Programme Sep – Dec 2012

Van_Gogh_-_Avenue_of_Plane_Trees_near_Arles_StationTHEME:  Landscapes


Wednesday 12th September, 10.30-12.30pm, Winchester Discovery Centre.

Arts and Crafts in Church Architecture:  Alec Hamilton
The Arts and Crafts Movement found its architectural expression overwhelmingly
in houses – the domestic expressed its ideas best. But what of the form that had
made architectural reputations in the two or three previous generation –
ecclesiastical architecture? What happens when the socialist, secular, humanist
enthusiasts of the Arts & Crafts are asked to build churches? What happens when
rich and sophisticated believers, determined to stem the apparent rise of unbelief
cast around for an architect to build them a church that will express and embody
their faith? Can there be such a thing as an Arts & Crafts church? Is it just a
church with a cat-slide roof, some striking glass and a gleaming copper crucifix?
Or is it, despite itself, a new way of talking about God? Is God there at all? We will
look at around 30 examples to explore the way in which clients and architects
struggled to be true to their ideals and credos between 1885 and the Great War.
Wednesday 3rd October, 2pm, The Hall and Library, Bedales School, Steep.
An opportunity to see these Grade 1 listed buildings designed by Ernest Gimson,
whom Pevsner described as “the greatest of the English architect-designers”.
The visit will include an introduction to the history of the school by the
Librarian/Archivist, Jane Kirby.

Wednesday 10th October, 10-30-12.30pm, Winchester Discovery Centre

Glorious Gardens of Tuscany:  Dr. Antonia Whitley
Tuscany conjures up, in most people’s minds, a place where nature appears
tamed and enhanced by man. No surprise then, that Italians were historically at
the forefront as landscape designers and plantsmen with Renaissance gardens
conceived as an extension of architecture, composed not just of plants but also of
sculpture, fountains, vistas and beauty.
It would be the English architect/garden designer Cecil Pinsent who would bring
back order and beauty in the early 20th century to Tuscan gardens.

Wednesday 17th October, 10.30-12.30pm, Winchester Discovery Centre

The Beautiful, the Picturesque, the Sublime: Landscape painting from
Claude to Turner:  Beth Taylor
The 18th century neo-classical landscapes of Claude Lorrain, considered beautiful
because of their balance and harmony and his treatment of light, were much
collected in Britain and a major influence on Constable and Turner. Landscape
art became increasingly valued and writers like William Gilpin encouraged
travellers to experience nature at first hand so as to produce views that were ‘fit
for a picture’ or picturesque. During the Napoleonic period and after, however,
Beauty and the picturesque were challenged by the notion of the ‘sublime’
sensibility, the awe and terror inspired by contact with the extreme forces of
nature. Turner moved from topographical views to works which produced sublime
effects through the exploration of Claudian light in his dramatic land and

Wednesday 24th October, 10am, Petworth House.

A guided tour, at a time when the house is closed to the public, to view the JMW
Turner painting collection at Petworth House, home of his patron the Earl of
Egremont. These include views of the Capability Brown designed parklands.

Wednesday 14th November, 10.30-12.30pm, Winchester Discovery Centre

The 18th Century Landscape Garden:  Elizabeth Proudman
The 18th century landscape garden is said to be the only original art form which
England has given to the world. Influenced by the poetry of Alexander Pope, the
paintings of Poussin and the architecture of Palladio, William Kent, Capability
Brown and Humphrey Repton created nature which was more beautiful than
nature herself. In this seminar we will look at Kent’s garden at Rousham,
Capability Brown’s parks at Petworth and Blenheim, and Repton’s estate at
Sheringham, as well as considering Pope’s own garden in Twickenham, and Lord
Cobham’s political statement at Stowe.

Wednesday 21th November , 10.30 -12.30pm, Winchester Discovery Centre

Land Art: the new landscape art:  Beth Taylor
In the 1960s artists began to make landscape art by directly intervening in the
landscape, sculpting earthworks or making structures with rocks and other natural
materials. Some undertook documented walks or made studio installations using
natural materials taken from the land. This seminar will look at work by Robert
Smithson, Walter De Maria, Richard Long and Hamish Fulton among others which
has encouraged us to re-examine our relationship with the landscape and nature.

Wednesday 5th December, 11am, The National Gallery

A group visit to the exhibition of 19th and 20th century photography Seduced by
Art: Photography Past and Present. This exhibition explores the dialogue
between the history of art, the art of the 19th century, and modern photography. It
also maps the development of photography from the 19th century onwards,
showing how it reassessed traditional subjects such as still life, landscape, and
social portraiture.

Wednesday 12th December, 10.30-12.30pm, Winchester Discovery Centre

What makes a Masterpiece?:  Dr. Antonia Whitley
The story of a Jubilee Masterpiece: Alfred Gilbert’s statue of Queen Victoria:   Beth Taylor
In this two part seminar, Dr. Whitley will look at the nature of art works which are
deemed ‘masterpieces’.
In the Middle-Ages, the term ‘masterpiece’ meant the piece of work by which a
craftsman, having finished his training, gained the rank of ‘master’ in his guild.
Following on from this definition, it might be said that the ‘diploma pictures’ of the
Royal Academy could be thought of as masterpieces. Closer to our own times,
the term ‘masterpiece’ and that of ‘Old Masters’ have been seriously derided by
feminist writers such as Griselda Pollock, in her provocative work of 1981: Old
So the term now is, or can be, a loaded one. When should it be used? Which
artists’ works deserve this epithet? And which do not? Subjective or Scientific:
how do we decide? Come and find out on Wednesday 12 December when we
have some fun pondering on ‘What makes a Masterpiece?’ and no doubt some
disagreement too!
Join me, Antonia Whitley, for what I hope will be a lively session!
Beth Taylor will complete our Jubilee year programme with an account of the
changing reputation of Alfred Gilbert’s commemorative statue of Queen Victoria,
hailed as a masterpiece of the ‘New Sculpture’ at its unveiling in 1887.