Evening Lectures 2018-2019

Evening Lecture Programme

Wednesday 10 October 2018 - Breaking the Ice: Jackson Pollock and American Expressionism - Anna Moszynska

The Lecturer

We are pleased to welcome Anna Moszynska to this the opening lecture of the new ADFAS Evening lecture series.  

Anna Moszynska cropped

Anna is a lecturer and writer, specialising in contemporary art.  She developed the first British Master’s Degree in the subject at Sotheby’s Institute and has also taught at institutions including The City Lit, the Royal Academy and the Tate, as well as lecturing to diverse audiences in cities ranging from Dubai to New York. 

                Anna Moszynska 1 6746379092596cc91d56d4dfd246da61      anna frieze rego 1

She has reviewed for BBC Radio and for various art periodicals.  Anna currently teaches at academic institutions in London and Paris and runs her own art courses.  Her books, including Abstract Art (1990) and Sculpture Now (2013), are published by Thames & Hudson. 

The Lecture

What caused American painting to take off as it did in the mid-20th century?

The painter Willem de Kooning attributed its initial success to the work of his friend Jackson Pollock whom he credited with ‘breaking the ice’.

Jackson Poolock photo by nlnm4qxvrpmwijcfm86l

We look at the career of the famous action painter and assesses how his contribution to painting (including infamously dripping pigment on to the floor) contributed to Abstract Expressionism becoming a worldwide artistic phenomenon. 


   Birth Jackson Pollock T03979 10  Birth by Jackson Pollock    Male and Female 1942 1943 Jacksn Pollock  Male and Female by Jackson Pollock

                                          c 1941                                                                                       c 1942/3

In 1943, Pollock briefly worked as a maintenance man at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (forerunner to the Guggenheim Museum). Later that year, Peggy Guggenheim gave him a contract that lasted through 1947, permitting him to devote all his time to painting.

Pollock’s work is put into context with that of his famous peers and the cultural conditions underpinning this exciting period in American art.

                               Pink Angels 1945 Willem de Kooning  Pink Angels by Willem de Kooning 1945

Abstract Expressionism Cover issue   Catalogue cover from the Royal Academy exhibition

                                                                   September 2016 to January 2017

Booking Facilities through Eventbrite to gain access to this talk

ADFAS are offering Founder Membership for the current annual series of Evening talks for £60.00 per person as set out on our website.  Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details and application forms.   This is the Society's preferred approach as it allows us to support our charitable giving via Gift Aid recovery to local schools and individual arts students progressing their studies.

However if you want to have a 'taste' of what ADFAS have to offer, then purchase one off tickets to this specific talk by visiting the ticket marketing site called Eventbrite.  You will find this ADFAS feature at:


At ADFAS we see that part of our remit is also to encourage full time Art Students to participate in our activities and gain a broader insight to all aspects of the arts by offering the opportunity to listen to our speaker for no expenditure!   Hence we have a limited number of tickets for qualifying youngsters only by entrance using our FREE ticket faciliy obtainable from:


ADFAS Evenings are also holding a Supper Club after each lecture at a local eating place in Berkhamsted.  

This provides our Founder Members with a significant discount on the food and drink ordered and the opportunity of getting to know other members better as an end to a convivial evening. 

The entrance tickets that are available below also enable us to control the numbers of Founder Members involved before the event can be found on:



Wednesday 14 November 2018 - The Power of Jewellery: Adornment and Ritual from Prehistory to the Present - Judy Rudoe

The Lecturer - Judy Rudoe

Since 1974, Judy has been a curator at the British Museum, specialising in jewellery and in 19th-20th century decorative arts.


Author of Cartier 1900-1939 (BM 1997) and organiser of the Cartier exhibition at the BM, co-author of the Catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift of Jewellery (BM 1984), contributor to the Catalogue of Micromosaics in the Gilbert Collection (2000).  Her latest book, Jewellery in the Age of Victoria, co-authored with Charlotte Gere, was published in 2010 and won the 2011 William Berger Prize for British Art History.

She is also a Freeman of the Goldsmiths' Company and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Tonight's Lecture

What do we mean by jewellery?   What does it mean to different societies across time and across the world?

This lecture takes a number of themes in order to expand the concept of jewellery and examine the different reasons why people wear it.

                   Rudoe 1 Etruscan fibula detail Italy 7th century BC                    Rudoe 2 small Ashanti disc Africa 19th century

                      Etruscan fibula detail (Italy 7th century BC)                     Ashanti Disc (Africa 19th century)

Everyone decorates the body, but there are different notions of how to do so and which parts to decorate.  In many societies jewellery serves as vital protection against evil spirits.  It can be a powerful vehicle of communication, indicating the wearer’s preoccupations, their religion or ethnic group. 

                                                               Rudoe 4 small Snettisham torc Iron Age Britain detail    

                                                                       Detail of a Torc found at Snettisham  (Norfolk - Iron Age) 


    Rudoe 3 small Lyte Jewel England 1610     



The Lyte Jewel - Gold and Diamond Locket with

King James VI of Scotland and I of England

(England 1610/1611)


                                                   The Mold cape Bronze Age North Wales       The Mold Cape  (North Wales - Bronze Age)                             

It can be a keepsake of a loved one, or a memorial to the dead.  

And it can also be a work of art in its own right harnessing all the skills of the goldsmith, gem-setter, or enameller.

Rudoe 6 small Tibet 19th century            jewellery     Rudoe 7 Dunstable Swan jewel c1400 002

    Pendant (Tibet 19th century)                                                            Livery Badge - Dunstable Swan jewel (England c1400)

Based on the collections of the British Museum, where our speaker has worked for 40 years, this new thought-provoking lecture reveals how jewellery has been worn and used, and takes us from ancient burial ornaments by anonymous masters to the big names of the modern world. 

          Rudoe 8 small Eye mourning ring England 1780s                     Rudoe 8 Sutton Hoo clasp England 7th century AD        

             Eye Mourning Ring (England - 1780s)                    Sutton Hoo Clasp (England - 7th Century AD)


Wednesday 12 December 2018 - 100 Years of Deception: Hoaxes and Swindlers of the 18th Century - Ian Keable

The Lecturer - Ian Keable

Ian gained a First Class degree from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician.


He is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star and is currently performing a show about Charles Dickens (who was an amateur conjurer) called The Secret World of Charles Dickens.  In 2014 he published Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature. Recently he presented a paper "Hogarth, Gillray & Cruikshank and the "Bottle Conjurer Hoax" at a conference at the University of Brighton.

The Lecture

The 1700s was a period where the people of England seemed to be especially gullible. They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; that a man could climb inside a wine bottle and sing and dance inside it; and a balloonist could fly in a Chinese Temple. 

These, and other hoaxes - which involved the likes of Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson and the politician Charles James Fox - were written about in newspapers and journals and brilliantly and amusingly depicted by satirical artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray. 

In this entertaining talk Ian relates and illustrates sundry hoaxes and deliberate deceptions; all of which are memorable not only for the imaginative nature of the swindles, but also because of the differing motives of the tricksters.

Wednesday 13 February 2019 - The Roaring Twenties: Art, Design and High Society - Joanna Banham

Our Speaker tonight is Jo Banham

Jo Banham is a freelance curator, lecturer and writer.

                                                                            jo banham 7c4b2c769ed27fc602f14b85795dbfc51

From 2006-2016 she was Head of Adult Learning at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and before that Head of Learning and Access at the National Portrait Gallery, and Head of Public Programmes at Tate Britain.  She has also been Curator of Leighton House and Assistant Keeper at the Whitworth Art Gallery.

Jo has published works on many aspects of Victorian and early 20th century decoration and interiors.  She is currently curating an exhibition on William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement for the Juan March Fundacion in Madrid and the Museu Nacional d’Art Catalunya in Barcelona.

She is also Director of the Victorian Society Summer School.

The Lecture

Like its name, the Roaring Twenties was a loud and boisterous decade, marked by novelty, modernity and huge social, technological, and economic change.

Following the dark days of the Great War, it spawned a generation of wealthy and privileged Bright Young Things who were determined to shock and who broke with the conventions of the past to pursue a life of hedonism and promiscuity, fuelled by an endless round of champagne, cocaine, parties and jazz.  Women wore fur coats and cloche hats, donned new boyish fashions and had short, cropped hair. Men drove fast cars, mixed cocktails and smoked American cigarettes. Society ate in new restaurants like The Trocadero, danced the Charleston in ballrooms like the Savoy, and drank in clubs like the Embassy and the Café de Paris.  Valentino, Tallulah Bankhead, and Noel Coward emerged as major celebrities through the growing popularity of cinema and the stage.

The Roaring Twenties was also a period of enormous vitality in art and design. Fashionable society was immortalised by portraitists like John Lavery and Cecil Beaton who brilliantly captured the glamour of the age.  Leisure, pleasure and the excitement of jazz were portrayed in paintings by Burra and Roberts, while the speed of the city and travel were explored in work by McKnight Kauffer and Nevinson.  Furniture and decoration showed the influence of Cubism, Vorticism and other styles associated with the avant-garde, while events like the discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb ushered in an obsession with all things Egyptian and Oriental.

This lecture aims to conjure up the energy and originality of the decade and to explore the lives of its leading figures and examples of its most innovative art and design

Wednesday 13 March 2019 - A Hungarian Metropolis: Art and Culture in Budapest - Gavin Plumley

Our Lecturer Gavin Plumley

We are pleased to welcome back Gavin - this time for March's ADFAS Evening lecture. 


Gavin is a writer and broadcaster, frequently appearing on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 and contributing to The Independent on Sunday and The Guardian.

He lectures widely on the culture of Central Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries, including to the National Gallery, the British Museum, the V&A, the Southbank Centre, the Tate and the Neue Galerie, New York, as well as various history of art societies and The Art Fund. 

The Lecture

This talk will be an excellent introduction for our Residential visit in May.

Budapest was formed in 1873 by the unification of Buda and Pest, situated on either side of the River Danube. The new capital was the focus of resurgent Hungarian nationalism, which found expression through lavish new buildings, the continent’s first underground railway system and myriad paintings featuring specifically Hungarian subjects and locales.  Meanwhile, in the countryside, composers Bartók and Kodály began to collect the music of their compatriots.


Placing these endeavours in a historical context, this talk explores how the Hungarians came to understand national identity through cultural means. 

Wednesday 10 April 2019 - Cosmonauts and Cotton Pickers - Soviet Central Asian Mosiacs and the Use of Public Art as  Propaganda - Chris Alexander

Our Lecturer - Chris Alexander

Chris was born in Turkey and spent his childhood there and in war-torn Beirut. After school, Chris spent two years at sea before studying Media and journalism at Leicester University.

                         Chris Alexander 65b819beec8eb9884bace5efac204b58

He then moved to Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan, establishing a UNESCO workshop reviving fifteenth century carpet designs and embroideries, creating income for women.  After a year in the UK writing "A Carpet Ride to Khiva", he moved to the Pamirs in Tajikistan, training yak herders to comb their yaks for their cashmere-like down, spending three years there.  Next came two years in Kyrgyzstan living in the world’s largest natural walnut forest and establishing a wood-carving workshop.

Chris has recently finished rowing and studying at Oxford and is now a curate at St. Barnabas, North Finchley, and author of "Alabaster and Manacle". He returns to Central Asia whenever he can and conducts tours there.


The Lecture

This lecture explores the birth of the Soviet mosaic from its roots in Islamic mosaics and Communist propagandist posters through to the question of preservation in post-Soviet Central Asia.

We explore why Soviet thinking was so keen to bring art out of galleries and into public spaces, and how, in an era when Socialist Realism was the only permitted artistic expression, every public artwork came with a message, a value and an agenda.

How did Soviet artists deal with the uncomfortable reality that Muslim Central Asia was a Russian colonial conquest?  In what ways were gender, race, work, leisure and achievement important when it came to shaping Central Asians’ ideas of their own identity within the wider Soviet family?

Wednesday 8 May 2019 - The Trials and Tribulations of Vincent Van Gogh as seen through his Works - Carole Petipher

Our Speaker tonight is Carole Petipher

Carole has nearly twenty years' experience as a guide and lecturer on combined history/art tours in France.


Life aboard river vessels on the Seine, Oise, Marne and Rhone offered the chance to explore and further research certain riverside locations linked to art, which helped her to develop her in-depth knowledge.

As a specialist guide, Carole has led walking tours at all of the major Van Gogh sites in France representing the different stages of his short painting career and seen for herself what inspired him  This combined with the reading of his extensive letters has led her to a much better understanding of his troubled life and appreciation of his art and its meaning.

She also has experience working with The Arts Society groups through work as a private guide for a privately owned stately home in the UK.


The Lecture

This talk makes an excellent follow up on the day trip ADFAS had in April to Tate Britain for their new exhibition on Van Gogh.

Van Gogh’s adult life was in grim reality a constant struggle against poverty, misery, ill health, both physical and mental, and loneliness.

            Petipher VanGogh self portrait with bandaged ear    This haunting self-portrait van Gogh from 1889 was last sold for $71.5 million in November 1998 in New York at Christie's auction rooms.

A man of conscience and self questioning, who in Pissarro’s words who would “either become mad or else leave us way behind”.

Van Gogh's early career and personal life seemed doomed to failure.  Art provided his only outlet. Through it he was able to express himself; saying, “I believe that pictures will tell you what I am not able to express in words”.

And he is now the most famous of all artists.   What was behind all those self portraits?

In this lecture, a selection of his paintings from all the stages of his short but prolific painting career will help us to understand the inner workings of Van Gogh’s mind .

            Petipher 800px Vincent van Gogh The Church in Auvers sur Oise View from the Chevet    The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise (June 1890)     Petipher Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers VGM F458    Sun Flowers


            Petipher 1280px Van Gogh Starry Night    Starry Night (June 1889)



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