Harpenden Evening Web Page

Detailed Programme of Lectures 2022-2023

2022-2023 PROGRAMME

21st September 2022
Lecturer: Richard Burnip

The Flashman Stories and the Film Screenplays of George Macdonald Fraser How the author deployed his impeccable sense of history and feel for character in print and on screen.
Best known for his Flashman series of novels, George MacDonald Fraser possessed a remarkable ear for the voices of the past, and a huge knowledge of, and affection for, popular literature and cinema. From his comic stories of military life based on his own experiences in the Gordon Highlanders, to his nimble and vivid scripts for the 1970s Three Musketeers films, this lecture looks at the way in which Fraser dovetailed fiction with history in his novels and brought a unique perspective to his film work.

Richard Burnip

Richard took a BA Hons in English Language and Literature from the University of Manchester, followed by an acting diploma at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama. He combines acting, writing and lecturing. He has lectured in many venues including the National Army Museum and the Museum of London, and is currently presenting a variety of virtual lectures online. Richard has contributed to, among others, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, The Sherlock Holmes Journal, and the P G Wodehouse journal Wooster Sauce. A specialist in voice work, he has narrated numerous documentaries and 150 audiobooks.

19th October 2022
Lecturer: Rupert Dickens

Norman Rockwell and the Heyday Of the Illustrator 
Norman Rockwell’s folksy images of middle America were dismissed for decades by art critics as over-sentimental and banal.  But his reputation has soared in recent years as a new generation comes to appreciate his humanity and inventiveness and he is revered by film directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg for his brilliant storytelling. At their best, his paintings reconcile midwestern values with progressive ideals and artistic traditionalism with optimism about the modern world.  This lecture traces the roots of Rockwell’s art through his immediate predecessor and idol J.C. Leyendecker, back to the 19th century work of Winslow Homer and Howard Pyle.    

Rupert Dickens

Rupert Dickens is an art historian based in south London with a special interest in Dutch and Flemish 16th and 17th century painting. He works at the Wallace Collection as a guide conducting public and private tours and lecturing on aspects of the collection. Rupert is also a tour director for a Cambridge-based company accompanying groups on art-themed tours to the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria and Italy. He has lectured to large audiences on subjects as diverse as the game of chess in art and Madame de Pompadour’s artistic patronage in 18th century France. He studied art history at Birkbeck College before undertaking a Masters in Dutch Golden Age Studies at University College London. Before that Rupert had a 26-year career as a BBC journalist and finally as an editor in radio news.

16th November 2022  
Lecturer: Anna Warrillow 

History Of The City Of London As Told Through Its Stained Glass
The history of the City of London is a long and illustrious one, from Medieval plague to the Great Fire of London to the Blitz of the Second World War, we encounter stories as well as known personalities such as Dick Whittington, Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. The churches, Halls and civic buildings of the City house some of the most interesting stained-glass windows, each of which tells its own part of London’s story. Many of them have withstood the ravages of the Second World War and can chart their history back to the early foundations of the City. We shall be tracing the story of the City of London through its glass windows. Enjoy a fascinating journey through the streets of London to discover its hidden gems and learn about some of the best 19th, 20th and contemporary stained-glass windows in London.

Anna Warrillow 

Anna graduated as a Blue Badge Guide early in 2013 and won an award for the best new guide at Westminster Abbey. Since then she has been conducting bespoke private tours for discerning visitors to London. She established her own guiding company Canvas and Stone Tours in 2018 (www.canvasandstonetours.co.uk). Her background and passion is Art & History. She studied for my BA in History of Art & Italian at the University of Sussex and did her MA in Renaissance Decorative Arts & Design at the Royal College of Art.  She worked for 6 years as a curator in the Sculpture Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum as well as in smaller collections such as the Henry Moore Family Trust. As well as guiding she is an adjunct lecturer at Richmond The American International University in London where she teaches undergraduates The History of London.  She lectures regularly for art, history and academic societies as well as providing training courses and Continual Professional Development courses for students and guide members of the Institute of Tourist Guides.

Lectures 2023

18th January 2023
Lecturer: Jackie Klein

.A Picture a Day - Peggy Guggenheim and the birth of mid-century modernism
How did socialite and muse Peggy Guggenheim became one of the greatest collectors in the history of modern art? Friends with the leading cultural figures of her day, including Cecil Beaton, Jean Cocteau, Barbara Hepworth and Scott Fitzgerald, she was photographed by Man Ray, took advice from Marcel Duchamp and married – among others – the artist Max Ernst. She moved easily between the social elites of New York and the bohemia of Paris. So why did she start collecting contemporary art in the 1930s? What impact did her galleries have on artists and the art world? And how did a New York heiress play such a pivotal role in the making of mid-century Modernism?

15th February 2023
Lecturer: Simon Whitehouse

A Haaaand-Baaag? The Importance of Being Oscar (& Earnest)
  In this talk we look at Oscar’s great literary successes, beginning with The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1890 followed by 4 smash hit plays in 3 years. We focus especially on The Importance of Being Earnest. Described as ‘A Trivial Comedy for Serious People’, it was of its time and yet ahead of its time, satirising the shallowness and superficiality of upper class Victorian society. The play has hidden secrets - and this glittering triumph heralded the beginning of the author’s fatal final act… 2025 marks the 130th anniversary of the premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest.

15th March 2023
Lecturer: Chloe Sayer

British Travellers in Mexico, Lost Cities and Surreal Worlds
  With its mosaic of cultures, Mexico has long been a magnet for British travellers. In the nineteenth century, the 'lost' rainforest cities of the Maya were revealed by artist Frederick Catherwood and archaeologist Alfred Percival Maudslay. Eminent twentieth-century literary visitors included D. H. Lawrence and Graham Greene. Mexico holds an especial fascination for Surrealists. Edward James created a vast sculpture garden in subtropical rainforest. After a spell in an asylum, painter Leonora Carrington found freedom in Mexico. In our century, Martin Parr’s photographs focus on street culture, while Zandra Rhodes’ fashions echo the vibrant colours and patterns of modern Mexico.

19th April
Lecturer: Cindy Polemis

Picasso’s Year of Wonders
A  journey through one of the most remarkable years of Pablo Picasso’s extraordinary career. Picasso turned 50 in the autumn of 1931 and in the summer of 1932 he had his first major retrospective. He had achieved fame and success and was already an international celebrity but he was determined to prove he could still be daring and innovative. Highlighting key works throughout that year, this talk explores the man and artist in all his complexity.

17th May
Lecturer: Roger Mendham

The Art of the Automobile

The earliest cars were purely functional and lacked even the most basic of passenger comforts, such as doors or even windscreens to protect passengers from the elements. However, progress was rapid and by the mid-1920s we entered a golden age of the automobile. The Art Deco movement influenced designs and the ‘Great Gatsby era’ included some of the most famous and fabulous cars ever built. Then the cars of the 1930s and 40s were influenced by the Streamline Moderne style. This talk covers some of the most beautiful cars ever built, from the earliest ‘horseless carriages’ to the supercars of the 21st century.  

21st June
Lecturer: Briony Hudson

An Art to Cure 

Medical practitioners, their treatments and the diseases they were tackling were all portrayed in caricatures of the 18th and 19th century. Taking some of the best examples from British collections, created by artists including William Hogarth, James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, this lecture examines the depiction of apothecaries, pharmacists, quack medicines and illnesses in the period. Come prepared to laugh and wince in equal measure.

19th July
Lecturer: Sophie Matthews

Music in Art
So many of our historical references for musical instruments can be found in works of art. Not only can these windows into the past show us what they looked like but also the social context in which they would have been played. Music and instruments also play a strong role within symbolism in art. Sophie explores the instruments in selected works and then gives live demonstrations on replicas of them.