8th January 2018

Indians, Buffaloes and Storms

Toby Faber describes the lives of the explorers who opened up the American West in 19C, through the eyes of the artists who travelled with them. Painters like Alfred Miller, Frederick Church & Albert Bierstadt who have left us with a powerful, if romanticised, record of the arrival of the railroad, the confinement of
the Native Americans and the extermination of the buffalo.


 5th February 2018

Shaken by an Earthquake

Sandy Burnett examines the build-up to “The Rite of Spring” premiere in Paris, taking a look at the original costumes; playing excerpts from Stravinsky’s fascinatingly inventive score; and exploring what divided the opinions of that first-night audience so dramatically. No, nothing could top the riot at the “Rite of Spring” in 1913!


5th March 2018

The Salutation Gardens.

Steve Edney, Head Gardener, details the history of the famous gardens in Sandwich. Designed in 1912 by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and inspired by his collaborations with Gertrude Jekyll, the gardens are divided into a series of symmetrical “rooms”, each with a different purpose, gathered around a unifying theme.


9th April 2018 -   A "TASTER LECTURE"  when guests  may come for free to experience an evening at our  Society

Holbein in England

Sarah Stopford brings to life this great 16th.C Renaissance artist; born in Germany, Holbein brought the Renaissance from Northern Europe to London. Working in perilous times, he became court painter to King Henry VIII. The faces emerging from his portraits portray with penetrating psychological insight such celebrities as Erasmus, Thomas More and King Henry himself.


14th May 2018

The Life of Oscar Nemon

Aurelia Young describes the life and works of her father, the sculptor whose statue of Churchill stands in Parliament Square. He also sculpted the Queen, royalty, politicians soldiers and an early statue of Sigmund Freud, now in Hampstead.


 4th June 2018

Amadeo Modigliani & Bohemian Paris

Julian Halsby discusses the short life of one of the most popular artists of the 20C, looking at his life in Paris from 1906 to his death in 1920. He was at the centre of Bohemian Paris and a close friend of Utrillo, Picasso, Max Jacob, Kisling, and Soutine. He describes Modigliani’s haunting portraits and sensual nudes while exploring the Bohemian life of Montmartre.


Friday 6th July


As Good as Gold Alexandra Epps describes the story of gold and its significance and symbolism within the history of art.


3rd September 2018

The Seine Estuary – River of Light capturing the 19C Imagination

Carole Petipher looks at the host of artists who flocked to the picturesque harbour of Honfleur and its surroundings to capture, in Baudelaire’s words:”This green and rose vastness which goes to my head like an intoxicating drink”.


1st October 2018

The Bayeux Tapestry – created in Canterbury for the Earl of Kent

Nicholas Reed’s surprising title follows the evidence that the tapestry was commissioned by William the Conqueror’s brother Odo, both Earl of Kent and Bishop of Bayeux. His talk includes reproductions of the tapestry and details from manuscripts in Canterbury.


5th November 2018 – AGM 7.15pm

Oh yes it is; Oh no it isn’t - the unresolved questions of authenticity

David Philips looks in detail at the human stories and the evidence pro and con in some notoriously undecided disputes, including the Turin shroud and the Getty Museum’s Kouros.


3rd December 2018

Jane Austen’s Christmas – the festive season in Georgian England

Claire Walsh looks at Christmas before the Victorians reinvented it, when the emphasis was on gentility, tradition and sociability with no Christmas trees or Father Christmas. Taken from Jane Austen’s novels, she describes the balls, parties, dinners, games, traditions and celebrations that filled the festive season.


7th January 2019

Architecture Now!

Anthea Streeter examines several examples of recent new buildings designed by British architects at home and abroad, including Thomas Heatherwick’s unusual design for the Hive Building in Singapore. The lecture is designed to give members an updated framework to which they can refer when considering modern architecture.


9th January, 2017

"Pots of Art from Grayson Perry".

Harry Fletcher examines the way Perry employs and simultaneously subverts the craft of ceramics, and how, in his art, he wittily engages with notions of taste and cultural stereotypes.


 6th February, 2017

"Laura Knight and Evelyn Dunbar"

Nicholas Reed compares two artists, both of whom depicted women's roles in WW2, and whose wider artistic careers deserve fuller recognition. Dunbar's lost works and mural schemes were recently shown at the Pallant Gallery, Chichester.


6th March, 2017

"Vases and Volcanoes:  Sir Willian Hamilton and his Collection".

Jane Gardiner's themes are the fascination with volcanic activity following the 18th C finds at Pompeii and Herculaneum and Sir William's life and collections as British envoy to the court of Naples from 1764 - 1800.  She traces their impact on late 18th C British Enlightenment taste.


3rd April, 2017 - TASTER LECTURE

Invite your guests for free! "Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico"

James Russell brings to life one of America's greatest artists.  O'Keefe moved to New Mexico after WW2.  Fascinated by the mountains and desert, adobe churches and sun bleached bones, she painted constantly setting off alone in a battered old car.


8th May. 2017

Captain Cook's Voyages and the art of William Hodges and Samuel Parkinson".

Peter Warwick charts how Cook's three Pacific Ocean voyages of discovery brought back a wealth of artistic, botanical and ethnographic evidence.  He explores themes of navigation and imperialism and encounters with indigenous cultures.


 5th June, 2017

"Donatello and the Sculpture of the Early Renaissance"

Jo Walton celebrates the finest sculptor of 15th C Italy, who assisted Ghiberti with the bronze doors of the Florence Duomo and developed the art of low relief perspective in bronze, marble and ceramic. He created and cast Gattamelata in Padua, the first life-size bronze equestrian statue since Roman times.


4th September, 2017

"Turner: the Great Watercolours".

Eric Shanes is a leading authority on Turner, whose remarkable technical fluency and virtuosity was recognised early in his career and he was widely collected.  In this lecture the watercolours are assessed within their cultural, painterly and biographical context.


2nd October, 2017

The young Picasso: what really happened in the Bateau Lavoir?"

Hilary Guise tells of the ramshackle Montmartre tenement inhabited by Catalan artists and French poets.  Picasso lived there from 1904 to 1912, dominating this crucial laboratory of modern art, cubism and abstraction.


6th November, 2017

"Women Impressionists: Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot in relation to their male contemporaries"

Pamela Halford relates how Cassatt studied art in Paris, showing in the 1867 Salon and with the Impressionists after 1874. Her paintings, pastels and prints were admired by Degas. Berthe Morisot was close to Manet and introduced him to plein air painting. Both women depicted figures in landscape and family scenes.


4th December, 2017

"Treasures of the Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean"

Christopher Bradley explores the history of the Silk Road: a highway for beliefs, inventions and art for 1400 years.  We encounter Buddhist cave murals and great Islamic buildings from Samarkand to Syria, ceramics, statues, carpets, mosaics, tile-work and the silk itself.