lecture programme 2022


We welcome visitors to our lectures, normally held in the Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne. There is a small Visitor Charge.

Unless otherwise stated our lectures take place in the Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, DT9 3AA
Lectures normally commence at 3 pm and 7 pm on the first Wednesday of each month, except January and August. Please arrive at the Hall in good time and be seated by 5 minutes before the scheduled lecture time.
Advertising fan for Möet & Chandon

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Wednesday 2 February 2022

Treasures of the Fan Museum

Jacob Moss

This museum has an extraordinary collection – discover some of the key exhibits – from a rare Elizabethan folding fan to contemporary examples by street artists.

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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.

Chair George Jacob

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6th April 2022

The History and Culture of Chairs

Andrew Spira

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).

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4th May 2022

The Road is Wider than Long

Antony Penrose

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.

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1st June 2022

Modern Architecture

Colin Davies

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.

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6th July 2022

The Gateway to Eternity

Russian Icons

Jane Angelini

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.

Adam Lute

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7th September 2022

The Queen of Instruments

The Lute in Old Master Paintings

(Accompanied by Adam on his Lute)

Adam Busiakiewitz

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.

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5th October 2022

The most Infamous Family in History?

Sarah Dunant

Murder, poison, corruption, incest…but were the Borgias really so bad? Sometimes truth is more intoxicating than myth.

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2nd November 2022

Caravaggio – Rebel on the Run

Sian Walters

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

Julian Halsby

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.