Thursday 20th June 2024 (CEST)

Lectures in the 2012 - 2013 season

October 2012

Jewels that catch an expert's eye

Joanna Hardy

There are some jewels that are special, but why? It may be because of their exquisite manufacture, or even their magical story of discovery. Jewellery can be inspiring, breathtaking or simply understated to grab the attention of an expert. But one thing they will all have in common is good craftsmanship.
About Joanna Hardy

Starting her life in the jewellery trade 30 years ago, Joanna Hardy first studied to be a goldsmith and jewellery designer at Sir John Cass College, then worked for De Beers valuing and grading rough diamonds.

She then became a polished diamond dealer in Antwerp, Tel Aviv and Mumbai before moving into antique jewellerey and joining Philips's auction house, primarily as their diamond expert but also valuing other gemstones and period jewellery. In 1995 Joanna joined the jewellery department at Sotheby's London where for 14 years she was a senior specialist and auctioneer, regularly taking to the rostrum to sell jewellery in the company's New Bond Street galleries. She was also responsible for assessing and valuing jewellery worldwide for sales at Sotheby's in New York, Geneva and London.

In 2006 Joanna masterminded and launched a unique selling venture at Sotheby's, entitled 'London Rocks'. Designed as a pioneering exhibition of contemporary jewellery, seventeen artists/jewellers, predominantly London based, were invited to showcase their specially designed pieces for public sale In many ways London Rocks worked exactly like a Contemporary Art Exhibition: allowing original, progressive, fashionable and most importantly, collectable artists to showcase their work and expose it to a wider audience.

In addition, Joanna regularly conducts charity auctions and delivers seminars and lectures for various charities and institutions. A skilled broadcaster, she has lectured on radio and is a regular jewellery expert on the BBC Antiques Roadshow. She also lectures for Sotheby's institute, fr whom she conducted a hugely successful lecture series aboard Crystal Cruise liners and is an accredited NADFAS lecturer She recently appeared in a feature-length documentary 'Aphrodite's Drop: The Power of Pearls' and has been made a Freeman of the Goldsmith's Company, a Freeman of the City of London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Joanna is a jewellery consultant and has created the Jewellery School of Excellence.

World Heritage Sites of Spain

Roberta Kettel

Roberta Kettel was one of the founder members of NADFAS in Nerja in 1993, which began life as a branch of the Costa del Sol DFAS until its independence as a separate society in October 2002. Together with her late husband, Claus, Roberta organized and led more than 25 trips around Spain for the society until her retirement after four years as chairman in 2006. Roberta has previously given lectures to both Nerja DFAS, Nerja History Group and Capistrano on travels through Spain, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Hemingway in Spain.
This lecture will take us on an illustrated tour round mainland Spain for an overview of her many cultural, historical and natural sites, the second largest number of any one country in the world, superseded only by Italy.

The lecture will be celebrating our 10th anniversary as an independent NADFAS society as well as commemorating the life of our late founder member, Alan Gibbons, who held the posts of chairman, treasurer and secretary alterrnatively until our independence.

November 2012

Windy City -the architecture of Chicago

Mike Higginbottom

Chicago is America's crossroads, successively the hub of its canal-, rail- and air-transport systems, sited by the shore of Lake Michigan within easy reach of Canada, linking the Atlantic seaboard with the Mississippi basin.

It is also the birthplace of much of what is recognisable as American architecture, because after the Great Fire of 1871 necessity brought together the group of designers, architects and engineers now known as the Chicago School, who first perfected the techniques of building high that created the skyscraper, and - fortuitously - it was the location for the early work of Frank Lloyd Wright, the leader if not the pioneer of the Prairie School of architects.

The Encyclopaedia of Chicago (University of Chicago Press 2004) remarks that where other great world cities are distinguished by great cathedrals, royal palaces or government buildings, "Chicago's monuments have more often than not been business buildings, houses, schools and churches".

This lecture offers an introduction to the wealth and variety of Chicago's architecture in and around the Loop central area, north to Graceland Cemetery, west to Oak Park and south to Hyde Park.

Recommended reading list
  • --- ? ---, A guide to Oak Park's Frank Lloyd Wright and Prairie School Historic District (Village of Oak Park 1999)
  • Mir M Ali, Art of the Skyscraper: the genius of Fazlur Khan (Rizzoli 2001)
  • Joseph Connors, The Robie House of Frank Lloyd Wright (University of Chicago 1984)
  • Barbara Lanctot, A Walk through Graceland Cemetery (Chicago Architecture Foundation 1993)
  • Robert McCarter, Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright (Phaidon 1997)
  • Donald L Miller, City of the Century: the epic of Chicago and the making of America (Simon & Schuster 1996) [runs to 1900 only]
  • Alice Sinkevitch, AIA Guide to Chicago (2nd edn, Guide to Chicago Architecture Joint Venture 2004)
  • Michael Stratton, The Terracotta Revival: building innovation and the image of the industrial city in Britain and North America (Victor Gollancz/Peter Crawley 1993)
  • Anne Abernathy, The Oak Park House and Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust 1988)
  • Zarine Weil, Building a Legacy: the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Home and Studio (Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust 2001)

About Mike Higginbottom (from his website)

Mike Higginbottom has lectured in social and architectural history for the Universities of Nottingham, Birmingham and Keele, the Workers' Educational Association and the City of Stoke-on-Trent. He is a NADFAS lecturer and was tutor-guide for the Matlock Travel Society from 1986 to 2008.


His history learning programmes include Looking at Country Houses, The Derbyshire Derwent Valley, Fun Palaces: the history and architecture of the entertainment industry, Historic Towns & Cities, Survivals & Revivals: past views of English architecture, Victorian England and Waterways to Motorways: two centuries of travel.

He has conducted leisure-learning residential programmes on country houses, theatres, the seaside, cemeteries and sewerage, and the cities of Bath, Birmingham, Chester, Chicago, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, York and New York and in the Isle of Man.

His most recent publication is Nottinghamshire Country Houses: past and present (Nottinghamshire County Council 1999).

December 2012

The Master - Noel Coward as actor, playwright and painter

Frances Hughes

Sir Noel Coward (1899-1973) wrote over fifty plays, many short stories, some novels, hundreds of songs (both music and lyrics) and was an excellent witty, and sometimes moving, minor poet. He acted on the professional stage from the age of ten.

As a leisure activity in the 1930's he painted, first in watercolour and then, on the advice of Sir Winston Churchill, in oils and later, gouache. After World War 2 he painted in England and Switzerland but his best and most vital work was done in Jamaica.

In this talk we shall trace Coward's stage and film career, listen to excerpts from his songs and plays but also look at a number of his paintings. His friend and secretary, Cole Lesley, said "The countless hours Noel spent at the easel were amongst the most happy and carefree of his life."

Book List
  • Look Back in Pleasure, Kaplan and Stowell, Methuen 2000; ISBN 0 413 75500 2
  • Noel, Charles Castle, Sphere Books Ltd 1972; ISBN 0 349 10482 4
  • The Noel Coward Diaries, Payne and Morley, ISBN 0 333 34883 4
  • Letters of Noel Coward, ed. Barry Day, Methuen 2007; ISBN 978 0 7136 8578 7
  • Noel Coward, Philip Hoare, Mandarin 1995; ISBN 07493 2367 1
Noel Coward's paintings

About Frances Hughes

Frances Hughes spent 38 years in Education, 18 as a head teacher. She is now a freelance lecturer in Art & Theatre History. She is Hon. Secretary of the Shakespeare Reading Society (founded 1875) and Chairman of the Irving Society.

January 2013

Treasures of the Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean

Christopher Bradley

BEng(hons) FRGS

The Silk Road extends over 8000km from China through Central Asia to the Mediterranean. The route acted as a highway for beliefs, ideas, inventions and art, whilst silk was just one of the many products traded for 1400 years. With the Greek invasion of Alexander the Great, early Persian routes spread east towards India, until stability finally allowed the Chineses to trade silk, jade and ceramics in exchange for horses, pearls and gold.
Buddhism spread throughout Central Asia and here are wonderful paintings from the Magao caves at Dunhuang and the 'Caves of the Thousand Buddhas' at Bezeklik in the Flaming Mountains. Samarkland and Bukhara are the beginning of the great Islamic buildings that continue through Persia and Syria.
Along the way we will see that traditional murals, ceramics, statues, carpets, architecture, mosiacs, tile-work, rock carvings and of course, silk.

About Christopher Bradley
pic Christopher Bradley specialises in North Africa and the Middle East. He is also a guidebook writer and photographer; his latest books include The Berlitz Libya Guide 2009 and Insight Egypt Guide 2008. He has also worked as a tour leader and guide of specialist art tours to Tunisia and Libya and as a cameraman and TV producer for the National Geographic, BBC and Channel 4.
Christopher is a frequent visitor to Nerja, having talked to us about the Magi in 2007, the Queen of Sheba in 2009 and Libya in 2010.

January 2013 - extra lecture

The hidden story of British pressed glass in the Málaga Glass Museum

Professor Ian Phillips

This talk illustrates the history of pressed glass from its introduction from America in the 1830s, through the 1880s when Sowerby of Gateshead were exporting 120 tons of it to the world weekly, up to the flurry of new designs in the 1930s. The social consequences of this particular aspect of the industrial revolution will also be taken into account. The slides feature items in the Museum, many of which have not been on display.

Click on an image for a larger picture:

About Ian Phillips

After attending the local grammar school he trained as a doctor at St John's College Cambridge and St Thomas' Hospital, London, qualifying in 1961. He spent his entire career at St Thomas', with sabbatical breaks along the way in Kampala, Uganda and in Madrid, eventually becoming Clinical Dean of the newly recombined Medical Schools of Guy's and St Thomas's.

He retired in 1996 and then had much more time for his hobbies - botany (particularly wild European orchids) and glass.

His glass collection started when he saw two Georgian ale glasses in an antique shop in Dublin, where he had just been external examiner of hopeful medical students in the mid 1970s. Thereafter he discovered London glass shops and eventually built up a collection of about 70 Georgian drinking glasses. One of the dealers, Jeanette Hayhurst, guided him to appropriate purchases of glass and literature about glass, and persuaded him to join the Glass Association. Later he discovered a collection of mostly Sowerby pressed glass being sold from a stall in the Portobello Road and in the past five years has greatly increased his holding of early pressed glass mostly from the environs of Newcastle upon Tyne but also from Manchester and neighbouring towns.

The foundation of the Málaga Glass Museum made it possible for him to share his enjoyment of decorative domestic glass.

February 2013

Soapsuds and whitewash: the Sea Paintings of JMW Turner

Barry Venning

The great critic, John Ruskin, believed that Turner's later marine paintings included 'the noblest seas ever painted by man' and over the years few have seriously contested his judgement.
One third of Turner's oil paintings are of marine or seafaring subjects, and this lecture surveys the full range of his work in this genre. They include sea battles, fishing scenes, wreck pictures, the slave trade, mythological subjects and, above all, the sea itself in all its moods.
It shows how Turner took a lowly and little regarded category of painting and used it to produce some of the most compelling images of the Romantic movement.

Barry Venning Is a historian of British Art with a particular interest in the work of J M W Turner, on whom he has published widely, including the volume on Turner in Phaidon's Art & Ideas series. He was the BBC's script consultant and expert commentator for Rolf Harris's programme on the Fighting Temeraire in 2005 and has contributed to the BBC2 documentary Turner, Man of Iron.
He has also published a study of John Constable's paintings. His interests and his teaching extend from medieval art and architecture to the art of the twentieth century.
He is currently Associate Lecturer with the Open University and lectures on a freelance basis for NADFAS, Christie's Education and other organisations.

February 2013 - extra lecture

The Why, What and How of the Semana Santa in Málaga

by Professor Juan Antonio Sánchez López of the University of Málaga

Holy Week in Málaga and Andalusia is famous in Spain and abroad. Since the XVI century until today the vivacity, imagination and exalted devotion of people creates a wonderful religious theatre, whose protagonists are Christ and his mother, Mary represented on carved and painted wooden sculptures attaining an astonishing naturalism in Baroque figures, in which every muscle or face indicates a pathetic attitude. The scenes of the Passion of Christ are represented in several floats that are carried in procession from Palm Sunday to Easter. The images are covered with lights, flowers and rich iconographical attributes with great symbolism.
This lecture explores the traditions and rituals surrounding these works, their artistic language into the meaning of the Semana Santa in Málaga.
Juan Antonio Sánchez López

Juan Antonio was born in Malaga; he has a PhD in philosophy and literature and is professor at the University of Málaga where he teaches in the department of History of Art and Communication.
He specialises in history, modern art, iconography, the history of sculpture and contemporary art about which he has published many articles; he talks at congresses both nationally and internationally.
His primary interest lies in the study of the iconography of modern age sculpture in Spain and Italy. He has also written widely on the Renaissance and Baroque.

Among many other subjects, he has published widely on the processions in Málaga, for instance,
  • Muerte y Cofradías de Pasión en la Málaga del siglo XVIII. (La imagen procesional del Barroco y su proyección en las mentalidades) (Death and the brotherhoods of the Passion in 18th c Málaga. The Baroque processional image and its projection in mentality.)
  • El alma de la madera. Cinco siglos de Iconografía y Escultura procesional en Málagaque ( The soul of wood. 5 centuries of iconography and processional sculptures in Málaga.)
  • La voz de las estatuas. Escultura, Arte público y paisajes urbanos de Málaga (The voice of the statues. Sculpture, public art and urban landscape in Málaga. A book on the public sculptures and monuments in Málaga from the Baroque till now.
He also teaches Archeology and Holy art at the Seminario Conciliar Diocesano de San Sebastián y Santo Tomás de Aquino and the Instituto Superior de Ciencias Religiosas "San Pablo", which is aligned to the theology department of Granada University.

Since 1997 he has been Director of the Museo de Arte Sacro de la Abadía Cisterciense de Santa Ana in Málaga, which is dedicated to Baroque sculpture and especially to the works of Pedro de Mena.

He worked as scientific advisor for the National Gallery in London to select the paintings for the recent exhibition The Sacred Made Real. Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700.

March 2013

David Hockney - art as biography

Peter Webb

BA, MA(Cantab), PhD(UEA)
Peter Webb has degrees from Cambridge and London Universities and a Doctorate from the University of East Anglia. After a lectureship at Coventry College of Art, he started teaching the first degree course in England on the subject of The Erotic Arts at Hornsey College of Art in London in 1970 and lectured extensively on related topics at universities and colleges throughout the seventies and eighties. He published his influential book on the same subject in 1975, later reprinted and updated. Subsequently he has written books on Hans Bellmer (2006), David Hockney (1991) and Leonor Fini (200). After Hornsey, he taught at Middlesex University in London, and he retired as Reader in the History of 20th Century Art in 1996.

From Peter Webb's website:
Peter Webb has degrees from Cambridge and London Universities and a Doctorate from the University of East Anglia. After a lectureship at Coventry College of Art, he started teaching the first degree course in England on the subject of The Erotic Arts at Hornsey College of Art in London in 1970 and lectured extensively on related topics at universities and colleges throughout the seventies and eighties. He published his influential book on the same subject in 1975, later reprinted and updated. Subsequently he has written books on Hans Bellmer (2006), David Hockney (1991) and Leonor Fini (200). After Hornsey, he taught at Middlesex University in London, and he retired as Reader in the History of 20th Century Art in 1996.

Peter Webb has also written many articles for art journals as well as exhibition catalogues, and has made over 60 radio and television appearances. He has lectured at over 100 universities, colleges, museums and galleries around the world, including Tate Britain, Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Dulwich Art Gallery, Norwich Museum, London Institute of Contemporary Art, Manchester Art Gallery, Leamington Art Gallery, Centre Pompidou, Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris, Trieste Museum of Fine Art, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, and the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, London, Sussex, East Anglia, Texas, Seattle, Montreal, Toronto, Hong Kong etc.

April 2013

Artists' Views of Australia - Aboriginal, Pioneer, Botanical and Impressionist

Caroline Holmes

Inspired by the Australian landscape and the major art galleries in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide, this lecture explores its extraordinary climatic contrasts prompted by Dorothea McKellar's celebratory poem 'My Country' .
From the patterned hands of ancient Aboriginal cave paintings, we will explore the dreams of pioneers, the unique botanical treasures, the glorious light captured by the Heidelberg School, Australia's own Impressionists, and finally the rediscovery of its indigenous art.

About Caroline Holmes

CAROLINE HOLMES is a garden historian, international lecturer, award-winning writer and design consultant. She lectures for NADFAS in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, Martin Randall Travel in France and Scotland and is a part-time tutor for the University of Cambridge's ICE. Author of ten books, including: Monet at Giverny, Follies of Europe - architectural extravaganzas and her latest, Impressionists in their Gardens which was nominated for the 2012 Garden Media Guild Inspirational Garden Book of the Year Award. Garden consultancies include the Royal Opera House's New Production Campus for the Performing Arts and around the church of Notre-Dame-de-Calais. She has presented several series on both TV and BBC Radio Four. One programme in the series Imperial Gardens for BBC Radio Four focused on the Alhambra and Generalife. Caroline is fascinated by how people and plants have historically shaped landscapes and what we can learn from them.

May 2013

The Royal and Ancient Game - Golf and the Queens and Kings of Britain 1120 - 1920

Bob Gowland

About Bob Gowland (from his website)
The Royal element is covered from James IV of Scotland, Queen Catherine of Aragon Mary, Queen of Scots through to the present Duke of York. Early references to golf-like games from 1120 and 1350 are detailed; the Continental stick and ball games brought back by the Crusaders and developed in the Middle Ages are discussed to the late 17th century.
Stained glass window from Gloucester Cathedral showing a golf-like game c 1350.

Golf as we would recognise it today is described from the 18th century on, showing extant pictures and portraits and the types of clubs used in those pictures through the ages. The golden age of golf in the 19th century is covered with particular reference to Ladies golf and the emergence of professional golf later in the century.