This page shows our current programme of lectures and other events.

Please scroll down the page for details of lectures, special interest events and visits 

Our Lecture Programme - at the addison centre, kempston, starting at 11 am

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Sept 27th - Siân Walters: Raphael, A Master in the Making. Raphael had a meteoric rise to fame, from his birthplace in Urbino, to Rome where he created sublime work for Pope Julius 11, dying at at 37, a master of the High Renaissance. The lecture complements the 2022 Raphael exhibition at the National Gallery.

Oct 25th - Doug Gillen: Banksy, Bristol and beyond. The internet has made unknown figures and street artists global superstars. We see how this happened, with particular focus on the enigmatic Banksy.

Nov 29th - Jane Angelini: Symphonies in Colour, The Mosaics of Ravenna. Ravenna with its cluster of 5th and 6th century churches, baptistries and mausoleums contains some of the finest examples of early Christian art, a kaleidoscopic array of glittering wall mosaics.


Jan 31st - Elizabeth Gowing: Silver filigree and traditional arts in Kosovo. Generations of filigree artisans have honed their skills to produce jewellery, boxes, buttons, religious ornaments - a fine narrative of Kosovo’s history and traditions.

Feb 28th -  Sarah Burles: Cornwall Calling:the artists of Lamorna Cove, 1899-1914. The lives and work of the artists who settled in Cornwall before the outbreak of the World War: darkness and tragedy below the surface.

March 28th - Mathew Wilson:  Rubens: artist-diplomat of the 30 years war. The relationship between Rubens’s art and his diplomatic career which moved between France, Spain and Britain as he painted allegorical masterpieces and negotiated peace. 

April 25th -  Jacky Klein:  How art can save your life. An exploration of well-known and unexpected artworks to reveal their unique capacity for relieving the strains of contemporary life - for connecting, restoring and inspiring us.

May 30th - Lois Oliver: Berthe Morisot, “Une Finesse Fragonardienne” Lois is curating the Morisot exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Complementing the exhibition, we discover what set Morisot apart from her predecessors and contemporaries.

June 27th - Chloe Sayer:  “Weaving cultures of the Americas: the continuous Thread.” Weavers of the Incas of Peru, the Maya, the Aztecs, the Navajo: all artists in cloth, producing some of the finest textiles, using complex techniques.

Sept 26th - Cindy Polemis. ‘Let’s hear it for the Girls’. A look at emerging female artists  and who should be household names 

Oct 31st  - Patrick Craig: Resurgam: the music of St Paul’s Cathedral. The effects of the Great Fire of London and the finest music of the liturgical year.

Nov 28th - Bertie Pearce: “We are amused” A panorama of Victorian leisure, from the parlour to the seaside, via the nursery.                                                                          

Special Interest events

Audiences 5.jpg12th January 2023:  Stuart Harvey on  Zoom, 2pm, from Rome, TWO lectures: a virtual tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel (with no crowds as filmed just after lockdown).

19th October 2023: Tessa Boase - The Housekeeper’s Tale: the women who really ran the English Country House. In this two hour study afternoon, Tessa will explore the difficult and complex role of the housekeeper, her gruelling physical work, her capricious mistresses, her low pay and job insecurity. She often carried the family’s secrets with her to the grave, conserved its many treasures and yet has not been remembered by history. Lots of examples and fun stories!

General information

Guests are usually able to attend lectures at the cost of £10 per person. For students and members of other Arts Societies, this is reduced to £5 per person. In the case of The Arts Society Woburn Area, we currently have a reciprocal arrangement that enables members to attend each society's lectures at no additional cost. Guests and members of other societies are  welcome on our visits and study events at the published cost subject to places being available. 

area and national events

Members also have access to lectures, study days and other events provided at area level and by The Arts Society across the country. To see what is on offer, please use the following links:

The Arts Society Beds and Herts Area

The Arts Society