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The Grand Tour – Travel and Collecting in the 18th Century

The Grand Tour - Travel and Collecting in the 18th Century
Caroline Knight began by reminding us that before the 1753 Act of Parliament established the British Museum, there was no public collection of antiquities. Access to private collections was limited and so a tradition developed, in the C17th and C18th, for young men of sufficient wealth to travel to Europe to enhance their education and experience the Classical and Renaissance legacy. Young women of wealth ...
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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Architect, Designer and Artist Unfortunately, the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh has made headlines this year, for the wrong reason. The fire at the Glasgow School of Art in June, just as its restoration after the 2014 fire was nearing completion, ravaged the building. 2018 is the 150thAnniversary of his birth in Glasgow. Anthea Streeter explained that, before leaving school at 15, he learned not ...
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Visit to Hatfield House, 26th September 2018

Visit to Hatfield House, 26th September 2018
Fortune was smiling on us for our visit to Hatfield House as not only were the A3 and M25 kind to us on our journey there but also, once again in this lovely summer, we were blessed with warm sunshine. Combined with the splendours of the Jacobean house and extensive gardens, it was a most enjoyable day. You can see more photos here.  Naturally our ...
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Tour to Vienna – 13 – 18 September 2018

Tour to Vienna – 13 – 18 September 2018
Vienna is known especially as a city of art, history, music.……..and cake. Suffice it to say that we enjoyed all these in abundance during our 6-day stay. You can see more photos here. After an easy coach journey to Heathrow and flight with BA, we landed in Vienna in hot afternoon sunshine to be met by our guide Ursula, whom we quickly found was a ...
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A Day at the Opera

A Day at the Opera
Since the advent of live opera being screened to halls and cinemas around the country, it has been possible for many more people nationally to appreciate opera. In this month’s lecture, Janet Canetty-Clarke gave us a truly inspirational exploration of the life and works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of opera’s ‘Greats’. Born in Salzburg in1756, by the age of five he was performing in ...
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Visit to Monet and Architecture exhibition at the National Gallery

Visit to Monet and Architecture exhibition at the National Gallery
Yet another fine and warm day in our glorious summer enabled us to enjoy a relaxed day in central London. Traffic was light for our coach journey and we were dropped right outside the National Gallery's Sainsbury Wing with plenty of time for a coffee before our visit to the Monet and Architecture exhibition. All agreed that the exhibition was superb. Bringing together more than ...
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The Glory of Fabergé

The Glory of Fabergé
With snow forecast and flurries already falling we had to cancel our March lecture. Luckily we were able to rearrange it and, this time in glorious sunshine, Clare Phillips took us on a wonderful journey through amazing examples of Fabergé’s work. Born in 1846, in St Petersburg, he studied in Dresden and was tutored in goldsmithing in Frankfurt, France and England before returning to the ...
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Visit to Roche Court Sculpture Park and Wilton House

Visit to Roche Court Sculpture Park and Wilton House
It was a fine and warm day for our trip to Wiltshire – just as well as our coach was held up arriving at Grayshott, so we left late. But our driver still got us to Roche Court Sculpture Park near Salisbury on time.  We had a warm welcome from our two guides, Beth and Jenny, and filled up on coffee, tea and home-made cake ...
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Zaha Hadid – Architectural Superstar

Zaha Hadid - Architectural Superstar
In this month’s lecture, Professor Colin Davies, himself an architect, introduced us to one of the most influential architects of our time who, although working all over the world, chose to live in London throughout her adult life. Zaha Hadid was born into a wealthy family in Bagdad where she spent her childhood.  She grew up in a culturally liberal atmosphere and was in the ...
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As Good As Gold

As Good As Gold
Ideas of the sacred and divine, of power and status and of love and obsession are embedded in our appreciation of gold. However, as Alexandra Epps explained at this month’s lecture, its main attraction throughout history has been how light plays on it. The Ancient World thought their gods were made of gold. Gold in the icons of early Christianity suggested the divine. The sacred ...
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‘Something for Everyone’?

'Something for Everyone'?
At this month’s meeting Linda Smith gave us a fascinating insight into ‘20th Century Sculpture’. From unmade beds at one end of the spectrum to large lumps of marble at the other, she traced how development such as Cubism, Primitivism, Surrealism and Pop Art affected sculpture. Linda began by looking at Rodin’s monumental carved sculpture, ‘The Kiss’. Although completed in 1882, the lovers are not ...
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Visit to Highclere Castle and Sandham Memorial Chapel

Visit to Highclere Castle and Sandham Memorial Chapel
A day of low cloud and drizzle did not deter 53 members from enjoying our outing to Highclere Castle, near Newbury, and Sandham Memorial Chapel. More photos from the visit can be seen here though outside only as no interior photography is allowed at either venue. Well-known from the TV series Downton Abbey, but actually home to the Earl of Carnarvon, there was much to ...
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