adversity and a glimpse into late 19th century society in Paris. Julian looks at the careers of the leading cabaret artists who were the subject of Lautrec’s art including La Goulue, Jane Avril, Yvette Guilbert, May Milton, the clown Cha-U-Kao and Aristide Bruant, as well as at some of the well known venues such as Le Rat Mort, the Moulin Rouge, the Divan Japonais and the Moulin de la Galette. This is a lively view of La Belle Époque seen through the eyes of an artist from an aristocratic family.