The Arts Society Lomond and Argyll        

2019-20 Lecture Programme


Tantrums and Tiaras- Backstage at the Royal Opera House London                       

We look at backstage life at Covent Garden and pressures faced by singers, dancers, conductors and musicians.  How does the building cope with the demands of modern productions? What do audiences expect in and outside the theatre? We also try to understand some highs and lows that have been the fortune of the ROH over the years. 

September 10th 2019                                                          

Nigel Bates


Undressing Antiques    

Antiques. I don’t understand them and they’re beyond my budget. Nobody even collects any more. They’re not for me.” An introduction to buying antiques and using them in today’s homes. We look at the antiques market and at different meanings of the word ‘value’. What are current and future generations of collectors buying, why are they buying it and how do they display it?

October 8th 2019          

Mark Hill


Great British Public Parks – A Concise History

We have all enjoyed our own local parks at some point but what do we really know about the origins of this great institution? From their Victorian heyday, through their decline in the 1960s and 1970s, to our revived love for them today, this talk explores the need for parks and what makes parks great, illustrated with examples of lodges, lakes, bandstands, fountains and floral displays.

November 12th 2019                                      

Paul Rabbitts


The History of Wallpaper

Wallpaper is the Cinderella of the decorative arts – the most ephemeral and least precious of decorations for the home. Yet, wallpaper has adorned houses grand and ordinary since the 16th century, with many beautiful designs: the first black and white patterns, elegant flock hangings, Chinese hand-painted papers, Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, and 20th century Modernist as well as contemporary designs.

December 10th 2019

Jo Banham                                                                                            


New Art for a New Society: Propaganda and Russian Art

In 1917 Lenin proclaimed that culture in the new Bolshevik State should support political needs and propagate Communist ideas.  How did the revolution, and the new role of art, affect artists? How did the new government define culture? We will look at the first expressions of proletarian art, monumental sculpture and evolutionary slogans and ask: was art useful for the revolution or was revolution useful for art?

January 14th 2020

Natalia Murray

Do women have to be naked to get into the museum? Women Artists and Art History

In New York in 1985, 7 women launched the Guerrilla Girls in response to the MOMA exhibition ‘An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture’, whose 165 artists included only 13 women. This talk considers the changing position of women in art history, and looks at examples of female artists who pushed the boundaries of this male-dominated world.

February 11th 2020                                                         

Stella Lyons


Venice to Sheffield - John Ruskin’s Passion for Art, Craft and Social Justice

We celebrate the extraordinary life and work of this visionary Victorian, born 200 years ago. A writer, teacher, artist, collector, patron and critic, Ruskin is best known as a champion of Turner and admirer of Venice. But his ideas also inspired the Arts and Crafts and Labour movements; the founding of the National Trust; and influenced George Eliot, Tolstoy, Proust and Gandhi.

March 10th 2020                                                             

Simon Seligman


The Eagle Comic: Dan Dare and the Art of Frank Hampson

This is the extraordinary story of how a vicar and an art student founded the million selling Eagle magazine in 1950. It looks at how the Dan Dare studio worked and the incredible detail that Frank Hampson went to in creating a graphic legend that was to influence generations.  The talk includes rare artwork and vintage film clips.

April 21st 2020    

Howard Smith


Mad Men & Artists – how the Advertising Industry exploits Fine Art      

Fine art has given advertisers a great deal of material to use in creative campaigns. From the Renaissance to the present day, art has provided opportunities to enhance brand imagery with humour, satire and irony. The talk covers how advertisements are created, and why the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo have been a particularly rich source of their visuals.   

May 12th 2020                                                               

Tony Rawlins

Leokadiya Kashperova – Russia’s celebrated forgotten Female Composer

The rediscovery of Leokadiya Kashperova - composer and concert pianist previously known only as Stravinsky’s piano teacher - establishes her as the earliest known female Russian composer of international stature. The story of the lecturer’s research unveiling this romantic figure – nicknamed ‘Snow Maiden’ - and of Kashperova’s lyrical music, was part of the BBC Radio 3’s 2018 celebration of ‘5 Forgotten Female Composers’.

June 9th   2020

Graham Griffiths