William Hogarth: The Painter and his Pug,1745. Photo: © Tate, London 2015.



Caudle cup by Thomas Whipham
and Charles Wright. London, 1761/62.


Luke Fildes: Illustration for
The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

 

 


Fairfax House, York

 



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15 OCTOBER 2015, 7.30PM

BRIAN SOUTER
Taking the dramatic story behind the creation of a late Hogarth painting as a starting point, art teacher and historian Brian Souter explores the life of an artist who was one of Britain’s greatest painters but lived at a time when foreign artists dominated the domestic scene. The patriotic Hogarth fought to oust foreign artists and establish a British School of Art whilst at the same time introducing new concepts to European art. His legacy of social satire still touches our lives through the daily caricatures and cartoon strips in newspapers and magazines.

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12 NOVEMBER 2015, 8.00PM

NILESH MISTRY
The Indian subcontinent has a rich and diverse textiles tradition dating back centuries. Bradford Museums and Galleries' collection of South Asian textiles includes a broad range of styles and methods of production, including embroideries, block prints, tie-dye and woven fabrics, with each tradition shaped by the requirements of its producing communities, function, the availability of natural resources and more.  Its curator provides an insight into a vast discipline that has been the subject of much research.


10 DECEMBER 2015, 8.00PM

DR DAVID ALLEN
Ever since 1300 there has been a form of identification mark on silver. Dr Allen returns to the Society to tell the history of hallmarking and the role of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in the process, with examples of silver from the 17th century to the present day. Over 50 items will be on display and available to handle, ranging from snuff boxes to tableware, wrought plate to the novelty items so popular with Victorians and Edwardians. There will also be items of Old Sheffield Plate and EPNS as well as modern items to bring the hallmarking story full circle.
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14 JANUARY 2016, 8.00PM


SUZANNE FAGENCE COOPER
A brain teeming with characters and their stories, a house full of children, laughter and games. He could reduce an audience to sobbing with his tales of loss. He was sensitive to the woes of the fallen, giving Nancy a voice in Oliver Twist and generously setting up a 'home for homeless women' in West London. But what was happening at the heart of Charles Dickens' life? In 1858 he abandoned Catherine, his wife of 20 years for a young actress called Nelly Ternan. Art historian and biographer Suzanne Fagence Cooper reveals the tension between Dickens’ public persona and his secret love.


11 FEBRUARY 2016, 8.00PM


ROBERT SOPER
During 30 years in the antiques trade, of which 25 were spent organizing over 400 provincial antiques fairs, Robert Soper often  dealt with issues of authenticity and identification of items that were ‘not quite right’. A specialist in Chinese Porcelain and Early English watercolours, he will look at samples of Chinese monochromes, false marks on porcelain and the problem of verifying watercolours before turning to furniture, where faking takes place on an industrial scale. He will also reminisce about Harrogate forger Gordon Wright, who committed suicide rather than return to prison. Members may bring small items of Oriental porcelain or Early English watercolours for examination.


10 MARCH 2016, 8.00PM


NICHOLAS MERCHANT
The reign of Louis XV saw an unprecedented flowering of the Decorative Arts in France. Against a background of political turmoil and unrest, the small exclusive côterie at Versailles acted out their lives in an environment of luxury and good taste that the rest of the world sought to emulate and acquire. This was largely due to the influence of Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson who became Louis’ mistress in 1745 and remained en poste until her death in 1764, even though their passion had cooled. Her patronage of artists such as François Boucher and her encouragement of the porcelain manufactory at Sèvres had a considerable impact on the ‘Arts of France’.

14 APRIL 2016, 7.30PM

JULIA MANDER
During the 18th century, York was the social centre for the North of England. What brought this about, and what made the city so attractive to those who attended the ‘winter season’ and the races?  Julia Mander explores the reasons why and also looks at the role played in this by a building she knows well: Fairfax House, arguably the finest Georgian townhouse in England.

PRECEDED BY THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


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