Click here for future lectures

16 October 2019"Sweet Swan of Avon" - William Shakespeare and his Turbulent World
18 September 2019The Art of the Steal: Nazi looting during WW11
19 June 2019Imperial Purple to Denim Blue - The Colourful history of Textiles
15 May 2019Modigliani and Bohemian Paris 1906-1920
17 April 2019From Garbo to Garland - The Magical Art of Hollywood
20 March 2019Pop Art on both sides of the Atlantic
20 February 2019The Queen of Instruments - The Lute within Old Masters
16 January 2019Whistler, Wilde and Sargent - The Talent in Tite Street
12 December 2018Giles: His life, times and cartoons
21 November 2018Les Parisiennes: How women lived, loved and died in Paris.
17 October 2018Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts. Makers and Users
19 September 2018The Silver Thread and Silver Filigree. Traditional Arts in Kosovo
20 June 2018From Paris to New York, the story of American Impressionism
16 May 2018Women Behind the Lens
18 April 2018Artists and Espionage
21 March 2018Indians, Buffalo and Storms - the American West in 20th Century Art
21 February 2018Art and Architecture of Travel
17 January 2018Undressing Antiques
13 December 2017O Yes it is! History of Pantomime from Ancients to Modern Times
22 November 2017Powder and Poison: Cosmetics, Beauty and the Art of Portraiture
18 October 2017Four Females - Great Artists
20 September 2017The Power of Jewellery: Adornment and Ritual from Prehistory to the Present
21 June 2017Edouard Manet “ A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”
17 May 2017Leonardo Da Vinci - Pathfinder of Science
19 April 2017The Art of Della Francesca: The Light of the North Meets the Logic of the South
15 March 2017A Galaxy of Starchitects
15 February 2017Betty Joel: Glamour and Innovation in 1930's Design
18 January 2017The Collections of Napoleon and Josephine at Chateau de Malmaison: an insight into one of history's most famous couples
14 December 2016Golden Gobblers – The Turkey in Art and Life
16 November 2016The Art of Cuisine and the Cuisine of Art
19 October 2016A Great and Glorious Victory: Nelson’s Victory at Trafalgar
21 September 2016Bringing Back the Needle, the Story of an Obelisk
15 June 2016Salisbury Cathedral- the making and unmaking of a masterpiece
18 May 2016Double Dutch: Symbols, Emblems and ‘Double-entendre’ in Dutch Genre Painting

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the lecture

"Sweet Swan of Avon" - William Shakespeare and his Turbulent World Elizabeth Merry Wednesday 16 October 2019

In his tribute to Shakespeare on the publication of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623, Ben Jonson addresses him as ‘Sweet Swan of Avon’ , ‘Thou Star of Poets’ and ‘Not of an Age, but for all Time’. 400 years after Shakespeare’s death his words still have the power to thrill, to move, to uplift the soul. In fact, it’s said that a Shakespeare play is being performed somewhere in the world every minute of every day. In this lecture we explore what is known about his life in the turbulent and often dangerous world of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, and look at the development of English Renaissance theatre. We will also focus on some of the portraits purporting to be of Shakespeare and examine the theories behind them.