lectures

This year we have organised a series of nine lectures. Most are held on the second or third Wednesday of the month, depending on the CBSO use of their Centre.

Please note, however, that the Christmas Buffet will be held on Wednesday, 6th December, a first Wednesday and that 7th February is also a first Wednesday. 22nd November and 28th March are fourth Wednesdays.

These monthly lectures are held at:

The CBSO Centre

Berkley Street • Birmingham B1 2LF.

Proceedings begin at 10.50 am. Please be seated by 10.45. Coffee and biscuits are available from 9.45.

Wednesday, 13th September 2017

GALLA PLACIDIA: the Empress and the Fall of Rome

Dr Stephen Kershaw
(email: drspkershaw@msn.com)

This lecture traces the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West through both art and one of its most intriguing heroines.

Galla Placidia was an orphan girl of ‘nobility, beauty and chaste purity’, half-sister of a Roman Emperor and a hostage of a Gothic King. She became one of the world’s most powerful women.

Wednesday, 18th October 2017

Andalusia and its Golden Age

Dr Tom Duncan
(Email: tomduncan@ciceroni.co.uk)

With the decline of the Roman Empire and the arrival of Christianity, a new culture, both religious and secular, was introduced into Hispania by the Visigoths. The Visigoths were an elite, governing class who were to be defeated by their hired mercenary Berber tribesmen from North Africa, through whom Islamic culture was introduced into mainland Europe.

The monuments of Islamic Spain, such as the Great Mosque in Córdoba and the Nazrid Palace of Granada, all demonstrate the majestic quality of Moorish architecture and design.

Wednesday, 22nd November 2017

Ceramics – tin glaze, the Islamic Story

Prof James Allan
(Email: james.allan@orinst.ox.ac.uk)

The invention of a white ceramic glaze opacified with tin-oxide resulted from the challenge presented to Iraqi potters by imported Chinese white wares in the 9th century. The results were revolutionary. The white ground lent itself to decoration, first in cobalt blue (the first ‘blue and white’) and then in golden lustre. Together with blue and lustre, tin-glaze then spread east to Iran and west to Egypt, North Africa and Spain. As the basis of Spain’s Hispano-Moresque wares, tin-glaze was then exported to Italy where it led to the first great decorative ceramics of Renaissance Europe: Maiolica.

Prof Allan is Curator of the Islamic Collection and Keeper of Eastern Art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018

The Smiling Painter:
Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Dr Angela Smith

This lecture will be of particular interest as the Barber Gallery has a beautiful portrait of Countess Golovina by Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun, a leading portrait artist at the court of Louis XVI. She was forced to flee France when the King and Queen were imprisoned.

Her self-portrait (1787), in which she is smiling and showing her teeth, caused great consternation as the display of teeth was associated with moral deficiency.

Stay and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine, or soft drink, after the lecture.

Wednesday, 7th February 2018

Edward Burne-Jones and the Pre-Raphaelite Legacy

Mr Alan Read
(Email: alanreadlondon@aol.com)

This lecture examines the life of Edward Burne-Jones, from humble beginnings in Birmingham to the title of baronet and finally a memorial service in Westminster Abbey.

It will be of particular interest in view of the large collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings held at BMAG.

We are delighted to welcome Mr Alan Read back after enjoying his previous lecture on the Elgin Marbles.

Wednesday, 28th March 2018

The Hazards of the Journey: Pilgrimage and Travel in the Middle Ages

Ms Imogen Corrigan
(Email: imogen.corrigan@yahoo.co.uk)

This lecture asks what possessed people to trudge hundreds of miles, often in appalling conditions and sometimes perishing on the way. It looks closely at travel in general and the hazards of the journey: how did people organise themselves for long journeys and how safe was it? How should they provide for themselves and where might they find help?

Wednesday, 18th April 2018

Let no-one forget. Let nothing be forgotten

Mr Peter Warwick
(Email: peterwarwick@compuserve.com)

1.3 million civilians starved to death in Leningrad between 1941 and 1943. The role of the Hermitage Museum at the time of this tragedy and the preservation of its art collection will also be considered.

We are warned that this lecture is not for the faint-hearted.

We are delighted to welcome back Mr Peter Warwick, whose lecture on Capt James Cook was so enjoyable.

Wednesday, 16th May 2018

A truly cultured woman is as rare as a Phoenix: the Life and Works of Isabella d’Este

Ms Sarah Dunant

In an age when women had little public power, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539) stands out as a formidable figure. She was one of the first and greatest female patrons and Art collectors of the Renaissance and a woman whose eye for fashion was every bit as keen as her eye for Art.

Sarah Dunant is both a broadcaster and novelist.

Wednesday, 13th June 2018

A little Paradise: Laos, from historic Buddhist Temples to modern Silk Weaving

Ms Denise Heywood
(www.deniseheywood.co.uk)

The lecture will explore the sacred architecture of Laos, particularly of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The legacy of 19th century French architecture and the unique fusion of Eastern and Western influences will be examined, and the revival of the Royal silk trade will be touched upon.

Denise Heywood is a prolific author, lecturer, photographer and journalist.

Lecture Programme 2016-2017

You can view the previous year’s lecture programme (which helps to illustrate the range of topics that reflect the breadth of our approach) by visiting the Lectures page on the BDFAS website.

The Arts Society Birmingham Evening

Members of The Arts Society Birmingham may be interested in the programme of lectures and events  offered by The Arts Society Birmingham Evening.

For further details go to www.theartssocietybirminghamevening.co.uk.