An introduction to this season’s lecturers.
Jane is the inspiration behind St James’s Art Tours and is responsible for the planning and
organisation of each tour, whether or not she leads it. She specialises in the cultures of the
Mediterranean world – Classical, Byzantine, Islamic – as well as that of Russia. She graduated in
Russian Studies and took a masters degree in Byzantine & Early Russian Art and Architecture. She
works as a free lance lecturer for a number of organisations, including NADFAS, the Art Fund and
Swan Hellenic Cruises. She speaks several foreign languages and has translated works of 19th
century Russian literature for Penguin Books and Oxford University Press.
Robin is a design historian with a strong interest in the history of domestic interiors and their
furnishings from Europe as well as colonial South Asia. After studying history at Durham University he
spent 12 years as a valuer with Sotheby’s and Phillip’s/Bonhams. He has a postgraduate diploma in
the History of Fine and Decorative Arts and a PhD in furniture history. He is an Associate Professor in
the School of Art and Design at Southampton Solent University and is author of numerous articles on
the decorative arts and design. His book, Interiors of Empire was published in 2007.
Toos de Peyer
Toos de Peyer is a retired lecturer in the History of Art. Her area of expertise is Netherlandish art of
the 15th-17th Centuries. Since her retirement she has specifically focused on the paintings and
drawings of Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1460-1516). She has given a number of conference papers and
lectures on this topic and hopes to live long enough to attend the important Jheronimus Bosch
conference in 2016. This conference will take place in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the city where the artist lived
and worked. It is one of a number of events with which the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch will mark the
500th year of the death of its most famous citizen.
Beth studied History at the University of Sussex where she also took a master’s degree in American
Studies. After working as a research historian for a number of years, she switched her career focus to
policy and practice within social care and supported housing. On retirement, she took a degree in Art
History which had been a long term passion. As well as an interest in European and American art,
she has a particular interest in the development of photography as an art medium. Beth has been
coordinator of Winchester Art History Group since the retirement of its founder, Bernard Courtis, in
Dr White has a PhD in Renaissance Studies from Warwick University and an MA in Medieval Studies
from York. She formerly worked for the National Trust as Collections Manager at Hardwick Hall,
Derbyshire. Now based in the Cotswolds, she works as a freelance lecturer, contributing to the MA on
‘The Country House: Art, History and Literature’ at Leicester University, as well as teaching continuing
education classes for Oxford University. Gillian gives talks to a wide circle of groups and is a NADFAS
lecturer. She is particularly interested in the late medieval, Tudor and Elizabethan periods, their
history, architecture and visual arts, as well as in the development of the country house.
Antonia Whitley’s first love is the Renaissance, the Italian Renaissance. She is also keen on the art of
the First World War and has run an MA course on art in the War Studies department at Kings College,
London. She enjoys reviewing exhibitions as well as lecturing for or at the National Gallery.
Antonia has taught art history for over sixteen years to adults of all ages, both newcomers and those
with a background in art. This activity takes place in Italy and in the UK, where she is regularly asked
to speak to Societies and Art History Groups. She loves sharing her enthusiasm with others. Her lec-
tures combine energy with expert knowledge.
She completed her MA and PhD at the Warburg Institute, London University.