Lectures Plus

Materials to explore topics covered in lectures a bit further.

NBAS 25 June 2024 Lecture – The Jurassic World of Mary Anning - The 19th century palaeontologist and her discovery of fossils on the South coast

Dr Aaron Hunter - 25.6.24 lecture.jpgDr Aaron Hunter is a professional scientist and researcher with the University of Cambridge and a prize-winning London Blue Badge Guide, a Green Badge Guide for the City of London and Oxford, and a City of Bath Mayor's Guide. As a palaeontologist, he is an expert on fossils and prehistoric life. 

He will talk about the 19th century palaeontologist Mary Anning and discover how she searched the Jurassic rocks of England's south coast to unearth what were believed to be sea dragons and we now call marine reptiles. We will look at the social history and influences on Mary and the 19th century scientists that she would have worked with. We will not only look at these spectacular fossil remains, but also see how palaeontologists have revealed how these ancient extinct animals lived.

NBAS​​​​​​​ Lecture 28.5.24:  James Renshaw - Two Hellenistic Cities: Alexandria and Pergamon - HOW THESE CITIES CHANGED THE ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL LANDSCAPE, THEIR LEGACY EXAMINED

By 323 BC Alexander the Great had conquered the Persian empire and launched a new era of Mediterranean history, known today as the Hellenistic Age. The world had changed, and soon two cities emerged as centres of extraordinary culture and learning. In Egypt, Alexander conceived a vision of a new city to take his name: Alexandria. It soon became the intellectual hub of the ancient world, which saw extraordinary discoveries in science and mathematics, philosophy, and medicine. Its library was the greatest of the ancient world; moreover, its lighthouse was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. 


Sculpture by Antony Gormley, 'Another Time XXI 2013 (Coronation Parade)', 2017 (photo taken by Anna Moszynska)

The role of outdoor sculpture has changed substantially in recent times. Here I consider how the concept of elevated monument and memorial, familiar since classical antiquity, shifts now to a desire to engage the spectator in often surprising ways. In this talk, I look at different approaches to sculpture in the city; the emergence of the Sculpture Park across the globe; how artists make new works involving water; and how recent sculpture often involves exciting and unusual encounters with the public. Among the international figures discussed are Louise Bourgeois, Antony Gormley, Simone Leigh, Maya Lin, Richard Serra and Do Ho Suh - artists who also feature in my book, 'Sculpture Now'.

NBAS Lecture:  26 March 2024 by Vivienne Lawes - Clarice Cliff:  the doyenne of Art Deco.  A great innovator, how the bar was set for ceramics as a commercial art form

The Crocus Pattern – 1928 to 1963

This lecture explores an artist whose work, inventiveness, and ability to catch the zeitgeist is still admired a century after her bold 'Bizarre' wares were launched in 1927. These Art Deco masterpieces are the products that most vividly signify Clarice Cliff's legacy. She spent a lifetime innovating. Born in 1899, she was a working professional whose lifespan covered the period in which women broke through the barriers of the art world. While the Royal Academy barred women from accessing the full training and privileges of their male counterparts, the pottery industry was one that had traditionally offered female artists the opportunities to excel. Cliff's talents were recognised when she was still a teenager, and she went on to produce designs that keyed into the cutting-edge trends of the period, setting the bar for ceramics as a commercial art form.  


When Goya moved to the so-called house of the deaf man, he began painting the walls with some of the most extraordinary art ever seen and subsequently dubbed The Black Paintings not just for their dark colour but for their often dark and disturbing subject matter. This lecture considers the laborious yet not always careful process of taking Goya’s Black paintings off the walls of his home and eventually transferring them to the Prado in Madrid. It charts the extraordinary difficulties of removing them, considers why he painted such black visions and whether he wanted them ever to be seen. It considers his state of mind at the time; removed from the court, deaf and isolated.

Jacqueline Cockburn, our lecturer, is an art historian and linguist. After a career in academic teaching at Birkbeck college, University of London and Westminster School, she is now a freelance lecturer. She is course director and lecturer at the V & A and also lectures at The Royal Academy, The Art Fund, Artscapades, The London Art History Society, The Arts Society and a number of private institutions. Her focus is European Art 1850- 1950. Jacqueline is Managing Director of Art and Culture Andalucía running residential courses in Andalucía, Southern Spain in the art and culture of the region. She has recently published ‘A Taste of Art, London’ (Unicorn Press 2019).

How CalcuttA (Kolkata) played a major role in shaping the arts and culture of modern India. 

Our lecturer, Dr John Stevens, gained his PhD in History from UCL, before going on to teach British Imperial History, Indian History and Bengali Language at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London). His biography of the Indian guru Keshab Chandra Sen – Keshab: Bengal’s Forgotten Prophet - was published by Hurst and Oxford University Press in 2018. He is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh and has lectured at numerous Indian universities. He also works as a consultant on Indian affairs and teaches the Bengali language to private students. He has appeared many times in the Indian media, and was a guest on BBC Radio Four’s In Our Time, discussing the poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore.  John lived and worked in Kolkata for fifteen years so is in a wonderful position to illuminate our understanding of this great and important city.

Resurgam:  The music of st paul's cathedral - patrick craig - 31 October 2023

The last time St Paul’s Cathedral was deprived of music for a long period was after the devastating Fire of London in 1666. But in 1697 Christopher Wren was able to triumphantly declare RESURGAM as the phoenix rose from the ashes. Our lecturer, Patrick Craig, Vicar Choral at St Paul’s Cathedral, conductor and singer with the Tallis Scholars, looked at music from either side of this momentous event. He guided us through the finest repertoire from across the Cathedral’s liturgical year. Escorted by a selection of his favourite photographs, music and videos he set out to convey the glories of twenty-five years of singing in this extraordinary building. 


The lecture looked at Cookham's place in Spencer's art, and how it was central to his unique vision of English domestic and spiritual life. Dr Amy Lim is an art historian and curator, specialising in British fine and decorative arts from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. She is curator of the Farringdon Collection at Buscot Park, Oxfordshire, and of the  Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham. She is also an exhibition researcher at Tate, contributing to British Baroque: Power and Illusion (2020) and the forthcoming Women Artists in Britain. Amy has degrees in History and Literature & Arts from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. She runs an online art dealership, and has published articles and essays on a variety of art-related topics from gothic garden monuments to female patronage.  Click here for more information about Dr Amy Lim. 


A common thread links the Incas of Peru, the Maya of Central America, the Aztecs of Mexico and the Navajo of the American Southeast. Artists in cloth, they have created some of the finest textiles in the history of the world. Our lecturer, Chloë Sayer is a freelance specialist in Latin American art and culture. She is a Research Associate with the Department for World Cultures at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada, and curated their recent exhibition¡Viva México! Clothing & Culture (2015-2016). She is the author of the accompanying book, published in 2015. Her other books include MEXICAN TEXTILES (British Museum Press, 1990), THE ARTS AND CRAFTS OF MEXICO (Thames & Hudson, 1990), THE INCAS - THE ANCIENT WORLD (Wayland Publishers, 1998), TEXTILES FROM MEXICO  (British Museum Press, 2002) and FIESTA: DAYS OF THE DEAD AND OTHER MEXICAN FESTIVALS (British Museum Press, 2009). 

Lois Oliver: Berthe Morisot, “Une Finesse Fragonardienne”.   

Our lecture complemented the exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery: click on this link for details of exhibition to discover what set Morisot apart from her predecessors and contemporaries. 


For more information about Raphael, please visit the  Arts Society website,where our lecturer, Sian Walters provides information about him. 

music in art

For more information about our lecturer, please visitSophie Matthews' website. 

Click here  for an information sheet about her talk. 

Royal parks

For further information about the Royal Parks, please visit the  Royal Parks website. You can also find out more about our lecturer, Paul Rabbitts, and the books he has written on his website


Faber was founded as an independent publishing house in 1929 and had T. S. Eliot as its first Poetry Editor. Further information about Faber is available at  www.faber.co.uk In terms of books,there is Tony Faber's "Faber & Faber: The Untold Story" - or there is Joseph Connolly’s larger format book specifically about Faber covers – "Faber & Faber: Eighty Years of Book Cover Design". Finally, the firm also produces a box of 100 postcards, all using old covers. 

ballets russes

Established in Paris in 1909, the Ballets Russes brought about a revolution in classical dance, dazzling to the eye, which has had a lasting influence on all the Arts. Rosamund Bartlett, our lecturer on the Ballets Russes, recommends: Diaghilev: A Life by Sjeng Scheijen, published in 2010 by Profile Books. There is also an interesting overview on the  V&A website plus other information including an online display of photos.  

history of wallpaper

Click here  for suggestions from our lecturer, Joanna Banham, for following up the topics covered in her lecture on the history of wallpaper.


Dr Claire Walsh suggested the following resources to find out more about Churchill as an artist: website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell; books: Sir Winston Churchill: His Life and His Paintings by David Coombs and Minnie Churchill; Churchill: The Statesman as Artist by Professor Sir David Cannadine; Painting as a Pastime by Sir Winston S. Churchill; Winston Churchill: Painting on the French Riviera by Paul Rafferty and HRH The Prince of Wales


There are many interesting books about Charles Dickens but one that caught our eye is by John Mullan and is entitled "The Artful Dickens". The chapter on characters' names is especially interesting. You can get a copy in Bedford Library. This book may be a good way to follow up  Bertie Pearce's lecture.

from yuletide to nativity

Our lecturer, Dr Sam Newton is Director of the Study Centre at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk and a Time Team historian. Two of his books are 'The Origins of Beowulf' and 'The Reckoning of King Raedwald: the story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial'. Further information can be found  on his website.


Julia Musgrave  suggested the following books about Caravaggio that may be of interest if you want to find out more about his life and art:  Andrew Graham-Dixon, Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane, 2010  and Letizia Treves et al, Beyond Caravaggio, National Gallery London Publications, 2016.

picasso in britain

Dr Kate Aspinall gave us a lecture on Picasso in Britain: Art, Politics and Outcry. She looked at Picasso's connections with Britain at a time when the country was on the verge of an artistic renaissance. Additional resources to enable you to explore the topic further can be accessed by  clicking here

City of London Stained Glass

Alexandra Epps gave us a lecture on the modern stained glass in some of the City of London's historic churches. Click here for a list of the stained glass artists involved. You might also be interested in "The 100 Best Stained Glass Sites in London", a book by Caroline Swash; click here for details.  A map showing the location of the churches in the City of London can be found by clicking here. 

the camden town group

Nicola Moorby's lecture on Walter Sickert and the Camden Town Group provided an insight into the life and work of an innovative group of painters who came together in the years immediately before the First World War. More information is available from the  Tate's The Camden Town Group in Context.