Jun
11
Mon
Summer in the medicinal garden: A series of afternoons exploring medical plants and herbal medicines
Jun 11 @ 1:30 pm – Sep 10 @ 6:00 pm
Summer in the medicinal garden: A series of afternoons exploring medical plants and herbal medicines @ Royal College of Physicians | England | United Kingdom

Join the Royal College of Physicians in their medicinal garden for a series of three afternoons exploring medical plants and herbal remedies past and present, celebrating the College’s 500th anniversary.

World renowned experts deliver talks on themes as diverse as plants in anaesthesia, the 400th birthday of one of Britain’s most influential book of medicines, poisons in the works of Agatha Christie, addictive herbs and modern food supplements.

With themed lectures, an expert-led garden tour and refreshments included each afternoon, there can be no better way to discover one of London’s most fascinating botanical gems this summer.

All events cost just £10 and are sure to sell out quickly. Reserve your place now using the links below.

Monday, 11 June 2018

A history of plants in anaesthesia by Dr David Wilkinson, former consultant anaesthetist, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and ‘Unicorn Horn and London Treacle’ a celebration of the 400th birthday of the publication of Pharmacopeia Londinensis by Tony Cartwright, retired pharmaceutical regulatory consultant.

Tickets for this event also include admission to the Poynter Lecture of the British Society for the History of Medicine at 6pm: ‘The Doctor as Collector’ by Dr Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society at the Wellcome Trust. For details of the Poytner Lecture, click here

Click here for more information and to book your place for this event.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Plants poison in the works of Agatha Christie, by Dr Kathryn Harkup, author of ‘A is for Arsenic: the poisons of Agatha Christie’ and a study of addictive substances derived from plants, from alcohol to morphine and cocaine, by Professor Graham Foster, Royal College of Physicians Garden Fellow and Professor of Hepatology.

Click here for more information and to book your place for this event.

Monday, 10 September 2018

‘Neutraceuticals’, Professor Ruth Andrew of the University of Edinburgh examines plant-based supplements and fortified food, and ‘Oranges and Lemons’ the true story of citrus fruits in scurvy told by Dr Henry Oakeley, Royal College of Physicians Garden Fellow and retired consultant psychiatrist.

Click here for more information and to book your place for this event.

Programme

1.30pm    Registration with refreshments
2pm         First lecture
3pm         Tea and coffee with garden tours of relevant plants by Royal College Garden Fellows
4pm         Second lecture
5pm         Drinks reception
6pm         Event finishes

 

Aug
21
Tue
Dinosaur Landscapes and the Beginnings of Flowers
Aug 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Dinosaur Landscapes and the Beginnings of Flowers @ Crystal Palace Museum | England | United Kingdom

Dinosaurs and dicots (that’s flowering plants to you and me) will be the focus of this exciting talk from a world expert on the evolution of plants and ecosystems. Sir Peter Crane, former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, will speak on behalf of the Palaeo Planting Project (PPP) from the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs. Sir Peter will give an overview of the evolution of flowers in the age of the dinosaurs, and then be joined by PPP garden designer Louise Yates to talk about how we are bringing this story to life in the world’s first Jurassic Park, the Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace.

Have a glass of wine, enjoy the talks, meet our speakers, and have a first look at the planting designs for our heritage site. With the support of the trustees of the Crystal Palace Museum, we welcome you to spend an evening with us in this charming venue.

About our speakers:

Sir Peter Crane is among the most lauded palaeontologists working today, and has been recognised for his contributions to science as a Fellow of the Royal Society (UK), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, (US) National Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the German Academy Leopoldina. He was the director of Kew Gardens and the Field Museum in Chicago, and is currently a professor at Yale University. The Queen knighted him for services to horticulture and conservation.

Louise Yates is a garden designer and actor, with a deep commitment to improving the green landscape of Crystal Palace. She is a co-chair of Transition Town Crystal Palace and has worked on gardens and public spaces throughout the area. Lou will present her designs for the Dinosaur Islands, and talk about how we are building a team of committed volunteers to keep the Dinosaur landscapes green and true to the story they were created to tell.

Sep
3
Mon
Becoming White Elk: The Jazz Age’s Greatest Impostor
Sep 3 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Becoming White Elk: The Jazz Age’s Greatest Impostor @ Conway Hall | England | United Kingdom

In the fall of 1917, Edgar Laplante, a real life cross between Tom Ripley and Jay Gatsby, reinvented himself as Chief White Elk: war hero, sports star, civil rights campaigner, Cherokee nation leader—and total fraud.

Edgar Laplante was a smalltime grifter, an erstwhile vaudeville performer, and an unabashed charmer. But after years of playing thankless gigs and traveling with medicine shows, he decided to undertake the most demanding and bravura performance of his life. In the fall of 1917, Laplante reinvented himself as Chief White Elk: war hero, sports star, civil rights campaigner, Cherokee nation leader—and total fraud.

Under the pretences of raising money for struggling Native American reservations, Laplante dressed in buckskins and a feathered headdress and traveled throughout the American West, narrowly escaping exposure and arrest each time he left town. When the heat became too much, he embarked upon a lucrative continent-hopping tour that attracted even more enormous crowds, his cons growing in proportion to the adulation of his audience. As he moved through Europe, he spied his biggest mark on the Riviera: a prodigiously rich Hungarian countess, who was instantly smitten with the con man.

The countess bankrolled a lavish trip through Italy that made Laplante a darling of the Mussolini regime and a worldwide celebrity, soaring to unimaginable heights on the wings of his lies. But then, at the pinnacle of his improbable success, Laplante’s overreaching threatened to destroy him…

Paul Willetts brings this previously untold story to life in all its surprising absurdity, showing us how our tremendous capacity for belief and our longstanding obsession with celebrity can make fools of us all—and proving that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Paul’s biography of Laplante, King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age’s Greatest Impostor, will be on sale on the night.

Three Problems With The Screen Time Debate
Sep 3 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The debate about children and technology has increasingly captured public interest over the past year. Public conversations about screen time have gradually become more heated and divisive; scientific evidence often becomes a casualty in the process.
Over the past few months, the UK government has been collecting written and oral evidence to complete a parliamentary inquiry about the effects of social media and screen time on child well-being.
Professor Andrew Przbylski will look at how to tell the difference between evidence, scaremongering and moral panic.
Andrew Przbylski is a social scientist based at the University of Oxford. His research applies Self-Determination Theory, a macro-theory of human motivation, to study a wide range of psychological processes. His primary interests are focused on the role of motivation for people when they are engaged with virtual and real-life environments.
In particular, he is interested in what makes electronic games and social media motivating and what leads people to vary in the degree to which they succeed in regulating their engagement.
£3 contribution to cover expenses.

Sep
4
Tue
Fortean London: London Bridge Ghosts and Lore
Sep 4 @ 8:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Fortean London: London Bridge Ghosts and Lore @ The Miller | England | United Kingdom

Celebrate the ghosts and urban legends of the London Bridge, Borough and Bermondsey area as the London Fortean Society arrives for a series of talks at The Miller pub.

Travis Elborough – London Bridge in America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing
In 1968 the world’s largest antique went to America. But how do you transport a 130-year-old bridge 3,000 miles? And why did Robert P. McCulloch, a multimillionaire oil baron and chainsaw-manufacturing king, buy it? Why did he ship it to a waterless patch of the Arizonan desert? Did he even get the right bridge?

Join author Travis Elborough for the story of the man who bought London Bridge.

Ghosts of South London.
Poltergeists, shapeshifters, phantom Robin Reliants: South London has all the paranormal boxes ticked. George Hoyle, musician, story-teller and host of the South East London Folklore Society will tell the tales hidden in plain site.

The London Bridge Spike and other Urban Legends
Why is there a wonky concrete spike at the south end of London Bridge? Is it a sundial? A memorial to the heads spiked on previous incarnations of the bridge? Or does it mean something else entirely? London Fortean Society host and author Scott Wood discusses this and other south London urban legends.

Sep
5
Wed
The psychology of conspiracy theories
Sep 5 @ 7:30 pm

Was 9/11 an inside job?  Is climate change a hoax?  Was Princess Diana murdered?  Millions of people appear to think so, disbelieving official explanations for significant events in favour of alternative accounts that are often called ‘conspiracy theories’.  In recent years, psychologists have begun to investigate what makes conspiracy theories appealing to so many people.  In this talk, I will broadly overview what psychologists have found out so far, and will discuss some of my own findings on the causes and consequences of conspiracy theory belief.

Karen Douglas is a Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Kent.  In addition to conducting work on the psychology of conspiracy theories, she is involved in projects examining sexism in language, the influence of sexist ideology on attitudes toward pregnant women, and the psychology of internet behaviour.

Sep
11
Tue
After Man: A Zoology of the Future
Sep 11 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
After Man: A Zoology of the Future @ Conway Hall | England | United Kingdom

What would life on earth look like in 50 million years; long after the extinction of humanity?

Join Dougal Dixon, palaeontologist, geologist and author, in conversation with vertebrate palaeontologist and science writer Darren Naish to mark the return of Dixon’s astonishing speculative-evolution book ‘After Man: A Zoology of the Future’.

Dougal imagined and beautifully illustrated this new world and its creatures in his 1981 book ‘After Man’ and brought to life the wondrous predatory mole-beasts the Desert Sharks, the mega-penguin Vortex, rodent wolf Falanx and the flightless and terrifying bat descendant the Night Stalker.

Setting his scenario in the distant future, about 50 million years from now, he has given the members of his new animal kingdom time to undergo dramatic changes in structure and behaviour. But in doing this he has never allowed himself to become too outlandish in his invention. He has created his fauna of the future so painstakingly that each kind of animal teaches us an important lesson about the known processes of past evolution. By introducing us to fictitious examples of these factual processes, his book is not only great fun to read, but also has real scientific value
From the introduction by Desmond Morris

Dougal Dixon graduated Bachelor of Science in geology from The University of St Andrews in 1970 and Master of Science in 1972. He is a full-time writer and book editor specializing in the earth sciences including After Man: a zoology of the future, The New Dinosaurs, in which he described the zoogeography of the world by describing what life might be like today had the dinosaurs not become extinct and Greenworld in which human impact on natural ecosystems is examined by following the history of human colonization of a lush and habitable alien planet.

Darren Naish is a British vertebrate palaeontologist and science writer. He obtained a geology degree at the University of Southampton and studied vertebrate palaeontology under British palaeontologist David Martill at the University of Portsmouth. He is founder of the blog Tetrapod Zoology, created in 2006.

Copies of ‘After Man: A Zoology of the Future’ will be on sale on the night via the publisher Breakdown Press.

Sep
17
Mon
The Gods of the Platonic Tradition 1
Sep 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The first of three evenings exploring the nature of the Gods as understood by the Platonists of the ancient world.

The Platonic tradition (which properly speaking should be seen as predating Plato himself) is an identifiable set of general ideas and practices which were handed on from one generation to the next for well over a thousand years, and which only ceased as the primary western philosophic teaching when the Christian Church established itself in a position of enforceable dominance in the late Roman Empire. The tradition was rooted in a pagan veneration of polytheistic Gods, while at the same time it recognized a singular First Principle – a transcending First God. How are we to understand this theological framework, so strange to the modern mind? Is a recognition of the Gods an optional extra in Platonic philosophy – an element we can eliminate without damage to its metaphysical and ethical structures? In what way do the mythological tales of Gods and heroes both reveal and obscure the part played by the Gods in Platonic philosophy? Can we look behind the vivid and beautiful stories and find the truths which so inspired the sages of the ancient tradition?

In a series of three linked evenings we will look at number of passages from the writings of some of the finest thinkers of the tradition with a view to seeing again the world with their eyes – perhaps to the point at which we can say with them “all things are full of the Gods.” Each of the three evenings will begin with a short introduction to an aspect of the subject and then move on to the extracts to be read: we should have at least an hour to discuss the ideas arising from these passages. In this first evening we’ll look at the metaphysical place of the Gods in Platonic philosophy.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Sep
19
Wed
The Course/20th Century London: A City in Flux (Imperial London) 1/10
Sep 19 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course/20th Century London: A City in Flux (Imperial London) 1/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

Imperial London

 

In this lecture we will see how at the turn of the 20th Century, London was capital to the world’s largest Empire. This Imperial self-confidence, soon to be dented by the Great War, manifested itself most fully in the Jubilee for Queen Victoria and a ceremonial refashioning of key areas of central London.

Sep
20
Thu
The Course / The Art of Dress in Literature, and Life (Dress in Shakespeare’s Time) 1/3
Sep 20 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Art of Dress in Literature, and Life (Dress in Shakespeare's Time) 1/3 @ The Course at the University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 3 part series, you will from shimmering silks and sumptuous satins, glittering gold brocade to sheer muslin gowns,  how artists through the ages have revelled in depicting details of dress.  Whether clinging to every contour or concealing the shape of the wearer, clothing can create dynamism and drama – stories that contemporaries could read. Through the words of key dramatists and writers, and portraits in paint and print, this course will investigate how character can be created through clothing.

“Pins and Poking Sticks”: Dress in Shakespeare’s Time

“God has given you one face and you make yourself another” says Hamlet – condemning the use of make-up, and the fine line between “art” and “artifice”.  With a focus on the heavily “painted” face of Elizabeth 1 (whom Spenser termed the “Faerie Queene”) we will consider the words of moralists, playwrights, painters and poets as they created impossible images of ageless.

Sep
24
Mon
The Course / History of German Art (Tilman Riemenschneider) 1/9
Sep 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / History of German Art (Tilman Riemenschneider) 1/9 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In this series on German Art, we will go from medieval to modern Germany through artists who would come to be a major influence not just on Northern art but also on the Italian Renaissance and ultimately European art. It will begin in the 1460s and demonstrate the interconnectivity of German artists through their itinerancy, their ingenuity, and rigorous work ethic. Each of the weekly lectures will take a look at an individual artist and in so doing take us from the medieval wood carvings of Tilman Riemenschneider, to the Renaissance art of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein the Younger, to the Baroque art of Adam Elsheimer; from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism and finally to German art of the 19th century with its impact on French Impressionism.

Tilman Riemenschneider (c. 1460 – 1531)

The first lecture will look at Tilman Riemenschneider whose precise record is not known but he was probably born around 1460 at Heiligenstadt im Eichsfeld in present-day Thuringia. Principally a wood carver, we will look at the materials he used and how he came to the trade of sculpting and woodcarving, examine his arrival in Würzburg (at 18) and his itinerant lifestyle. There is scant evidence of this life but we will look at the likely contact and influence of another German artist on his work – Martin Schöngauer, on whose copper engravings he later based his wood carvings.

Sep
27
Thu
The Course / The Art of Dress in Literature, and Life (Jane Austen’s World) 2/3
Sep 27 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Art of Dress in Literature, and Life (Jane Austen's World) 2/3 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 3 part series, you will from shimmering silks and sumptuous satins, glittering gold brocade to sheer muslin gowns,  how artists through the ages have revelled in depicting details of dress.  Whether clinging to every contour or concealing the shape of the wearer, clothing can create dynamism and drama – stories that contemporaries could read. Through the words of key dramatists and writers, and portraits in paint and print, this course will investigate how character can be created through clothing.

Men in Black, Women in White?  Jane Austen’s World

In the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy certainly made a “splash” in his crisp linen shirt (who could forget the scene as he emerged from the lake)?  In an earlier era, Lawrence Olivier cut a dash with Greer Garson on the silver screen.  To what extent did these adaptations really reflect the clothing and culture of Jane Austen’s world, or merely the worlds in which they were made?

Oct
1
Mon
The Gods of the Platonic Tradition – 2
Oct 1 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The second of three evenings exploring the nature of the Gods as understood by the Platonists of the ancient world.

The Platonic tradition (which properly speaking should be seen as predating Plato himself) is an identifiable set of general ideas and practices which were handed on from one generation to the next for well over a thousand years, and which only ceased as the primary western philosophic teaching when the Christian Church established itself in a position of enforceable dominance in the late Roman Empire. The tradition was rooted in a pagan veneration of polytheistic Gods, while at the same time it recognized a singular First Principle – a transcending First God. How are we to understand this theological framework, so strange to the modern mind? Is a recognition of the Gods an optional extra in Platonic philosophy – an element we can eliminate without damage to its metaphysical and ethical structures? In what way do the mythological tales of Gods and heroes both reveal and obscure the part played by the Gods in Platonic philosophy? Can we look behind the vivid and beautiful stories and find the truths which so inspired the sages of the ancient tradition?

In a series of three linked evenings we will look at number of passages from the writings of some of the finest thinkers of the tradition with a view to seeing again the world with their eyes – perhaps to the point at which we can say with them “all things are full of the Gods.” Each of the three evenings will begin with a short introduction to an aspect of the subject and then move on to the extracts to be read: we should have at least an hour to discuss the ideas arising from these passages.

In this second evening we’ll look at the depiction of the Gods in the myths of ancient Greece and explore the relationship between the metaphysics and mythology of the Gods. We will begin with a brief summary of the main points of the previous session’s explorations.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Oct
2
Tue
The Course / History of German Art (Martin Schöngauer) 2/9
Oct 2 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / History of German Art (Martin Schöngauer) 2/9 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In this series on German Art, we will go from medieval to modern Germany through artists who would come to be a major influence not just on Northern art but also on the Italian Renaissance and ultimately European art. It will begin in the 1460s and demonstrate the interconnectivity of German artists through their itinerancy, their ingenuity, and rigorous work ethic. Each of the weekly lectures will take a look at an individual artist and in so doing take us from the medieval wood carvings of Tilman Riemenschneider, to the Renaissance art of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein the Younger, to the Baroque art of Adam Elsheimer; from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism and finally to German art of the 19th century with its impact on French Impressionism.

Martin Schöngauer (active 1469; died 1491)

The second lecture in this series will look at Martin Schöngauer who like many Italian Renaissance artists had a background in the goldsmith trade, influenced by his father the goldsmith Caspar Schöngauer. Although there is no precise recording of when he was born it is believed to be in Colmar in 1469. He was known as an engraver and we will look at his most famous works along with his paintings and those of his workshop, examining the dissemination of these and their wider impact on German art.

Oct
3
Wed
The Course/20th Century London: A City in Flux (Philanthropy) 2/10
Oct 3 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course/20th Century London: A City in Flux (Philanthropy) 2/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

Philanthropy

Paradoxically, the Imperial city was also home to a huge impoverished population, one which caused both concern and fear among the ruling classes. The Philanthropic movements, beginning in the late 19th century, sought to bring a healthier life both morally and physically, to the population of the city, and their activities were re-focused and expanded by the newly formed London County Council.

Hypnosis: the state of the science
Oct 3 @ 7:30 pm

Hypnosis is a valuable method for studying different facets of conscious awareness yet it continues to be one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood phenomena in psychology. Here I will dispel widespread myths and misconceptions about hypnosis and describe what psychologists, neuroscientists, and clinicians have learned about this fascinating phenomenon.

Devin Terhune is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London where he studies conscious awareness and its top-down regulation. His primary interests concern the neurocognitive basis of time perception and individual differences in hypnotic suggestibility.

Oct
4
Thu
The Course / The Art of Dress in Literature, and Life (The Age of Dickens) 3/3
Oct 4 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Art of Dress in Literature, and Life (The Age of Dickens) 3/3 @ The Course at the University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In this three part series, you will see from shimmering silks and sumptuous satins, glittering gold brocade to sheer muslin gowns, how artists through the ages have revelled in depicting details of dress.  Whether clinging to every contour or concealing the shape of the wearer, clothing can create dynamism and drama – stories that contemporaries could read. Through the words of key dramatists and writers, and portraits in paint and print, this course will investigate how character can be created through clothing.

Corsets & Crinolines:  The Age of Dickens

In the Victorian age the line between “gentleman” and “gent” was finely drawn (Charles Dickens was the latter – as could be discerned from his rather flash waistcoats).  The language of clothing was vital to Dickens and his readers to denote his varied characters who could “splash the cash” or be “ever so humble”.  His contemporary Thomas Hardy, and painters Frith, Rossetti, Millais (and many more) will help us to shed light on the colourful, crinoline era.

Oct
11
Thu
The Course / Japanese Art & Modern Culture (The Art of the Court) 1/7
Oct 11 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Japanese Art & Modern Culture (The Art of the Court) 1/7 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

The aim of this course is to provide a contextual background to Japan’s traditional arts and crafts and to show how they have influenced Western art and developed into contemporary culture in various fields, including architecture and design, painting and printmaking, textiles, fashion and social youth culture.

The Art of the Court: palaces, temples & shrines

Heian Culture, Buddhism and Shinto Arts
Festivals and observances.

Oct
15
Mon
The Gods of the Platonic Tradition – 3
Oct 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The third of three evenings exploring the nature of the Gods as understood by the Platonists of the ancient world.

The Platonic tradition (which properly speaking should be seen as predating Plato himself) is an identifiable set of general ideas and practices which were handed on from one generation to the next for well over a thousand years, and which only ceased as the primary western philosophic teaching when the Christian Church established itself in a position of enforceable dominance in the late Roman Empire. The tradition was rooted in a pagan veneration of polytheistic Gods, while at the same time it recognized a singular First Principle – a transcending First God. How are we to understand this theological framework, so strange to the modern mind? Is a recognition of the Gods an optional extra in Platonic philosophy – an element we can eliminate without damage to its metaphysical and ethical structures? In what way do the mythological tales of Gods and heroes both reveal and obscure the part played by the Gods in Platonic philosophy? Can we look behind the vivid and beautiful stories and find the truths which so inspired the sages of the ancient tradition?

In a series of three linked evenings we will look at number of passages from the writings of some of the finest thinkers of the tradition with a view to seeing again the world with their eyes – perhaps to the point at which we can say with them “all things are full of the Gods.” Each of the three evenings will begin with a short introduction to an aspect of the subject and then move on to the extracts to be read: we should have at least an hour to discuss the ideas arising from these passages.

In this third evening we’ll will explore the orders and particular functions of the various Gods, especially as they become more explicitly described in the writing of the neoplatonists. We will begin with a brief summary of the main points of the previous sessions’ explorations.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Oct
16
Tue
The Course / History of German Art (Albrecht Dürer) 3/9
Oct 16 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / History of German Art (Albrecht Dürer) 3/9 @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In this series on German Art, we will go from medieval to modern Germany through artists who would come to be a major influence not just on Northern art but also on the Italian Renaissance and ultimately European art. It will begin in the 1460s and demonstrate the interconnectivity of German artists through their itinerancy, their ingenuity, and rigorous work ethic. Each of the weekly lectures will take a look at an individual artist and in so doing take us from the medieval wood carvings of Tilman Riemenschneider, to the Renaissance art of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein the Younger, to the Baroque art of Adam Elsheimer; from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism and finally to German art of the 19th century with its impact on French Impressionism.

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

Here we will explore the early life and works of this precocious youth who was born in Nuremberg in 1471 and examine the enduring influence he had on the Italian Renaissance, not to mention what the Italian Renaissance had on him. The map of Europe was determined by the Holy Roman Empire and the countries we know today were groups of city states which shared aspects of language and culture. Trade between them allowed the spread of goods and ideas to flourish. He was one of the very first artists to write about himself and left a vast body of autobiographical writings, convinced that posterity would be interested in him. He wrote extensively on art practice including treatises on measurement and human proportion in order to educate future German artists because he was determined to counter the view that Germans were “a race of savage drunkards from a wild country with a poor climate, responsible for the destruction of ancient Rome”.

Oct
17
Wed
The Course / 20th Century London: A City in Flux (Interwar Anxiety and Development) 3/10
Oct 17 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / 20th Century London: A City in Flux (Interwar Anxiety and Development) 3/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

Interwar Anxiety and Development

The period between the wars saw the city and the country confronted with a series of problems, partly addressed through new institutions or the reformulation of older ones. It was the period of the “Homes for Heroes”, of the development of the BBC and of the London Underground.

Oct
18
Thu
The Course / Japanese Art & Modern Culture (Samurai Culture) 2/7
Oct 18 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Japanese Art & Modern Culture (Samurai Culture) 2/7 @ The Course at the University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

The aim of this course is to provide a contextual background to Japan’s traditional arts and crafts and to show how they have influenced Western art and developed into contemporary culture in various fields, including architecture and design, painting and printmaking, textiles, fashion and social youth culture.

Samurai Culture: martial arts & fine arts

Medieval society, Bushido, swords, painting & calligraphy
The artisan class, crafts & innovations.

Oct
23
Tue
The Course / The History of German Art (Lucas Cranach the Elder) 4/9
Oct 23 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of German Art (Lucas Cranach the Elder) 4/9 @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In this series on German Art, we will go from medieval to modern Germany through artists who would come to be a major influence not just on Northern art but also on the Italian Renaissance and ultimately European art. It will begin in the 1460s and demonstrate the interconnectivity of German artists through their itinerancy, their ingenuity, and rigorous work ethic. Each of the weekly lectures will take a look at an individual artist and in so doing take us from the medieval wood carvings of Tilman Riemenschneider, to the Renaissance art of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein the Younger, to the Baroque art of Adam Elsheimer; from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism and finally to German art of the 19th century with its impact on French Impressionism.

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)

Cranach was one of the leading German painters and printmakers of the early 16th century with an incredibly successful workshop. He was the Elector of Saxony’s court painter and the official portraitist of Martin Luther, as well as the Reformation’s chief artist. We will examine Cranach’s output, style of painting and how that style changed as he became more involved with the cause of the Reformation. His altarpieces, Lutheran subject pictures, portraits, as well as mythological works and nudes will all be studied. We will also investigate the success of Cranach among Humanist scholars, rulers, religious leaders and the controversy that still surrounds some of his works.

Oct
25
Thu
The Course / Japanese Art and Modern Culture (Architecture and Gardens) 3/7
Oct 25 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Japanese Art and Modern Culture (Architecture and Gardens) 3/7 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

The aim of this course is to provide a contextual background to Japan’s traditional arts and crafts and to show how they have influenced Western art and developed into contemporary culture in various fields, including architecture and design, painting and printmaking, textiles, fashion and social youth culture.

Architecture & Gardens: villas, tea houses & modern Style

In this lecture, you will see how Japanese space & contemporary tea houses
Influenced Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Bauhaus

Oct
30
Tue
The Course / History of German Art (Hans Holbein the Younger) 5/9
Oct 30 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / History of German Art (Hans Holbein the Younger) 5/9 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In this series on German Art, we will go from medieval to modern Germany through artists who would come to be a major influence not just on Northern art but also on the Italian Renaissance and ultimately European art. It will begin in the 1460s and demonstrate the interconnectivity of German artists through their itinerancy, their ingenuity, and rigorous work ethic. Each of the weekly lectures will take a look at an individual artist and in so doing take us from the medieval wood carvings of Tilman Riemenschneider, to the Renaissance art of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein the Younger, to the Baroque art of Adam Elsheimer; from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism and finally to German art of the 19th century with its impact on French Impressionism.

Hans Holbein the Younger

Hans Holbein was born in c.1497-8 in Augsburg and was taught by his father, Hans Holbein the Elder. Recommended to the court of Henry VIII by the humanist Erasmus Deriderius, he spent two periods of his life in England (1526-8 and 1532-43), portraying the nobility of the Tudor court. We will look at his work including his most famous portraits, Henry VIII and “The Ambassadors”. The latter, an enigmatic full-length double portrait is a political statement as much as a record of two friends (Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve, the Bishop of Lavaur) at a time of turmoil and upheaval (1533) when Henry VIII was seeking to divorce Catherine of Aragon in order to re-marry Anne Boleyn.