Craft talks in London

Jan
10
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Introduction 1/8
Jan 10 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Introduction 1/8 @ 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 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Introduction to the Decorative Arts

The word “decorative” is usually associated with functional objects like tea pots; but if such objects are functional, how can they be purely “decorative”? Is not a painting, which has no other function than to decorate a room, more “decorative” than an object that is used? The first lecture in this series will look at the background to the development of the notions of “fine”, “decorative” and “applied” art.

Jan
15
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Exile and Splendour) 2/10
Jan 15 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Exile and Splendour) 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.

In this series of 10, we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

Exile and Splendour

The triumphant return of the Tudors in 1485 brought with it the Renaissance. We look at the Continental buildings that court and monarchy aspired to emulate and how and why this changed expectations at home. And why are staircases so significant?

Jan
17
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500 – 2000) Renaissance 2/8
Jan 17 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500 - 2000) Renaissance 2/8 @ 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 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

The Decorative Arts in the Renaissance

The Renaissance is famous for its painters and sculptors but its craftsmen are often forgotten. This lecture will focus on the masterpieces of furniture, metalwork and tapestry that furnished the rooms of Renaissance princes and nobles, exploring the contexts that gave them meaning as well as the materials and techniques that gave them form.

Jan
24
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Baroque 3/8
Jan 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Baroque 3/8 @ The Coure at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

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

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Furniture in the Baroque Age

Furniture came into its own in the seventeenth century when the tradition of cabinetmaking got underway. New types of object reflect dramatically changing life styles; the furnishing of private rooms, for instance, was unprecedented. And exotic materials, such as ebony and turtleshell, reflect Europeans ambitions with regard to the New World.

Jan
31
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Silver 4/8
Jan 31 @ 12:45 pm – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Silver 4/8 @ 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 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

The Art and Craft of the Silversmith

Because the very materials of gold and silver were used as currency for much of their history, the status of goldsmiths was always high and their products were often splendid. But precisely because silver objects were often regarded as a form of money, they were frequently melted down in times of need. The legacy of goldsmiths throughout the ages is intertwined with the history of aristocratic taste and patronage.

Feb
7
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) 18th C France 5/8
Feb 7 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) 18th C France 5/8 @ 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 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Pleasure and Sensation in 18th Century France

This talk will focus on the golden age of French interiors, exploring how new sensibilities among the Parisian nobility required a new style of living, a development that gave rise to some of the most delicious and fanciful pieces of furniture, silver and porcelain ever made.

Feb
14
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) The Industrial Revolution 6/8
Feb 14 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) The Industrial Revolution 6/8 @ 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 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

The Industrial Revolution & the Decorative Arts

The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on the decorative arts, bringing objects that had previously been associated with the nobility within reach of the ever growing middle-class. Radical new inventions and techniques reduced the cost of manufacturing products, leading to the evolution of shops and entrepreneurs, which led in turn to completely new attitudes towards taste.

Feb
21
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts in Europe (1500-2000) 19th Century 7/8
Feb 21 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts in Europe (1500-2000) 19th Century 7/8 @ 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 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Design Reform in the 19th Century

The Industrial Revolution transformed the world but, in the 19th century, some critics and commentators maintained that it also led to lower quality products and poor conditions for workers, and they called for reforms. This talk will discuss attempts to reinvest the world of commodities with dignity and propriety – for instance through the Arts and Crafts Movement and the Aesthetic Movement – as the modern world unfolded.

 

Feb
26
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (The Victorians) 8/10
Feb 26 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (The Victorians) 8/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

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

In this 10 part series we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

The Victorians

Under Queen Victoria the Empire prospered, and provided exciting furnishings and plant species, staff were plentiful and the vast interiors were made more liveable by new technologies, such as electricity. For the “have-nots”, though, the reality could be a festering urban slum from which only cafes, bars and pubs provided escape.

Feb
28
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts in Europe (1500 -2000) The Bauhaus and Beyond 9/9
Feb 28 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts in Europe (1500 -2000) The Bauhaus and Beyond 9/9 @ The Course at The Universsity Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

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

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Modernist Design: the Bauhaus and Beyond

The Bauhaus was the most innovative and influential school of design in the 20th century, combining avant-garde ideas about abstract art with a thoroughly conscientious approach to social reform and domestic living. Employing some of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century, the school combined an interest in nature with faith in industrial design.

Mar
5
Tue
The Course/Homes and Gardens (You Just Can’t Get the Staff …” 9/10
Mar 5 @ 10:45 am – 10:45 am
The Course/Homes and Gardens (You Just Can't Get the Staff ..." 9/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

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

In this 10 part series we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

“You Just Can’t Get The Staff……”

The 20th C begins with the Edwardian heyday of country house living and moves to the 1974 V&A exhibition, “The Destruction of the Country House”, which recorded the loss of some 1000 country houses in barely a century. Sustained for a while by American heiresses and the commercial classes, rural and aristocratic dominance collapses and the emphasis shifts to the demands of industry, the city and the middle classes.

Mar
12
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Stately Homes, Suburbs and Skyscrapers) 10/10
Mar 12 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Stately Homes, Suburbs and Skyscrapers) 10/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

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

In this 10 part series, we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

Stately homes, Suburbs and Skyscapers

The dominant focus of the 20th C is urban – and so, therefore, is its architecture. Towns spread, buildings rise ever higher and private gardens are a privilege – the 20th century takes us from P. G. Wodehouse to “Digging for Britain” and the Shard.