lecture programme 2024


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

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 10 minutes before the lecture. Members are asked to have their plastic membership cards ready to ease the check-in process.

Coffee and Biscuits are served from 45 minutes before lecture time and serving stops 15 minutes before lecture time.


We welcome visitors to our lectures in the Digby Hall. There is a Visitor Charge of £10.

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

7 February 2024


                                   Fraud or Genius

Pepe Martinez

The Lecture will trace the story of Banksy’s humble beginnings as a tagger on the streets of Bristol in the 1980’s to one of the most recognisable names in the art world.

6 March 2024

The Three Great Game Changers of 19th Century Opera

jamie hayes

The world of opera is full of remarkable contributors, great game changers who leave the stage in a completely different place from the one they found.

3rd April 2024

Making sense of Portraits in Country Houses

Amy Lim

Country houses are often full of historic portraits, but for today’s visitors it is not always clear who the sitters are, or why they mattered.

8th  May 2024

Please Note this Lecture is a week later than usual!

The Mayan Civilisation of Central America

Duncan Pring

The Maya lived in Central America between 1000BC and 1528 at which time they were conquered by the Spaniards. This lecture looks at the peak of their civilisation between 300 and 900AD.

5th June 2024

The Nation’s Mantlepiece:

A History of the National Gallery in Ten Paintings

Jonathan Conlin

In the bicentenary year, the National Gallery houses one of the world’s finest collections of European paintings. This lecture uses highlights from the National Gallery’s collection to show how our vision of the “ideal” art collection has evolved over time.

3rd July 2024

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham-

The Handsomest Man in 17th Century Europe and His Patronage of the Arts

Lucy Hughes-Hallett

Buckingham was a beauty, and he collected beautiful things. Jewels, Horses, Houses, Tapestries, Clothes and Paintings.

Lucy will show us his collection. She will tell us his story.

                               4th September 2024

Danish Modernism:

The Skagen Painters

Caroline Levisse

Located at the northernmost point of the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark, Skagen is an attractive spot in the summer for it’s unusual light. This lecture looks at the 1870’s period until the beginning of the 20th Century when this village was home to an artists colony.

2nd October 2024

Mars and the Muses:

The Renaissance Art of Armour

                                   Tobias Capwell

Armour was one of the great Renaissance art-forms. In the 15th and 16th centuries most of the richest noblemen in Europ were dedicated patrons of the armourer’s art. This lecture serves as an introduction to the idea of armour as an expressive art-form.

6th November 2024

The Power of Photography

                                   Roger mendham

Photographs have the ability to stop time, to provide a freeze-frame of a moment in time and space. This lecture examines some of the most important images and photographs of the past century.

4th December 2024

A Rebel on the Run:

Caravaggio’s Final Years

                                     Sian Walters

This lecture explores the last four years of Caravaggio’s life. A period of extraordinary creative activity when the artist was forced to leave Rome.