PAST LECTURES - 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019



NOTE: All lectures will now be at the guildhall

Please note lectures begin at 7pm.

10th JANUARY 2022 - Zoom

Clare Ford-Willie

Albrecht Durer's Visit to the Netherlands in 1520: 500th Anniversary of his last Journey. Please note this lecture will be in the Guildhall.

7th February 2022

Rosalind Whyte

Wassily Kandinsky: from figurative landscape painter to modern master.

7th March 2022

Adam Busiakiewicz

The Queen of Instruments: The Lute within Old Master Paintings.

The lute holds a special place in the history of art painters of the Italian Renaissance. This lecture looks at the lute, where it appears in paintings, and how it is used as a device to express various aspects of the human character throughout the ages. (Several pieces of live lute music will be performed as part of the lecture).

4th April 2022

Titian - The first Modern Artist.

9th May 2022

Daniel Robbins

LHM Arab Hall and Narcissus Hall. ©Leighton House Museum, RBKC. Image courtesy of Will Pryce

LHM Arab Hall and Narcissus Hall. ©Leighton House Museum, RBKC. Image courtesy of Will Pryce

Daniel Robbins is Senior Curator, Museums with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and is responsible for two of London’s most significant house museums: Leighton House and Sambourne House. Formerly with Glasgow Museums, he has organised many exhibitions and contributed to numerous catalogues and publications around nineteenth-century art, architecture and design, including the authorship of the companion guide to Leighton House Museum published in 2011. He was responsible for leading the award-winning project to restore the historic interiors of the house completed between 2008 and 2010 and is now leading an £7 million refurbishment project addressing the additions made to the building in the twentieth century.



Christopher de Hamel

Books of Hours: Medieval Illuminated Manuscript.

5th September 2022

Alan Read

The Elgin Marbles: the History of Meaning

3rd October 2022

Tobias Capwell

The Scoliotic Knight: Reconstructing the Real Richard 111. Understood by Armoury and Art.

7th November 2022

Timothy Walker

Beauty in Truth: The Past Present and Future of Botanical Illustration.

5th December 2022

Bertie Pearce

'The Dancing Faun' by Adrien De Vries. A Personal Story of a 17th Century Masterpiece.


NOTE: As of  October 2021  lectures will be delivered face to face in the Guildhall. Masks must be worn as you enter the building until entering the lecture hall. Hand Sanitiser can be found as you enter the building and on tables in the hall, all windows will be open and chairs can be moved. Some social distancing seating areas are also available. Please be assured that the Committee will do all that is possible to minimise risk for our members. The dates and times remain the same. Non-members are welcome to join the lecture at a cost of £6 per lecture.

Please note the new lecture starting time of 7:00 pm.

4th January 2021

Peggy Guggenheim

Alexander Epps explores how the 'Poor little rich girl' helped change the face of twentieth century art. Helping define the time, Peggy Guggenheim discovered and nurtured a new generation of twentieth century artists and art

 1st February 2021

Caravaggio: the Master of Light and Shadow

Shirley Smith: studies the dramatic personal life and revolutionary style of painting of this enigmatic man and of his influence on later artists

1st March 2021

Lawrence of Arabia: Excavating a Legend

Neil Faulkner, revisits Lawrence of Arabia looking at sensational new evidence from archaeological fieldwork which contrasts the legend with the true story of what happened in the famous desert war of 1916 to 1918.

12th April 2021

Anna Jackson: Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk

Anna Jackson, Victoria and Albert Museum. The Kimono is an iconic garment. A symbol of Japanese national culture and sensibility it is generally perceived as a traditional, unchanging costume. This talk counters that conception, revealing that the Kimono has always been a highly dynamic, fashionable garment. She also explores the major impact the kimono has exerted on global dress styles since the 17th century. 

10th May 2021

Turner vs Constable - The Great British Paint Off

Nichola Moorby tells the story of the epic rivalry between the two giants of British art, JMW Turner and John Constable. The subject too provides an enjoyable overview of the British art world during the 19th Century.

 7th June 2021

Urbino: The Palace of the Courtier (replacement)

Paula Nuttall, A tour of the ducal palace of Ubino the most perfect of Italian Renaissance palaces.

 5th July 2021

SUPPER EVENING, replaced with a zoom lecture, due to circumstances beyond our control.

The Genius of Beethoven 

Peter Medhurst will give an excellent lecture on Beethoven's life and his key works, his composing and styles and illustrate throughout with live examples.

6th September 2021

The Cathars

Imogen Corrigan: Crusaded against by the church and the subjects of the first Inquisition, Imogen questions who they were, their beliefs and whether they were the dangerous sect sweeping through Europe or merely a growing group of people trying to find God.

4th October 2021 please note this will be at the Guildhall.

A Window on Russia: The History of the Hermitage

Rosamund Bartlett  This lecture charts the history of one of the world's largest museums, from its foundation in 1764 through to the 21st century. The Hermitage's eventful history provides a revealing window into the peculiarities and paradoxes of imperial and Soviet Russia.

1st November 2021

The Art Society Sandwich will be holding the AGM before the lecture starting at 6.15 pm. The Lecture will start as normal at 7pm.

Faber and Faber

Tony Faber Tony Faber traces the history of Faber and Faber through its illustrations, covers and designs. As the grandson of the founder he grew up steeped in its books and is passionate about the firm's success.

6th December 2021

From Tchaikovsky to Tin Pan Alley: Uplifting music for Christimas

 Sandy Burnett will kick off our seasonal celebrations to share his selection of much-loved Christmas tunes. Expect an hour of the finest festive music from across the globe. Including Tchaikovsky's ballet, a heart warming ballad from Mel Torme, a heavenly chorus from Johann Bach's Leipzig and much more.




NOTE: As of October 2021 lectures will be delivered in the usual face to face format in the Guildhall. Masks must be worn as you come into the building until you enter the lecture hall. Hand sanitiser is available on tables as you enter the building as well as in the hall. Windows will be open and chairs can be moved, some social distance seating is available. Please be assured that the Committee will continue to do all that is possible to minimise risk.  The dates and times remain the same as usual. Non-members are welcome to join the lecture at a cost of £6. 

Please note the new lecture starting time of 7:00 pm.

6th January 2020

GPO – The Night Train

Howard Smith describes the birth of documentary films in the 1930s with clips from Victorian and Edwardian films, through the experimental Soviet era to the 129 films produced by the GPO Film Unit in seven years, including “Night Mail” with poetry by W H Auden and music by Benjamin Britten.

 3rd February 2020

Pearls, Pomegranates, Peacocks and Pipes – The Hidden Language of Renaissance Art

Shirley Smith: With a wealth of hidden symbolism, this lecture aims to peel back the layers of Renaissance art by deciphering the meaning of some of these symbols – spiritual and secular, virginal and vulgar - enabling us to read the paintings as they were intended.

2nd March 2020

It’s Not Just Tchaikovsky.
Nigel Bates, Musical Administrator of the Royal Ballet, explores the music chosen by choreographers through the years, proving that the right piece with the right moves and design can create modern masterpieces and timeless classics, from the grandness of Imperial Russia with Swan Lake, to the current modern repertoire of the Royal Ballet.

6th April 2020  -  Postponed until March 2021 

John Ruskin - Impact, Achievement & Legacy

David Cross describes one of the greatest Victorian polymaths, as a painter, a significant collector of paintings and a perceptive critic. A scholar of Northern Gothic and a supporter of the education of women, he endowed a museum for working men at Sheffield and, in the Arts & Crafts movement, he advocated high quality workmanship

11th May 2020   -  Postponed until May 2021

Turner vs Constable - The Great British Paint Off

Nichola Moorby tells the story of the epic rivalry between the two giants of British art, JMW Turner and John Constable. These two geniuses transformed the art of landscape - but who will ultimately be crowned star painter?.

 1st June 2020   -  Postponed until June 2021

Medieval Illuminated Books of Hours

Christopher de Hamel looks at what a Book of Hours comprises, who commissioned them and how they were used. They are the most famous late medieval illuminated manuscripts, full of enchanting illustrations and decorated borders showing scenes of daily life in the late Middle Ages.

 Friday 3rd July 2020  -  Postponed until July 2021

SUPPER EVENING (for members only and guests)

The Good Gnus

Three musical humourists including Dr David Flood, Organist and Master of Canterbury Cathedral Choir Boys, provide an evening of fun, quick fire wit and gentle satire, all wrapped in songs in the manner of “Flanders & Swan”. Enjoy tales of warthogs and gnus and the sad tale of the honeysuckle and the bindweed.

7th September 2020  (ZOOM)

The Subtle Science & Exact Art of Colour in English Garden Design

Timothy Walker: In 1888 Gertrude Jekyll wrote in The Garden that readers “should remember that in a garden we are painting a picture”. This talk looks at how to apply these principles in designing a border and shows how the contemporary works of Turner, Monet and Hockney evolved with ideas of what a garden should look like.

5th October 2020  (ZOOM)

The Material Culture of Al-Andalus

Ian Cockburn tells the story of the Moorish invasion and the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula, through an introduction to the surviving architecture and other areas of material culture such as silk textiles, carved ivory caskets, bronzed sculptures and refined ceramics.

2nd November 2020   (changed, ZOOM)

Poets, Painters & Private Lives in 19th century Venice

Douglas Skeggs delivers a personal tour of 19th century Venice in search of painters, poets and authors and the strange and often bizarre lives they led in the city; the customs and rituals they found and the rich and varied succession of images they created that ultimately transformed the hard city of the Venetian Republic into the romantic legend it is today.

9th  November 2020 – AGM   (changed, ZOOM)

There will be no lecture.  The AGM is for members only. Papers will be sent in advance with opportunity for voting, and it will be held via a special AGM Committee meeting. They will include the Agenda, the Chair's Report, the Annual Accounts, and any resolutions from members for voting. 

7th December 2020  (Changed, ZOOM)

“Celebrate, Rejoice, Rise Up!”: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Glorious Christmas Oratorio.

In this illustrated talk Sandy Burnett explores how Bach brings the Christmas story alive. An overview of Bach’s life and achievement precedes a close look at the forms of music which this work draws on..

4th January 2021  (Changed, ZOOM)

Peggy Guggenheim

Alexandra Epps explores how the ‘Poor little rich girl’ helped change the face of twentieth century art. Helping define the time, Peggy Guggenheim discovered and nurtured a new generation of twentieth century artists and art.


7th January 2019

Thomas Heatherwick

Anthea Streeter talks about this important British designer. His Olympic Cauldron with its giant ring of fire was a memorable sight at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012, and his innovative approach is now in demand all over the world.

4th February 2019

The Chair – 2000 Years of Sitting Down!

Marc Allum, Antiques Roadshow specialist, takes a look at the history and evolution of the chair. From the ancient humble forest-turners’ chair to the fantastical designs of the 1960s, Marc explores why the design of the chair continues to absorb some of the greatest minds in history.

4th March 2019

Empress Cixi (1835-1908) Behind the Yellow Silk Screen

David Rosier provides an insight into the achievements of one of the most important women in Chinese Imperial history. Looking beyond Cixi’s desire to force China into the modern world we look into her life within her beloved Summer Palace with a focus on her passion for painting, embroidery, fashion design and the extensive gardens, where she forged some close relationships with leading western women.

1st April 2019

The Glamour Years – Jewellery & Fashion from 1929 to 1959

Andrew Prince shows how the rise of cinema and Hollywood had such an important impact on fashion and jewellery design. From Dietrich to Grace Kelly, he guides us through the Screen Goddesses and how they were portrayed.

13th May 2019

Sunken Treasure – Tales of Oriental Shipwreck Porcelain

Mary Conte-Helm traces the history of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain and the export trade along the Silk Roads. She recounts tales of shipwrecks, lost cargoes and recovery of sunken treasures that have increased our understanding of this porcelain and its wider commercial impact on trade between East and West.

3rd June 2019

A Brief Story of Wine

David Wright takes us on a journey through the many deep and diverse roles wine has played in society over the last 7000 years, illuminating the story with drawings, paintings, engravings, buildings, pottery and wine labels themselves.

Friday 5th July 2019


Giles: His Life, Times & Cartoons

Barry Venning discusses the cartoonist, Carl Giles, and his much-loved creation, Grandma Giles – that fearsome, black-clad, gambling, drinking, battle-axe – because she allowed him to voice through his cartoons what he was too polite to say in person. However, this likeable and humane satirist was also a war correspondent who witnessed the horrors of Belsen, where he found that the camp commandant was also a great fan of his work

2nd September 2019

John Singer Sargeant – Prince of Portraits and More

Clyde Binfield discusses the artist who was a paid-up member of the cosmopolitan elite: Born in Italy, educated in France, looks like a German, speaks like an Englishman and paints like a Spaniard. His portraits made him, and his landscapes rejuvenated him.

7th October 2019

Vincent van Gogh – His Life & Letters

Lucrezia Walker asks the question about why van Gogh is so famous. We know the Sunflowers, Starry Night, his self-portraits, the bright prismatic colour applied with energetic strokes of the brush. We know his life was not an easy one. What makes his paintings instantly recognizable? What happened during his short life, and afterwards to transform him into the world’s best-loved artist?

4th November 2019 – AGM 7.30pm

Velasquez – The Great Magician of Art

Douglas Skeggs describes this 17C Spanish artist as one of the most influential painters in the history of art. By the age of twenty-four, he was the only artist permitted to paint the King of Spain. His breathtaking and daring use of paint has been admired by generations of artists from Whistler to Picasso, who famously described him as The Great Magician of Art.

2nd December 2019

Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion

Bertie Pearce takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the history of mystery from 3000BC to the 21C.  From the beginning of time the fascination with magic and the impossible has been widespread throughout the world, where sleight of hand proves that the hand is quicker than the eye.