Art History Talk series
13 February 2023 to 20 March 2023
Join us for another fascinating new talk series with renowned art historian, John Francis.
13 February, 10.30-12.00: The Dust Bowl blues: Texas and Oklahoma photography, art and music The Wall Street Crash in 1929 led to a questioning of the success of the American dream. President Roosevelt stepped in with the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and the New Deal. This government initiative meant employment for over eight million largely unskilled Americans and importantly 5,300 artists. Murals, painting, photography, graphic design all flourished. We will explore some of the key artists of the era. The abstract painters Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning will be evaluated along with the social realism of Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn. The soundtrack of the era is provided by Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rogers.
20 February, 10.30-12.00: The Mistress of Menace and The Master of Suspense. Daphne Du Maurier and Alfred Hitchcock had much in common. Du Maurier is sometimes described as a romantic novelist but this is completely misleading. Like Hitchcock, she dealt with themes of loneliness, gender, fear, suspense and gothic imagery. In their work they built compelling and complex emotional landscapes for their characters. Although they never met, the pair produced three key cultural landmarks of the 20th century in Jamaica Inn, Rebecca and The Birds. We will explore Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ (1963) and closely unpack some of the essential scenes in the film and look at the masterful techniques both on the page and on the screen.
27 February, 10.30-12.00: Scandi Noir. A place of haunting beauty, a utopian society with beautiful people who live an idyllic prosperous life, but yet the perfect place for a murder. Scandi/Nordic Noir crime dramas have become a global phenomenon. Our talk will trace the history and influences of this dark, cold, gloomy and melancholic genre.
6 March, 10.30-12.00: An Embarrassment of Riches - The Golden Age of Dutch Painting. Discover the vast range of artists from the Dutch Golden Age of Art. The new Dutch Republic of the 17th century was the most prosperous nation in Europe and led European trade, science, and art. Together we will marvel at the domestic interiors of Jan Vermeer, the piercing portraits of Frans Hals and the genre paintings of Jan Steen. Rembrandt was the master technical innovator, storyteller and visionary. This was a glowing Golden era of landscapes, still life, moral stories that was to last over eighty years.
13 March, 10.30-12.00: Revolt into style: the Punk Aesthetic - Fashion, Art and Music This short-lived, rebellious, anarchic and creative movement took hold in the economically depressed late 1970s. We will explore the aesthetics of revolt when Vivienne Westwood creatively led a fashion explosion of disaffection, fetishism and radical politics. With strong links to the Surrealist and Dada artists of the Situationist International and the biting social criticism of German Expressionism, punk has a fascinating heritage. It acted as a 'theatre of provocation', but Punk was much more than an artistic style. It leaves a huge legacy and resonance for our modern contemporary culture. This illustrated lecture will reveal the facts behind the mythology.
20 March, 10.30-12.00: British Landscape Tradition. This wide ranging survey starts in 1749 with Mr and Mrs Andrews. Portrait artists like Gainsborough were beginning to gaze out towards the countryside. Turner and Constable could be said to portray our national identity through images of peace and plenty while sometimes ignoring unrest and poverty. Later in the 1950’s and 60’s, Joan Eardley and Sheila Fell chose to explore the landscape of Scotland and Cumberland. Eardley painted touching portraits of children on the poor streets of Glasgow. Fell was obsessed with the often bleak landscape of Cumberland. Photography was an important documenter of modern landscape, so we will enjoy the work of renowned photographer Bert Hardy. Finally, Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long chose to move from the studio and use the physical material of the landscape itself.
Price: £12 per talk (£10 students/THG Friends). *Special price of £50 if all six sessions booked, please contact the gallery to book all six.
Booking required. These talks will take place in the main gallery.
Please call 01404 45006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions/accessibility requirements.