lecture programme 2023


Our lectures take at 3 pm and 7 pm on the first Wednesday of each month, except January and August in the Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne.

Exceptionally, the lecture on Russian Icons, cancelled in 2022 and again in January 2023, will be rescheduled at some time in the future

Please arrive at the Hall to check in at least 15 minutes before the scheduled lecture time so that you and the check-in team can be seated before the doors are closed five minutes before the lecture. Members are asked to have their plastic membership cards ready to ease the check-in process.

We welcome visitors to our lectures in the Digby Hall. There is a Visitor Charge of £7. Online Visitor registration is normally available approximately 2 weeks before the meeting. 

Visitors to the Digby Hall can also register and pay by card (preferred) or cash at the door.  If paying by cash please present exact amount


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1 February 2023

Linking China With Europe

Blue And White In The Middle East

James Allan

Granny may have had a blue-and-white tea-pot but where did the idea come from, and the technology?  It began in the 9th Century in Basra in Iraq, and was adopted by the Mongols, in the 14th Century, and the Dutch in the 17th century where it was found in the Delft factories.

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1 March 2023

Mad Men and Artists

How the Advertising Industry Exploited Fine Art

Tony Rawlins

Fine art has provided advertisers and their agencies with a great deal of material to use in their creative campaigns.    This lecture describes some of the processes by which these advertisements have been created and why the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo have been a particularly rich source.

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5th April 2023

Post War Fashion Illustration And The Artists of Today

Connie gray

As the world emerged from WWII Christian Dior introduced his revolutionary ‘New Look’ in 1947,  Drawn by the masters of fashion illustration, their art dominated the front covers and pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar with their gloriously chic interpretations of the latest looks from the haute couture houses of Paris and London.  

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3rd May 2023

Vaux Le Vicomte “Fit for a King”

The Inspiration Behind Versailles Palace: A Take of Misplaced Ambition, Jealousy and Betrayal

Carole petipher

French 17th century chateau design owes much to Nicholas Fouquet. He seemed invincible but made one grave error of judgement which was to lead to his downfall.  He commissioned the spectacular Vaux le Vicomte for himself and in doing so was completely outshining the Sun King’s palace of Versailles.

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7th June 2023

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Classical Music`s Greatest Revolutionary

Sandy Burnett

Born in Bonn in December 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven became one of the greatest and most disruptive of figures in the history of classical music. This talk presents an overview of this brilliant, cantankerous, visionary and astonishingly original composer,

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5th July 2023

Velasquez – The Great Magician of Art

Douglas Skeggs

Born in 1599, Velazquez made his name producing penetrating, observed scenes of everyday life. He moved to Madrid where at he age of 24 he was the only artist permitted to paint the King of Spain. His breath taking daring treatment of the paint was admired by artists from Whistler to Picasso who famously described him as `the Great Magician of Art`.

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6th September 2023

160 Years of the London Underground Design and Architecture

Mark Ovenden

The talk attempts to create some graphic unity even in the 1860s and 70s, expansion of the Underground and the need to create some cohesion between the different operating companies.  
The lecture includes architecture, the Arts and Crafts movement, Edward Johnson`s typeface and the Streamline Moderne/Art Deco movement up to the present.

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4th October 2023

From Errol Flynn to Bottles of Gin

Literary Portraits and their Afterlives

Annalie Talent

From Burns to Byron and from Jane Austin to the Brontes; this lecture will uncover the fascinating stories behind some literary portraits of the Romantic period.   The lecture will look at various ways in which Romantic writers have been depicted in art, and how these likenesses have been received, both during the writers’ lifetimes, and posthumously.  

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                                 1st November 2023

                                                WELLS CATHEDRAL

Jonathan Foyle

Wells Cathedral was anciently founded by springs that gave it its name. This talk explores it`s origins, it`s status ceded to Bath in a dual diocese and the rebirth of Wells as a cathedral church in the late 12th century. The limited industrialisation of Wells in later centuries has bequeathed a beautiful medieval setting that survives far beyond the confines of the church itself.

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6th December 2023

Bring An Object

Audience Participation Talk Based on Artifacts Brought in for the Talk with Some of My Own Objects Interspersed

                                       Marc Allum

A popular format, this spontaneous talk uses objects brought in by the audience to form an instant “Antiques RoadShow” of history, anecdotes and audience involvement; also interspersed with artefacts from his own collections