Morning Programme 2019-2020

All lectures are held at Potten End Village Hall; for directions Click Here.    Coffee and tea is available from 10.00 am prior to the prompt start of the lecture at 10.30 am.

Click on any selected ADFAS Lecture or Event to display any further details currently available.

Morning Lecture Programme 

Wednesday 25 September 2019 - Pots and Frocks - The World of Grayson Perry from Essex Punk Potter to National Treasure - Ian Swankie

Our Lecturer:   Ian Swankie

We are very pleased to welcome Ian Swankie as our first speaker in this year's ADFAS Mornings talk.

                               Ian Swankie small

A Londoner with a passion for art and architecture, Ian is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives tours around each venue.

He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and leads regular tours for various corporations and organisations.

Since 2012 Ian has led a popular weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London.

He is also a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars, one of the City livery companies.

Our Lecture:  Pots and Frocks – The World of Grayson Perry - From Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure

Best known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment, a Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character.

                 Grayson Perry as Claire EDLE345UUAEfpaI     There is no mistaking Claire!

Grayson Perry is possibly one of the world’s best-known contemporary artists.

                                       Grayson Perry February 13 2007     Grayson Perry as he was in 2007

His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, Perry tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society.

                 Perry exhibition    One of his many Exhibitions

This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks. 

 

                 grayson perry barbarics                 Grayson Perry 4319    Some of the artist's ceramics work

ADFAS are offering Membership for the current annual series of Morning talks for a one-off fee 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 both local schools and individual arts students progressing their studies.

However if you want to have a 'taste' of what ADFAS have to offer, then you can contact the Secretary or Membership Secretary to gain access by paying at the door for the appropriate Morning session.

Reminder:    Your Annual Membership fee is now due and your ADFAS Treasurer is ready to collect payment from you today if you have not already provided this!

Wednesday 30 October 2019 - Treasures of the Silk Road - from China to the Mediterranean - Christopher Bradley

Our Lecturer: Christopher Bradley

Today's speaker is Christopher Bradley who is an expert in the history and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.

As a professional tour guide and lecturer, he has led groups throughout the Middle East and Asia.

                   Christopher Bradley

Christopher has written extensively on Arabia and is the author of The Discovery Guide to Yemen, Insight Guide to the Silk Road and Berlitz Guides to Libya; The Red Sea; Cairo; Abu Dhabi and Nile Cruising.

As a photographer he has pictures represented by four photographic libraries.

He has a broad range of lecturing experience, including to the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

As a film producer and cameraman Christopher has made documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic TV and Channel 4. 

Our Lecture:  Treasures of the Silk Road - from China to the Mediterranean

The Silk Road extended for over 8,000 kms, acting as a highway for beliefs, ideas, inventions and art, whilst silk was just one of the many products traded for 1,400 years.

Buddhism spread throughout Central Asia and there are wonderful paintings from the Magao Caves at Dunhuang and the 'Caves of the Thousand Buddhas' at Bezeklik. Samarkand and Bukhara are the beginning of the great Islamic buildings that continue through Persia and Syria.

Along the way we see traditional murals, ceramics, statues, carpets, architecture, mosaics, tile-work, rock carvings and of course, silk itself. 

This will be a fascinating talk with many parallels with today.

ADFAS are offering Membership for the current annual series of Morning talks for a one-off fee 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 you can contact the Secretary or Membership Secretary to gain access by paying at the door for the appropriate Morning session. 

Reminder:    Your Annual Membership fee is now due and your ADFAS Treasurer is ready to collect payment from you today if you have not already provided this! 

Wednesday 27 November 2019 - Paula Pego: Painting Women on the Edge, and Telling Tales of the Unexpected - Linda Smith

Our Lecturer:  Linda Smith

We are very pleased to welcome Linda Smith to ADFAS Mornngs.    Linda holds two first-class degrees in Art History.

                Linda Smith small

She has a broad knowledge of art historical subjects, but specialises in British Art and twentieth century art.

A very experienced lecturer and guide, especially at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, Linda has lectured to a wide variety of audiences in different venues, including school and university students, and independent arts societies Both in the UK and overseas.

This Morning's Lecture:  Paula Rego - Painting Women on the Edge, and Telling Tales of the Unexpected 

Linda's talk at the life and work of Paula Rego, who is a British artist of Portuguese origin best known for her depictions of folk tales and strikingly unusual images of women.

Married to the British artist Victor Willing (1928-88), Paula Rego settled in this country permanently in the 1970s, but her career in Britain had effectively begun in the early 1960s, when she exhibited with artists like Frank Auerbach and David Hockney.

Over the following twenty years her career and reputation built steadily, and in 1990 she was invited to become the first Associate Artist at the National Gallery. Her well-known series of paintings and prints based on nursery rhymes emerged from this residency, as did another series of large scale paintings which is currently displayed in the National Gallery restaurant.

In her early days, Paula Rego experimented with many different styles, including abstraction, and was very much influenced by Surrealism, but her mature style places a strong emphasis on clear draughtsmanship and the human figure.

She produces works which suggest complicated narratives full of psychological tension, drama, and emotion.

Frequently she depicts women and girls in disturbing or ambiguous situations and poses, which has occasionally caused some controversy, but her insistence on the physicality of her female figures, and her refusal to idealise or revert to cliché, has earned her global recognition and many prestigious awards. Paula Rego was made a DBE in 2010. 

 

ADFAS are offering Membership for the current annual series of Evening talks for a one-off fee 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 you can contact the Secretary or Membership Secretary to gain access by paying at the door for the appropriate Morning session.

 

 

 

Wednesday 29 January 2020 - Picasso and His Women - Val Woodgate

This Morning's Lecturer:  Valerie Woodgate

Our speaker today lectures at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern, also at many other London galleries.

                   valerie woodgate

Val is a former member of the teaching team at Dulwich Picture Gallery. She also runs courses at the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester.

Lecture topic:   Picasso and His Women

Pablo Picasso told his biographer, John Richardson, that his work was like a diary – “To understand it, you have to see how it mirrors my life”.

This lecture examines the way Picasso’s emotional life influenced what he painted and how he painted it. His response to each new love in his life can be seen in the different styles in which his many women were represented.

When he fell out of love, that fact would be revealed first in his paintings.

In this lecture, Val concentrates on the seven most important women in Picasso's life (two of whom he married).

 

ADFAS are offering Membership for the current annual series of Morning talks for a one-off fee 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 you can contact the Secretary or Membership Secretary to gain access by paying at the door for the appropriate Morning session.

 

Our Facebook presence

We are going to be using Facebook more to promote ADFAS lectures and events, and would encourage you to please like/follow our page, if you are a Facebook user:              

         www.facebook.com/Ashridge DFAS

or search Facebook for 'Ashridge DFAS - Art Lectures & Events'

Look out for the ADFAS image for this event on this and other what's on websites plus a large number of flyers for members to distribute!  

Please also share the Facebook page with any friends that might be interested in what we do.

 

 

Wednesday 26 February 2020 - The Day Parliament Burnt Down - Caroline Shenton

Today's Lecturer:  Dr Caroline Shenton

                   Caroline Shenton small

We are delighted to have Caroline with us today.  She is an archivist and historian.

She was formerly Director of the Parliamentary Archives in London, and before that was a senior archivist at the National Archives.

Her book The Day Parliament Burned Down won the Political Book of the Year Award in 2013 and Mary Beard called it ‘microhistory at its absolute best’.

Its acclaimed sequel, Mr Barry’s War, about the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster, was a Book of the Year in 2016 for The Daily Telegraph and BBC History Magazine and was described by Lucy Worsley as ‘a real jewel, finely wrought and beautiful’. 

Caroline was Political Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library in 2017, has appeared at the Cheltenham, Hay and Henley literary festivals and on BBC radio and TV.

Today's Lecture:    The Day Parliament Burned Down

In the early evening of 16 October 1834, to the horror of bystanders, a huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament, creating a blaze so enormous that it could be seen by the King and Queen at Windsor and from stagecoaches on top of the South Downs.

In front of hundreds of thousands of witnesses, the great conflagration destroyed Parliament's glorious old buildings and their contents.

No one who witnessed the disaster would ever forget it.

Based on the acclaimed book of the same name, this talk takes the audience through the gripping hour-by-hour story of the fire through contemporary depictions of the disaster by Turner, William Heath and others.

 

Wednesday 25 March 2020 - Leonardo da Vinci: Five Hundred Years On - Guy Rooker

Today's Lecturer:   Guy Rooker

With us today, we are pleased to welcome Guy who admits to being a panel lecturer with The Arts Society not with a background in the arts but from the world of science in general, and surgery in particular.

                 guy rooker

He describes himself as a retired surgeon with a lifelong passion, fascination, and admiration for the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

Guy considers that the contribution Leonardo has made to both the world of art and the investigation of scientific concepts to be quite unique and extraordinary in the way that so many of his pioneering investigations have contributed to the understanding of our world today.

Today's Lecture:   Leonardo da Vinci: Five Hundred Years On

 

If you want to have a 'taste' of what ADFAS have to offer, then you can contact the Secretary or Membership Secretary to gain access by paying at the door for the appropriate Morning session.

 

 

Site page is under development.

 

Wednesday 29 April 2020 - The Subtle Science and Exact Art of Colour in English Garden Design - Timothy Walker

                                                                                 Website under Development

Our Lecturer Today: Timothy Walker

Timothy tells us that since 1986 he has given over 1,500 public lectures!  This was originally part of his work as director of the Oxford University Botanic Garden from 1988 to 2014.

                      Timothy Walker small

Botanic gardens are often described as living museums, and garden curators lecture about them in the same way as museum curators talk about their collections.

Since 2014 I have been a college lecturer and tutor at Somerville College Oxford so has an ideal background for his talk. 

The Lecture Today:    The Use and Role of Colour in English Garden Design

Gardens are often thought of a place where science and art meet on equal terms.   Timothy's lecture investigate this relationship.

In 1888 Gertrude Jekyll wrote a short but seminal article in The Garden in which she urged the readers to “remember that in a garden we are painting a picture”. 

As an accomplished watercolour artist, Miss Jekyll was familiar with the principles of using colours, but she felt that in gardens these principles “had been greatly neglected”. 

This talk looks at how to apply these principles in designing a border, but it also looks at the ways in which a border is different from a painting. 

However, it goes further than this and looks at how contemporary work of the likes of Turner, Monet, Rothko, Jackson Pollack, and Hockney evolved in parallel with ideas about what a garden or border should look like.

 

If you want to have a 'taste' of what ADFAS have to offer, then you can contact the Secretary or Membership Secretary to gain access by paying at the door for the appropriate Morning session.

 

 

Wednesday 27 May 2020 - The Genius of Beethoven - Peter Medhurst

                                                                     Website under Development

Our Speaker Today:   Peter Medhurst

We are extremely delighted to welcome back Peter to Potten End to give our ADFAS Morning lecture.

                     Peter Medhurst small

Peter appears in the UK and abroad as a musician and scholar, giving recitals and delivering illustrated lectures on music and the arts.

He studied singing and early keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.  

The Lecture Today: The Genius of Beethoven

Famously, every morning of his adult life, Beethoven measured out exactly 60 coffee beans for his breakfast.  

A man who is capable of such discipline over a cup of coffee, can surely apply that exactness elsewhere in his life; and in Beethoven’s case, it was applied to his compositions.  

In fact, the detail found in his music is often so subtle, that most people don’t even know it’s there.  

This lecture explores Beethoven’s genius as a writer of music, at the same time setting his extraordinary story against the backdrop of 19th century warfare, revolution and dramatic social changes.  

Beethoven will be 250 years old on 17 December 2020.  

 

If you want to have a 'taste' of what ADFAS have to offer, then you can contact the Secretary or Membership Secretary to gain access by paying at the door for the appropriate Morning session.

 

 

Wednesday 24 June 2020 - The Sculptures of Henry Moore and Anthony Caro - Raymond Warburton - preceded by the ADFAS AGM

Today's Speaker:  Raymond Warburton

We are very pleased to welcome for the first time Raymond who has studied art history at the Open University and the University of Buckingham.

                  Ray Warburton

A Guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, where he leads public tours of all the permanent displays and also undertakes exhibition tours.

Raymond is a very experienced public speaker who has given presentations and lectures on a range of themes to diverse audiences over many years.

Our Lecture Today:   The Sculptures of Henry Moore and Anthony Caro

Henry Moore established his unique approach sculpture from the 1920s based on Michelangelo, Cubism, abstraction and central and south American Aztec and Mayan cultures.

He often sculpted family groups and reclining figures, and was a great believer in taking art into public places.

When Anthony Caro studied sculpture in the 1940s he was taught by traditional sculptors.

Seeking to be modern he became Moore’s studio assistant for two years and made Moore-like sculptors. In 1959, Caro met with American abstract artists, and in consequence changed his approach, relying on sheets of steel to produce non-figurative sculptures.

Subsequently Caro publicly criticised Moore for being a showman and thwarting younger talent.

Moore took it badly and relations between them never fully recovered!

This lecture traces the career of both Moore and Caro, and describes their time together, their falling out, and their respective impact on modern sculpture.

We have been promised by Raymond that this lecture will be jargon-free with audience engagement.

  

If you want to have a 'taste' of what ADFAS have to offer, then you can contact the Secretary or Membership Secretary to gain access by paying at the door for the appropriate Morning session.

 

Events Programme 

Tuesday 8 October 2019 - Wernher Collection plus Painted Ceiling, Greenwich

Our first day trip of our 2019/20 season arranged by Barbara Mitchell is open to both Evening and Morning members and reflects a coach trip to, from and between the following locations in Greenwich, London:-

  •      Ranger's House to view the Wernher Collection
  •      Old Royal Naval College to view their Ceiling in The Painted Hall

Ranger’s House is an elegant Georgian villa on the boundary of Greenwich Park and Blackheath which houses The Wernher Collection, a world-class art collection amassed by the 19th-century businessman, Sir Julius Wernher.   It is now managed by English Heritage.    

      Rangers House

This is one of the greatest private art collections ever assembled in Europe, and presents an extraordinary wealth of medieval, Renaissance and early modern works, including masterpieces of international importance.

The house itself, built in 1723 and later the residence of the Rangers of Greenwich Park, remained home to aristocrats and royals until 1902.

      Rangers House interior        Rangers House interior 2       Rangers House Gallery

Over 700 works of art are displayed across a dozen panelled interiors, and include medieval sculptures, glittering enamels, ornate jewellery, Renaissance paintings including Madonna of the Pomegranate (Madonna della Melagrana) from Sandro Botticelli's workshop, Dutch Old Masters and French tapestries.  Not only are many of these pieces unique examples of their kind, but the stories they tell reveal much about the making, meaning and movement of art on a world stage.

With new and enhanced interpretation highlighting the outstanding quality of these objects, the Wernher Collection at Ranger's House provides a remarkable opportunity to see one of the greatest surviving private art collections ever assembled in Europe. 

Then by Coach to The Old Royal Naval College on the Thames at Greenwich to see The Painted Hall. 

                                  ORNC external

The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, described by UNESCO as being of outstanding universal value and thought to be the finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles.  The site is managed by the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College, set up in July 1998 as a registered charity to look after these magnificent buildings and their grounds for the benefit of the nation.   The buildings were originally constructed to serve as the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich, now generally known as Greenwich Hospital, which was designed by Christopher Wren, and built between 1696 and 1712. 

This hospital closed its doors in 1869.  Between 1873 and 1998 it functioned as the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. 

                                                          The Painted Hall

The Painted Hall is sometimes referred to as "The Sistine Chapel of the UK".

ADFAS Trip details

Leaving from GADEBRIDGE

            from BERKHAMSTED (outside WH SMITHS)

Returning to BERKHAMSTED at approx 5.00 pm

Itinerary (all timings are approximate)

10.30 am     Group arrives at Rangers House

11.00 am     Tour of the Wernher Collection

2.00 pm       Tour of Old Royal Naval College

3.15 pm       Board coach for return to Berkhamsted area          

The cost is £45.00 per person. 

 

Booking Arrangements

Places on this visit will be strictly limited to 25 and have to be confirmed well in advance.  Barbara Mitchell will therefore be taking definite bookings on the last Morning session of the 2018/19 calandar, namely Wednesday 26 June 2019.   As places are limited, early booking is essential!

Cheques to be made payable to ADFAS for the required amount.

Wednesday 27 November 2019 - Welcome drink for new Members after the lecture

Do join us after Linda Smith's lecture on artist Paula Pego, for this great opportubnity to get to know some of our newer members better over a pre-lunch drink!   

All on the house!

This will give all of you the opportunity to meet with the various members of your Committee and discover in more detail what we have been doing behind the scenes for your Society.

Tuesday 3 December 2019 - Turner and the Modern World - Tate Britain

Early March 2020 - ADFAS Annual Lunch

11 to 16 May 2020 - Residential trip to Northumberland and Scottish Borders

Wednesday 27 May 2020 - Members' Drink after the lecture

Do join us after Peter Medhurst's lecture on The Genius of Beethoven, to get to know some of our newer members better over a pre-lunch drink!

This will also give all of you the opportunity to meet with the various members of your Committee and discover in more detail what we have been doing behind the scenes for your Society.

July 2020 - Henry Moore's House and Garden - Much Hadham

Refunds on payments for outings will only be made if the place(s) can be re-sold!