Programme Sep – Dec 2015

Chicago_skyline_20_Jul_2011THEME:   Architecture


Tuesday 15 September 2015: An all day visit to Cardiff Castle and the National Museum of Wales.

En route to Cardiff Castle we will hear about the Neo-Gothic architecture of the Victorian Age and its Medievalist strand,  demonstrated at its most extreme in the architectural and  interior designs of William Burges. We will have a guided tour of his romanticised and lavish work at the Castle, commissioned by the wealthy Marquess of Bute. After lunch, we will visit the National Museum, home to the Welsh national collection of fine and applied art. Here we will have a guided tour of its magnificent collection of French Impressionist art.

Wednesday 16 September 2015: 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre

Skyscrapers: Icons of Modernity
Illustrated seminar by Beth Taylor
In this seminar we will consider what tall buildings have signified from  biblical times to the modern period. We will review the technical and economic developments which led in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to New York’s identity as the “City of skyscrapers”. A number of iconic buildings, like the Flatiron Building and the Chrysler Building will be studied in terms of their architectural styles – Beaux-Arts and Art Deco – and the responses they evoked in the work of artists, photographers and sculptors resident in New York from the early photographs of Edward Steichen to the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe

Wednesday 23 September 2015: 10.30 – 3.30, Winchester Discovery Centre

Learning to Look at Architecture
A study day with Mary Acton
Learning to look at architecture in a more critical and analytical way can add enormously to our visual understanding of our surroundings. Architecture is about the articulation and organization of space in a building, both outside and inside. But also, there is the architectural language which has been used and whether it is Gothic or Classical or Modern, for instance, and how to recognize it. In this study day, through lectures and structured discussion, we will aim to open some windows onto ways of looking at architecture.

Monday 28 September 2015: An all day visit to Strawberry Hill and Chiswick House and Gardens.

En route to these important sites of domestic architecture in London, we will hear about the opposing architectural styles of the 18th century. Strawberry Hill was created by Horace Walpole in the 18th century and is an internationally famous example of Georgian Gothic Revival style, based on the architecture of gothic cathedrals and abbeys. His décor includes a unique collection of renaissance glass. Chiswick House is another 18th century building, built in the Palladian style, designed by William Kent for the Earl of Burlington and inspired by the Earl’s Grand Tours in Italy. The gardens – birthplace of the English Landscape movement – have undergone a major restoration. We will have guided tours at both sites.

Wednesday 14 October 2015: 10.30 – 12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre

Spanish Lustreware 1400-1600
Illustrated seminar by Dr Tanja Tolar
Large lustreware was a typical product of 16th century Spain. Their shapes were modelled after European prototypes, while their monochrome lustre decoration derives from Islamic art, including that produced in Caliphal Al-Andalus. There was a large scale ceramic manufacture in the region of Valencia between about 1400 and 1600, with the most important centre in the town of Manises, where Muslim artists were welcomed to foster this financially prosperous business. Continuing the transmission of lustreware craft skills – technically very difficult and requiring expensive ingredients like silver and tin – their products were exported all over Europe. Dr Tolar will introduce us to some key examples of their work.

Monday 19 to Thursday 22 October 2015: WAHG visit to Hague, Utrecht and Delft.

Details of this visit were circulated to members earlier in the year.

Wednesday 4 November 2015: An all day visit to London

We will visit New London Architecture, London’s centre for the built environment, for a talk on the history of London’s architecture by Peter Murray, their Chair, and illustrated by their new interactive London model. In the afternoon, we have arranged a tour of the City area from Liverpool St. station to the Shard (approx 2hrs) to study its many new skyscraper buildings. This will be led by Blue Badge guide, David Thompson. Optional extra: a visit to the Viewing Platform at the Shard.

Wednesday 11 November 2015: 10-30 – 12.30, Winchester  Discovery Centre

Mid-Century Modern Furniture from Scandinavia
Illustrated seminar by Dr Robin Jones
This session discusses the development of furniture for the modern home in  the Nordic countries between c. 1930 and 1970. During this period, architects and furniture designers from Finland, Sweden and Denmark looked both to avant-garde developments in other parts of Europe and the USA but also to their own national/cultural traditions, craft practices and landscapes. The influence of these sources led to the creation of distinctive and modern forms of furniture, which are still widely influential today. A number of Scandinavian designers pursued a more humane alternative to hard-edged modernism, whilst a few embraced the possibilities of new materials and industrial techniques. This session will highlight the work of designers such as Alvar Aalto, Bruno Matthson, Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton and Eero Aarnio amongst others.

Wednesday 18 November 2015 10.30 – 12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre

Quest, Love and Leisure in the Walled Garden: The Role of the Rose in the Work of Edward Burne-Jones
An illustrated seminar by Ruth Smith
The Medieval Revival was a phenomenon which grew out of the mid-eighteenth century. It boomed throughout the nineteenth century and resonated well into the twentieth, shaping the way those living in England came to imagine their history and conceive their identity. This is the environment in which Edward Burne-Jones imagined his works. A frequent  visitor to the British Museum, he had easy access to their collection of Medieval manuscripts, his favourite being Roman de la Rose, a Flemish manuscript containing Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun’s famous allegorical 13th century love poem. Focusing on Burne-Jones’ use of the rose as a motif, we will explore how many late Victorian artists interacted
with this manuscript and Medievalism in general.

Wednesday 9 December 2015: 10.30 – 12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre

William Orpen Portraiture
An Illustrated seminar by Dr Antonia Whitley

William Orpen (b. 1878), Sir William Orpen from 1917, is practically forgotten today. Yet a century ago, he was a highly-acclaimed society portraitist, who transformed himself into a famous and prolific war artist during WW1. After the war, things gradually changed, not his ability to paint of course, but the general mood and taste for art. So Orpen wrote a couple of books, drank far too much, and in 1931 died in a nursing home, aged only 53, of what might or might not have been syphilis contracted in wartime France. Thereafter, his reputation sank and he fell out of favour with the art establishment.

It is time to redress that situation! It is time to look at him again. There’s scope for arguing that he was one of the most gifted artists of his generation; a portraitist on a par with Sargent, Reynolds and Van Dyck and from an early age until the end a tireless self-portraitist. It is these images of the self that particularly intrigue me, representing as they do a significant but usually overlooked element of his oeuvre.