Whitby Jet

Musée Jacquemart André 2007 by Christophe Recoura

Markenfield Hall

Eric Ravilious, Westbury: White Horse, 1939
Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)
Westbury: White Horse, 1939

Medieval Nuns

Banqueting Hall

The Great Exhibition, 1851
Interior of the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park 1851.

 



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13 OCTOBER 2016, 7.30PM

REBECCA TUCKER
Jet is one of Britain’s only two gemstones and has adorned some of history’s most important figures, including Queen Victoria. However it has also suffered from great fluctuations in popularity.  Rebecca Tucker from The Original Whitby Jet Shop explores the highs and lows of the industry, giving a fascinating insight into the social etiquette of the ladies who wore jet jewellery and revealing the everyday life of the workers who crafted it.

10 NOVEMBER 2016, 8.00PM

SYLVIA MANN
Just off the Champs-Élysées lies a museum often called ‘the mini-Louvre’ with which the speaker fell in love when she taught in Paris. This former mansion houses the extensive art collection of its owners, Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart, in rooms furnished in period style.  The story of the couple and the creation of the museum is intriguing: one might even call it a fairytale.

8 DECEMBER 2016, 8.00PM

DR KEITH JONES
The story of this Yorkshire architectural treasure is one of the saddest and most romantic in English history. Deeply intertwined with the fortunes of nearby Fountains Abbey, Markenfield Hall was one of the most important centres of the Rising of the North in 1569, which was the cause of its tragic downfall. Fortunately for us, absentee owners ensured that the buildings, begun in the 13th century, have passed down largely in their original form.
MUSIC, MULLED WINE AND MINCE PIES AFTER THE TALK.

12 JANUARY 2017, 8.00 PM

DR SUZANNE FAGENCE COOPER
Born in the years between the Wars, Romantic Modernism offered a vibrant alternative vision of Modernist art from an English perspective that continues to inspire 21st century illustrators, designers and painters.  From the landscape watercolours of Eric Ravilious, to John Piper’s paintings of Coventry Cathedral in the Blitz, we explore the tensions between the demands of Abstraction and the pastoral tradition in British art, and consider its legacy today.

9 FEBRUARY 2017, 8.00PM

DR MARIE STINSON
Yorkshire is famous for its monasteries but possibly only Whitby, through Hilda, is renowned for housing religious women.  Dr Stinson, a medieval historian and co-author of Domesday Book Yorkshire, will examine this hidden aspect of monastic life – where were the houses, how rich were they, what was their daily life like and how were they viewed by their local communities?  She will also tell the stories of individual nuns and their foibles and virtues!

9 MARCH 2017, 8.00PM

FENELLA BILLINGTON
In this lavishly illustrated talk, an art historian and Liverywoman traces the history of London merchant guilds from their medieval beginnings through to the position of power and influence they still exert today.  She takes us inside the Livery Halls of the Great Twelve, the most senior and longest established of the 110 London Livery Companies, to reveal the treasures within.

13 APRIL 2017, 7.30PM
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
followed by

CHARLES R HADJAMACH
This humorous talk looks at the history of the Crystal Palace and the first International Exhibition, from Joseph Paxton's original design on blotting paper, Prince Albert's and Henry Cole's involvement and contemporary views of the building in progress in Hyde Park to a selection of exhibits including glass from British firms, its move to Sydenham and the disastrous fire of 1936. The legacy of this iconic glass and steel building is seen in the South Kensington museums and the Royal Albert Hall, trashy romantic novels, the fashion for excursion travel, and the origin of the saying to 'Spend a Penny'.

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