Previous LecturesWe will be archiving the lectures as we go through the year, so you can look back on lectures, perhaps look at some of the links associated with them.Thursday 15th November 2018. AGMThe Story of the Cook Sisters and how they used Opera to Save Lives.Anne Sebba BA (Hons)Ida and Louise Cook were destined never to marry after decimation of the men of their generation in World War One. When Ida became a successful Mills and Boon novelist they used their earnings to indulge their love of opera, travelling all over the world but especially to Salzburg. Familiarity with Austria enabled these two eccentric opera loving sisters to undertake dangerous undercover missions in the 1930s rescuing Jewish musicians and others from the Nazis.This talk will explore the world of Opera in the 1920s and 30s - the clothes, music, celebrities, and the signed photographs coveted by fans. It will also show how Opera transformed the lives not just of these two sisters but of at least 29 families they saved. In 2010 the Government posthumously created the Cook sisters British Heroes of the Holocaust. BBC page on the Cook Sisters and their history.Thursday 18th October 2018'The Dregs of the People Remain' : the Black Death and its Aftermath, its Impact on the People and how they reacted in Society and Art.Imogen Corrigan BA (Hons)It is possible to see a shift in artistic tastes following the plague years which began in the mid C14th. This is understandable considering that we now know that at least 60% of the population of Europe and beyond perished in the first wave and that the disease recurred over the next 130 years. There is a distinct increase in interest in the macabre, but also in explorations of what will happen in the next life; some of it surprisingly optimistic and amusing. We see more interest in ex-pagan images and specific demands for spiritual protection and so what might be seen as a dust-to-dust mentality also becomes one of no tragedy, no triumphThe history of the Black Death and the effects.The Black Death, will it ever end?A “BLUE-BADGE” LED VISIT TO CAMBRIDGE Wednesday, 10th October, 2018 Our planned visit in the Autumn is to the city of Cambridge – home to so many well-known places of interest, such as King’s College and the Grand Arcade. On arrival coffee and biscuits will be available and we shall then have the services of two Blue-Badge guides who will take us on a tour lasting approximately 1½-2 hours. In the afternoon we will have guides to show us around the Fitzwilliam Art Gallery.Wednesday, 3rd October Christopher Garibaldi (Director of National Horse Racing Museum, Newmarket) "Treasures of the Turf and a Survey of Royal Patronage of Silver"From the late seventeenth century to the modern period this lecture looks at the development of the sport of horseracing in England through its associated cultural material. Using the wealth of paintings, archive material and decorative art objects associated with and depicting the ‘Sport of Kings’, the lecture will take as its starting point the earliest origins of the sport including the development of Newmarket and the Jockey Club as racing’s ‘Headquarters’. Treasures of the Turf also explores other influential racing circuits and because of the national nature of the sport can be adapted to include links to the local area. If these lectures are of interest to you please download the form and return it, with your cheque for £26, made payable to The Arts Society Rutland, to Ann Kanter. Click here for a booking form and further informationClick here for the National Horse Racing Museum web siteThursday 20th September 2018The Punch and Judy Show - A Subversive Symbol from Commedia Dell'Arte to the Present Day.Bertie Pearce BA (Hons)A puppet play that would have featured a version of Punch was first recorded in England in May 1662, by the diarist Samuel Pepys. Mr Punch was in Covent Garden at the restoration of the monarchy in 1662, and he was at the Millennium Dome exhibition in Greenwich in 2000 when Punch and Judy shows played daily. He’s got the hump, and he’s keeping it, despite Punch and Judy shows being identified in a government website as one of the twelve most important British icons including Stonehenge, a cup of tea, Alice in Wonderland and the Routemaster bus.The history of Punch & JudyV&A Page on Punch & JudyPulliciniello, the Commedia dell’Arte servant, Engraving by Jacques Callot, about 1622. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.Thursday 21st June 2018Addition payment requiredAnniversary Celebratory Lecture and Lunch at Stanford HallIntoxicating CocktailMary Alexander BA (Hons) MABetween the wars, Paris was the hub of cutting edge experiments in the visual and performing arts. The city became a magnet for international creative talent, including African-American musicians escaping the restrictions of racial segregation and Prohibition at home. The new 'jazz hot' brought together audiences from the artistic avant-garde, the music halls and the exotic cabarets of Montmartre. A vibrant modernist design style emerged from this dynamic cultural fusion. We will meet the artists, designers, musicians, dancers and impresarios and recreate how it felt to be in the middle of this exciting new cocktail of talent.Click here for the booking formArt Deco influencesThursday 17th May 2018William Orpen (1878-1931) Still an OutsiderAnn Clements BA, FRSAMajor Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen, KBE, RA, RHA was an Irish artist who worked mainly in London. Orpen was a fine draughtsman and a popular, commercially successful, painter of portraits for the well-to-do in Edwardian society, though many of his most striking paintings are self-portraits - right.During the First World War, he was the most prolific of the official artists sent by Britain to the Western Front. There he produced drawings and paintings of ordinary soldiers, dead men, and German prisoners of war, as well as portraits of generals and politicians. Most of these works, 138 in all, he donated to the British government and they are now in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.Background on William OrpenTate page on Orpen.Thursday 19th April 2018Vivaldi in VenicePeter Medhurst GRSM, ARCMVivaldi is the one Baroque composer whose music is a direct reflection of the city in which it was composed. Listen to a Vivaldi concerto and hey presto you are transported directly to the heart of 18th century Venice. The reasons for this are many – Vivaldi’s passion for colour, display and spectacle in his music; the unusual way in which Venice solved its problems with the poor and the homeless; Vivaldi’s health problems and his eccentricities as a man and a priest. Against the luxurious backdrop of 18th century Venice, and with live musical performances, this lecture explores the amazing world of Vivaldi’s music - music that is as intrinsically Venetian as the canvasses of Canaletto. Click here to go to Peter Medhurst’s own web page.History of the Medici (fully booked)Douglas Skeggs MA (Cantab)Wednesday 11 April 2018Egleton Bird Watching Centre, LE15 8BTNo synopsis available yet.The Medici family banking businessReview of this study dayGuardian article on an exhibition on the Medici family at the National Gallery in 2011Thursday 15th March 2018From Egg to Bacon : English Painting 1850-1950Linda Smith BA ( Hons) MAThis talk gives an account of developments in British painting (and the occasional sculpture) from the days of the Pre-Raphaelites to the aftermath of World War Two. This was a particularly fertile period in the history of art, and the talk pays particular attention to the way in which developments in Paris were received by the London art world; and how British artists contributed to the exciting exchange of new ideas.Above: Past & Present No.1 Egg TateSome of the artists mentioned and/or discussed (but always subject to change): Augustus Egg, The Pre-Raphaelites, James Tissot, Albert Moore, James McNeil Whistler, Gwen John, Augustus John, Walter Sickert, The Bloomsbury Group, The Vorticists, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon.Above: Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944. Bacon TateBackground to August EggBackground to Francis BaconThursday 15th February 2018Romancing the Rails: British Railway Posters On Track with the World's BestCharles Harris B.Sc Iowa StateThe Flying Scotsman, Golden Arrows, Belles and Pullmans; no wonder Betjeman still stands in awe at St Pancras. Covering the Golden Age of British Railways, the era of the Big Four 1923 – 1947, this lecture celebrates the most romantic period of our British travel history. You’ll see how the best travel posters connect with your heart and your mind, and how they have closely reflected the evolution of British holidays.National Railway Museum Posters web siteThursday 18th January 2018To the Far Side of the World, (James Cook's third and final voyage in 1776)Peter WarwickThe moving story of Captain Robert Falcon Scots’ last and fatal Terra Nava expedition to the Antarctica and the ‘race’ to the South Pole. The lecture assesses Scot’s leadership abilities and challenges the widely held view that he was a bungler. The centenary of Scott’s death was in March 2012. Click here to read Captain Scotts last letter.