History of the Royal Academy of Arts, London
In 2018 The Royal Academy of Arts celebrated its 250th anniversary, so it is an opportune time to explore its history and the role it has played in the development of British art. We will look at the position of artists in London before and after the formation of the Academy in 1768 and some of the characters involved, from the first President, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and other establishment figures, to artists who have taken a more oppositional stance, whether individually, such as Reynolds’ great contemporary and rival Gainsborough, or as a group, such as the (initially) clandestine Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of young rebel artists who sought to subvert the Academy from within. Like any important institution, the Academy has been embroiled in intrigue and controversy over the course of its history and no scandal or outrage will remain unexposed as we trace the history of one of Britain’s most important cultural bodies, from inception to the present day.
History of Greenwich
An overview of the history of Greenwich, starting with the enclosure of the Park in 1427 byDuke Humphrey of Gloucester and moving on to the Tudors in Greenwich, including royal births, deaths and other major events. The lecture goes on to look at the formation of a Royal Hospital for Seamen, described as the ‘darling object’ of Queen Mary II’s life. Including works from the National Maritime Museum’s collection to help illustrate the history, the lecture also looks at the art of Sir James Thornhill in the Painted Hall and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart’s Chapel, including work by Benjamin West PRA.
Inigo Jones’ ‘The Queen’s House’, Greenwich
This lecture looks at the history of the house from its inception in 1616, at the request of Queen Anne of Denmark, who brought in Inigo Jones to design the house. It will go on to explore the subsequent death of Queen Anne and the new influence of Queen Henrietta Maria and the stages of building, up to the additions by Charles II in the 1660s. Looking at internal features planned by Inigo Jones, as well as later additions – and subtractions, it will also cover the uses of the House over the years, home to royalty, school children and ghosts! The contents of the Queen’s House, which currently houses more than 200 world-class paintings from the collection of the National Maritime Museum, will be used to help to tell its story.
Tate Britain : History and Collection OR Special Exhibitions
Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art. Its collection comprises the national collection of British art from the year 1500 to the present day, as well as international modern art. Lectures can be general overviews of the gallery, with the history of the gallery and taking in highlights of the collection, or can be tailored to cover a particular area of interest.
The gallery also hosts several special exhibitions per year and lectures specifically on these exhibitions can be arranged. These can take the form of a preview before a proposed visit, or a post-visit overview, a more in-depth exploration of what the exhibition displayed and the nature of the curatorial approach.
Tate Modern : History and Collection OR Special Exhibitions
Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern art. Created in 2000 from a disused power station, it displays the national collection of international modern art, defined as art since 1900. Lectures can cover highlights of the collection, including a history of the development of the gallery, or focus on particular artists, movements, countries or themes. The current hang at Tate Modern (2010) focuses on some of the main schools of modern art; Surrealism, Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism, Cubism/Futurism/Vorticism and Pop Art. Any one of those schools can form the focal point of a lecture, looking at examples from within the gallery’s collection. Tate Modern also hosts important temporary exhibitions and lectures can be delivered on many of these.