lectures past 2020-2022

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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.


Excellent lecture-what a charming man-thank you.

Shall always look out for the FF Logo on any book I pick up. Zoom has been great for me and hope to get back to normality in September. Thank you for all your organising.

I thought Tony Faber spoke very well and found the book illustrations fascinating.

…The speaker was clear, entertaining and authoritative and gave a great deal of insight into the running of Faber & Faber and the more general intricacies of the publishing business.

It was indeed an exceptionally good lecture, which I much enjoyed.

Great lecture, the best for ages. A really unusual and interesting subject.

I thought yesterday`s talk was particularly good and so interesting-combining art and literature and from such a reputable company. So pleased that Zoom is continuing this year as well, much appreciated.

…well and humorously presented with a slightly self-deprecating style.

A very enjoyable evening with a presenter who was completely on top of his subject.

Great lecture last night – as they all are.

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.


…WOW!! It (The Lecture) was amazing…well planned, well delivered and really enjoyable…ever so slightly doubted I would be fully engaged throughout the whole talk.

…when the lecture is on a subject I`m not particularly interested in, it turns out to be one of the best.

I was fascinated by the history of fans, there was so much more to it all than I ever imagined.

Good illustrations and I thought the questions at the end showed how much the…audience really appreciated his lecture.

Jacob Moss`s enthusiasm and knowledge enlivened what could have been a dry topic. His presentation style and visual aids enhanced his lecture.

Very knowledgeable lecturer, fascinating and beautiful content.

…thought it was excellently presented and very informative. Wonderful visuals.

I had thought I wouldn`t be interested in “Fans” but I was totally wrong and thoroughly enjoyed it all.

A fascinating lecture by Jacob Moss. One of the very best I`ve been to.

I learnt a lot about a subject to which I had not given much thought…I`m sure that many of us wish to now visit The Fan Museum.

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1 December 2021

Food and Art through the Ages

From Renaissance sugar sculpture to 3D printing

Tasha Marks

A whistle-stop tour of the history of food as an artistic medium, starting with 16th century sugar sculpture and venturing all the way up to 3D dessert printing and beyond.  A treat for those with a sweet tooth, as Marks feels the subject of food and art through the ages is most exciting in the realms of the dessert. This exploration of dessert as spectacle includes an accompanying display to illustrate and enhance this historic subject


I found the lecture absolutely fascinating and quite a revelation…really knew her subject and my attention was wrapt throughout. For the last 19 years I have totally appreciated being a member and pass on my  grateful thanks to all who made it so enjoyable.

…we enjoyed the Food & Art Lecture. However, as a  comment we thought the speaker spoke far too quickly, as if a race to get all she wanted to say in the time allotted. Not ideal for an ageing audience!

Tasha Marks` approach to Food & Art Through the Ages was certainly unusual! She put it all across very well but I have to admit, I only have to hear the  word installation to know that`s not for me! Some of the early sugar sculptures were just amazing, but I think almost my favourite item was the Orreo biscuit cameo which was brilliant.

I found Tasha Marks` lecture on Food & Art through the Ages fascinating.

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3 November 2021

Beautiful, Beastly, Bizarre

The art of Hieronymous Bosch

Paula Nuttall

Bosch’s paintings of nightmarish monsters, demons and bizarre allegories, have intrigued viewers for centuries. The meanings of his enigmatic paintings are unravelled and explained, while their beauty and inventiveness is also revealed


Much to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed it…thought Paula was an excellent lecturer…she brought the whole thing to life.

Excellent talk. I am not a fan of Bosch`s art…but I was interested to find out more and the speaker helped me to see him  in context and appreciate so much more about him and his work.

That was a stunning lecture-enjoyed all of it-particularly the chance to see parts of the paintings up close. May we have her again as a lecturer?

Definitely one of the best lectures I`ve attended…(on zoom)

I thought the lecture by Paula Nuttall was excellent, one of the best if not the best I have seen from TASS.

Paula`s enthusiasm for and love of Bosch came through so clearly and it was lovely to have many of the small details and overall meanings of hi strange but wonderful paintings pointed out.

Paula Nuttall gripped my attention. Selecting small details in the different works and revealing what images might allude to was fascinating.

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6 October 2021

A 21st century Renaissance

Chatsworth and the Devonshires

Simon Seligman

Chatsworth has undergone a renaissance under the leadership of first, the 11th, and now the 12th, Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. This portrait of the Devonshire’s treasure house in the modern age illustrates the extensive renovations, and the restoration of historic interiors and works of art. It includes work by modern artists including Lucian Freud, Elisabeth Frink, David Hockney and others


…excellent lecture with clear delivery and wonderful pictures…watched on Zoom…it was very clear indeed.

The lecture was just brilliant and so well delivered, clearly without hesitation. He certainly knew his material and we enjoyed that thoroughly.

The Speaker was excellent and portrayed Chatsworth sympathetically and with enthusiasm.

Exceedingly good presentation by Simon Seligman with good images, well spoken.

…thoroughly enjoyed the lecture…and thought the speaker was excellent. His enthusiasm and expertise were clearly communicated, visual material good and there were some interesting, humorous anecdotes. Thank you!

…Simon`s knowledge from the inside gave a fascinating insight into the changes each generation has made to Chatsworth in order to keep it as both a family home and visitor attraction.

I liked the way it was brought up to date with the present generation`s interest in art and interesting to see how it has changed with the generations. Fascinating!

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1 September 2021

Passionate Potters

de Morgan to Leach

Julian Richards

This lecture explores the lives of these truly passionate potters  and celebrates their extraordinary and beautiful creations. William de Morgan, the Martin brothers, Sir Edmund Elton and finally, Bernard Leach, created a legacy that is still alive today


We thoroughly enjoyed last week`s lecture…so did our 12 yr old grandson….right blend of relaxed delivery and wealth of knowledge…

Julian was an engaging speaker…passion for his subject was evident..

Lecturer was very pleasant and informative.

…Truthful when he couldn’t make a comment on a question…A joy to listen to.

…entertaining, fascinating and educational…a consummate professional.

…informal style and amusing…..I enjoyed it but would have appreciated better images.

What a fabulous speaker…clearly passionate about pots.

…know nothing about pottery but enjoyed his talk as a way of opening my eyes to a different art form.

…knowledgeable on the subject…delivered without notes and no repetition or hesitation.

…lecturer was clear, interesting and amusing. Perfect…five star!

That is one of the things I enjoy most about being a member, the breadth of subjects covered.

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7 July 2021

Art Transported

How did it get here from where it was made? Who owned it before?

Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe

We love standing in a museum gazing at a painting by Titian or Caravaggio, but we rarely question where it was before it came to be in that museum, or who in earlier times stood in front of it and gazed, nor by what practical means it got there. This lecture will delve into the astonishing history of the movement of art works


Very interesting talk-many thanks.

  I enjoyed the content….She knew her stuff and her slides were very much part of her subject…

I liked the part where we had a map of not only where it was transported but how many times it had been moved…The mind boggles as to how large items have mostly remained intact, after being transported so far and so often!

…most interesting-a totally different approach to “art” from other lectures. She certainly held my interest throughout.

…really enjoyed the lecture and admired not only the depth of knowledge but the apparently effortless presentation.

…fascinating presentation. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you to those who plan our programme.

I am sure most of us had not really thought about how works of art have come to be where they are…It`s amazing how much gas survived, although you do wonder how much was lost due to the hazards of transportation. Chantal put the subject across so well and the time just flew…excellent.

…If I have a criticism it is that she spoke rather fast and it was not always easy both to hear what she said and to digest it. A good lecture nonetheless which I enjoyed.

…Each lecturer has the ability to pull out pictures I have never seen before, which makes our lectures far more interesting, and gives us something to think about after the lecture.

2 June 2021

Undressing Antiques 

“Antiques. I don’t understand them and they’re beyond my budget. They’re not for me.”

Mark Hill

A persuasive introduction to buying antiques and integrating and using them in today’s homes.  We look at what current and future generations of collectors of antiques are buying, why they are buying them and how they are displayed


A very energetic and engaging lecturer

…he was jolly good – I was riveted

5 May 2021

Sicilian Splendours

From Greece to the Normans

Dr Paul Roberts

We look at the rich art, architecture and history of Sicily – the largest and wealthiest island of the ancient Mediterranean


Really excellent. I thought Paul explained the convoluted history remarkably well and the photos were excellent

I really enjoyed the lecture. I do miss the UK and its cultural life. ( I studied and worked in London museums from 2002 to 2012) and it was a pleasure listening to Paul and see again some of the places I visited in the 80`s.

The Zoom lecture today was brilliant. We were able to relive a fascinating trip we took there in 2003 when there were hardly any other people at the ancient sites.Thank you so very much for allowing us to participate from Toronto.

. Thank you for that most interesting lecture on Sicily. When we were there two years ago we stayed at the Villa Politi Grand Hotel in Syracusa. It is perched on the edge of a massive quarry which we were told was dug by the Athenians. I now understand the history and feel very sorry for those unfortunate people.

…just listened to Paul Roberts` lecture in total rapture. What an excellent lecturer he is…only wish I had heard it before I went to Sicily some years ago.
I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture, which was excellent

7 April 2021

Foreigners in London 1520-1677

The artists who changed the course of British Art

Leslie Primo

Why were foreign painters preferred by the aristocracy in London to native-born English painters? Why did foreigners come in the first place, what was their motivation, and what was the impact of foreigners in London on English art and art practice?


A really great lecture, which I much enjoyed, particularly the delivery.

Great lecture and very knowledgable speaker.

Excellent lecture, very interesting indeed. Delightful lecturer.

I thought it was a brilliant lecture and a brilliant speaker! I hope he is asked back.

A superb talk, great speaker and very informative.

I enjoyed the lecture and I should be delighted to join Sherborne. Your lecture programme is outstanding.

I enjoyed last night’s lecture and, funnily enough, I thought it was probably better on Zoom than in the Digby Hall.  One could really put one’s nose up to the detail of the illustrations, especially the drawings / etchings. Thank you all for organising another great treat!

I enjoyed the lecture yesterday.    It was rather slow at first but got going into something interesting.   The lecturer was very knowledgeable and obviously knew his subject backwards but some of the lecture I didn’t find easy to follow.

3 March 2021

Two Women who Scandalised the Art World

Julian Halsby


“What an amazing zoom lecture from Julian-he’s usually excellent and this was no exception!”

“A terrific lecture by the always fantastic Julian.”

“Incredible to be shown so many stunning pictures in one hour…I gather Berlusconi now lives in the Marquesa’s house, so the scandals continue!”

“I enjoyed Julian’s lecture very much…I learnt a great deal.”

“Julian’s talk was AMAZING! Masses of information, photos I cannot imagine where and how he could find…so entertaining, one million congratulations!!!!”

3 February 2021

Paradise Lost and Restored

400 years of Garden Design in Oxfordshire

The History of Garden Design through the lens of the Oxford Botanic Garden

Timothy Walker


So enjoyed this lecture. Thank you.

I enjoyed it enormously. His sense of humour is to die for.

…one of the finest I have attended: erudite, witty and delivered with great panache and humour.

… a stunning lecture, informative and entertaining.

I very much enjoyed the lecture. It was a fascinating afternoon.

It was really inspirational and covered so much in an hour. Including humour is a real plus. Delightful, and very bright man!

…what a wonderful speaker!

He is an excellent and amusing speaker.

Christmas Celebration

Impressionist Snow Paintings



I really enjoyed Julian’s lecture. Thank you so much for letting me join in.

Thank you so much for a most enjoyable talk   I learned so much about tonal painting which will help me to think and appreciate paintings in the future

Thank you Nicole, most enjoyable.

Thank you for opening your lecture to other societies, we really enjoyed it and it uplifted the darkest day of the year.

 I enjoyed it very much.

That was a fascinating, informative and beautiful lecture by Julian. Thank you very much for allowing us ‘outsiders’ to join you ! Very generous.

What an excellent lecture Julian gave yesterday on snow paintings, I thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you!

Thank you so much for inviting us at Wimborne TAS to join you for Julian’s lecture, which I thought was excellent and the paintings were beautiful. We are so grateful.

Thoroughly enjoyed the talk with so many paintings I was unfamiliar with .Thank you for letting me join in Sherborne. Happy Christmas! 

Many thanks we really enjoyed Julian’s lecture.

Thank you so much for this. It was both fascinating, and a complete and very welcome distraction!

Enjoyed the lecture very much. Thank you and your arts society. 

Dickens: the man and his life through his characters



“I very much enjoyed the talk yesterday and would very much like to watch it again”

“Many thanks. I very much enjoyed the entertaining and informative lecture”

“I enjoyed the lecture yesterday. I used to pass Dickens’ birthplace on the bus on my way to school in Southsea every day….so the lecture brought back happy memories”

“I attended the lecture yesterday and so enjoyed it I would like to watch it again. Am re-reading A Christmas Carol already.”

“Saw the lecture live and enjoyed it enormously.”

“Thank you for your email offering an alternative lecture for the Dickens Talk. We both watched and enjoyed it.”

“I watched the lecture on my computer thank you.It was very good.”

“Saw it yesterday via Zoom….and very interesting it was too…well done to whoever chose this one and thank you very much.”

“I would like to receive a copy of yesterday’s superb lecture.”

“I enjoyed that so much….He was interesting and entertaining”.

“Another excellent lecture.So lovely to have a lecture on Dickens – one of my favourite 19th century authors. Bertie Pearce has a very engaging delivery and is a brilliant lecturer. Many thanks again and to all the committee.”

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4 November 2020

Art: A Detective Story

Decoding Symbols in Paintings


The rich tradition of symbols, emblems and allegories used by artists through the ages to tell us more than just meets the eye


“Thank you so much for that fascinating lecture. I did so enjoy it”
“Very good Zoom Lecture – much enjoyed – thank you”
“That was a brilliant lecture! Really excellent.”

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Adventures among the Nomadic Tribes of Iran and Afghanistan

Searching for the Woven Art of the Nomads

Brian MacDonald

The woven art of the nomads as they moved over the lands they have travelled for generations

I thought both lectures were very good and I am looking forward to the next one
The lecture itself was excellent and, as it happened, worth waiting for!
 I thoroughly enjoyed it and it makes such a difference to have plenty of slides moving quite quickly, as the lecture on zoom then seems to flow better

Thought it was excellent – what a fascinating adventure!

Thank you,  both John and I enjoyed the lecture very much

Worth waiting for. Really good. 

It was a super lecture which I could listen to , and watch, all over again.  Apart from being very interesting, it was done so well with some of the most delightful, colourful, pictures to illustrate it.  I could definitely listen to such a good speaker again

That lecture yesterday was utterly amazing and fascinating.

It was a brilliant lecture and  well worth waiting for

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Mad Enchantment

Claude Monet and the painting of the Water Lilies


An examination of the personal and aesthetic motivations behind Monet’s immense canvases and their legacy in twentieth-century art