Gillian Hovell

Wentworth Woodhouse, 1947

Jane Morris.

 



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12 OCTOBER 2017, 7.30PM

DR DAVID ALLEN
Dr Allen traces the history of Derby porcelain from its beginnings in the 1750s through to the present day. He charts the rise, fall and regeneration of the three factories which have produced luxury porcelain for over 260 years. His talk is illustrated with items covering this entire period showing changes in design from the earliest imitations of Meissen patterns through to the much-loved Imari colours, which have been a trademark of Derby porcelain for over 200 years.

9 NOVEMBER 2017, 8.00PM

SIMON TOMSON
The Book of Kells is generally considered to be Europe’s finest surviving medieval manuscript. It was probably created on the Scottish island of Iona by ninth century monks before it was moved to Ireland to escape Viking attacks.  The monks produced illustrations and ornamentation unique in their extravagance and complexity. 680 pages have survived, and of them, only two are without artistic ornamentation. In addition to character illuminations, there are entire pages that are mostly decoration, including portrait pages, carpet pages and partially decorated pages with only a line or so of text. Simon Tompson will guide us through the chequered history of the  Book of Kells and examine its significance.

14 DECEMBER 2017, 8.00PM

SISTER AGATHA LEACH
It’s not often that the Society is honoured with a visit from the subject of a best-selling biography. This evening’s guest speaker grew up in a world of wealth, status and comfort. But in one totally unexpected moment of epiphany, her life was changed for ever, causing Agatha to forsake her family, her husband-to-be and everything she had previously valued for the life of a nun. But not any ordinary nun, as the biography relates. Sister Agatha reflects on her life and the years she has spent at the Bar Convent in York.
MUSIC, MULLED WINE AND MINCE PIES AFTER THE TALK.

11 JANUARY 2018, 8.00 PM

JAMES LOMAX
James Lomax, co-curator of Leeds Museum’s exhibition marking Chippendale’s tercentary, explores the life and work of Thomas Chippendale (1718–1779), Britain’s most celebrated furniture-maker and designer. He traces Chippendale’s emergence from the vernacular traditions of Wharfedale to become the undisputed master of the metropolitan styles of fashionable London via his great book of designs, The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director. His genius for fine craftsmanship and design, providing his clients with some of the most beautiful furniture ever made, did not protect him, however, from some financial near-disasters.

8 FEBRUARY 2018, 8.00PM

GILLIAN HOVELL
A tour of the Mediterranean is a visit to the past; ancient sites are littered with ruined architecture and museums full of works of art testifying to once-great civilisations. Gillian’s virtual tour reveals not only who those civilisations were and how they fitted into a ‘big picture’ but, most importantly, how you can identify whose art or architecture are whose.  You’ll never look at ancient sites in the same way again …

8 MARCH 2018 8.00PM

DAVID WINPENNY
Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham is the subject for a story of rivalry between two branches of the same family, different political ideologies and rival styles of architecture. Its story encompasses untold wealth and magnificence, political power, royal visits and enlightened social care. Yet it also involves political execution, accusations of insanity and child-substitution, untimely deaths and socialist vindictiveness that almost saw this great house disappear for ever. David Winpenny explores the history of its owners and its architectural heritage, both of the house itself and of the many follies within the grounds.

12 APRIL 2018, 7.30PM
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
followed by

DR SUZANNE FAGENCE COOPER
Who were the women whose faces gaze out at us from the canvases of that revolutionary group of 19th century artists, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood? Art historian and biographer Suzanne Fagence Cooper returns to the Society to examine the lives of Lizzie Siddal, Jane Morris and Effie Gray, as wives, models and pioneers in the Victorian art world.